Thursday, June 19, 2014
Labour : Will We Now Get A Hat-trick Of Own Goals?
The latest employment figures show an increase in self-employment of 8% in the past year, compared to an increase of only 1.8% amongst employees. This has been presented as being an "entrepreneurial boom", showing the residual strength of the free market and its ability to overcome the economic collapse of 2008; with the Coalition's economic policy being firmly based on public service cuts, wage restraints and the removal of constraints on the operations of a capitalist market system.
Unfortunately, single person entrepreneurial activity is not a sign of the growth of economic prosperity at all. Quite the opposite. It is a sign of collapse. Even if we ignore agriculture, single person entrepreneurship is 88.7% in Benin, 75.4% in Bangladesh and 66.9% in Ghana; whilst it is only 6.7% in Norway, 7.5% in the USA and 8.6% in France. The move to becoming single person entrepreneurs, is a move to desperation. What we need is a boom in paid work at a level which can provide decent living standards. (See pages 158 to 160 of this book).
But when we turn to Labour what do we get? They wish to force the young unemployed into dubious training schemes at the threat of losing their benefits. Never mind about losing even further electoral registrations and votes amongst the working class and the young. And certainly never mind about justice and equity.
After Ed Milband's debacle over the Sun newspaper (see here) and now this benefits' blow, what will he do for his hat trick of recent own goals? And how much more can the Labour membership take? We should not be trying to catch up to and surpass the economic and social programme of the coalition. There is an alternative approach - for justice, equality, an active democracy and the advance of socialism.