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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Robbing the poor to pay the rich

JITTERY markets. A sinking pound. Labour streets ahead in the opinion polls. A handful of Tory back-benchers sending in letters calling for Truss’ resignation to their 1922 Committee. Just three weeks in and Liz Truss has already set her stamp on Downing Street with a so-called ‘mini-budget’ that has even enraged the faithful in the Home Counties.

Starmer thinks his time has come while Rishi Sunak waits in the wings pondering his next move.

The Daily Mail calls it a “True Blue” budget as indeed it is. Robbing the poor to help the rich is what the Tories are all about, though they usually try to cloak their bourgeois greed with the Union Jack and the sort of pious platitudes Sir Keir Starmer thinks will propel him into the corridors of power.

In New York last week Truss said she was prepared to be unpopular at home to take the “difficult decisions” needed to secure economic growth. She’s certainly deeply unpopular and few outside her immediate circle believe that the “difficult decisions” announced by the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, will do anything to secure economic growth.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not amused. It said: “We understand that the sizeable fiscal package announced aims at helping families and businesses deal with the energy shock and at boosting growth via tax cuts and supply measures.

“However, given elevated inflation pressures in many countries, including the UK, we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture, as it is important that fiscal policy does not work at cross purposes to monetary policy. Furthermore, the nature of the UK measures will likely increase inequality.”

While Labour opens up a 17-point lead over the Conservatives in the opinion polls, Starmer struts the stage at Labour’s conference in Liverpool to pose as a new Messiah destined to take the country “out of this endless cycle of crisis” through a mediocre package of reforms (such as neighbourhood policing and free breakfast clubs in primary schools) that the Blairites believe is enough, along with singing the national anthem, to win back the working-class vote in the northern ‘Red Wall’ and sweep them back to power.

Blair, of course, rode on the wave of an economic boom and the support of the traditional right-wing blocs that controlled many major unions in his day. Starmer, bereft of any allies in the union movement, has to deal with the global capitalist slump that began with the housing market crash in 2007. His only answer is the usual half-baked Keynesian solutions favoured by the American Democratic Party and Europe’s diminishing band of social-democrats intended to cushion the blows of the austerity regime and do little or nothing to end the poverty crisis in the imperialist heartlands.

Jeremy Corbyn may be finished, but others are waiting in the wings ready to take Starmer’s place. Andy Burnham, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, is said to be thinking about using the grass-roots Enough is Enough campaign as a platform for his greater ambitions – to get back into the House of Commons to secure a place in a future Starmer government and secure his place to challenge Sir Keir when the time comes.