Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Neither Nigel Nor Nick, for the Common Good

As I write, we face another couple of hours of the yawn-athon that is the debate between Nigel Clegg and Nick Farage, two neoliberal con men devoted to preserving a system that works for the richest people and the largest corporations on the planet.

Sounds odd? After all, aren't these two meant to be polar opposites. Well, let's see:

- both support free trade areas, either with Europe and/or the USA (or in UKIP's case, Russia) which sounds great except that in practice it means more profits for big business and fewer services for citizens from Governments no longer able to raise money from border tariffs. Their only real difference is which free trade areas they want to be part of - indeed, Farage even wants to have one with the EU, which would mean in practice we would continue to have to follow all the things he complains about, but with absolutely no say in how they would work. So the real difference between them is simply volume and rhetoric, nothing more.

- they both support "flexible" (i.e., low wage & insecure) workforces: Clegg has stripped all of us of significant employment rights while in Government; Farage wants to do away with the rest of them completely.

- they both want to subsidise foreign companies to come and build nuclear power stations in Britain.

- they both support fracking in our countryside to produce yet more carbon emissions into our smog-filled atmosphere.

- both of them know and patronise the finest restaurants in Brussels, courtesy of the rest of us.

They are a prime example of what Noam Chomsky calls "the illusion of choice". In this, we are allowed a semblance of democracy with rows and angry debates over a small range of issues - but anyone wanting to debate the fundamentals, such as how our wealth is created and used and who owns it, how it is shared, is excluded. Just as the Green Party was excluded from the debates between the two men in suits.

So, if you are bored by the prospect of another evening of these two self-regarding poseurs on the airwaves and would prefer something different, here it is. The Greens' punchy and amusing response to the "debate" on Europe. Take a look - it's for the Common Good.

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