2000s >> 2009 >> no-1259-july-2009

Cooking the Books 1: Spot the difference

The BNP has an economic policy? Apparently, and it’s not just send all non-white people (and Poles) back to where they came from and give their jobs to British workers. Their manifesto for last month’s European elections said:

“All the old parties are in the pockets of the banks and big business. Lab-Lib-Con all pretend to be worried about job losses but have allowed globalisation to destroy jobs and drag down wages . . . We will protect British jobs from cut-throat foreign competition and put British workers first – every time!”

How they propose to do this can be found on their website:

“Globalisation has caused the export of jobs and industries to the Far East, and has brought ruin and unemployment to British industries and the communities who depend on them. Accordingly, the BNP calls for the selective exclusion of foreign-made goods from British markets and the reduction of foreign imports. We will ensure that our manufactured goods are, wherever possible, produced in British factories, employing British workers. When this is done, unemployment in this country will be brought to an end and secure, well-paid employment will flourish.” (http://bnp.org.uk/tag/bnp-economic-policy/)

That’s easier said than done. Basically, it’s a proposal to try to isolate capitalist Britain from the world market. But this couldn’t be done without making things worse.

It is naïve to assume that if a British government imposed a “selective exclusion of foreign-made goods”, i.e. protectionism, the governments of other capitalist countries would just take this lying down. They would adopt similar measures aimed at selectively excluding British, i.e. for them “foreign”, imports. British manufacturing exports would be bound to suffer. Unemployment would return (if it ever disappeared) and “secure, well-paid employment” would wither not flourish.

The BNP was not the only party to advocate such a pie-in-the-sky policy as a supposed way to secure jobs and end unemployment. Here is what the No2EU list, led by Bob Crow of the RMT union and supported by the Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) and the ex-Militant Tendency Trotskyists:

“Nation states with the right to self-determination and their governments are the only institutions that can control the movement of big capital and clip the wings of the trans-national corporations and banks.  . . . To revitalise the economy, Britain must return to creating wealth based especially in manufacturing, hi-tech and trade across the world . . .  To return to an economy based on manufacturing requires massive investment and where appropriate protection of home industries. It is the only way to ensure jobs and a decent safe future for the peoples of Britain.” (http://www.no2eu.com/economiccrisis.html)

They don’t explain any more than the BNP where the profitable market for these extra manufacturing goods is to come from. They, too, dream of a national capitalism permanently providing high wages and steady jobs.

No wonder the groups that made up No2EU refuse to debate with the BNP. When it comes to economic policy, it wouldn’t be much of a debate as they wouldn’t find much to disagree about, especially as the BNP also advocates “the renationalisation of monopoly utilities and services, compensating only individual investors and pension funds”.  We, on the other hand, are prepared to debate against both of them (together if need be, to save time) and put the socialist case that, as capitalism is already a world system, there are no national solutions to the problems it causes for workers and that the only answer is go forward to world-wide socialism not back to the Nation State.

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