A view from Scotland
“It was revealed that more than 50,000 people in Glasgow will struggle to put food on the table this Christmas, having been fleeced by unscrupulous lenders. The banks won't touch these people and so they are driven into the hands of loan sharks or finance companies which our governments allow to charge obscene interest rates.
The banks' values are now solely underpinned by the values of greed and avarice. They sell us a lie that they must continue to pay Luciferean bonuses so that they can attract "the world's best financiers". It is as if the knowledge of working the markets is known only to a few anointed necromancers who have studied at the feet of the Father of Lies to gain aptitude at their fell art. Total pish. It's easy to take risks on the markets with a half-decent economics higher and billions of other people's money, secure in the knowledge that you'll never be penalised or prosecuted when you fail, as fail you must.
In Scotland today, more than 100,000 young people are unemployed, more than ever before. This evil is not even deemed worthy of comment by the Bullingdon Club chancers English voters put in Downing Street. As this was announced, George Osborne, a man you can imagine in a Beefeater's hat and a redcoat demanding tithes and a night with your wife, warns companies to stay away from Scotland over uncertainties about independence. He just added another few thousand to the unemployment figures in Scotland. And another few thousand who will now vote yes in the independence referendum.
Don't kid yourself that all this misery facing the poor is an unfortunate but unavoidable byproduct of the "recession". In large parts of Britain, recessions don't occur. In the past 30 years, which, by my calculations, have witnessed three economic recessions, top executive pay has increased by 4,000%. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers have lost their jobs, not because their firms were in trouble, but because they had only made £5m that year instead of £7m. The "recession" is something "top executives" invent when they want to take your job and increase their pensions.
Wednesday's strike action by public sector workers is long overdue. It will not, as David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Osborne claim, cost the country millions. It will inconvenience some of us for a day or so. We won't lose our jobs and be prevented from putting a turkey on the table because of it. That's already happened because of the greed, corruption and negligence of bankers and the governments which turned a blind eye to it all. The right to strike is a noble and dignified tool that workers can use when bosses and the government have taken the piss once too often. I'll be backing the public sector workers. The government ought to be thankful that they will endure a mere day of peaceful protest and not the violent uprising they probably deserve.” Kevin McKenna Observer 27/11/11