Saturday, 26 May 2012

Workers of all lands ...

Who the fuck is Christine Lagarde ? 

Ok it's a rhetorical question - she's the IMF boss who slapped Cameron's wrist for pushing austerity a bit too far but most recently has told Greeks that they've had their fun with profligate public spending and now they just have to suck up the debt and suffer the consequences of austerity. 

Until now I haven't paid much attention to her. She's was a corporate lawyer, a French Tory and a mate of Sarkozy. Her appointment seemed like a smart  PR move at the time after the scandals of  sex-pest Dominique Strauss-Kahn. But in every respect she seems like the kind of backroom political bureaucratic that is fairly ignorable. And right now she could arguably be the most powerful woman in the world -  we would do well to pay careful attention to everything she says because in reality this is real power speaking not the empty rhetoric of posing politicians.

Listening to the news - we seem to be gearing up for a European economic war of sorts, and a familiar language of nationalism is on the return. Throw in the nonsense of our own '2012 Jubilympics', and its all to easy too let some of this reactionary bollocks slide.  

We shouldn't: When I hear things like 'the Greeks' I'm reminded of a scene in 'All Quiet On The Western Front' when they are in the trenches discussing the causes of the war. One naive young soldier suggests that one country has insulted another. An older wiser head asks if this means that a river in France has insulted a mountain in Germany - because he's met very few Frenchmen but from what he's seen they seem very similar to him and he has no quarrel with them.

And right now, when the chips are down and we are being set against each other we need to say again workers have no country. It's not 'the lazy profligate Greeks' - it's ordinary Greek people trying to hold their lives and  families together and it's not the 'industrious canny Germans' - it's German people  doing exactly the same.  And neither have anything in common with  the privileged apparatchiks of the international political class like Ms Lagarde who are attempting to call the shots that will decimate the lives of ordinary people everywhere. 

Apologies for preaching to the choir - but sometimes it is necessary to remember  the bleeding obvious. That is all.

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