Brockley Uncut



UKUncut protestors chose Brockley to promote their Budget Day protest (when they will form a dole queue outside Downing Street). Here's their video capturing their "Austerity isn't working" poster on Endwell Road.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show that however necessary a government move, someone, somewhere, will take issue with it. Their answer seems to be "Spend ALL the money!", or "Support EVERYONE who won't work!".

We need a little bit of a swing to the Tory side of things before the pendulum swings back to Labour. I love Labour, but they're far too soft at times.

Lou Baker said...

UK plc is paying the lowest interest rates on its debts for decades - and at a similar level to Germany - because 'the cuts' are working.

They're proving that for too long too many people have been coasting at taxpayers' expense. Be it lazy, overpaid and unproductive civil servants or those who refuse to take work they believe is beneath them.

The alternative to making our economy more competitive and focussed on making work pay, is to make it more like Greece. Which the basketcases at unwashed movements like UK Uncut and Occupy appear to want.

Brockley Dogging Society said...

Skip to 0:07 on the video - can we have our bucket back please?

Anonymous said...

I resent my flat being in that video. It's easy for idealogues to tell the ruling political class they are doing things wrong whilst bringing nothing new to the table.

kolp said...

Plan B This is for you Lou -> http://youtu.be/t9B0y9oV7Mk

Fattyfattybumbum said...

Do these morons really think Austerity would be any governments chosen option? Don't they realise that we have no choice, you cant spend what you don't have. Re unemployment, are they suggesting that the government just 'create' loads of pointless jobs for people, is that their solution? How bloody unimaginative, no wonder the Chinese are whipping our butts. There is plenty of work in the UK for those that want it, too many of them are too picky.

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - only the other day you were complaining that what Britain really needs is a Victorian-style public transport infrastructure binge - maglev trains here, monorails there, jetpack refuelling stations everywhere.

Now you're demanding austerity max.

I don't suppose it's occured to you that an alternative to austerity is precisely the infrastructure investment you're looking for?

After all this ad doesn't specify that they want more to be spent on benefits.

Anonymous said...

good for them

Tim said...

After a little thought, I'm going to side with Lou on this one.
Nick, I think we all know that the UK Uncut wasters aren't proposing a programme of well targeted infrastructure investments. You are being a tiny bit disingenuous. UK Uncut want to preserve the status quo, which means a lot of wasteful spending. At best, they want a "fiscal stimulus", which might include cutting VAT. To my mind fiscal stimuli are at best risky (the downside of a fiscal stimulus failing is worse than the downside of austerity), and at worst immoral. How is it morally right to try and get out of a mess you're created through spending too much, by spending more! Its like doubling down at the casino. You might be saved, but that doesn't make it a good idea.
Finally, infrastructure is possibly all well and good when done in the right way. Given the woeful record of governments in this regard, I'm not sure I particularly trust any government to go out and borrow tens of billions and spend it wisely on the right infrastructure projects.

Brockley Nick said...

"Nick, I think we all know that the UK Uncut wasters aren't proposing a programme of well targeted infrastructure investments. You are being a tiny bit disingenuous."

I'm just suggesting that as a piece of economic analysis "Austerity isn't working" is something you will also read in The FT or The Telegraph, so to say that the alternative is to be like Greece is disingenuous. There are plenty of alternatives.

UK Uncut's alternative may be worse (I suspect I would disagree with their alternatives) but it is a reasonable point to suggest

Ironically, it's precisely because the Tories' deficit reduction strategy is working better than forecast (they are ahead of target in terms of deficit reduction) that they have some wiggle room. Maybe an income tax cut for the low paid, maybe tax breaks for some industries, maybe some new infrastructure projects. All good things, which would help.

Anyone who is not worried about the number of people (particularly young people) unemployed is wrong.

NAT said...

Could I just poin out Tim that if you find yourself in agreement with Lou Baker that your final paragraph doesn't make sense.

Lou is all for big spending on infrastructure but wants to combine this with austerity in some as yet unspecified way.

I now expect some blustering declarations which wont address this.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tim. From The Telegraph today:

"The trouble is, if businesses don’t spend, the Government is struggling to know where to turn. The public finances, as the Chancellor has repeatedly pointed out, are stricken. As are household balance sheets. Foreign markets may be potential buyers of British goods but they are, by definition, beyond state control and largely immune to domestic fiscal policy. So that leaves corporates.

Excluding the banks, business was the one sector to have emerged from the recession relatively unscathed. And in an environment of crippling debt burdens, it appears to be sitting on a goldmine.

Corporate balance sheets are brimming with cash. According to official data, UK companies are tucking away about £70bn a year – twice as much as before the crisis. Some analysts have estimated the total stash of cash under the corporate mattress at £750bn.

Investing just £20bn of that in the UK would deliver 1pc of growth.
Once in power, the Government set about doing all it could for business. It announced it was cutting corporation tax from 28pc to 23pc, and there have been suggestions it may lower it again on Wednesday. It has reformed the tax treatment of foreign profits, introducing a “one-in one-out” rule on red tape, reducing factories’ energy bills, overhauling employment tribunal rules and extending capital reliefs.
Above all, it has promised that tax policy will be steady and predictable so businesses can plan for the future. Put together, it’s a cast-iron commitment that business is at the heart of the Government’s agenda. And, as a result, conditions for business have not been so good for years.
The conventional wisdom is that spending has been hampered by the eurozone crisis, which has hammered confidence and persuaded companies to sit on their cash piles. Few dispute the theory, but economists believe the eurozone effect is being overstated and the crux of the problem is closer to home.

Companies simply do not intend to invest on the scale of the 1990s and 1930s – the reason being that they can see little end demand."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/9150406/Budget-2012-UK-companies-are-sitting-on-billions-of-pounds-so-why-arent-they-spending-it.html

This has been said again and again, businesses are not spending. They are not spending because there is no demand. There is no demand because of austerity (and the crisis in Europe). Government needs to do all it can to boost business confidence and inject some demand in to the economy - but I agree with you and Lou insomuch that they need to do this without ruining their fiscal discipline.

Tim said...

Nat - Infrastructure spending is a supply side reform that makes the whole country more productive (better rail/roads/broadband etc). Done properly it permanently increases GDP and has a return greater than the Government's cost of capital. This is a good thing and most people are for it, including Lou. The "done properly" bit is a concern, but broadly I think we should go for it. I think Lou's position is we do the above (i.e. invest, the same thing as Nick believes Corporates should do). At the same time Lou and I believe that you should cut down on those things that do not increase the greater good of the country. I wouldn't use the word "lazy", but I do believe there is big scope for cuts in the public sector. And I do believe we have a problem when we have 8% unemployment, and yet lots work seems to be done by economic migrants. I cite my mothers day breakfast in Chapters this morning, where I was served by two cheerful young ladies with eastern european accents. There is something intrinsically wrong with an economy when benefits are getting paid to people and there is clearly work available.

Nick - Unfortunately I suspect that a large part of the Corporate sectors unwillingness to spend is fear of the Eurozone imploding - somewhat out of Osborne's control. Agree it would be good to see them spend. Why don't shareholders be more active in depending what is ultimately their cash be spent or returned?

Brockley Nick said...

@Tim - yes, a large part is out of his hands and we need to cut him the same amount of slack that we should have cut Gordon Brown when the world economy fell out from under him. But Brown made mistakes which made recovery harder and now this chancellor is doing the same. It is fair comment to say so.

Tim said...

It's fair comment. I don't agree with it.

Brown did a lot wrong, and helped create the financial crisis by creating a regulatory regime that didn't regulate. He also repeatedly broke his own golden rule.
Osborne has at least broadly done what he said he'd do.

Therefore, I feel Osborne should get more slack thatnBrown if things in the economy aren't going as we would like.

Mb said...

Is it just me or is the argument simplistic that the close to 3m unemployed are somehow work shy because someone somewhere is employing people? If that's the case there has never been an unemployment issue. There have always been some jobs available even in the depts of a crisis. Hundreds of thousands extra out of work, are we to believe that they are there out of choice and have suddenly decided that it's a better place to be or is there something in the economy that has made that choice for them?

Somewhere between the two poles there is some truth, blaming the unemployed for being unemployed as the default position is unhelpful at best. There have always been a group who would rather eat leaves than work, it's a bit of a cheap trick to suggest that the millions on the dole share that aspiration. Not so different to suggesting that anyone who works in the city is a thieving leech or anyone in the public sector is sleeping through the day. It's a red top headline, not an accurate or illuminating view useful for policy setting.

Mb said...

Tim...let's not forget that brown was on the same path that thatcher championed in the '80s. Deregulation, the market knows best, ride the city of londons coat tails. Osbourne was crowing for even LESS regulation just prior to the crash, why can't we be more like Ireland he said.

The uk is both the victim and beneficiary of the current economic storm. The record low interest rates are not there because of brilliant strategy from Osbourne.

Tim said...

Thatcher did not champion spending more than you earn and consistently running deficits.

And we have record low interest rates partly because of austerity - because investors believe that this government is serious about eliminating the deficit. Note my use of the word "partly".

I'm not sure anyone would call Osborne's strategy "brilliant". No one wants to be in this position. I don't like the fact that the coming generations will be poorer than current one, and will have to work longer than ever before. It's just necessary.

Mb said...

...Lou is advocating spending more than you earn on infrastructure, so you now don't support his view? I'm confused.

The words economy reached meltdown partly because of the global economy letting the markets regulate themselves. Thatcher/reganomics that labour bought into. Labours sure start centres and winter fuel allowance didn't cause the lehmans collapse.

It's complex, what is clear is that all mainstream parties were plugged into the same process that kicked off 20 plus years ago. Now their all trying to find a way out. Osbourne seems to be reluctantly looking for ways tat may use government nerve nation to increase spending without admitting that it's a little bit of Keynes

Mb said...

* intervention

Lou Baker said...

@mb

I certainly don't think everyone who is out of work is lazy. Unemployment is not nice - it's horrible. I was out of work myself for a few months in 2001 - around the time of 9/11 - and finding anything was almost impossible. I even had to go on the dole for a handful of weeks just to survive. It is the most deeply depressing experience of my life - and the Job Centre was completely useless.

I got back in to work by taking the first thing I could find. I was earning a fraction of my previous salary, I was doing the dullest job ever BUT I was doing a job. Before long I moved on to something marginally less dull - and then was back on my feet again using my skills within a year. Of course for much of that time I could have just stayed on the dole, without being much worse off.

Far too many other people would have just stayed on the dole. Too many of our young people are out if work because they won't accept work they feel is beneath them. Look at that prissy moron who claims her human rights were breached because she had to stack shelves in Poundland!

UK Uncut supports these people. It does not understand that being in work - any work - makes finding alternate work easier. It does not understand that work experience benefits the person on it more than it does the company offering it. It believes in some sort of automatic entitlement to all.

I 100% support the benefits system. We should properly support those who genuinely can't work. Everyone else should be expected to do their share. Now if you're disabled you might not be able to do as much as an able bodied person. But you can still contribute something.

If you're unemployed you should be helped get back in to work - and part of that should include compulsory work experience if you can't find anything yourself.

Benefits, social projects are bad spending. Infrastructure is an investment - it's good spending. We need less of the former, more of the latter.

@nick

You're right about corporate stash piles. The Chancellor should encourage firms to use their money to invest in all this infrastructure I want by offering good financial returns and tax incentives.

Hugo said...

Shocking new footage of Lou has been uncovered:

http://i.imgur.com/uxwLZ.png

Mb said...

Spending on infrastructure is generally good, I agree. Skilled work so people are paying tax while leaving a legacy that will boost the economy. Shame that the current administration doesn't see that it has the ability to take a more active, direct contribution.

UK Uncut said...

Hi,

I'm one of the people who pasted up this billboard. I also happen to work for a major economics thinktank.

For the record, here's a summary of my preferred course of action at this point:

Immediately halt public sector job cuts, which in most cases are a false economy

Use the next round of quantitative easing to finance a new, state owned infrastructure bank which would overhaul Britain's transport and energy infrastructure (http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=21853&title=Caroline+Lucas+leads+call+for+%26pound%3B70bn+%27green+quantitative+easing%27+programme)

Employ thousands more tax inspectors and implement strict anti-tax-avoidance rules to close some of the £120bn tax gap (http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/campaign-resources/there-is-an-alternative-the-case-against-cuts-in-public-spending.cfm)

The UK does have a debt crisis that needs dealing with - but it's private sector debt, not public. See http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2011/12/21/this-is-a-bank-made-crisis/ and http://www.positivemoney.org.uk for a possible way forward

Glad to have stimulated some discussion

Anonymous said...

You work for a 'think tank'? No wonder you guys are for "job creation"!

kolp said...

Classic, why don't you engage with his argument instead of resorting abuse.

Anonymous said...

"to my mind fiscal stimuli are at best risky (the downside of a fiscal stimulus failing is worse than the downside of austerity), and at worst immoral. How is it morally right to try and get out of a mess you're created through spending too much, by spending more! Its like doubling down at the casino. You might be saved, but that doesn't make it a good idea."

Isn't printing money a bad and risky idea?

Anonymous said...

Quantative easing is driving down pension annuity rates. Fine if your not about to retire. But annuity rates will never get back to where they were 10, 20 years ago. One day you will retire, when that happens think back to now.

Anonymous said...

"I also happen to work for a major economics thinktank."

Don't mean you have the answers just means you think you have.

I'd save tax payers money by getting rid of some the stupid courses run at Goldsmiths that create professional benefit scroungers.

Anonymous said...

Re pensions the carping by public sector unions...is an effing joke, particularly by those working at the Treasury.

Does the so called economic septic tank have any to say about ublic pensions that defy economic reality?

NAT said...

20:55, There is nothing called 'The Economic Septic Tank'.

For this reason there is no " 'so called' 'economic septic tank' "

Anonymous said...

Its private pensions that are at the most risk from quantative easing.

Typical Brockley Resident said...

Dear so-called "Top Gear"...

Anonymous said...

2 things.

1. 11am on a Wednesday is likely to be hard for people actually working and paying tax.

2. Did the people putting up the poster actually pay for the advertising space from the relevant owners or was this put up illegally?

Anonymous said...

Ken said only the other day that TFL have a surplus of money which is why he is promising to lower fares.

Invest it instead!

Mb said...

Dear old Ken (well actually dear old politicians) I'd be interested to understand what this 'spare' money is? If it's the risk pot that any organisation running massive investment jobs has to hold then it could be a crowd pleaser but risky. Bean counters, Project Managers, Project Engineers do roll their eyes when there is a strategic knee jerk.

I don't actually know, I'm speculating.

Anonymous said...

"1. 11am on a Wednesday is likely to be hard for people actually working and paying tax."

Good point - and many of those attending will be forced to miss "Homes Under the Hammer"

Another ill-thought-out vegetarian folly from Brockley.

oh dear. said...

"Another ill-thought-out vegetarian folly from Brockley"

Says another anon with a trite dismissive wave and a lazy stereotype.Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

This thread did quite well before descending into abuse.

Lou Baker said...

The point was not made with my panache.

But it is a good point - at 11am on a Wednesday most income taxpayers will indeed be at work.

Yes there will be some on holiday, some on shifts, some on maternity leave. But most will be at work - supporting those who are not.

My main problem with UK Uncut is that they seem to believe that the current benefits system and welfare system works. It clearly doesn't.

A system that works would really properly support people when they need help. It would be a safety net through which no one should ever fall. It should help everyone up, so they are in a position to help themselves. It does none of those things.

The main purpose of our welfare system has become money. It's main purpose should be to provide support. UK Uncut doesn't get that. And when the best sources you can quote are the militant PCS Union and Green loon Caroline Lucas it does you no favours.

Gnu said...

Dear UK Uncut,

Your plans suck:

Immediately halt public sector job cuts, which in most cases are a false economy. <- In most cases? So you'd even halt those cuts which by your own admission result in a genuine economy? Do you really believe there's not significant fat to be cut from the public sector pay bill (which has risen at multiples of inflation in recent years)?

Use the next round of quantitative easing to finance a new, state owned infrastructure bank which would overhaul Britain's transport and energy infrastructure <- Only if you're not worried about inflation, which hits the poorest hardest. Printing money is not a zero sum game.

Employ thousands more tax inspectors and implement strict anti-tax-avoidance rules to close some of the £120bn tax gap <- Yes, those pesky ISAs and rebates on charitable giving. Tax inspectors inspect compliance with tax rules. Tax avoidance is within the rules. You'd be wasting money on unnecessary public sector pay. Anyone would think that is your intention...

Think tank? Think harder.

mb said...

ISAs are something quiet different to employing people to challange a comapanies complex tax affairs.

The Inland Revenue often settle with big companies because they don't have the time or resourse to take on their tax consultants.

As for printing money, well the conservatives and Labour have been doing it for a couple of years now. Tweaking with VAT and interest rates also directly affects inflation. Doesnt have to mean hyperinflation, it's just another economic tool.

ISA's are specifically to encourage saving. not the same thing at all.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

@ mb I agree with you.

ISAs reward financial prudence, something which UK Uncut seems to be against. Spend spend spend and don't worry about who pays for it.

Gnu said...

Mb – of course ISAs are there to encourage saving. How do they do that? By avoiding tax.

Companies employ tax advisors to enhance shareholder value. How do they do that? By avoiding tax.

Again you’re confusing tax avoidance with evasion. HMRC is only entitled to ensue tax is paid on taxable activities. It has no mandate to prevent or discourage tax avoidance. That’s the remit of parliament.

Unless you’re an idiot you don’t pay more tax than you have to. Why should a big company?

Printing money is inflationary. It’s supply and demand. Economics 101. Sure you can offset it, but not without causing economic harm.

Danja said...

Printing money is inflationary. It’s supply and demand. Economics 101.

As ever, in real life, you have to sling ceteris paribus out the window.

QE is not exactly a helicopter drop, but in any case it would better described as anti-deflationary - at least in terms of the policy objective.

What they are trying to address is the shrinking in broad money due to massive deleveraging in the banking sector.

Mb said...

I suspect you are being naive if you think that tax inspectors are not required or should not be proactive in challenging a companies tax return. They will stretch the definition of what is and isn't taxable, thats why you have inspectors.

To compare Philip Greene or Vodaphone to joe blogs sticking three grand in an ISA is not useful. It's currently not illegal to purchase a house for your own use through a company, gorgeous George is closing that loophole. This a good thing. It will need policing. We need a proactive tax authority.

Also, "spending money we don't have" is how companies grow. Remember when Dave had to back pedal rapidly when he suggested we should all spend less? Yes
AND no. Banks not lending money to companies who are crying out for some manageable dept is one of the fundamental problems we have, the money that the government are releasing is to being passed on.

Keynes ideas are hardly a fruit loop, way out view. You may or may not agree but don't dismiss it as nonsense. Barack Obama would be sad for one.

Mb said...

By the way f**cking iPhones do not aid forming a coherent sentence.

Anonymous said...

There's a very big difference between "spending money we don't have" and borrowing to invest!

Clearly UK Uncut have no concept of investment, only further wasteful spending of the type carried out by Labour over the thirteen years they spent in power.

Vesta Curry said...

It really does surprise me how reactionary some of the views in this neighbourhood are. Why are so many working people apparently so embittered? Don't they enjoy their relative prosperity? Or their hard-won self-reliance? I mean, life is short - pull your pants up!

S'pose it shows how wrong you can be about your neighbours ... I mean, you could knock me down with a fevver ...

Vesta Curry said...

... wanders off down the road, mumbling ... kicking a pebble ...

UK Uncut said...

What they are trying to address is the shrinking in broad money due to massive deleveraging in the banking sector.

Well said Danja.

Others, please do read http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/01/31/therovingcavaliersofcredit/ before trying to make any sensible comments on the inflationary potential of QE.

My main problem with UK Uncut is that they seem to believe that the current benefits system and welfare system works. It clearly doesn't.

Lou, UK Uncut have very little to say directly about the benefits system. By suggesting otherwise is to willfully or ignorantly misrepresent our position.

So you'd even halt those cuts which by your own admission result in a genuine economy?

Gnu, no, sorry, you're right, I don't think the public sector is perfect and would proceed with cuts that offer a genuine economy. I believe the number of areas where this is true is few though and they certainly require some care in identifying.

As a general comment, I have to say I am rather surprised 1. by the insults thrown having taken the time to engage in this debate 2. by people's lack of awareness and knowledge of the position of UK Uncut (though I accept that's my problem more than yours).

We really don't have any hidden agenda to fuck up the economy or put union warlords in charge. We campaign simply on issues of fairness and accountability with a desire to expose the government's lies that 'there is no alternative' and 'we're all in this together'. Please, let's work together on this. We're not out to make enemies or entrench left-right positions.

Thanks for your time.

Brockley Nick said...

"I believe the number of areas where this is true is few though"

On what basis do you believe this? Any very large organisation, which grows, always generates inefficiencies through that growth. Why should the public sector be any different? At the very least, priorities change and resources need redeployment.

"and they certainly require some care in identifying."

Sure. But no serious person would say otherwise.

Brockley Nick said...

Also:

"We campaign simply on issues of fairness and accountability"

The austerity debate is not necessarily about either of these things.

"with a desire to expose the government's lies that 'there is no alternative' and 'we're all in this together'"

And

"We're not out to make enemies or entrench left-right positions."

These two sentences seem completely contradictory. If you go around branding one "side" as liars, you entrench left-right positions.

Hayek said...

This reminds me of the 2008 Greek general election when the Greeks were told, and sadly believed,the same sort of claims UK Uncut make now. That ended well for them, didn't it. Sad to see the rotting carcass of the left walking zombie like through the streets of Brockley. At least their co-ideologists in the Occupy movement had the decency to go and lie down in a church yard.

Anonymous said...

'I'm one of the people who pasted up this billboard. I also happen to work for a major economics thinktank.'

Really, you think the New Economics Foundation is a major thinktank? More like a sump of failed ideas, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

If it's known £100Bn is owed in tax and it's known where it is, shouldn't we be sacking the current crop of Tax Inpectors rather than employing more?

Brockley Nick said...

So... that seemed like a reasonable budget. More tax on wealth, less on income. Tax breaks for some strategic industries, low-paid lifted out of tax.

Views please.

Mb said...

http://gu.com/p/36djm/tw

Is Vincenzo advocating a state infrastructure bank? The mad pinko fool!

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