Even with Labour and the Conservatives outdoing each other to be the party of big business and wealth, some poor people are still popular at Westminster — that is poor people in other countries. Laments for the scale of global poverty and a stern faced insistence on the need to do something about it are becoming the favoured recourse of every politician, most obviously Gordon Brown.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to nationalise the failed bank Northern Rock, and denouncing New Labour from being held back from this course by "ideological preoccupations".
“You can expect”, writes US economist Nouriel Roubini, “that the ongoing credit crunch will get much worse in the year ahead and its fallout will spread from the US to Europe and throughout Asia and the globe.
Where do profits come from? How can wage-labour reasonably be described as wage-slavery? If a worker makes a free contract, as an individual equal before the law, with an employer, isn’t that a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work?
“Britain remains a nation dominated by class division”, reported the Guardian on 20 October. The division is dramatised by David Cameron’s Tory front bench, which includes no fewer than 15 men schooled at Eton. The Lib Dem leadership contest is being fought out by two men schooled at Westminster, a school almost as posh as Eton.
Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget statement on 9 October promised real wage cuts for public sector workers through to 2011, as well as choking back health and education spending and decreeing extra job cuts in the civil service, especially the Department of Work and Pensions.
Their triumphalism has been a little chastened. New Labour politicians these days are not quite as bold as Tony Blair was when he told Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight before the 2001 election that he was not bothered about a widening gap between rich and poor.
Over the last several months, a crisis originating at the lower end of the US mortgage market has become, at least incipiently, a world credit crisis.
Some questions and answers on the Northern Rock collapse
I have two accounts with Northern Rock, which together contain most of my savings, so I have been spending much of the last few days thinking about what to do and consulting advisors, Marxist and non-Marxist, about it.