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posted 3 Oct 2017, 13:19 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 3 Oct 2017, 13:20 ]
This was written before the presentation of the 2018 budget.

I have always likened the reading of the budget to the hurricane season; except the latter is of shorter duration and with modern day early warning systems, the effects can be mitigated…hopefully.

We are advised of its likelihoods, we take steps to prepare for the eventuality and until recent times those affected have been able to, for the most part, ride out the storm/s. Key to all of this is popular involvement, forward planning and contingency measures; democracy at work in the weather environment.

The economic budget is the opposite. This storm is man-made. We know when it is going to hit and the workers cower in anticipation of dreadful strikes. There is no consultation, no popular participation, and no effort to make use of collective wisdom. Economic forecasters, schooled in the ways of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, prepare their assaults with the intention of stripping the poor in much the same way bark is torn off trees or roofs are ripped from houses. There are no safe houses or shelters from these assaults on our pockets.

Much like the 2017 version of events where hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria came in a tumult, this year's financial storms are predicted to be as furious as any before. The protection and shelter afforded in previous seasons by high oil and natural gas prices has eroded. Rather than commune with the wider community, the political leadership insists of staying on safe economic ground. (Read removal of subsidies increased taxes, retrenchment as a cost cutting measure) and of course plain old robbery. (Read highway contracts, invisible oil and dodgy boat hirings).

Those among us, who have studied the processes of this export-led, market-driven economy, know we are in the eye of the hurricane. Will we have a "caracazo' as Venezuela did in the 1990's? The 'caracazo' was a popular uprising against austerity measures that left thousands dead after the Army was called out to 'restore order'. These occurrences do not follow any script as evidenced in the various ways they have broken out from the Middle East to Latin America.

Is this wishful thinking? No! It is an analysis of what occurs when capitalism/neo-liberalism/ free market forces bring societies to this type of economic pass. Self defence is inherent in individuals and in organised classes.

Some who are fearful, who are aware but unwilling to admit, will blame the legacy of the former administration, the drug trade and/or Donald Trump. Poor White, supremacist fool! Expect to read very soon that Donald and not Adolf Hitler started World War 2, in addition to sinking the Titanic with one of his tweets. But the storm, budget or no budget, is in our faces.

The youth whom we have raised in this culture are giving us solid returns on our 'investments'. Check the level of criminal activity OUTSIDE the corridors of power."Pressure does buss pipe' is a popular Caribbean saying. In 'Wretched of the Earth' Franz Fanon explains what happens when the 'native is hemmed in on all sides' and facing bayonets.

The fury turns inward and one's neighbour, one's fellow countryman becomes the enemy. Read all the arrant nonsense one finds in expressions such as “black people stupid/ too many single parents/they don't want to take education/ they want government to do everything'': all forms of blaming the victim. Problems arise when government becomes an institution of itself and for itself with a population seen as followers.

We will not go much into the latest manifestation of illegitimate leadership in organised labour. Thrown out of the Hyatt home again, like some sullied strumpet whose wares are no longer attractive or really needed, howling at the moon about what will happen 'if they touch the subsidies', these followers of capital have announced the results of 'new elections.'

Like the life forms that some believed emerged from the oceans and evolved into mammals, the new leader has swum to shore and is now President of one of the federations. My prediction is that it will soon erupt into a big squabble because this newly elected leader is going to claim primacy within the existing structure and promote his own line in the 'movement'. Let us see how the other Supreme Comrade reacts

So: "People Get ready. There's a train a cominand it will not bring good news.