The euro is not our enemy - British capitalists and their politicians are!

22 May 2012

The so-called "world leaders" who met over the past week to discuss the crisis, at the Chicago NATO and Camp David G8 summits, just proved once again how incapable they are of controlling their own system.

But these leaders did show that beyond their political labels, they had many things in common - even if the political will to find ways of reducing the crushing weight of the crisis on the world population was not one of them.

Quite the opposite, in fact. They all displayed the same contemptuous indifference to the fate of the tens of millions who have lost their jobs across the world since the beginning of the crisis. They did not even see the point of mentioning the rising poverty now being faced by a growing number of people in their respective countries.

No, their only concern was to "restore confidence on the markets" - that is, to placate the big international banks and speculative funds which have been causing havoc on financial markets ever since the Greek electorate voted against the country's pro-austerity parties.

As to the "solutions" these leaders had to offer, whether they involved more austerity, by increasing cuts in public expenditure, or more growth, by squeezing more "productivity" out of workers' labour, they shared the same objective - increasing the burden of the crisis on the working class in order to boost capitalist profit.

The pot calling the kettle black

In the midst of this puppet show of big business trustees, Cameron insisted that the coming Greek election, in June, would really be a referendum over whether Greece should leave the euro.

But that's simply not true. What the Greek electorate rejected in the last election was the austerity of their politicians, not the euro! And whatever Cameron would have us believe, the euro is not, in and of itself, the cause of this austerity.

Ever since the debt crisis began in the eurozone, first in Ireland and then in Greece, we've heard Cameron and the ConDems blaming the euro. Then, when Britain's GDP started falling at the end of last year, they went on to blame this "double-dip recession" here, on the crisis of the eurozone. How convenient for Cameron and his lot!

Except that this is the pot calling the kettle black! Now that there may be a run on Greek banks, duly blamed by Cameron on the euro, are we meant to forget that the first run on a bank anywhere in the world, hit Northern Rock here? Was the euro also to blame for that?

And while Cameron blames the euro for the downgrading of European banks, should we forget what we learnt earlier this month, following a scandal at the London subsidiary of US giant bank JP Morgan? That since 2009, British banks, including government-controlled RBS and Lloyds, produced over £130bn worth of the very same kind of "toxic" bonds which triggered the crisis, back in 2008, without anything being done to stop them! Is that to be blamed on the euro as well?

The capitalists' hidden agenda

Of course, for the ConDems the euro is just a convenient scapegoat, to divert our attention from the fact that the eurozone, just as much as Britain, faces the very same world crisis, caused by the profiteering of the same capitalists - whether they use the pound, the euro, or the dollar.

The hidden agenda behind this chauvinistic campaign isn't hard to see. Already the ConDems, the governor of the Bank of England and other City pundits, are filling the papers with predictions that the likely deepening of the debt crisis in the eurozone will "necessarily" mean that the screw of austerity will "have to" be tightened on the working class here. But of course, according to them, the culprits won't be British bankers or big companies, let alone their chaotic system - the culprit will be the euro! If this isn't a way of getting us used to the idea that the capitalist class and its politicians are preparing to intensify their offensive against the working class - what is?

This is why the working class has no interest in falling for any kind of chauvinistic anti-euro nonsense - neither from politicians, nor even from some trade-union leaders.

On the contrary, our interest is to identify our real enemies and our real allies. Contrary to what the Camerons of this world would have us believe, the pound has never been a protection for us, especially not against British bosses with whom we've never been "in the same boat". Whereas, we are in exactly the same boat as the working classes of the eurozone, facing the same crisis, the same profiteers, and with the same interest in getting rid of this system, once and for all!