Yeah, it's a tad precious to criticise political leaders/administrators of
small polities for playing the game in which they, and their constituents,
find themselves. London's economy does, I'd have thought, depend more than
most directly on the finance sector, though, and I'd be surprised if
Livingstone joined Monks in so explicit and particular a choosing of sides.
For mine, I find the integration of finance and manufacture so complete,
I'm not sure I understand what Monks has in mind, anyway - to support
industrial capitalism is to support their need to show competitive stock
value appreciation, no? And that means supporting manufacturing and
supporting finance are one and the same. While the world has about 20
million cars sitting forlorn and unloved in its caryards (a realisation
crisis, perhaps?), that's gotta mean protecting the jobs of one's
constituents by (a) condemning those of others, and (b) colluding in the
assurance or expansion of surplus value at home, no?
I don't blame Livingstone for this - indeed, I'm relatively glad he's there
(if he gets the chance to prove with his underground rail plan that, even
today, there ARE alternatives if one looks for them) - but social
transformations do not issue from the mouths of mayors, eh?
I'm all for European integration, myself. It won't be easy (European
history and aspects of some cultural identities are huge hurdles, for a
start), but it might help workers to identify with their counterparts
abroad, er, given time.
Then maybe they'll regain the quasi-internationalist insights that
highlight mutual interests and struggles, make the 'race-to-the-bottom'
dynamic a little easier to see, and integrate their organisations.
And from such developments might well issue a social transformation ...
>Ken Livingstone is already supping with capitalism with not too long a spoon.
>Due to be formally invested on Monday as London Mayor of London, Ken
>Livingstone told GMTV's The Sunday Programme that he was in discussion
>with major international firms who have investment programmes planned in
>the UK. "They are all working on one assumption, that is we will be in the
>Euro by 2003," he said. "If we are not...they will be rethinking their
>investment plans, I have no doubt about that. Any sign that we were pulling
>back from that assumption we are on our way in would be devastating for
>jobs in London."
>"We have got to play on a world stage. One third of firms in Britain now
>link in to International Corporations. You can't opt out of the world. You
>can't stop the world because we want to get off and go back to the 1950s."
>His argument, and that of John Monks, head of the British Trades Union
>Congress, is to support industry, including industrial capitalism, against
>finance capitalism. And not just national industrial capital.
>Nissan warned earlier this week that jobs could be under threat unless
>Britain joins the single currency.
>Mr Monks said that there were "quite a lot of Nissans. Toyota have been
>saying the same sort of thing and we know it was a factor behind the BMW
>decision in relation to Longbridge.
>Is this a compromise too far?
>ust because Lenin said it, does not make it right, but he did say "From
>their daily experience the masses know perfectly well the value of
>geographical and economic ties and the advantage of a big market and a big
>That of course does not mean that people with socialist credentials should
>become the cheer leaders of industrial capital. But do not the arguments of
>Livingstone and Monks stand on their own merits?
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