Friday, January 30, 2009
Oil refinery strikes: Protests across Britain over foreign workers
And so it begins.
It was the international division of labour which made us relatively wealthy, as compared to the medieval world before the industrial revolution. More recently, it was the bringing of Eastern Europe and China into the rest of the world's division of labour which sparked the enormous natural economic growth of the last 20 years, which was then hijacked by politicians like Gordon Brown to generate an unsustainable boom to help keep himself in power.
Tony Blair's trick, which Gordon Brown must now be ruing, was to get out while the going was good and to leave his former partner-in-crime holding the baby.
When the movement towards the complete international division of labour is either halted or reversed, then we always see an almost immediate dimunition of our living standards. If this Neanderthal 'protectionism' projects far enough backwards, we shall return to an ersatz hand-to-mouth Stone Age, probably via some Stone Age wars fought with 21st century weapons.
So it was with great trepidation that I read today's headline story in the Torygraph about a strike based upon what state's passport somebody happens to hold or what their mother-tongue happens to be.
Politicians in the past have made great use of the destructive power of inflation to serve their ends. One thinks, of course, of Herr Shicklgruber, who took advantage of the Weimar catastrophe and the Hoover/Roosevelt created Depression, to take this world to a brink of appalling national socialism.
Let us hope that no similar politician emerges who will also take advantage of these trends, to drive us towards a similar end. Though as I commented on a piece over at Obo's place, the temptations to do this must be overwhelming for any politician, particularly one in a deep dark hole of their own devising.
No wonder the Labour Party is so scared of the BNP, because if the Labour Party was Dorian Gray, then the British National Party would be the picture in its loft.