Friday, 9 April 2010

The Inheritors of Punk

Malcolm McLaren has died in Switzerland. It is said that without McLaren there would not have been a British punk movement. To be brutally honest, I don’t think Britain would have suffered because of that. I always saw punk as an anarchic statement – a cynical one at that - rather than music. I never really liked McLaren’s relentless self-publicism. His legacy was a decade of hideous music (during which I turned to the USA for my sounds) and Simon Cowell.

The UK election battle lines are drawn over whether to levy an increase in National Insurance (a tax), or to find £12bn in cost savings. Which ever way you look at it, money is needed – and desperately.

The Conservatives say that to increase National Insurance will mean job cuts as businesses struggle to maintain profits. However, business leaders said that about the minimum wage and jobs didn’t suffer one iota. They are somewhat overly fond of crying wolf – and who would blame them when they are paid to protect the shareholders’ profits, not jobs.

Gordon Brown says that the business leaders have been deceived by Cameron. I’d say the business leaders know exactly what they are saying and Brown is being too polite – they’re saying: “Make the public’s pips squeak, not ours.”

Cameron is also on record as saying that it was absolutely crazy to insult the business leaders who would lead Britain out of the recession. I have news for Mr Cameron – it’s not business leaders who will bring Britain out of recession, but consumers having the confidence to spend, and that depends on them having money in their pockets and job security. Recessions are about public confidence - jobs are created by having customers walking through the door once they have that confdence.

However, to save £12bn from public expenditure must mean a loss of jobs, as budgets are already stretched to the limit. That means public service jobs (40,000 according to estimates), and doubtless more from the private sector jobs that depend on the public sector.

So there you have it; either business shoulders its fair share through higher NI, or we the public suffer a death of a thousand cuts, as well as the inevitable higher taxes somewhere along the line.

I see the Conservatives as the inheritors of the punk philosophy – they seem to have a lack of underlying substance and conviction. They’ve additionally received the kiss of death by having the support of the banking community.

I know who I’d want to share in my pain, and I’ve been a life-long Conservative voter. Which is your choice?

I'm on holiday for a week from today, so I may be sporadic.


  1. Where are you going on holiday that is likely to make you sporadic. My advice is to take a little paraffin kettle with you and boil your own water. Well not your "own" water if you know what I mean. But there again, if you are by any chance thinking of going to Cleethorpes, that might be the better option.

  2. I loved punk, I guess it was my age along with the energy and simplicity of it. I regard Punk as a kind of "full stop" at the end of the previous chapter, it enabled pop music to start a new chapter as these kinds of movements often do; my view is that it was more significant than most, and more importantly bloody good fun!

  3. Alan: A nice week at home.

    Steve: You have no taste.

  4. And it's only day two1 Have a nice week.