30/06/2011 - War abroad, cuts at home

The Green Flag of LibyaEVERYONE is aware that the Con-Dem government cuts are really starting to bite.  Hardly a day seems to go by without news of more jobs and services coming under threat.  Cuts involving the public sector – the backbone of Britain – have been very well documented.  Jobs in health, welfare school and transport are particularly affected.

However, the private sector is being hit as well.  For instance, 10,000 British retail jobs have been put at threat in the past week after Habitat, Jane Norman and Homeform, the kitchens group behind Moben, entered administration.  In addition Thorntons – the chocolate maker – looks likely to loose 17 per cent of its workforce.

But Cameron and Clegg just don’t want to know about the suffering of ordinary working families.  They say that Britain is in dire economic straights.  They say that the austerity budget is necessary.  They say that there’s no money.  And besides, they say the “We’re all in this together”.

The odd thing is that when it comes to war – in this instance interfering in the internal affairs of Libya - they always manage to conjure up a pot of gold.  For some strange reason there’s no money to bail out Britain – yet there’s plenty of money to bomb Libya!

According to report in the Mirror (way back in March) it was costing £3million a day for Britain’s part in the offensive against Libya (1).  A more recent report of 23 June in the Guardian (2) claims that Cameron and Clegg’s attempt to unseat Colonel Gaddafi “has cost at least £200m”.

If this is not bad enough, Francis Tusa, editor of the Defence Analysis newsletter (3) believes that the cost of the war could reach at least £1 billion by the end of September.

The blog InvestmentWatch (4) also notes that “Britain’s involvement in the Libyan civil war is increasing by £38million every week.”  And much of this money quite literally goes up in smoke: “Britain has also fired around 20 Tomahawk missiles, costing £1million each, from its submarine HMS Triumph.”

To make things worse, Cameron and Clegg – despite claiming that there’s no money - have been sitting on the pot of gold we mentioned earlier!  For on Sunday 19 June, chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, told Sky News:

“The campaign is costing tens of millions, potentially into the hundreds of millions as it goes on, but that money is coming from the reserve that we have set aside, precisely for contingencies such as this”.

So whilst tens of thousands of us are loosing our jobs and companies are going to the wall, the Con-Dem government has been sitting on reserves of hundreds of millions of pounds.  However, instead of spending it to help ordinary British workers live, they spend it on helping to kill ordinary Libyan workers!