Our Statement on the Winter Economic Plan

statement written by Ali Wilkin & issued by the Harmony Party Media Working Group

The Johnson regime’s winter economic plan, drafted by one of many former bankers whose criminality in 2008 was paid for by the marginalised – particularly disabled and chronically ill people – is a demonstration of austerity on speed, delivered with the usual caveats: obfuscation, smoke a mirrors, deflections and diversions.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) is given at 33% of pay – but that is based on the pay during the original furlough scheme, not the workers contracted wage. That translates into 22% paid by the regime, and as with all its welfare systems, it is delivered in a way that will disincentivise employers from taking it up, especially for low paid sectors such as Leisure and Hospitality.

Whatever its claims, this scheme is fundamentally about ensuring employers can cut jobs, rather than hours, and support those whose jobs make them more financially “viable” than those deemed low skilled – and viable is the key word here: those who have higher wages and are highly skilled are supported over and above those whose low pay offers little in comparison.

As with all of this regimes’ welfare systems, eugenics continues to be delivered via fiscal ideology, isolating communities of people and pouring them wholesale into supporting the people deemed acceptable. None of this grand incompetence is what it appears – though the more successful they become at getting away with it, the more the curtain is pulled back to reveal the deliberate cruelty, moralised contempt, and naked greed: the hallmarks of a regime where responsibility is for other people to take, and blame is a game they continue to encourage between marginalised people as they divide and rule.

Like the similarly pampered Trump, Johnson is happy to remain elusive (and occasionally effusive) behind the carefully selected yes men, and a back bench who (like their counterparts in the Republican Party) could not find enough vertebrae for one spine between them to stand up to someone unused to being told ‘no’.

A responsible, ethical Government would have made entirely different decisions to the ones made by Johnson and his cabinet. It would (at the very least) extend the moratorium on evictions, provide the same extra support to those on legacy benefits as was extended to those on Universal Credit, ensure proper support for the self-employed, and act to ensure that those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 were shielded – not used as a shield, by those weaponizing a global pandemic, against those it considers too burdensome to live.

Our founder, John Urquhart, has taken a close look at the JSS and has unpacked and unravelled some of its deliberate complexities to better assess who really wins – and who loses – in its impact in an article here. The Harmony Party has an online library, which will be added to by its ordinary members as we curate and expand our policies, theories and knowledge, and which will certainly not shy away from producing information that interrogates and critiques the systems from the socialist and left wing perspective that this regime would rather our young people knew nothing about.

How long, though, we wonder, before the modern-day book burnings begin?