UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Gloom, doom and more austerity dominates Davos World Economic Forum - but ITUC pushes for change in direction

World leaders’ gather in Davos this year knowing that disaster is still able to sweep them all away. Whilst the world's workers and their families suffer the global austerity measures - the political leaders and their big business masters still insist that cuts in welfare, in education and in health or the only way to preserve the system. But as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has conceded their strategy might be too late to save Greece. If that is the case the implications for the European Union, the Euro and the chances of any kind of recovery will appear even more distant and again the lives of people across the European economy will be devastated: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/25/davos-summit-growth-gloom-live

The Davos summit will take place with a number of other spectres haunting the participants. The sudden re-emergence of Marine Le Pen leading French fascism back into the polls - 22% and rising - could signal a re emergence of the far right. The Arab Spring has released forces that the governments of the world economy cannot control. Finally the US Presidential election looks set to be a bitter battle over the economy with the economic intervention styles of Democrats and Republicans looking increasingly divergent.

There is still room to make the case for a better way. Sharan Burrow as the General Secretary of the international Trade union Confederation has set out the case for a different model for economic recovery.

The ITUC rejects the still discredited 'trickle down' theory of recovery and sets out an agenda for every government -
  • Investment to create sustainable jobs that will lead the recovery
  • Investment in social equality and protection
  • Financial Regulation
  • Fair and progressive taxation
  • Climate action
‘World leaders’ will not take up this agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But it sets out an agenda for trade unions to pursue with their own politicians - are you listening Ed?