Monthly Archives: June 2014

The visible hand of pillage

Yesterday’s announcement by the Spanish government that it intends to start privatising the country’s airports and railways shouldn’t come as a surprise. The PP has steadfastly operated a policy of breaking all the promises in its manifesto and doing tons of things they never mentioned (correct me if I’m wrong on this last point).

Privatisations are a favourite demand of Christine Lagarde and the other weirdoes who troll the free market line, however transparently fictitious it is. Our infrastructures were overpaid for by us, and now will be sold off cheap and no doubt in deals that bring significant personal wealth to the brokers.

These aren’t ‘free market forces’ at work – those forces don’t really exist. This is a sort of disaster capitalism lite, being rushed through before people do the numbers. There is no ‘invisible hand’. It was always a perverse Calvinist fantasy which should have been put to bed at the same time as phrenology. No invisible hand. This is the visible hand whose name is pillage.


And lest we feel overly smug: the same will happen and has been happening in Catalonia. Independence, should it happen, will have to be very carefully managed to prevent a fire-sale, Moscow style. Unless that’s really the point of independence….

Juan Carlos I abdicates: Spain enters a new era

So Juanca has finally abdicated, official immediately. It was a ‘surprise’ announcement which shouldn’t really have surprised us at all. The timing was obvious: a week after the EU elections, so as not to get people thinking too hard  about how they want to be governed. This would have been agreed by the twin pillars of a crumbling political system: the PP and the PSOE.

This is the key gesture launching a process which will attempt to preserve the status quo against serious threats including the royal family’s declining popularity, the failure of the bipartisan political system and the Catalan independence movement. The plan is probably to have a quick succession, coronation and then a series of constitutional changes ‘proposed by the new king’ in order to reduce the increasing discontent across the country. I’m not sure that they haven’t left it too long.

Has no one told Rajoy that he should be next?