LRC Statement on Iceland and Icesave

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One of the central questions of the global economic crisis is "who is going to pay for it?"

Globally, the bankers, speculators and Government ministers who brought about the crisis are largely avoiding responsibility and the people who are being pressurised into paying are the ordinary people who were neither in control nor responsible.

In the UK the main political parties have reached a consensus that the crisis will be solved, and budget gaps bridged, by cutbacks in public expenditure. The left, the unions and social movement based groups must work together to challenge this consensus with demands for a restructuring of our economy based upon fairer taxation and democratic ownership and control of our financial institutions.

Already people are questioning why they should be the ones that pay for crisis not of their own making and some trade unions are preparing the ground for industrial struggles. We are now looking to how these trade unions struggles can be better co-ordinated and linked to wider movements.

The action taken by Icelanders is a healthy reminder that people power can be effective in overthrowing a Government and breaking the consensus. It is a lesson for the main UK political parties, which have reached a consensus that the crisis should be paid for by public service cuts.

This is not a struggle between the people of the UK versus the people of Iceland, but between a global elite and working people of all nations. We stand in solidarity with the people of Iceland in demanding that it should be those who caused the crisis that pay.

 

*The former Icelandic Health Minister Ogmundur Jonasson - who has been in the news in recent days for leading the rebellion - spoke at LRC Conference 2008. Watch his speech online. Ogmundur spoke as Leader of the VG (Green Left) Party.