Just in case any one is wondering, The union has worked with the company to be as flexible as necessary to keep the factory going, and despite their efforts being described positively as "fantastic" by managing director Stuart Broadhurst, nothing has been able to rescue the factory from falling demand. Demand is falling of course because of the collapse of wages and cheap imports with European brands manufactured in Asia. This is all part of the "race to the bottom".
The capitalist system is collapsing and is being replaced by, as Citigroup put it, "Plutonomy" - an economic system, largely consumed by and directed for the interests of the wealthy "managerial aristocracy". As Citigroup described this emerging new economic structure and paradigm in glowing terms, their only niggle was the possibility that the peasants might notice (that they were being ripped off and somehow) get angry. Perhaps for silly reasons like flat wages while price rises put essential goods out of reach. Here in New Zealand wages in real terms fell 25% since 1990 while GDPPP rose 80% So we're are working nearly twice as hard and we are seeing less than what we used to get for the value of our labour. Who's stealing from us as we work so hard for less? It's not the taxes, they have reduce taxes, and public services and consequently the ability of the economy to recover. So we can't blame the taxman. Who determines how much we get? Employers - in short the economic collapse of the broad money economy is their own damned fault. But more correctly, it's the fault of the ideas that drive the behavior, this misanthropic mistrusting chiseling attitude that allows employers to pay less than a decent wage, a livable wage.
That niggle, the one Citigroup had that might one day be a threat to the Utopian "plutonomy", It's got legs. And feet, feet that are carrying American voters to polls in numbers never seen before. We see clashes of large protests in South America against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Even a mass protest in Auckland (we have not seen protests like that since the mid Eighties protesting to keep nuclear armed naval vessels out of our harbours), The UK has seen mass protests against the scam known as austerity. Many countries will soon see mass protests against the corruption of the Panama Papers - Iceland has already kicked off with calls for their implicated Primeminister to resign. After their banksters ruined the Icelandic economy, they are understandably somewhat more sensitive about financial irregularities and political corruption.
So in conclusion, the old order of whale-eats-minnow plutonomic capitalism is in free collapse. The media is highly distrusted as it is part of the plutonomy, so PR spin through these channels is failing. A new social focus, and movements are arising to sidestep the parties of established vested interest and will soon replace them. The privations of the plutonomy are already intolerable, from the economic deprivation of income inequality, to the street violence of out of control law enforcement officers, to Gaza the modern Auschwitz (with due respect to those who call themselves Jewish, those who call bombings of Gaza "mowing the lawn" are in I my mind the some of the most anti-Semitic people on the planet). These social movements are winning politically, they are forcing and demanding changes, they are winning.
There is much still to be done. The establishment is failing to maintain its strangle hold on power. It won't be easy, their will be many more scandals, many more crimes to be uncovered. Metaphorically many more corpses to be uncovered some in advanced stages of decomposition(decomp). Any medical examiner or CSI will tell you the best way to cope with the melliferous odours of decomp is to apply Vaseline to the nasal passages. So if you see a story, exposing the crimes of the established order, shows establishment politicians boosting failed lies, or demonstrates their failure to maintain control (even of themselves like Sarah Palin), I invite you to share or comment on that story with #smellEstablishmentDecomp. Adding "and pass the Vaseline" is good too, because it says we are not shying away from the awfulness but facing it to take action to stop and bring justice to the unjust. It was originally a one line joke, but I realised soon after, there is something profound in its dark humour.