John Pilger on the new Cold War with China, Biden’s victory & coronavirus (E962)
On this season finale episode of Going Underground, we speak to legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger. He discusses the devastating impact of Covid-19 in the UK, rising poverty and militarism, the Western logic for the new Cold War with China, the victory of Joe Biden over Donald Trump and why not much will change with Trump leaving the White House, the Yemen War, the survival of Venezuela despite crippling international sanctions, mainstream journalism vs real journalism and much more!
We contacted HM Treasury and they directed us to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s words following the Spending Review:
Well, you know, yesterday was a spending review we were setting the budgets. And I was very clear when I set out the fiscal situation that what is happening this year is obviously not sustainable. You know that, your viewers know that, it is right to act in the way that we have this year to protect the economy in the medium term and I'm glad that the Office for Budget Responsibility who or independent fiscal watchdog acknowledged that what we've done has made a difference and it made a difference to keeping people in work primarily, which is what we're trying to do.
But yes, you're right, that can't go on. Now is not the time to make those decisions because we're dealing with so much uncertainty with the economy. The OBR yesterday presented three different scenarios. But once we get through this and we have greater certainty about the outlook, we can’t obviously have a situation where we're borrowing this much and that is going up forever and a day.
When we get to an appropriate point, where we have certainty over the economy, we'll look at how best to make sure that we have strong public finances. And the reason for that is simple. I have been able to respond in a comprehensive and generous way during this crisis, in part because of the decisions of my predecessors, which meant that we came into this with a strong set of public finances. I want to make sure whenever the next difficult thing comes along, the Chancellor can do the same response that I've done, and that will require us to make sure we get back to that strong position.