Very odd, this whole business of calling the bailing-out of useless banks 'socialism'. I don't really think it is socialism to protect the enormously rich and then wag your finger at bonus-hoovering bosses and say "Ohhh, you guys!", but seeing as it involves the evil tyrannic bloated State apparatus doing something other than letting the all-seeing, all-knowing invisible hand of the market correct itself with the necessary magical adjustments and make everything all nice and lovely again, I guess that's the place that people are starting from.
Anyway, there's a jolly good reason why this process of bailing out the hopeless nitwits who've thrown our pensions down the shitter can be safely called Socialism. It's so that when we're suffering in a couple of years' time and things have really gone tits-up, people can shake their heads and say: "Well, of course things are bad - that's socialism for you. If only we could let the banks and financial institutions do every single tiny thing they wanted without any restriction or regulation in the slightest, then everything would be all right again. Sure, it was necessary at the time in order to prop things up and restore confidence, but this just goes to show that socialism is a failed ideology that can't work at any stage and will only make people miserable."
And it's a brilliant conceit. Don't blame the neoliberal nonsense that got our heads wedged halfway down the U-bend in the first place; blame the remedy for the fact we'll be in hock and fucked up for the next few years. Already those who are putting in place the tax-funded plans to cushion the blow on big business are telling us not to worry: this isn't an indication that we believe the state should be doing anything other than helping out banks, they say. We know you are horrified by the idea of the government doing anything for anyone ever; we know you'd much rather the poor and feckless were cast adrift into misery and gloom, and we really do sympathise: but unfortunately, in the absence of anything actually correcting itself in the way we'd rather hoped it would, we're going to have to do something we really don't want to.
I can only imagine the next step would be to label the traders who've got us into this mess as 'politically correct', so that PC gets blamed for the crisis rather than reckless cunts and a total lack of responsibility or regard for anything other than their own bonuses. Except I can't imagine it, because Littlejohn's already done it.
The history of this will be very interesting. Will neoliberalism be blamed for the problems we'll face over the coming years, or will the supposedly 'socialist' response to the crisis? I have a fair idea...