Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Truly Wonderful Day!


"I never thought when I was a mere lad that I would live to see the Bennite vision of the nationalisation of the banks fulfilled, and with the full-throated support of the Tory party."
bemoans arch-Thatcherite Simon Heffer in today’s Daily Telegraph.

Well, ok- it's only part-nationalisation, but it is still wonderful news. I am a fairly optimistic person by nature, but if you had told me, when I co-founded the Campaign for Public Ownership earlier this year, that within a few months, the neoconservative administration in Washington would be embarking on the biggest nationalisation programme in America’s history- and that in Britain the 'New Labour' government would be part-nationalising Britain's eight biggest banks, I would have found it very hard to believe. But it’s happened.

2008 has been the year that the twenty-nine year nationalisation taboo has been well and truly broken. Now it‘s time for all of us who believe that extending public ownership should be a key element of economic policy, and not merely an ‘emergency measure’- to rescue failing enterprises- to make the case for the government to renationalise our rip-off utility companies, our airports, the railways and public transport. And of course to halt the creeping privatisation of the National Health Service.

The 1979 Thatcherite neo-liberal counter-revolution has run its course- destroyed by the very greed which it did so much to encourage. And in order for us to go forward again as an economy- and society- we need to turn the clock back to the collectivist days of 1945. Public Ownership is back on the political agenda, and Simon Heffer and his fellow Thatcherite ideologues are very unhappy little bunnies indeed, as their 'free market', greed-driven, turbo-capitalist world collapses before their very eyes.

It really is time to pop the champagne corks!

9 comments:

olching said...

I knew you'd enjoy this. I must say, I woke up with a smile on my face...

Philip Cross said...

Ah, that 'Bollinger Bolshevik' Neil Clark can celebrate, so everything must be alright.

Stuff the people who will loose their jobs in the recession. Stuff the people who will suffer from the benefits the recession may give the BNP.

I am not sad 'neo-liberalism' appears to be in retreat, but a little reflection is always wise in such circumstances.

PS: Where have you been for the last ten days?

neil craig said...

Alternately ir is a sign that the statists & corporatists of "left" & "right" are coming together against the liberals & anarchists. Whether you think aa all-powerful state as a good or bad thing is a personal decision.

Neil Clark said...

'philip': I am celebrating because the twenty-nine year nationalisation taboo has been broken. The end of turbo-capitalism and the return of public ownership to the political agenda is surely good news for anyone who considers themselves to be a progressive. As to the unemployement jibe- I've always believed in full employment policies, unlike the 'free market' ideologues, who were happy to see miners and other industrial workers put on the scrap heap in the name of 'economic efficiency'.
Re: the BNP, the best way to beat them is for the left to espouse proper solidarity building policies which stress that we're all in it together, whatever our colour or ethnic origin: it's no coincidence that the BNP has risen during the era of turbo-capitalism.

I'm pleased that you are also not sad that neoliberalism is on the retreat.

TBRRob said...

If you think this will work or is a good thing in any you are sadly quite deluded.

Neil Clark said...

tbrob: the important thing, as I said to 'philip', is that the nationalisation taboo has been broken. There are aspects of the plan that I'm not too happy about-I would like to have seen a blanket prohibition on any of the banks in question paying bonuses to executives for instance, but the move does puts public ownership back on the agenda. The govt has accepted the important principle that if taxpayers money is to be put into a private business, then the taxpayer should acquire equity in that business- now let's put pressure on them to apply that to the railways!

Davros said...

The snouts-in-the-trough will not suffer from any of this, and the capitalist free for all will continue unabated.
What we are seeing is pure propaganda, just more excuses for the politicians, arms dealers and bankers to tell us to tighten our belts while they live the high life. Not one of them will lose out. In fact, many of them will probably get bonuses and go on lucrative speaking tours with book deals etc.
I observe that the Government can find billions to bail out rich bankers, but will do absolutely nothing to prevent pensioners from freezing to death this winter.
Personally, I'd be happy to see the whole rotten bunch - politicians, financiers, arms merchants and all of their rich cronies swinging from lamp-posts. And I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment.

David Lindsay said...

Let there be an even greater day than this. Let the State, having taken over the banks, convert them (possibly while retaining a preferential share) into mutual building societies.

Ah, the faces around and behind David Cameron. They'd been in the City all morning, as every morning.

Could it be that the City will now relate to the Tories as the unions do to New Labour, only there to pay the bills and take endless abuse in return?

And is there anyone still arguing that capitalism is conservative, when saving it now requires a co-ordinated interest rate cut at exactly the same time right across Europe and America? So much for national sovereignty. Even, if you can bring yourself to believe this next bit, in Switzerland.

As for when the "age of irresponsibility" started, as asked by some caricature of a Tory MP, Dennis Skinner was not quite right to shout out "1979". In fact, it can be dated precisely to 27th October 1986.

philip cross said...

So we can expect full employment during the recession? If not, and it has to be considered rather unlikely, your advocacy of the concept is hollow. Preference shares give no voting rights, so it is no return to the 'halcyon' days of the National Enterprise Board.

Philip is my second christian name, as you well know.

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