Labour’s silence on Venezuela

The sound of silence can be deafening. The Labour leadership has gone quiet when it comes to praising the Chavistas of Venezuela, who they used to tell us had got it right. The Chavez model of giving more and more to the poor was popular and worked for a bit, until the state ran out of money to give. Under Mr Maduro they have resorted to the printing presses to increase benefits, with the result that they have triggered a massive inflation and a collapse of the currency. Venezuela is very dependent on imports for food, medicines and other essentials. It now suffers chronic shortages of basic goods owing to the shortage of hard currency to buy what is needed. It is often the poor who suffer most from the shortages, as they cannot afford the very high black market prices that are the alternative.

Venezuela was once a rich country, and should be so again given its huge oil reserves. Mr Chavez purged the state oil company of skilled managers and executives, replacing them with his supporters. He took large sums out of the state oil company revenues for social purposes, leaving the business starved of cash and talent to maintain and develop the assets. When the lower oil price hit the company was already struggling. Venezuela was 95% dependent on oil for its export revenues, leaving it badly stretched when oil output and the value of the turnover fell.

Like many such regimes the Venezuelan government blames everyone but itself for its plight. It blames the USA, who under President Obama imposed sanctions on the country and saw it as a threat to US policy. It blames the Opposition, who have at times pursued their cause with violence though they would say it is the regime’s friends amongst the security forces and colectivos who drag them into fights. It blames the rich for pre-empting too much of the economic activity, whilst often seeking to enrich its own supporters. It blames private sector companies, alleging they hoard goods to create scarcity and higher prices.

The government thinks the answer is political. They see the way forward as the elimination of opposition. They have arrested two of the Opposition leaders. They are seeking ways to shut down or undermine the Opposition led National Assembly. They have elected a Constituent Assembly against the wishes of the Opposition to draw up changes to the constitution, which many suspect will be used as a means of delaying the next Presidential and other elections, and will be looking for ways to eclipse the opposition.

None of this will change the fundamental problems of too much created money chasing too few goods, and the lack of international confidence in the domestic Venezuelan currency. Venezuela’s economic model is badly broken. They have demonstrated for all the world to see that printing too much money causes hyperinflation. Taxing and controlling the rich and the private sector too much stifles investment and drives it away from the country. Preferring unaccountable and absolute power over democratic and accountable power leads to violence, a bitterly divided society, and a rolling political crisis.

Does Labour still think this is the good alternative model we should be following?

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68 Comments

  1. Nig l
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Absolutely. A bit like the student loans, I guess Corbyn and co are working out how to say they didn’t really mean it!

    • Longinus
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      But you can only have pure socialism when global capitalism has been destroyed.

      • Hope
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        JR Labour do hold Venezuela in high regard. However it will have little impact here as most do not understand or care about the country.

        IDS makes a good point about having four envoys to the EU negotiations when they are venomously opposed to leaving! As IDS points out they should be sacked.

        Then we have dopey back-stabbing Gove telling the Danes they can fish in our waters post Brexit! Contradicting himself and our purpose to leave! Is he trying to grab headlines or an incompetent tosser?

        • agricola
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          I think it is important to appreciate what Michael Gove has said Our waters up to 12 miles will be inviolate. That said we are not a fish or shellfish eating nation. We have a very limited idea of what can be eaten from the sea despite Rick Steins very best efforts. Increased UK fishing up to a 200 mile limit or a median line is therefore an export opportunity for a reborn UK fishing industry. Our market is Europe where they eat a lot of fish of varying varieties.

          Having put in place a sustainable fishing policy with the boats to police it, I see no reason why European fishermen should not be licenced to fish in our waters from 12 miles to 200 miles, particularly as we currently fish in their waters by agreement. The Channel Islands have specific agreements with France on who can fish for what and where.

          I think that the keys to it working are sustainability of fish stocks and adequate policing by the Royal Navy or a newly formed coastguard and fisheries protection service. In passing the Royal Air Force could also have a reporting role.

      • Julian Hodgson
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Why?

    • Richard1
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Did people notice that Corbyn has just unveiled a mural of himself and a claim he stands for ‘honest’ politics on the side of a pub in Campden!? What a despicable weasel this man is, with his con over student debt, his pretend support for Trident, just sufficient to avoid election scrutiny, and his calculated vagueness over the EU. The far left are attempting to create a personality cult around Corbyn. It’s dangerous stuff, and unprecedented in U.K. democratic politics.

  2. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    “Does Labour still think this is the good alternative model we should be following?”

    Of course they do… It’s in their blood

    Perhaps we should have Corbyn and his damned communist pals go live in Venezuela for a while – along with the left wing media – so that they could all see how wonderful our country would become if this deranged party leader ever became PM.

    We should encourage the Daily Mail to use its front page to demonstrate this also.

    .

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Indeed Corbyn’s agenda would end similarly badly. But T May is really not much better, clearly she is essentially another daft socialist at heart, with her big government, high taxing, money printing, interventionist agenda and her daft grand projects like HS2, Hinkley C, renewable subsidies and electric car subsidies.

    On the total idiocy (with current technology) of electric cars their is an excellent article by Ross Clark in the Spectator today showing why they are such stupid (or at least a very, very, premature) idea. Why buy an electric car, that might have a real range of less than 70 miles and very high depreciation, for say £27,000 when you can have a far better petrol one for £8000 new or £1000 secondhand. The secondhand one would still almost certainly outlive the new electric one anyway.

    Not only that but the electric car uses far more fuel and CO2, (about double in fact at the power station) than an efficient petrol or hybrid one does. Furthermore they use loads of energy to manufacture. Also with conventional cars you can have seven seaters, convertibles, tow boats or caravans and refuel in minutes. So just why are taxpayers forced to subsides these silly cars for rich, but totally misguided, virtue signallers? Perhaps Theresa May or Greig Clarke can explain?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      There!

      • Hope
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        LL, Gove has not explained what will happen to the vans the life blood of small business, the millions of caravaners, agricultural vehicles, lorries, back up diesel generators to stupid wind farms.

        It beggars belief a cabinet minister has not thought through such an important policy with total disregard to other key strategic issues. Childish, amateurish stupidity. Why is policy not considered and thought through and agreed by the cabinet first as Tebbit has stated on many occasions? The govt has all resources at its disposal and Gove comes out with this crap which undermines the Govt itself!

        • Man of Kent
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          Thereby helping build a Government of National Depression.

          This and the start of the football season – end of summer ? – depresses me no end .

        • ian wragg
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

          As each day passes, I believe Gove is working for the other team. He is making government policy on the hoof every day.
          It’s time someone put him back in his box.

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          @ Hope

          The govt has all resources at its disposal and Gove comes out with this crap which undermines the Govt itself!

          Yeah but give him his due he is good at it

  4. Mark B
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Yes indeed the Socialists are quite on the dystopia that Venezuela has become. But not so fast here, because it is not just them that need to be careful about what they say, is it ?

    “Under Mr Maduro they have resorted to the printing presses to increase benefits . . . “

    And pray remind us of what this and previous governments have been doing here with QE ? And this from a supposedly Conservative party and a capitalist government.

    Not only that, we actually borrow money to give to the same despots we oppose ! How really screwed up is that ?!?!?!?!

    “Like many such regimes the Venezuelan government blames everyone but itself . . .”

    Oh come on, you do not need to live under a ‘regime’ for that to happen, you ALL do it. Even in the semi-democratic UK.

    “It blames private sector companies, alleging they hoard goods to create scarcity and higher prices.”

    Ouch ! Climate Change Act !!! Energy price cap !!! 😉 Ring any bells ??????

    “Taxing and controlling the rich and the private sector too much stifles investment and drives it away from the country.”

    Why didn’t you start this post by saying; “Dear Theresa and Phil . . . ”

    “Does Labour still think this is the good alternative model we should be following?”

    Well based on recent policy, the Conservative Party (sic) seems to think it is.

    I know. Why don’t we do what we always do when faced with such an unspeakable (for Labour) regime such as this. Lets do what we did in Iraq and Libya, and are trying to do in Syria, lets bomb the **** out the people and the country, invade it, and run it into the ground ourselves. I mean, it has worked so well in the past hasn’t it ?

    I am sorry Mr.Redwood MP sir, to be so cynical on your site, but I feel that both you and others must see the world through the eyes of another to know that, you and 649 other MP’s are employed by we the people to act for and on our behalf. Many I am sure do a fine job but, before we start criticise others, we need to look a little closer at ourselves. Fix our country and its problems and stop trying to hold a mirror up to others in order to score a rather cheap and pointless political point. You are not on safe ground.

    Love, Mark B

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      State capitalism (which is what the major”communist” countries actually were-even Lenin admitted it) and Corporatism (which is what the West has quietly adopted) are two sides of the same coin.Both rely,amogst other things,on the power of monopoly capital and authoritarian collectivism.

      Solzhenitsyn pointed out these trends things when he was in exile in the West (and found the west was not what he expected)as long ago as the mid 1970s.Look up his speeches such as “Words of warning to the western world” and his Harvard address(both accessible online).A prophet was amongst us.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      And if anyone thinks big business is the enemy of “communism” they should dig out a copy of Professor Anthony Sutton’s “Wall Street & the Bolshevik Revolution”.

    • sm
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Mark – if you couldn’t see why our host has posted this article, and that Mr Corbyn was not the only target, you are still very politically innocent!

    • James Gibbon
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Mark you’ve employed a rather inelegant straw man in the closing paragraphs of your comment there; as far as I’m aware no-one has suggested that we invade Venezuela.

      And you make some interesting comparisons between UK government policy and that of the Venezuelan regime, but consider the state of Venezuela – slum hospitals with no basic medicine or soap, empty supermarkets and inflation running in excess of 800%.

      We’re not quite at that stage, are we?

  5. eeyore
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn is not one for turning. I think we may expect the Labour leadership to double down on their admiration for the socialist paradise of Venezuela. From what he and Mr McDonnell have said and done, it’s not unreasonable to think their ambition is to make Britain safe for Marxism (which is not the same thing as making Marxism safe for Britain).

    Under a Marxist regime economic collapse is the least of a nation’s worries. Private property and free speech vanish, the rule of law is ended, the constitution subverted and power transferred to a slavish and terrorised party. Murder becomes an instrument of state policy. Venezuela is apparently running true to form.

    It’s odd that the high moral posturing of the Left is so often accompanied by low practice. Do they operate a mental moral calculus which balances active depravity against theoretical virtue? I don’t know. Does anyone?

  6. James Doran
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The sound of silence, in this case, of the left is indeed deafening. But before we laugh too much let us ask whether the right has been silent too.
    I don’t mean about Venezuela I mean the way the Conservatives party has allowed the left to frame all aspects of political debate for many years now.
    New Labour positioned its supporters in all the institutions that influence opinion and the Conservative party did nothing about, said nothing about it and did nothing to change it when they had the chance.
    So now the Conservatives party propose policies that would not be out of place in Venezuela. Control the price of eggs? Not yet but control the price of electricity? Absolutely. Criminize political opposition? Maybe not but arrest people for expressing ‘unacceptable’ opinions, sure we can do that. Allow people to decide what sex they are and then go back and change their birth certificate? Perfectly reasonable.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      The majority of the Tory MP’s would be at home with the Limp Dumbs. With its continued marriage to foreign aid whilst destroying the armed forces, border controls, prison staff etc. and telling us there is no money to pay pensions and social care.
      Together with Goves daily hysterical rants, I really don’t think they want to get elected again.
      No effort is made to get the left out of public institutions, in fact they continue to appoint said figures themselves.
      Labour advisors to Mrs May, Labour supporters to the BBC, the list is endless.

  7. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    It isn’t just the political unrest and economy. Violent crime is a real concern for the people of Venezuela. “The country has fallen apart socially, religiously, economically and politically.” says a contact of mine.

    • Bob
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      “The country has fallen apart socially, religiously, economically and politically.”

      In Britain, the so called “liberal” elite are currently working toward these objectives, ably aided and abetted the BBC and the supine MSM.

  8. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    No mention that this is yet another failure of Marxism/Socialism and the totalitarian pit and dictatorship to which it invariably leads. One gets the impression that Venezuela is just suffering from a bad case of economic mismanagement; nor do we read that the Labour party leaders are enthusiastic promoters and activist members of such a political philosophy.

    What hope is there for the promotion and defence of free markets and democracy when, given a perfect opportunity to illustrate the true position, it is flunked, and a soft narrative and weak style is once again chosen?

    There are people here and abroad who might have wished to be given a lead and encouragement to oppose, but will be disappointed. At least in the newspaper review on Sky News this morning the contributors felt able to be robust and direct, thank Goodness some do.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Well said, when the Conservatives should be using Venezuela to drive a stake through the heart of Socialism, they flunk it. It is no wonder that Corbyn and co have the success they do , and now knocking on the door of No 10 , when they are confronted by such an enfeebled organisation that purports to represent the right as we find in the Conservative party.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Problem is John we have too many here, some of whom are politicians, who believe a type of Venezuela Light is still the correct policy, with redistribution of wealth, social engineering, and the printing of money policies.

    We may thank goodness not have the State violence and corruption on anywhere near the scale that is happening in Venezuela, but politics is becoming rather more nasty in recent years with the growing influence of Momentum, and ex politicians are not short on joining lobby companies, or sitting on boards of major institutions. for great reward.

    Gordon Brown thought some of the above policies were a good idea, and the Conservatives have not totally excluded those ideals, with freedom of movement still being allowed, multicultural polices/ideal’s still being promoted, some (limited) printing of money, and a greater range of in and out of work Benefits.

    Indeed in past years we spent the money from our own oil reserves to fund daily state day to day spending.

    Given the folly of politicians, there are many Countries in the World that are not too far away from anarchy, because the people feel simply excluded.

  10. sm
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I expect Labour to remain silent about Venezuela’s woes for the moment until they find the magic link enabling them to say it was all Mrs Thatcher’s fault.

  11. agricola
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The UK labour party may be silent, but given the opportunity they would go down much the same path themselves. Off hand I cannot think of anywhere in the World where these large scale socialist experiments have had any success other than for the enrichment of the few, at the expense of the impoverished mass. Russia and Eastern Europe were prime examples. China tried it and had the sense to start moving in the opposite direction. Socialism in the UK has never been anything but an abject failure. Were they to be re-elected it would only be as a product of ignorance.

    This is not to say that the supposedly opposite which we in the UK have in name is the answer. We are still a long way from true democracy as witnessed by the gulf between the will of the people in the referendum and the intentions of remain, who currently cling to power. Until this is grasped the opposite to socialism will remain vulnerable to any snake oil salesman from the left.

  12. Richard1
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Excellent post, it is important to keep up the focus on the emerging tragedy of Venezuela. This appalling regime has had long and consistent support from the Labour leadership including specifically from such figures as Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and the adviser Seamus Milne. (And Ken Livingstone, another fellow traveller of these far leftists). All praised the radical socialist policies. It is as you say exactly those policies which have led Venezuela into the dire position the Country is now in. UK voters should beware – a Corbyn government in the UK would be headed down the same path as Chavez / Maduro. who knows where it would end up.

  13. Bob
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party are truly dire, but that begs the question, why do the Tories try to emulate them?

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    This is not just a matter of poor economics , it is a blue print of sliding into Socialism. The same occurred under Allende in Chile or under Nkrumah in Ghana , with Socialism it is always the same . Left wing populism gets them into power, they trash the economy, they nationalise the means of production, when matters go from bad to worse to catastrophic, they then move to restrict the press, they criminalise the opposition, they ignore the courts, and they end up rewriting the constitution to make it a one party sate.

    What is really scary is the delusion to think it couldn’t happen here, we are already getting the left wing populism, we are even getting the wall mural of Comrade Crobyn with the thousand mile stare and accompanying thoughts of Chairman Corbyn alongside , and where is the Conservative party? Well it seems pretty comatose, bar a few there doesn’t seem to be many MPs with any fire in their bellies.

  15. Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Civilization looks really firm and permanent.
    It is not.
    Rhodesia quickly turned into Zimbabwe. Uganda soon turned into a living hell. Venezuela turned into a place where even walking down the street to the empty shops is very dangerous. Raul and Carolina told me. They are refugees.
    I was in Sierra Leone just before it lost the plot. children had guns: drugs everywhere; innocent women and children had their hands and feet chopped off for what amounted to fun.

    Please don’t let Brexit do that for us. (I am a Brexiteer.)

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      How on earth does Brexit do for chopping off hands and feet for having fun and children with guns and drugs everywhere. What are you suggesting that British politicians are incapable of keeping law and order?

      There seems to be lots of problems in London with law and order and street rioting what is Sadiq Khan doing about this? Is this the sort of uncontrolled disorder you mean Mike?

      • Bob
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy

        “How on earth does Brexit do for chopping off hands and feet”

        I think Mike is probably concerned that in a desperate attempt to stop Brexit, the EU will use their agents in the UK to disseminate “project fear” type propaganda and organise violent demonstrations, which could turn very nasty. There are large sums of money at stake for Brussels, and they will become increasingly desperate to maintain the remittances.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      What an idiotic and deeply offensive comment by Mike Stallard at 7.56am.

      The British people went through WW2 rationing and austerity without such degradation.

      If Britain does become that brutal it will have nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with what the EU has done to us via its lax borders.

      One of the most imbecilic comments I have ever read on this site.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 4, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        Anonymous. I have to agree with you. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately too many politicians have Chavez traits and do not or will not face the risks they are encouraging. Corbyn & Co are the final solution as Venezuela is experiencing and hopefully his electoral popularity will be broken by realism. Every day many of us comment over financial lunacy e.g. HS2, Hinckley C, O.7% Aid, Energy taxes, EU payments(supposedly ending of course). Many of us could outline a five year budget that would eliminate the deficit without harming and quite probably encouraging growth. Unfortunately it takes a spell of socialist government e.g. 1970s for the public to get the message and a Margaret Thatcher can emerge. Then the generations move on and the cycle seems to have a repeat tendency.

  17. Peter
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    No mention of Venezuela’ s elite who are not bothered by what happens to their fellow countrymen.

    Chavez, like Castro in Cuba, is a hate figure for some in the West. Yet Cuba was never as bad as some claim.

    Look at other countries in the region where the USA has managed to get its own placemen into power and Cuba looks a lot better.

    Economic problems in South America are useful for the USA. They can put the World Bank and IMF and effectively take control of those countries like they did with Argentina.

    Let’s not forget Chile either. Don’t like Allende ? Put Pinochet into power.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Do you like Allende? He trashed the economy , he confiscated peoples property, he had left wing boot boys on the streets enforcing party rule, he ignored the constitutional courts, broke the constitution, and had shipped in a load of Cuban mercenaries and arms to complete the process of taking Chile to Cuban style state.

      • Peter
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        So you would prefer a system that firstly looked after the interests of the United Fruit Company and their ilk, I take it?

    • Richard1
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      What are you talking about? It is true that during the Cold War the West opposed Soviet-sympathising communist regimes, even if that meant allaying with unpleasant regimes such as Pinochet’s. we did the same in WW2, being allied to Stalin. The Cold War has now ended. What we see is where market economies are allowed to flourish, political stability and prosperity follows. Where socialism retains its grim hold the result is shortages, poverty, suffering and ever increasing state violence. It was ever thus. It is amazing that some educated and intelligent people in the UK, with all the advantages of our free and prosperous society, can vote for apologists for dictatorial radical socialism like Corbyn and McDonnell. Freedom, prosperity and even democracy in the UK are under threat from such people.

      • Peter
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Nonsense.

        When you have extreme income differentials, as is the case in much of South America, it invariably leads to strife. Their elite are so far removed from the rest that they neither experience hardship, nor care too much about it.

        The worry is that income differentials in the UK are rapidly increasing too.

        • Bob
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          “The worry is that income differentials in the UK are rapidly increasing too.”

          importing millions of unskilled uneducated people from the third world will only exacerbate the income differentials, as they drive down Labour costs and enrich the oligarchs.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Why don’t you check your facts before posting? Income differentials in the U.K. Have been narrowing since 2010. Not is the UK particularly unequal on wealth distribution – it’s more equal than Germany for example. Is this a good or a bad thing? Market economies always and everywhere outperform socialism which is why socialist governments such as Venezuelas have in the end to resort to violence to stay in power.

  18. Duncan
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    There are two policies that the Tories can introduce tomorrow that will help to dilute and eventually kill leftist influence from spreading in the UK

    1. Privatise the political poison of the BBC who have been propagating leftist indoctrination for decades. What have the Tories done about this? Nothing

    2. Abolish the opt-in system in the public sector that provides important, vital income to all socialist unions who pass on this funding to Labour who then fund their activities and the activities of under the radar Marxist groups

    I blame the Tories for allowing the rise of leftist groups. The left is ruthless, it is now time for the Tories to hit back and parties who propagate leftist influence

    What is happening in Venezuela can so easily happen in the UK today. We need to prevent the politicisation of our country, elevate the importance of the individual, privatise the BBC, cut the power of the State by transferring power back to the person through tax cuts

    The more money politicians have to spend the more power they are able to accumulate. May and Hammond represent all that is wrong with the Conservatives today. They are a hindrance to reducing the power of the left

    • Man of Kent
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Not so easy to ‘hit back ‘ when you have a left wing ‘conservative ‘ manifesto as dreamed up by May .
      Big government is good !
      Cap on fuel costs!……………..

      Why am I still a member ? So that I can vote to get rid of her and elect someone sensible .At the same time questioning our local left wing conservative MP on their core beliefs .

      There has been no clear out of the Damien Green types to give us all a chance since Brexit . We have far too many Remainers in the HOC and the Cabinet.

  19. Biggles
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve only communicated separately with four Venezuelan’s in my life. To them,the poverty did not start with Socialism, it brought Socialism into being. ( It always is this way round! Though Socialism sometimes makes it worse ).One, in his own view, was an extreme left political revolutionary,..fighting aginst poverty, massive corruption and capitalism/US Imperialism. Two others were non-political migrants here…they cited corruption in their country and all politics as being the enemy and, one other..again citing corruption in all politcal parties and in society generally.
    Corruption and poverty general increase on the imposition of economic sanctions.But even without external influence, Venezuelan society is too corrupt in order to effect ANY solution in the short and medium term. It is a failed state because its people…have failed. Yes , it is possible for a people to fail as well as political systems. The People have failed!

  20. Nig l
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    St Tropez and Toulon are reporting a loss of 30/40% business from wealthy yacht owners with serious knock on impact on the local economy because of France’s over zealous application of tax on marine diesel and new stringent social security and tax charges, to the extent the local political leaders are pleading with Macron for relief. Where do they go, along the coast to Italy who apply the rules differently.

    Like Venezuela, just another example for Corbyn that people on whom your economy relies, can and do walk.

  21. brian
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The generals have been given jobs running state enterprises. I guess it’s one way of discouraging them to revolt. They are reportedly very active in the drug trade. There are now 200 of them.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The left control the news and set the limits of debate in the UK.

  23. formula57
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    As goes Venezuela – “leaving it badly stretched when oil output and the value of the turnover fell “ – so would have gone an independent Scotland, to the great and enduring benefit of the other countries of the Union but there is silence too from those who acted to thwart the SNP’s ambitions.

  24. Rumba
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Ask the Labour Party if they have managed to come up with a view on Trump yet! Then ask them about Venezuela.
    Political analysis takes time. Labour’s condemnation of Trump started while he was still swinging golf clubs and his taking part directly in politics even as a town Councillor was zero.
    The Labour Party has a strange mind lacking equilibrium and possibly a necessary other “um” as in valium. Yet you wouldn’t guess it by the look of their Front Bench. The epitome if not the personification times two of mañana

  25. margaret
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I am not convinced of the politics causing problems. The long time ago oil glut and the falling prices , the concentration of economic power on one product only , the previous autocracies and overpopulation , the internal troubles and violence , the accusations of tyranny and no doubt ( although only a guess) corruption . Bad management .

    • Peter
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Corruption, greed and lack of transparency are just as important as what political system operates in a country.

      In Venezuela the elites still live very nicely and can escape to foreign bolt holes if it all gets a bit too much for them.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Corbyn – given the opportunity , would do the same to our economy as has happened in Venezuela . It is a modern day example of the ills of socialism . Members of the Labour Party have already spoken in support of the regime there and have criticised the action of the USA .

  27. Original Richard
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    “Does Labour still think this is the good alternative model we should be following?”

    Yes, if it means they are in power.

  28. Kenneth
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    We are not Venezuela of course but our socialist government is slowly moving in that deadly direction.

  29. Epikouros
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The history of failed and failing states that embraced political and economic forms of socialism is very very long. All of the nations of the world practice it to a greater or lesser degree. The greater degree the greater failure but our Labour party and the myriad of other left wing groups political and otherwise appear to never to learn the lesson that it tells. They cling to their ideologies and dogma never asking themselves why in the face of the overwhelming evidence that socialism in all it’s forms never works why they still cling to their views.

    The reason to my mind is obvious they lack the powers of reason, logic and the ability to think objectively when it comes to matters of politics and governance. Yet some of the same people show brilliance in other areas of our lives in academia, the arts, science and the like. George Orwell said “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” How right he is as we read the Guardian, watch the BBC and listen to the great and good prattling on about how marvellous are left wing opinions, policies and actions and how abominable are conservatives ones. Yet it is the latter that provide the goods, services, wealth and benefits that we and increasing more enjoy today. Whilst the former is spreading poverty and suffering. It cannot get much more perverse than that but no doubt it will.

  30. Beecee
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    “….. They see the way forward as the elimination of opposition.”

    a bit like Corbyn, Momentum, and the ‘new’ Labour Party!

  31. Tabulazero
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    While Labour may be silent on Venezuela, the Conservatives have been very silent on Poland.

    I found not mention of Poland at all on the FCO website, neither in favour of the Polish government or in defense of EU sanctions.

    My fear of Brexit was that it would leave the UK marginalised and out of European affairs. I was not expecting it to happen so soon.

    Has Foreign Secretary Johnson even bothered commenting on the Polish judicial reforms ?

  32. May Flower
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Breathtakingly, beautiful Venezuela. I confess …I have just Googled Images Countryside Venezuela.Well there is potential for the tourist industry for sure. There must be a way to bring that country to prosperity. Even the bare bones in Wikipedia show such photos. Multi bio-habitats. Well I thought I had seen all of the world I wanted to see.
    How Socialists with the Country and its Oil failed is not a mystery. Corbyn’s ideology did the same with Russia. A Country that has everything in oil, minerals, metals, very intelligent people, yet failed. When will these miserable Marxists pack it in and get real.

    $ My usual bad spelling gets worse when I “Post Comment” most times.Errors added too in grammar. Well it helps my not outshining other Commenters as would be the case otherwise, obviously.

  33. Spratt
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    A Colombian friend told me, while Chavez was still alive and finances relatively good , that Colombians living in Venezuela (born and bred there but of Colombian heritage) were being systematically persecuted and dispossessed of their homes. She was very indignant about Corbyn and Livingstone’s support for Chavez. Maybe they could be asked to comment on this aspect of Mr Chavez’s policies and state how they would replicate such policies here.

  34. ian
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    No different to what going on in this country, two parties trying to out bid each other with spending, borrowing, jobs, pay, gay vote, and more green crap, with eu vote in the middle. That’s how party political systems works around the world, with the voters fighting it out in their minds of who will give them the best deal over the next 5 years. So it dose not matter who wins, because each party will be promising more white elephant projects, and spending or who can bring the most overseas people than the last time, to win vote for their party, and finding more ways to put up taxes to pay for it all, while per capita head spend of GDP goes down.
    Its the nature of the beast, called party politics, which you all love so much, with most of the money ending up the elite pocket who ever is in power, and can only end in destruction of the country and it people, as you can see now playing out all round the world.
    There no way out because the media keep lock in to the system for the benefit of the elite or what every you want to call them.
    That’s why i do not believe in the system which has been set up and do not take part. It’s a fool game voting for your own demise.
    You finished what ever way you look at it because of the system, and i am finished with you, and i don’t even vote, and can’t say go hear better because it the same system, and if it not the west is threatening to blow the country up or already has.

  35. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Well Scotland had better take heed of this. They seem to want a country reliant on the price of oil. As it is, they base their economy now on renewables!! The SNP have lost the plot same as Labour.

  36. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I see we are still throwing money around in the form of foreign aid. We have just handed over £80m to Brazil, a country which has just spent billions hosting the Olympic games. We still hand out money to India and China and give away £2bn a year to countries with appalling human rights records.

    Meanwhile at home, our armed forces are struggling and mental health patients are being left in hospital because there is no suitable housing for them for years. What on earth is this government thinking of?

  37. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    O/T I see Merkel and Germany are relying on Russian gas more and more. So much for the ‘green’ Europe that we seem to be so keen to embrace.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-03/german-addiction-to-russia-gas-raises-alarm-in-merkel-s-backyard

  38. Alte Fritz
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Their comments and lack of censure just goes to show what the hard left is, at all times and in all places. They are friends of evil and enemies of the people.

  39. Pete Davies
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    This blog post should be posted I’m every university campus and every newspaper.

    Mr corbyn was a staunch chavez supporter until his spin doctors reined him in.

    Nightmare

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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