Socialism in the UK

Yesterday I  pointed out that borrowing too much, spending too much and nationalising too much had wrecked the current day Venezuelan economy. Some wrote in to say it would  be different in the UK if a Labour government tried the same here.

Well when they did it here they created similar problems. The 1940s, 1960s and 1970s Labour governments nationalised too much, spent too much and borrowed too much. In 1976 they created a financial crisis and had to go to the IMF and beg for some additional borrowings. The IMF made them cut spending and start to denationalise to raise money. In the 1960s they caused a devaluation crisis and had to slash the value of the pound to stabilise the economy.

Labour nationalised or kept in public hands trains, buses, some road freight, electricity, gas, coal,  telecoms, postal services, water, steel, some car production, aerospace,  and shipbuilding.

These great nationalised industries cost the taxpayer a fortune in subsidies as many of the businesses were heavily loss making. Many of them had to sack thousands of employees in an effort to limit losses. They often overcharged their customers by international standards, abusing their monopoly position.

They did so badly because productivity was low and capital investment ill judged. The steel industry spent huge sums on  five large integrated works that produced far more steel than the market wanted to buy. There then followed agonising debates about sacking people and closing plants.  The coal industry kept shrinking as pits became exhausted. The telecoms service fell behind  world standards. It failed to adopt  new technology to improve services and cut costs. BL allowed its car designs to lag behind popular demand and struggled to maintain volumes.

Privatising many of these industries allowed them to expand, adopt new technology and offer better service and lower prices to customers.  The magic of competition drove down telecoms and energy prices after privatisation. Suddenly people could buy a whole range of phones and other devices to add to the phone network that the nationalised monopoly had denied them. The electricity industry made a dash for gas, raising its thermal efficiency, cutting prices and reducing harmful emissions.

Mr Corbyn’s wish to go back to the past would set us back badly. It would mean much higher taxes, more borrowing, and a less good service. Labour in office usually raises borrowing and unemployment.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. rick hamilton
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Corbyn’s extreme lefties don’t care about efficiency or competitiveness, or the satisfaction of the customer, or even the national debt, they just want power and control. Nationalisation brings more employees into state sector unions which largely finance Labour. The same with open door immigration as practised by Blair: more potential Labour voters. Ditto with votes for children, another group of gullible voters likely to support the fantasy of ‘compassionate’ Labour. Even with anti-semitism it doesn’t take a genius to see which demographic it draws to Labour.

    Make no mistake about it, this is the long march towards permanent socialist government and the miserable existence that we know it would bring. As Polly Toynbee once observed, the purpose is to ‘make Britain safe for socialism’.

    We have one opportunity to destroy, or at least severely damage, their ambitions on 12 Dec and I hope the British electorate will have the common sense to do so.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      System X telephony – push-button tone dialling etc. – was developed by BT while it was under public ownership.

      Its privatisation was timed cynically to coincide with its introduction for public use, and ever since Conservatives have claimed that it was privatisation which transformed the service.

      That is utter fallacy.

      Reply The nationalised industry stuck with out dated mechanical switching long after the US had developed better systems. The privatised industry did the leap frog to modern electronic switching

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        The position was somewhat similar with colour TV.

        The US had NTSC – “Never Twice Same Colour” – long before the UK had PAL – “Pale And Lurid”, although the latter was developed by Telefunken in Germany in response to demands from European broadcasters such as the BBC for a better system.

        Those ironies are actually based on sound engineering critique, incidentally.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


        Yet more of your memes from the socialism playbook

        On 18 November 1963, after approximately three years of customer testing, Bell Systems in the United States officially introduced dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) technology under its registered trademark Touch-Tone.

        Facts dear boy facts

        By the way some of us ( me) worked with telecoms whilst it was still the GPO monopoly in the UK , so please dont go there with your nonsense. The service was outdated, slow and bureaucratic and very expensive

        • Hope
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          I just read Martin Howe QC article 15/11/2019. What a disaster Johnson has submitted our country to!

          JR scares us about socialism which Mayhab was willing to implement when she told Miliband she would build on his policy! Appoint former Labour ministers and MPs to quango posts and roles. We even had hard remainers slating off those conservatives who wanted democracy enacted by leaving the EU. But is vassalage not worse than socialism?

          For the first time I have to say Howe’s conclusion is totally wrong. The “transition” as Howe admits is nothing of the sort it is an expensive vassalage extension to agree a future relationship/trade agreement. All the wide ranging ECJ powers remain in place during vassalage.

          Therefore it begs the question, If Johnson gets a working majority why not leave without a WA? After all this is what Johnson claimed would happen by 31/10/2019, do or die deal or no deal. So why JR, we must ask, will Johnson with a working majority accept vassalage rather than negotiate leaving properly as an equal partner?

          Why would Johnson accept diasadvantage in negotiations rather than equal partner discussions? It simply does not make sense. Or is this again party before country?

          • Pominoz
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink


            I still think that there will be a WTO (call it No Deal inaccurately ) Brexit if a Boris working majority is achieved.

            The costly transition period to December 2020 is a waste of time and money and will not see an agreed FTA with the EU. At that time, at the latest, I would expect Boris to declare a clean Brexit. Why waste the whole year to achieve nothing? Well, before the election, Boris possibly thinks that he should keep onside the Tory voters who do not want a WTO Brexit, gaining their votes because they still think that, before leaving, an FTA will be struck.

            However, there is still a chance that, with that working majority, Boris will simply abandon all thoughts of any transition and get out completely on 31st January 2020. And why not? – there is absolutely nothing to be lost and lots of unjustified payments to the EU saved.

            Please go for it Boris! No need to alert anyone to a sensible plan before you are in a position to deliver.

      • Hope
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Public sector do not have to work hard, improve and is is difficult to get rid of employees. Same MPs really who go into another bracket altogether. Rules are different for MPs to everyone else. JR, made it clear the other day he is content for this when his party promised a right to recall and other radical changes in the 2010 election following the expense scandal. Some are still present in his party hoping to get elected ten years on!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps our soldiers, nurses, teachers, police, fire service and the rest would like to comment?

      • dixie
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        @MiC/Andy You conveniently ignore the private sector partners involved in System X development to suit your narrative.

        From a customer perspective privatisation had a significant impact on availability and quality of services.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          The GPO/BT involved Plessey, STC and others in the project, yes.

          The customer perspective was deliberately misinformed on this matter, however, and used to promote privatisation on a fallacy.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            After being liberated from the restrictive hand of state ownership BT has improved and grown to become an excellent profitable company investing billions every year and employing tens of thousands of people in well paid jobs.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink


            Total BS

            The public didn’t need promotion, the public were sick and tired of the GPO’s woeful performance . The public had no idea what System X was, nor did they care. They just wanted a phone that worked, didn’t look like a brick and didn’t cost a fortune to rent and was delivered in a timely fashion

            In business we were sick and tired of ordering leased lines that took twice as long to deliver as any other country in Europe

            Also the sloppy working practices especially at Stag Lane and Wood Street caused no end of problems . The amount of leased line failures I suffered because of mis jumpering and jumper removals was beyond a joke

          • dixie
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            The only party that could have deliberately misinformed me of delays in getting my line installed was POT/BT itself.

            In the 70s I was involved in supporting data comms in the City where the role of POT/BT was restrict communications, delay installations and blame every problem on everyone else.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Martin you have to be kidding, we moved into a new house in the mid 80’s, the telephone cable had already been laid to each house, it still took BT 14 weeks to connect the phone line, we had a choice of two phones and had to pay extra for the one we chose. It was appalling and we paid more then than we do now! We had to take what we were given, like we do now with A&E or your local poor quality school – these kids have got used to choice – they compare the market on-line for everything, they like Amazon over shopping centre shopping especially the boys – when they realise what Corbyn and McDonnell socialist nationalisation actually means they’ll suddenly wake up that their free for all, it won’t cost them a penny promises, are just hot air.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          BT was already privatised by the mid 1980s.

          Your point is?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            BT was privatised in 1984.
            Improvements to services such as tracy speaks about didn’t happen until a year or two afterwards.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          does my memory fade- or did they also charge £100 ( a lot of money then) to reconnect?

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


        The ISS requires the Russian (communist) rockets to get astronauts to it.

        Our railways would be stuffed were it not for BR designed rolling stock running on it.

        I am no socialist but the state vs privatised position is too simplistic.

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          The US has just had to go crawling to the Russians for capacity on board their manned spacecraft for both 2020 and 2021,as the American alternative that was supposedly going to be ready by the end of this year….isn’t!

    • Wil Pretty
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      We need a bad dose of Socialism to make the Conservative party offer an alternative to Socialism.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Everytime we do it sets us back , ground we don’t ever fully recover. It would be better if we had a Conservative party which wasn’t so ideologically lazy and ensured people never forgot the perils of socialism.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        If people ever got the chance to have something like it in this country, then they might decide that they quite liked it and would stick with it.

        Many people seem to bewail the loss of all those proper occupational pensions, which Attlee introduced, after all.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          They aren’t affordable Martin and this Country will sink under the promised final salary pensions for the public sector as it is. 26% of every £1 needs putting away in high investment returns to get a decent pension pot at 65 never mind 60 and 55 as some have.

          • a-tracy
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            And where will these pensions invest if Corbyn nationalises everything!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Oh. How come they are affordable in France, in Germany, etc.?

          • Andy
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            No doubt most of the contributors on here get a final salary pension. And a state pension. It is why old people are always able to go away on holiday. They have so much of our money.

            Personally, I would scrap all state pensions. And raid final salary schemes to properly tax the old so they finally start paying their share.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            Final salary pensions were wrecked by Gordon Brown so only public sector staff would still now have one.
            You would be very unpopular trying to scrap public sector workers gold plated pensions.
            I have told you many times state pensions are paid for by many years of National Insurance contributions.
            Being a top business owner I’m shocked at your lack of knowledge of this area.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink


          You continue to not understand

          To have a good pension you have to pay into it. If you give your money to the government you get a very small fixed return. If you invest the same money in your own pension you get a far better return. I’m currently getting 18% return on mine

          By the way you do know that the Tories introduced Workplace pensions on top of national insurance pension right?

          • libertarian
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


            We did have a dose of socialism in this country in the 1970’s everyone hated it ( they always do) Its now been a year of rioting in France over it too, you know the country you keep telling us is so brilliant and so much better than here

            You live in a fantasy world

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            I know.

            I did.

            I have.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink


            Good so stop whining about pensions as you already solved your own problem

        • Edward2
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Pensions which socialist Labour ruined.

        • Pud
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Unfortunately a later socialist, Gordon Brown, killed off many private sector final salary schemes.
          Companies suffered tax penalties if they overfunded their pensions so only provided sufficient funds to meet future liabilities as advised by the schemes’ actuaries. When Gordon Brown changed the rules so pension schemes had to pay divided tax overnight schemes became underfunded, resulting in companies either having to pay in a lot more money or close the scheme.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink


            Gordon Brown introduced a dividend tax for managed pension funds, just as many countries have.

            It cost an estimated average of less than a hundred pounds per beneficiary per year, to be met by increased employee and employer contributions.

            In fact it helped many funds, because they changed their composition away from shares, protecting them from the 2008 crash.

            The Tories have never reversed it, and it would make little difference to pensions if they did. People went into BTL etc. because of appalling annuity rates, and not because of that.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            It took many billions out of private pensions that could have been invested back into the funds.
            It has ruined returns for millions of investors and the company schemes.
            Few final salary schemes now survive.
            And it made many company schemes poorer.
            You are totally wrong.
            As usual.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      The problem we have is that we have a Conservative party squatting in the right of center political ground who spend most of the time apologising for capitalism, rarely if ever attacking the failures of socialism, in fact more than likely implementing big state ideas. The last Conservative leader they had who was prepared to take on the left at an ideological level was Mrs Thatcher, and they got rid of her to have a quiet life. The way the Conservatives have allowed the left to set the terms of the argument on greenery and global warming has been to give them a free pass on setting up a command economy.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes the Conservatives are so scared of being seen as nasty that they fail to make the arguments against authoritarian, misguided doctrine from the left. Instead adopting these misguiding ideas in the hope of being seen as cuddly.

    • RAF
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The same with open door immigration as practised by Blair: more potential Labour voters. Ditto with votes for children…

      Is this, in part, a recognition by the Labour Party that their traditional tribal support is waning? Abandoning your natural support base by taking them for granted and ignoring their very real concerns is not very clever in the political scheme of things. December 12th will give us direct evidence of whether or not the Labour Party is in serious decline.

      The same could be the fate of the Tories a few years down the line. Should Johnson deliver the UK into the rapacious grip of the EU rather than delivering complete freedom from its clutches the Tories will be committing the same political crime as Labour.

      Labour under Corbyn deserves to fail and fail massively because it poses a direct threat to the people and culture of this Country. Likewise the Tories if they attempt the great sellout.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        The only politician that I have heard propose an amnesty for people here unlawfully is one Alexander Johnson.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          so what would YOU do with them? – just asking!

  2. Mark B
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It does not look good when, all one can do to encourage the electorate to vote for your party, is to point out the failings of the other parties.

    One service that should never have been nationalised, was the water industry. It, by its very nature, is a monopoly. And the monies that those monopolies goes elsewhere.

    The consumer has not choice when it comes to which water supplier they have. I can chop and change my gas and electricity, phone and internet provider, where I by my groceries etc. All this choice give me as a consumer choice. And that choice keeps innovation and price sensible.

    Some industries should never have been nationalised.

    Reply We agree water should not have been nationalised. More competition should be introduced as it is not a natural monopoly.

    • Hope
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Water should not be privatised. We had 9 percent increases year after year after year without improvement or any competition. The left wing watch dogs totally useless to the consumer. Tories have not had a bonfire of quangos or forced them to improve service, quite the opposite. Tories put former Labour ministers and MPs in charge and currently,still do! Why notmtrue conservatives or experts in their Fields?

      A vote for Tory is a wasted vote.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      If there is any evidence that monopolies operating in the private sector perform better than those could operate in the public sector provided that their capital investments could be amortized over the expected lifetime of the investment, we would should be shown it.

      It is all very well criticising BT for obsolete technology but the government allowed the creation of a monopoly supplier in the electrical engineering industry which grossly limited the availability of new technology to the government by avoiding in-house r&d in order to protect the company’s bottom line. Of course the market ultimately took its revenge but only after many government run operations had been damaged by it, including power generation and transmission, the railways, defence and nuclear energy. We had the same problem with a monopoly mainframe computer manufacturer as well. Buy British was a good rule for the government, but not buy monopoly British.

  3. Shirley
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I’m all for competition, as that keeps standards high and prices lower. However, some privatised services are virtual monopolies, such as water, rail travel, etc.

    Privatisation of essential services is zero risk for investors, as they take the gains but the taxpayer still bails them out when they mismanage. The Rail Track monopoly was a disaster and the taxpayer was the biggest loser. We need better control of essential services and all foreign owners should be banned, or severely restricted, within essential services.

  4. Stred
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    It is reported that every Conservative candidate has signed up to supporting Boris’s tweaked Surrender Agreement. We will therefore be paralleling EU socialist legislation for environmental, employment, rights, and other matters. That is unless we have a government willing to refuse to sign and leave on WTO terms, trading as the rest of the world. But we won’t will we?

    Reply My views remain as set out when the last Parliament debated the second reading of the bill.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      My assumption is that our kind host will be allowed scope to respectfully disagree with party policy in this area. Sir John is an asset to a party seeking to burnish its Brexit credentials. And, better inside the tent than outside and all that. Tory party policy is clear. Our host is but one man and one vote. The implications are grim,

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Indeed this would be idiotic. Once Boris has a majority and free of the treachery of the Benn surrender act a far better deal is attainable.

      • Stred
        Posted November 18, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        The Remainers like Greg Clarke, who blocked WTO and the one who looks like a used car salesman who was the heavy pushing for May’s colonial deal, have been let back or not even been removed and are now standing unopposed by the BP. Boris will just blame them and extend again with the same story.

  5. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Can’t remember BL struggling to meet volumes,
    only struggling to move rusting inventory. It’s an odd time to be contemplating this move which had some justification in post war Britain to soak up unemployment. Not now.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      In our village, the connecting wires from the box to the house were made of aluminium to save money! They are still there.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      BLMCs problem was its failure to chart a way ahead or to generate the cash to support product change and innovation in the years that immediately followed BMH and Leyland Group merged promoted and pushed by the Wilson government. Only one product of that era survives as a success and that is the Range Rover. Notably this did not require significant capital investment, it started very small and grew slowly over time to become a leading luxury brand.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Merger not merged.
        PS it would have been far better if the two groups had not merged but left to compete with each other. Either way there would have been the closure of old, obsolete factories that the management of the day was reluctant or or unwilling to contemplate.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        The Range Rover – – transport of choice for the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ green wellie wearing toffs – and the wannabees.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          And down to earth people like me who appreciate a comfortable good looking car originating in the UK and employing British workers. What a silly comment Fred.

          • Fred H
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            not silly – just my opinion. Did it touch a nerve Fedup? All my down-to earth friends drive them…and on the school run NOT.

          • steve
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            Fred H

            Actually Fred that hasn’t been the case for a long time. Those vehicles are now often used ( I wont say driven) by people who think they were born to push everyone else around. Road thugs, basically.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            Just thought you were rude.

          • steve
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink


            “people like me who appreciate a comfortable good looking car”

            A matter of opinion.

            “originating in the UK”

            Which bits of it ? for starters they have german gearboxes – not the best. My Jag has one, and it lets the car down.

            “and employing British workers.”

            Not necessarily.

        • oldtimer
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          The Range Rover succeeded because it was a practical vehicle, able to traverse a wide range of terrains, offered decent stowage capacity and, importantly, could tow 3.5 tons. It evolved as it has because of customer demand. The latest versions still retain these characteristics and features.

          • Fred H
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps an ideal all-terrain vehicle, but used between supermarkets, schools and car-washes.

  6. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Socialism is great all the time there is the money (real money) to support it.
    As always the rich and investors will be hiting the send buttons to deposit their funds out of harm’s way. The wonderful world of the internet now makes it easier for the smaller mam or woman in the street to rercolate their funds

    Socialism especially in this got to have it have society can only fail. It will encourage even more black economy bigger than what is today as cash in hand will be for many the only way to survive. .

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Corbyn and McDonnell are interested in control.
    Communism is all about contd.
    Two societies, the rulers and the ruled.
    The EU is a similar organisation. Voting for Corbyn is an act of self flagellation.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Control and power..yes!
      And think of those hoping to hang onto the coat tails of that power.
      Anarchists and the like.
      If they don’t get in there may be Trouble.
      They may not accept the results of the election.
      Let us hope there would be none of the usual limpwristedness…like offering them a share in power…to be ************ FAIR!!!
      I totally blame the new liberal “right” for getting us into this TERRIFYING situation.

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


        “They may not accept the results of the election.”

        Look on the bright side, if the left do get into No 10 then we as the minority will be able to whinge and moan like hell and incessantly shout waah waah waah not fair ! We can also cheat with bent courts and a biased speaker.

        ‘Do it back’……..ten times harder !

    • dixie
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      “Two societies, the rulers and the ruled.”

      That is how it has been anyway – Westminster and the rest, The Civil Service and the rest, the Public Sector and the rest.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, and the “Conservatives” only slightly better. Highest taxes for 40 years, the appalling Boris “not Brexit” hand cuff treaty, endless red tape everywhere and the same idiotic climate alarmist lunacy.

  8. agricola
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Whatever ones political philosophy it is necessary that the nation creates wealth to support it. To do so you must also incentivise people to improve their own financial position throughout their lives. Socialism in the UK, in which I include the SNP, Lib/Dems, Greens as well as Labour creates a dependency culture which is the very antithisis of enhancing the wealth of the individual or the nation. Except that is for a few union bosses and national politicians who benefit financially way beyond their real pay grade in an open market place.

    As you point out, Labours version of socialism has never worked and in present day terms has drifted to even greater extremes, which if implemented would ensure failure faster than on previous occasions.

    There is also an incidious element within Labour that has manifested itself firstly as anti semetic and then as traiterous. (words left out ed) Current Labour through it’s leader consorts with xxxxxxxxx be it the IRA or Arab terrorists. Given the power of Downing Street he would destroy our defense and intelligence capability if for no other reason than the lack of trust and cooperation of our partners. The USA, Australia, New Zealand, and I suspect Israel would close down the links in defence of their own security starting on 13th December.

    UK socialism to me is the child that just shouts louder on failure to achieve it’s ends. We should just shut the bedroom door.

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The Tories should win the election solely on the strength of Labour’s Green New Deal.
    Words fail me. Just read it …the explanatory notes as well as the 9 points.
    Apparently we need to understand what harm we have caused to the world and how we must pay for it!!!😡
    Interestingly at first I thought the green windmills were barbed wire.
    I hope the Tory election machine cashes in on the utter,utter,utter lunacy of this treatise ( assuming that is allowed).
    Please God NOT a Christmas with a Lab govt. No carols, no dancing,no mince pies and things not looking good for un-calloused hands.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Some things have to be nationalised. The Army, for instance, or the Police. People (now) respect both these so people are proud to wear the uniform. Both are under stern discipline, from their occupation and also from their historic organisations.

    Nationalising bt approaches lunacy. Renationalising the railways is just as daft – although the organisation needs serious reform after we leave the EU. The trouble is that employees of, say, a high street store have to be nice, to work hard and to turn out smart. Nationalised ones don’t. So the service is quite often appalling.

    Next time you go to Specsavers or a Private Hospital, admire the cleanliness, the attention to the patient and the bustling efficiency.

    Nationalised organisations are there to offer a service out of the goodness of the governmental heart – and it shows.

  11. Oliver
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Does “set us back badly” put it anywhere near strong enough?

    Did any previous Labour gov directly confiscate FTSE assets?

    Why would anyone ever invest here again?

    Won’t Sterling fall dramatically?

  12. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Socialism is great all the time there is the money (real money) to support it.
    As always the rich and investors will be hiting the send buttons to deposit their funds out of harm’s way. The wonderful world of the internet now makes it easier for the smaller mam or woman in the street to rercolate their funds

    Socialism especially in this got to have it all now society can only fail. It will encourage even more black economy bigger than what is today as cash in hand will be for many the only way to survive. .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Under socialism every pound of value you get from the state will mean tax increases of about £4. Plus what value you get is probably not really what you wanted anyway and will come after a long wait in a queue (if it come at all).

  13. Kevin
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The prospect of a Labour government has been greeted with words like “unaffordable”, “staggering” and “off the chart”. Assuming for a moment that no-one would be so unwise as to vote for a party worthy of such terms, I would like to talk about a different party. The reason for the Brexit Party’s stand-down decision is that they would prefer to enter Parliament having to oppose the Conservatives’ Withdrawal Agreement rather than a second referendum. My question is: why should voters in marginal seats choose the Conservatives over the Brexit Party, bearing in mind that as few as 10 DUP MPs had such a prominent role under the last minority Conservative government?

  14. steve
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink


    “Reply We agree water should not have been nationalised.”

    Good morning JR.

    I feel obliged to pick up on this.

    Surely, as water is essential to life there are security of supply concerns ?

    In addition, I speak from personal experience that where drainage is concerned the water company in my area fails to meet acceptable standards. The reason being that shareholder’s return is more important than spending on network maintenance. The drains around here are abysmal and over many years there has not been any effort to rectify the problem.

    The consequence is a very strong case in my favour for damages, should I wish to pursue. However I have simply set aside monthly payments and sealed off the drainage gully on my property – as the law allows me to do.

    The bizarre thing is my water authority doesn’t seem to care a toss that they’re not receiving payments, it’s as though they just roll over and accept their service is rubbish.

    Same story throughout the land i.e. no gully clearing, collapsed sewers etc, and when you look at the recent flooding it becomes obvious serious questions need to be asked, and heads need to roll.

    Reply The state is standards regulator and planning authority.It us not a good business model to try to palm off dirty water to people and it’s against the law.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      That’s the problem with having laws, whether against water suppliers not bothering to purify drinking water, or against stealing.

      Someone has to investigate and enforce them.

      But they will always be broken anyway, where there’s money to be made.

      The only answer is to remove the profit motive.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Hilarious socialist logic.
        Thinking a business making a profit is more likely to break the law than a state owned organisation making no profit.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink


        When will socialists ever learn the basics

        Without profit you have stagnation

        A profit is an excess of income over expenditure

        Without it you cant give anyone a pay rise, employ more people, develop new products etc

        The fact that public sector organisations rarely produce a “profit” is exactly why they end up uncompetitive, strike ridden, backward, and a drain on the public purse

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 18, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Martin, I thought social tower blocks were built and provided with a none-profit motive?

        Then the population are dependent on Local Authority Building Control again a not for profit organisation to test all council building control teams and set and test building control guidance.

        The British Board of Agrément (BBA) – is this a profit enterprise or a none profit?

  15. Anonymous
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Corbyn is a very real threat. He shouldn’t be anywhere near power. This should be a rout by the Tories. It isn’t going to be. Why do you think that is ?

    (I am furious that my chance to vote TBXP has been taken away.)

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Interestingly my chance to vote for really leaving the EU rather than remaining subserviently to it has been removed from my constituency, that currently held by our Prime Minister. I was going to vote “none of the above” on 12 December.

      However, having read in the Guardian (if I may Sir John) about the various groups with whom I hold no truck targeting the Prime Minister in his marginal I have decided to lend him my vote.

      That many misguided worthies against him means he must be doing something right and he has gained my respect by not moving to an easier seat.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink


      “I am furious that my chance to vote TBXP has been taken away.”

      Me too. I’m on David Davis turf i.e Haltemprice. Some of the Hull peripherals have a BXP candidate, but we don’t.

      Then again after the way Farage has rolled over like that I wouldn’t vote for his party anyway. People will not forget this, and I think Farage is finished.

      I and many others are very angry that because of him the choice on offer is surrender or remain….one and the same thing. The man’s a ‘naughty rascal’ – that ok JR ?

      I conclude that all parties have colluded to stitch this country up by either nullifying the referendum, or trick us with plan B leave in name only in the naive hope our rage will not hit the streets.

      If they were to seed an unquenchable thirst for revenge…..they’re going the right way about it.

      They’re all in the EU’s bed together, the whole disgusting lot.

  16. Nig l
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    You need to look no further than our telecoms industry to see the dead hand of the public sector, even now and the EU.

    Over regulated, competition averse, protecting (ex) national carriers preventing consolidation has put Europe’s industry well behind the US and many places in the Far East.

    In the UK BT still struggles with its public sector overhang in terms of attitude and infrastructure, not forgetting a massive pension deficit allowing it to ‘bully’ a weak regulator and politicians into until recently protecting its network from competition and we can see the result with the U.K. disgracefully, for a world economy, lagging its rivals.

    Compare that with Vodafone, not without flaws, but investing massively in the Internet of Things and its applications.the world leader, or very close. Only yesterday it announced a tie up with a world leader in drone technology for traffic management, security, air taxis etc.

    Can anyone honestly believe that such technological advances can be achieved in an industry run by civil servants complying to the wishes of their political masters. Bollocks.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Nig 1

      “Can anyone honestly believe that such technological advances can be achieved in an industry run by civil servants complying to the wishes of their political masters. Bollocks.”

      Actually yes I’d believe it – but the technology would be used against the people rather than serve them.

      In my opinion what’s on the horizon is extreme control, where if you disagree or resist they will use technology to ‘shut you down’ i.e no access to your money, unable to shop for food, unable to charge your crappy commie electric 2nd generation trabant, and on setting foot outside your front door you might get neutralised for non-compliance by establishment’s toys attached to the nearest lamp post.

      Ultimately there will be only one way to stop this Orwellian nightmare, and it won’t be via the ballot box. In fact, if they get their way there will be no such thing as a ballot box.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        African telephone systems were/are run by the state and truly awful. the mobile phones were private operations and worked well, in fact the combination for the appallingly run telephones systems and the private mobile phone systems saw African’s get services, like money transfers and phone payments, many years before we got them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        It wasn’t the Remain campaigns, which sent millions of micro-targeted ads, full of lies – that’s the point – to voters during the referendum campaign.

        It was your side.



        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Ah, those lies again … of course the remain campaign only told truths about no eu army, no eu superstate, about the certainty of mass unemployment, loss of investment, collapse of our economy if we voted to leave. The bus, the bus is the usual moan even though the courts confirmed the fact on the side of the bus was correct.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I see more details of the conservatives immigration policies are coming out, as predicted based on Dom Cummings blog over many years.
    Cosy middle class prejudices baked into them, and complete failure to listen to high skilled roles already decimated by immigration.
    This is not democracy, there is no way any of this reflects the true feelings of the country especially those most badly affected by immigration already.
    No doubt significantly different to what is being discussed with business under Chatham House rules.
    The people will give up on politics.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed: the Tories are offering us a Brexit based on Johnson’s “I need to be seen to push something through after the Benn Act misjudgment” deal and a plea to the electorate to save the country from Labour’s “Let’s be more democratic, whoops, we got Corbyn” policy.
      Thin gruel, with Farage lined up to take the blame for failure to gain a majority.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      “Our country is made stronger by welcoming people with talent from across the globe,” Michael Gove.

      Where have I heard that before? Oh yes: “Our diversity makes Britain stronger.” Ed Milliband.

      If politicians believe they are running a business corporation then they are very wrong. This country is England and it belongs to the English not to business corporations, especially foreign ones, politicians or the third world or the EU.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      “The people will give up on politics.”

      Many, myself included, have already done so. We’re just biding our time waiting for the big kick off. Which will happen if politics is not changed for the better in this country i.e the complete removal and banishment of socialist EU-serving traitors.

      This aint over.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Indeed we should be heading in entirely the opposite direction to this. We have far too much in state sector hands and government market manipulations & rigged markets already:- the NHS, education, university soft loans, energy, social housing, the planning system, transport/trains, refuse collection, long term care, much of banking ……….. on top of these we have the damaging litigation culture, mad restrictive employment laws, absurd levels of taxation and tax complexity and bonkers red tape everywhere you look, mis directed police who have largely given up on most crimes ….

    The state is about double the size it should be and is appallingly inefficient and totally misdirected in general.

  19. Nigel
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    It is ironic that we have just celebrated 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, when we are being offered something very similar by one of our own major political parties.

    • IanT
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Of course Nigel, as kindly Jeremy will explain to your children (who don’t remember three day weeks, Leyland Cars & Arthur Scargill) – it will be very different this time….

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        The Three Day Week and power outages were under Ted Heath’s Conservative government.

        Try to get the basics at least.

        • steve
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes, Heath……I have to call him a ‘naughty rascal’ but I imagine you can guess what I’d call him elsewhere.

          Indeed three day week and power cuts were a feature of his watch.

          I remember the electric didn’t just suddenly go off, the lights just got dimmer and dimmer. At least in our area. I was young at the time and my job in the house was Paraffin Lamp and Primus Warden.

          I also had to roll fags for my dad and brothers during the power cuts – never figured out why but I did alright out of it.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          However maybe, just possibly, the unions might have sort of forced his hand? The outages or total shutdown which is best? Do try a little balance Marty.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Caused by militant hard left Unions trying to bring down an elected Government.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Martin, True

          That would be the nationalised coal industry going on strike demanding a 43% pay increase and picketing in solidarity by the workers of the nationalised CEGB

          I lost my job as did all my colleagues in our factory when it closed over this .

          Thats socialism for you and thats why we won’t vote for a nationalised Internet Service or indeed anything else . We learned our lesson that so called socialists are NOT interested in the common good they are only interested in power and control

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed and remaining in the EUSSR will give us similar top down anti democratic socialism too. Corbyn clearly will give us both. Pure Venezuelan insanity without the sum.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


    • Watcher
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      It is incredible as you say. But if one is able to see the original manifestos and original words and sentences of Communist Parties in the USSR and then it is easier to understand. There were identical in reasonableness and logic with almost verbatim words and meaning of Labour Party stuff. People here would be amazed.
      If we allow the Labour machine to go hell for leather with inter-twining nationalisations combined with pc Hate Speech accusations then the Socialist-Communist machine will set off and even its ardent idealistic young followers or us will be able to stop it. I admit, it is hard for us to understand how it can happen. But it can. Believe me! Our law courts are being slightly unhelpful recently. That happened over there too as a prelude. It all fits in. A pattern repeated from country to country. We never learn

  20. sm
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    In a rather weird way, McDonnell and Momentum are following the short-sighted actions of many medieval and Renaissance monarchs: have grandiose aims (Crusades, invasion, castle-building, extermination of all who disagree with your religious beliefs), borrow insanely and tax everyone in sight (except for your closest buddies) until the pips not only squeak but are squashed to oblivion.

    Then sit back and wonder why trade is failing, crime is increasing and everyone hates you.

    • MeSET
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they are something in and from the past which seems to linger somehow.I’m working on it…

    • L Jones
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      ”… following the ..actions of many medieval … monarchs…”
      It’s all about the lust for power, and that is never out-dated.

  21. Julie Williams
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    According to each new generation of socialists, previous regimes failed because they weren’t “proper socialists”, but the current generation have the magic that will make it work.
    Except they don’t because it’s against human nature.
    Look at the current high-ups in the Trade Unions and Parliament and what do you see?
    (IN SOME CASES UNNamed? Ed)Cronyism, nepotism and hypocrisy.
    Socialism is “Animal Farm”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      There is an inherent problem with democracy in that very often more than 50% of the population pay less in taxes than they get back – in immediate in work benefits, health care, schooling, subsidised housing, council tax reductions, unemployment benefits, housing benefits and the likes and this is largely the case in the hugely over taxed UK.

      So a party offering the more free things, paid for by taxing others sound like a good deal to this 50% plus. Let us hope many realise that Labours promises are all contemptible lies, essentially a fraud against the electorate. If something sounds too good to be true it invariable is.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        They haven’t made any promises yet, only announced proposals – aspirations, that is – for a manifesto.

        It has not yet been published.

        Your claimed prescience is impressive, therefore.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink


          Who cares their last manifesto turned out to be complete BS too. They reneged on almost all the major parts

          You really need to stop being brainwashed by party politics and start thinking for yourself

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink


        “If something sounds too good to be true it invariable is.”

        Yes, because it’s all baloney. The main players in this whole farce are in it together for a common purpose i.e deny the will of the people by any means. Including bribery, whether bribery of each other or the electorate, they don’t care.

        The whole rotten mess nothing less than a coup masterminded by the EUSR. They’re all in it together up to their necks and we’re being had over by the quisling liars.

        Some day they will face justice, and when they do I hope the treason laws are reintroduced. And if I’m still around I’ll take pleasure in applying for the top job.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Julie Williams

      Totally correct socialism is purely feudalism with a PR & marketing overlay

      The suckers fall for it every time

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully not this time!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I’ve read some inane comments her but that really does take some beating.

        Have you any idea at all what feudalism is?

        What we have now is arguably in some ways worse. The serfs in mediaeval England at least usually had secure tenure of land, provided that they fulfilled its attached obligations for their lord, and these fiefs, feuds, fees, feoffs, as they were variously known often passed down in families for generations.

        Today’s widespread precarity would perhaps leave them bewildered.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink


          Yes I do know what feudalism is. Its when the ruling classes ( establishment) “own” most of the means of production and hand out favours to their friends to rule fiefdoms ( fat cat union barons) whilst demanding that the workers give up some of their rights in order to have minimum access to the means of production .

          If you had ever read a history book you would know that under ever form of system the people suffered. Then the industrial revolution happened and we haven’t looked back since the establishment of free market capitalism . Over the last two centuries free markets have had a positive effect on aggregate economic growth, contributing to better living conditions and the reduction of extreme poverty across the world. Capitalism has virtually eliminated famine and hunger within the space of 50 years. Infant mortality rates have plummeted, life expectancy , education and wealth have all vastly increased .

          Meanwhile the politburo ( socialist establishment ) want once again to “own” the means of production and use the workers by offering them a tiny amount of compensation , thats what socialism is , virtually just another form of feudalism , but instead of the crown/church , its the “peoples government”

          “Today’s widespread precarity would perhaps leave them bewildered.”

          Yeh a medieval surf ( life expectancy 31.3 years ) would look at todays agricultural worker ( life expectancy 80.9 years) , with a house with central heating, fridge, TV, mobile phone, access via internet to worlds information, free at point of use healthcare and go blimey 21st century workers are really living a precarious life, I’m so lucky I have my own turnip. You utter utter utter…….. silly boy

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


        “The suckers fall for it every time”

        Not this time. Their mistake was to let their cloak slip, most of the UK is now astute as to the kind of treasonous quislings who’ve been having us over for the last 40 years.

        There will be a reckoning for these con men, and it aint gonna be a soft one.

        • hefner
          Posted November 19, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Steve, what about a nice cold shower to cool down your febrile brain.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      There is a real opportunity for a new political party in this country, one that wants to hand much more power to individual citizens.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink


        Indeed there is, lets call it iDemocracy

  22. hefner
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    “How could it be that the Tories have turned their back on the best of British industry?” An interesting question from Will Hutton in the Observer, now (almost) appearing as an ally to Carolyn Fairbairn.
    And a teeny weeny bit more relevant than Sir John’s today’s serving.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


      Hutton talks complete cobblers , he is clueless as to what is happening in British Industry right now. The CBI are establishment lackeys and represent a vanishingly small number of businesses with a vested interest in stopping small, nibble and innovative businesses from competing with them

      • hefner
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian, please tell me: how exactly is the CBI preventing small, nibble and innovative businesses from competing with them? It is a real question. What do “they” do to prevent such competition that you cannot by-pass? Some of your past posts appeared to indicate that you were able to export worldwide and that constraints were coming from EU regulations.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          They can afford to lobby and thus gain influence over new directives, rules, regulations and laws.
          It enables multi national companies to maintain their dominance.
          For example they can use EU rules to base their HQ anywhere in the EU fir accounting purposes.
          Many choose Luxembourg or some other low tax country.
          Something small companies based in just one country cannot do.
          It is why big business loves the EU.

          • hefner
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            The devil’s advocate in me looked at global (top 50 companies in the UK by revenue in 2017, from Shell £187bn to Koseph Gleave & Son’s £16.3bn), at (UK business by employment size – a bit over 15m people employed in British businesses that employed over 500 workers -), at (Activity, size, location – number of companies & public corporations rising and representing 72.5% of total UK businesses with concomitant fall in sole proprietors and partnerships, and allowing their owners not to declare their profits as salaries, but as capital growth and therefore taxable at much lower rates), at world (about 1% of companies in the UK are foreign-owned but contribute 29% of UK gross added value.
            Looking also at some start-up companies parts of VCTs, or EISs, some being pretty successful despite the CBI or the EU. Could it be you are so against the CBI or the EU simply because you have not been able to realise your dreams of becoming immensely rich? Sour grapes, anybody?

          • libertarian
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


            Not entirely sure what your point is here

            Total employment in SMEs was 17 million , whilst turnover was estimated at £2.2 trillion (52%).SME’s employ 61% of all workers . 99.7% of all businesses are SME’s

            If they dont declare their salaries as salaries or dividends then they dont get the money so Ive no idea what you are trying to say here but you clearly dont understand tax

            I’m very very wealthy thanks

          • libertarian
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


            No one disputes the success of huge corporations, what we are objecting to is the lobbying and collusion between big business, CBI and politicians & especially EU bureaucrats that damages the potential growth of small business by imposing ridiculous, meaningless regulations .

            Yes of course there are very successful start ups there are currently 17 Unicorn businesses in the UK, they are financed and backed by….. big businesses and VC firms ( big businesses )

            The vast majority of business, a large part of GDP and majority of employment is with tiny businesses working in their local area providing services in their local community

            If you look at the raft of damaging legislation aimed at small business by the last two Tory governments you will see how this plays out

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          hefner – the CBI do nothing for small, nimble businesses. They’ve never lobbied to bring in big company payment settlement dates. They don’t ask SME’s for their suggestions for improvements to apprenticeships, funding assistance for training or requirements (most of this work is done to fund and protect large organisation training schemes). They said nothing when jobcentres were wrecked (the main recruitment option for small employers). You never hear them come out to defend business against the frequent onslaughts in the media about business owners and business in general. No reminder about the fantastic costs that have been absorbed by the majority of businesses, everything from 100% of the statutory sick payments, nest 3% contribution on top of the 12.8% Employer’s NI, payroll software changes we’ve all absorbed with digital monthly payroll filing requirements, overtime averaged over the previous 3 months incorporated into holiday pay, holiday pay for zero-hours workers, people are left with their misinformation. There is no rebuttal division – when have you ever heard the CBI on the news defending normal business owners, the millionaire and billionaire business and wealth creators?

          The young labour momentum attack dogs just get left to spread their hatred. They make out that no billionaires are as a result of their own efforts, risk taking, putting everything they own on the line, they apparently get rich off the back of other workers apparently who are all downtrodden (if it was so easy why aren’t these young bright sparks doing it their way and creating their own enterprises from scratch on their business model, why don’t the unions buy out companies with their pension plan investment schemes?).

          • hefner
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            Thanks a lot.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink


          The vast majority of regulatory burden is developed with large multinational business. Its designed to burden SME’s with red tape that they find difficult to deal with. Thats why their lobbying operation is so all pervasive

          They use transfer pricing to minimise their tax position and gain price advantage over smaller businesses

          In particular the CBI who only represent very large businesses support the EU in passing “clamp down ” regulations on the internet , bio technology, chemical, copyright law and now restrictions on 3D printing and a raft of other innovation killers . The CBI lobbied extensively to bring in the utterly stupid GDPR regulations as once again they can allocate resources to handle this that small business cannot . The CBI spent more than 900,000 Euros with 38 full time lobbyists , agitating for more regulation with the EU last year alone

          The fact that I export to Canada , Spain , Brazil and Japan has absolutely no baring on the discussion . I cant bypass these things I have to incorporate the costs which makes my products & services more expensive than they need to be. It means I have less money to invest in new research and development too

          • hefner
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian: Thanks for all the detailed comments. I can understand the frustration of UK companies only serving the UK market and having to follow regulations essentially made for exporting companies. What I still don’t understand is why (smaller) UK exporting companies appear so against such regulations as I doubt very much that US, Japanese or other non-EU customers having the choice would prefer products and/or services with “reduced”- to similar ones with “comprehensive”- quality checks,
            specially if these small UK exporting companies are able to provide products/services that bigger ones are not agile enough to provide.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            Simple, because these endless rules regulations directives and laws imposed by the EU create a disproportionate added cost onto a small business compared to a multi national.
            Long term effect of that is to drive out of the market the smaller marginal supplier.
            I found it easier and more profitable to sell to non EU export markets as a result.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


            There are two major issues

            The EU puts in place unnecessary bureaucracy etc that means that developing new products can be out of the financial and resource ability of most smaller companies, which results in a lack of new innovations.

            The second is that most non EU countries use regulatory alignment but its NOT about standards and quality or even health and safety its about blocking technology innovations , therefore small business struggle to bring their breakthrough product to market even , because we have to spend out limited resources dealing with the stifling bureaucracy

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        “The CBI are establishment lackeys”

        Aint that the truth.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      It is UK customers that have bought imported products in preference to home made products that is the problem.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        cheaper and better is difficult to argue with unless the pricing is biased – as in tariff cheating.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it was a damned good piece by Hutton, like his one on Boeing’s troubles – an analogy of which is incidentally unfolding here before our eyes, with building regulation being privatised.

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink


        “an analogy of which is incidentally unfolding here before our eyes, with building regulation being privatised.”

        Have to agree with you on that one……bad move indeed.

  23. Gareth Warren
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    There is one example of part socialism in the UK that has worked, here the local gas and electricity companies were brought up and the local council services were funded out of their profits. In addition the gas and electricity bills were reduced.

    This was according to a book by Enoch Powell who wrote a biography on Joseph Chamberlain. Someone who seemed like a more polite Trump of his time as he inherited a successful screw making business and made it wildly successful even being paid to stay out of the US market.

    The problem I see with socialism is management, if Richard Branson were put in charge of a state owned airline it would no doubt be a success. But I look at the socialists such as Corbyn and Abott and its clear they lack any industrial experience, therefore I must prefer privately owned companies.

  24. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    O/T I hear in the news that the EU will only agree a FTA if there is the assurance of a level playing field between the EU and the UK.
    Does that mean we need to reduce our NMW to Romanian levels?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted November 18, 2019 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      How many of us voted Leave so that the UK could stay the same as the EU? Few – if any. I hope that the Conservatives win a big enough majority to allow Boris to tell the EU what they can do with their idea. WTO is fine by me.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 18, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Does that mean the EU 27 have to offer the same level of Tax Credits, child tax credits, housing benefit levels?

  25. Derek Henry
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Again not true stop trying to rewrite history to suit your ideology.

    Or at the very least give some balance. John.

    James Callaghan told the British Labour Party Annual Conference on September 28, 1976 that governments can no longer spend their “way out of a recession” and that the Keynesian approach was an option that “no longer exists”. He even suggested that the Keynesian approach to stabilising economic cycles was never valid.

    Trump has just shown the myths above to be untrue.

    Meanwhile, his Chancellor, Denis Healey, by then convinced that Monetarist had validity, was working behind the scenes at the Conference to beat his colleagues in submission and accept the TINA approach to bringing in the IMF.

    They worked hard to construct the situation as a crisis of massive proportions although much of the ‘crisis’ was the result of their extreme reluctance to allow the pound to depreciate, to impose capital controls to stop the non-productive speculative outflows that were causing the currency to drop in value, and to accept that in the Post Bretton Woods era they no longer had to match their fiscal deficits with private debt issuance.

    But in doing so, the British government effectively created their own ‘funding’ crisis. Things came to a head in November 1976 within the Labour Cabinet, which was still deeply divided over the IMF issue. They were using a fixed exchange rate model on floating rates.

    Years later Healy even said he made a huge mistake and should never of went to the IMF. He did not quite understand the changes after Bretton Woods and what that meant for our sovereignty.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      As we all have seen TINA and Monetarism has been a complete failure.

  26. formula57
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A vote for Mr. Corbyn may only accelerate the speed of the journey to hell in a handcart and would prolong the grotesque farce made of delivering Brexit but at least we would travel part of the way with free broadband, dental checks, university tuition, NHS car parks and much more and get to meet lots of new, hopefully interesting and pleasant, neighbours from all over the world whilst being hugely entertained by Labour ministers panicking at failure. There would then also be the Day of Reckoning to prepare for with relish. Can your party beat all that?

  27. Dominic
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    ‘If Labour get in and extend voting in General
    Elections to everyone, irrespective of nationality, then that’s it, game over, we will, in effect, become a one party state.’…………..

    This is one of Labour’s primary goals. Boris, must expose Labour and their deceit on immigration and their plan for open borders and extension of voting to all and sundry.

    Labour are not compassionate nor humanitarian. Their goal is the abuse of people for political and electoral gain. They need to be exposed for what they are. It is your job to do this

    Think of it this way

    More trees versus a one party state?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      “No Taxation Without Representation.”

      It was a rallying call of the American Revolution, quite rightly.

      It’s a pity that it has not been heeded here.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink


        Are you suggesting that the 23 million adults who pay no income tax shouldn’t get to vote? Good idea

        I pay a huge amount of tax on my business based in a city with 3 universities . I dont live there so I dont get a vote , yet all the students there who dont pay tax get two votes …. very democratic

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        No representation unless you pay over say 15K PA of (net) in taxes might be a best way to go!

  28. ukretired123
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Comrades Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and Thornberry have shown themselves to be a bunch of confused comedians deluded by power and over exposed on TV, BBC and the gullible media.
    Whilst Ukraine voted in their President for one they think they may get lucky too!
    Disaster awaits if this happens.
    Whilst Nationalising Allotments may be a possibility for them their half baked ideas are not.
    Best stick to the cabbages and carrots comrades.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink


      “Whilst Nationalising Allotments may be a possibility for them”

      Seriously ? first I’ve heard of it.

      It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. I can just see the left wanting to stop people saving a few quid.

  29. nhsgp
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    So why are you running a socialist pension system that is 10,000 bn pounds in debt?
    Why are you ignoring the 220 bn a year you take from people against their consent to fund the socialist debts?
    You are responsible for the debts.

    • graham1946
      Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Why do GP’s, self employed qualify for NHS pensions?

  30. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think you can talk about competition in any of the priviatised industries.

    My fibre still comes from one supplier – the competition is regulated not true.

    I only have one choice of water supplier and train lines are franchised to one provider.

    Gas and electricity display some competition in that I can shop around for retail prices but the wholesale market is stitched up and government insists on maximum charging which means that those of us who shop around can not get the deals we used to. Indeed we can’t negotiate our own deals like we can with mobile telecoms.

    This is all an improvement on how Labour would run it but there is not true competition.

  31. mancunius
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    BT and its complacently lethargic infrastructure monopoly Openreach (ironically so named, as it is neither open nor accountable, nor does it provide reach) are a perfect example of successive Conservative governments apparently unable to understand that privatising BT has simply ostensibly taken the company out of nationalisation, but has never taken nationalisation out of the company, which is really just a giant pension scheme with a zombie company attached. Its underperformance is reflected in the share price – now back down to where it was in 2011.
    When are politicians going to stop talking about breaking it up, and simply Break it Up!

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, this morning Dominic Raab told Andrew Marr that our immigration policy should concentrate on admitting “the best and the brightest” and we should avoid “over-reliance on cheap labour from abroad”, but earlier Carolyn Fairburn of the CBI had told Sophy Ridge that we should not just allow in “the brightest and best” because we also needed “builders, carpenters and labourers”. She also wants a lot more “investment”, that is to say that she wants a lot more taxpayers’ money to be given to private companies to improve “our creaking infrastructure”, but without bothering to mention that to a large extent it is “creaking” under the weight of population increase, of which about 80% can be traced to the mass immigration that the CBI has always wanted. This woman is a menace; she has already induced Theresa May to use the largely fabricated problems of the Irish land border as a pretext to keep the UK under the economic thumb of the EU forever, and if she is allowed to get away with it then she will ensure that the government continues with a policy of unlimited and uncontrolled mass immigration into the country whatever its citizens may think about that.

  33. ChrisS
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Shades of the Linwood car plant in Scotland, yet another Labour project built in 1973 to appease the unions and wound up less than 20 years later. It was condemned at the time as being impossible to maintain, being so far from other centres of manufacturing and the UK and European market.

    It failed miserably and cost millions to set up and wind up. That is the inevitable fate of nationalisation.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


      Wasn’t that where they made the Hillman Imp ? Blimey that takes me back a bit.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted November 19, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      The Humber Bridge also. A bridge to no where.

  34. steve
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink



    Whilst I have no real gripe with some posts disappearing, and respect that this is your site and therefore also respect your judgement, I do find myself wondering why your moderation criteria encompasses the deletion of facts, such as what the EU’s ultimate mission is, and where those of the EU’s power house originate from, and what their political doctrine would have been before the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

    I raise these issues because I believe people have a right to know what kind of ideological DNA is at the EU’s helm, and where they might be taking us all.

    I’m surprised that mention of our military being handed over to EU control and what we could potentially be exposing ourselves to by doing so, gets censured.

    If it walks like a duck, etc….. and the facts speak for themselves. I’m just a little curious as to why you censure the way you do with this kind of example.


    Reply I have explained the position under the Treaties on military matters.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for taking the time to reply.

  35. APL
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    JR: “Mr Corbyn’s wish to go back to the past would set us back badly. ”

    Mr Corbyn is an extreme far left Socialist.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page