Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by hash tag, Jun 24, 2016.
According to Oborne the video doesn't indicate this, what a fake news writer.
Read that earlier today - he really lays into it as an actively unethical piece of trash and this is _Oborne_ we’re taking about here, not what you’d call a Corbynite. Have a feeling this book might not go very far.
And that's relevant how?
Oborne on Corbyn seems more complicated than you might think - doesn't support his political outlook but often seems favourable towards both the man and what he represents.
I haven't read it but this is meant to be good
Not the Chilcot Report by Peter Oborne
Definitely agree with the premise
What he represents certainly - Corbyn (or a return to mass public involvement in politics) and Trump (or demagoguery) represent the two outcomes that Oborne thought would happen when the political class started to lose power (in his book The Triumph of the Political Class, which reads as being even more spot on now than it was at the time).
I read the article. That you think Jeremy made ‘the best political points he’s made in while’ makes my point.
Collapsing into communicating with the base
That Peter Oborne evisceration of the cheap trash (that Tom Bower "wrote"), includes a positive reference, near the end, to Stephen Bush's similar take-apart of this book
Highly informative stuff in both articles, IMO
The PWSC was set up to fight poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. We’d choose different terms but I’d say those conditions are the main problems we face now. The world conditions are very different, but there again in 1945 the country was pretty well destroyed and had huge debts. I don’t think many people would have expected 30 years of general improvements for people from both Labour and Tory governments while also repaying the debts.
Possibly, although I think Corbyn’s said he’d tackle each of the things the PWSC brought: fairer social security and unemployment benefits, increase funding for NHS, bring back free education, increase council house building and aim for full employment through nationalization again. It took 30 years of the PWSC to achieve what it did and we’ve had 30 years of neoliberalism since then. So it’s not going to be solved in a single term.
Austerity is being forced on councils by budget cuts from the tory government. Increase the council budgets and there wouldn’t be the same destructive urge to force austerity on us. I'm not sure I understand the practical benefits of setting an illegal budget. If a council did set an one, wouldn’t the Secretary of State just override them and set a tory budget anyway?
Not sure - what would the BoE do if Labour did increase spending on infrastructure as per PWSC?
Yes I’d like Corbyn to be a lot more socialist, but what he’s suggesting (rent controls, full employment, improved funding for NHS, more council housing and the like) would alleviate a lot of the suffering people now experience.
One thing I find difficult on urban is that the revolutionary socialists tend to portray themselves as hard-headed, practical people while democratic socialists are woolly headed liberals. I'd imagine that I'd largely agree with the sort of society you'd like to see. The question is how we go about it.
You might not think Corbyn’s offering much, but what’s your alternative? Labour can at least give a fair planning of how they’ll implement their ideas, with say a 20% chance of getting voted in. In practical terms, over the next ten years say, how and when will revolutionary socialists/anarchists offer anything better, with what realistic percentage for success?
What was the material basis for this post-war social contract? (And you know it wasn't a real contract right, just some top-down short hand).
A growth rate across all capitalist countries for 25 years far far in advance of what has been the norm since the mid-late 70s - what was a years normal growth then would be seen as a total shock outlier today. A growth based largely in productive investment and tight national capital controls and wider state-directed financial management and planning. Place this also wider context of massive post-war reconstruction and a planned development and modernisation of capitalist relations in previously non or largely pre-capitalist countries. There was space for capital to move into and take labour-power with it in this period.
This situation started dying/was killed in the early 70s through a combination of internal things (workers demanding more in direct wages and the social wage, what the bosses called profit squeeze and competition from the newly capitalised/modernised and now more efficient and productive economies mentioned above) and external things (oil shock). The previous growth rates were now simply no longer possible (and have not been since - for a longer period now than those post-war years) and capital moved from productive investment into financial speculation chased out both by workers and searching for those high profits they now came to rely on. The removal of nearly all barriers to capital mobility followed - and we are where we are now as a result.
Those 25 years now look like the aberration not the norm - in fact, there has never in the history of capitalism been anything like it. To say make capitalism great again we would need to rewind the film of history back quite a bit if we were to get those conditions put back in place. A bloody long way actually, at least to 1871. The capitalism that produced that period is gone, the conditions that allowed (or better, pushed/forced) capital to have to put that on the table have gone - light capital controls or a few more hospital beds are not going to bring back competition between strong european states and rising new ones, nor two global conflicts.
Say we could do capitalism better than we currently do, that we could change emphasis or direct money elsewhere by all means, plaster it on the posters etc but to tie it into this stuff about the post-war social contract is to take a mirage for reality and to demand both that others do so too and that if they don't then they are the mirage. New labour-power = new capitalism, and it's new capitalism we need to be looking to analyse/attack/confront.
There's nothing wrong with idleness, more idleness in the world would be no bad thing.
You think a mainstream political leader saying that climate change is a class issue isn't one of the best things any mainstream political leader has said in a while?
He's not saying Brexit isn't important, he's saying things like poverty and climate change are more important. Let's not forget if it wasn't for austerity and poverty it's very unlikely the referendum result would have been to leave.
Corbyn isn't playing to his base (do you honestly think I'm his base by the way?) he's talking about issues that matter to the vast majority of people and climate change is significant given the school strikes here and in many other countries that are taking place. It's very possible there will be a GE soon - Corbyn can't win that GE by talking about Brexit, he has to engage with issues like poverty, the NHS, austerity, jobs - the bread and butter stuff that is for most people still more important than Brexit.
If anyone was playing to their base it was the Guardian. Oh look Corbyn is talking about issues that are important to people HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE BREXIT DISASTER.
No offence but that doesn't remotely answer the question I asked. There has been "poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness" for decades, both prior to and after the PWSC so clearly the presence of these cannot be the determining factor in the setting up (by who BTW?) of the PWSC? I'd ask what you think the material conditions that led to the PWSC were but butchers has pretty much already supplied the answer.
We currently have "full employment. And the 2017 Labour Party manifesto did not argue for nationalisation but for "state involvement". You cannot see the conflict that would arise between an independent BoE and a Labour government intent on re-introducing some of the basis for the PWSC? How do you think the BoE would react to the nationalisation (without payment) of industries, to the legalisation of secondary picketing or closed shops?
If we accept for the moment, as your post implicitly suggests, the distinction between austerity and the wider pre-2008 neo-liberalism, austerity was not started by the Tory party (or LDs). Austerity originated with the Labour Party, and it was Labour Party policy till 2015. Labour councils are currently implementing cuts and attacking workers. What are striking workers in Birmingham currently being attached by a Labour council to do? All you seem to have is vote Labour in a GE (the same position you had two years ago). I find it genuinely amazing that someone who counts themselves part of the labour movement is so unaware of the past triumphs of the movement. You can't see any lessons from Poplar?
Which exemplifies the points Wilf (and others) have been making on this thread for a number of years that Corbyn and co, for all their differences with New Labour, have not (cannot) broken outside the party. So you end up arguing for the same position that Kinnock took.
This is as weak as your comments on the PWSC. I don't have to offer an alternative to point out that your argument for a return to the PWSC, rests on a significant misunderstanding of such.
Ultimately for all claims about the change Corbyn has made in the LP, when it gets down to brass tacks the argument made for the LP is the same made since it's start - at least we're not the Tories.
broadly speaking, yes - central government can impose its own commissioners to run a council that is financially fucked (as they have done at tory northamptonshire county council - bbc story here)
labour councils / councillors have in the past stood up to tory government austerity - some councillors in poplar ended up in the clink in 1921, clay cross district council refused to implement tory rent rises in 1972 and then of course there was the whole rate-capping thing in the 80s.
the argument from party HQ has usually been against this - it would give the tories and their friends in the press ammunition to run stories about 'irresponsible' labour councils 'spending money they don't have', and ultimately it probably ends up with the councils being picked off one at a time, councillors being disqualified from office (and used to end up with them being personally 'surcharged' and often ending up bankrupt - this isn't law any more) and the cuts being made anyway.
if of course national party policy was to say 'sod off, we're not doing the tory government's dirty work for them' and all councils / councillors stood together, then the outcome might be a bit more interesting (although what's more likely is that a lot of the career minded blairite types that infest a lot of 'labour' councils would leave the party and sit as independent / limp dem / tinge group / tory councillors)
You don't actually have to do anything illegal to start with. You could just use the reserves.
My Labour council in Sheffield increases reserves year on year at the same time as closing services like libraries, childrens centres and adult social care. It has something like £200 million in reserves, which is more than most - but if you combine all Labour councils they have reserves that are larger than the GDP of at least ten EU countries.
If Labour councils were to make clear to people that they would use reserves to protect services, and then launch a campaign to get more money off the Tories, they'd get a pretty good reaction I think. And McDonnell could then pledge that an incoming Labour govt would restore their funding and replenish their reserves.
Even if the council did break the law though and run an illegal budget - what are the Tories gonna do? In a city like mine there are no Tory councillors or MP's. Is this govt honestly strong enough to come to Sheffield and take over the running of the city? It would be a political nightmare for them.
In Northamptonshire the county council went bust, despite carrying out cuts, and the Tories sent commissioners in.
Ta, will need to go off and study that.
They went bust because of the cuts, did they not? Cut the rates to please Tory voters and then couldn't increase them rapidly enough again because there's a national cap on annual tax rises.
In a sense yes, but what I meant was that you can carry out all the cuts you like, councils still have legal obligations to provide some services so they will go bust eventually and commissioners will be sent in - so cutting services won't stop commissioners in the end.
Although what we're seeing now is outsourced services operated on a cost-cutting brief also failing. Senior bosses of these parasites shrugging their shoulders, throwing in the towel and walking away from contracts taken off councils.
Yep and meaning after the strip mining of any assets by these parasite, councils end up running a hollowed service doing the bare minimum
read the piece - have literally no idea what you mean here ?
Sadly this even includes some revenue generating services like recycling which if they were in house would put money back into council budgets.
Firstly, the speech was preaching to the converted. Those opposed to austerity and climate change are unlikely to be Tory. So it won't echo anywhere outside of the base. Secondly, the idea that the political and economic structures that an elected government have to work in - to attempt to tackle poverty and green issues - are some sort of diversion and can be effectively decoupled from the issues is both stupid and disingenuous.
Reeling off a list of things that are bad makes some on the left feel better/righteous but that's all it achieves.
in a speech to scottish labour? well i never
I thought the point was to dissuade the currently converted from thinking that Brexit is a reason to go Remainey or Brexity to the extent that brings them into conflict with the Great Leap Corbward.
And to be fair that’s completely appropriate.
I think this would be a good moment for a recap.
So far Mr Corbyn has seen off David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg. As this article reports, he will soon be seeing Vince Cable off too.
That just leaves Theresa May for the full set. Mirror Politics on Twitter
Of course, and VP pointed out a while ago the name in the UK was generally ‘compact’. ‘Contract’ seems a fair short hand for what it turned out to be for 30 years, though.
I’m not sure you can describe the welfare state, NHS, free education, millions of council houses, public ownership of utilities, thirty years of low rents and full employment, and repayment of huge national debt as a ‘mirage’. Last time I brought up the PWSC on urban as a major achievement I was quite curtly instructed (by you as I recall ) that it was forced on capital by the working class.
Where did you get the figures for growth? I can’t see it in the graph of GDP in Gross Domestic Product: chained volume measures: Seasonally adjusted £m - Office for National Statistics or in this:
Similarly, productivity increased as almost a straight line until 2008, it’s just that since 1985 it’s all gone to the rich and not fed through to increase median wages.
As I understand it, the mini “Barber boom” after Anthony Barber’s 1972 budget fuelled inflation because it wasn’t linked to anything of actual value, and inflation peaked at 25% in 1975 which was why we had the increased wage demands. As you say the oil shocks fed in too, and high energy prices are why the next round of infrastructure investment should include renewables to make us less reliant on fossil fuel imports.
Those high growth rates have to be to some extent a result of the extended programme of full employment and investment in infrastructure and things with actual value to people. What we really need is a control experiment to test it, shame it doesn’t look like we’re going to get one.
As you say, conditions for capital were good in the 1800s, but they weren’t that good at the start of the PWSC, either. We weren’t the workshop of the world any more. The US had overtaken Britain as the largest economy in the 1890s and the Empire was on its way out. WW1 had ended Britain’s world dominance, and we’d had the depression of the 1920s. Britain’s world trade had dropped by half in the 1930s, and exports dropped again after WW2. Hardly promising conditions for a 30-year stable economy.
Why 1871 by the way? Capitalism all the way up to WW2 was boom and bust with a nice big pool of unemployed workers to keep wages low and with little or no social security safety net. Yes in the 1800s there had been large investments in shipbuilding, water/sewage/telephone utilities, all of which helped with exports where we had an empire to export to. But that’s a good reason for investing in utilities and improving the infrastructure again. We need a reconstruction after 30 years of neoliberalism pretty much like we needed a post-war reconstruction. Productive investment and greater state-directed financial management and planning is exactly what I’d like to see.
How am I forcing anyone to do anything? I’m just expressing my opinion. And where have I said I want to make capitalism great again? I’m looking to alleviate some of the harm it brings to peoples’ lives. I keep hearing that there’s no money around. There’s shitloads of money around, it’s just funneled to the top. And yes we need tight national capital controls – I read somewhere that bearer bonds were the major cause of capital flight and tax evasion. So yes we need to address capital mobility and the huge distortions that have come from criminals buying into the UK property market, LLPs and the like. And we need rent controls which Corbyn has also promised (I’ve seen wide public support for pretty well halving rents).
A £500 billion infrastructure investment is going to give more than just a few hospital beds. What else should a government do other than alleviate poverty, invest in the country and workforce, and improve healthcare and travel and essential utility infrastructure? It’s better than pissing all the money up the wall in tax breaks for the rich and greedy as the government does at the moment.
The PWSC isn't the mirage, the mirage is believing that the PWSC can be repeated now when the conditions that brought about the PWSC no longer exist.
EDIT: Or to be more accurate to the mirage is to connect the sort of social democracy you are arguing for to a renewed PWSC.
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