Here’s an interesting debate thrown up by the controversy over pay rises for HMRC and the NHS:
You’ll be aware that the discussion is about the perceived unfairness of HMRC employees receiving a 13 per cent pay increase while NHS workers get just one per cent.
Over in the comment column of the Vox Political Facebook page, a reader suggested, “Surely at a time of wage reduction, more jobless, food banks, child poverty, a pandemic and low inflation we should not be talking about wage rises. There will we hope be a time and place for that in the future.”
I replied: “When we have a good socialist government in Westminster? I’m glad you agree that it won’t happen until then.” He hadn’t made any such suggestion but I was trying to prompt debate.
He then responded with a link to an Independent article from 2017 in which columnist Ben Chu suggested that it is wrong to attach labels like “capitalist” or “socialist” to our political parties because their policies today cannot possibly correspond to what those words originally meant. “That is if we understand what socialism really is,” he stated.
Let’s see if you agree with my response:
This article from 2017 is an incredible piece of work. About the only part with which I could agree was the claim that it is wrong to say a Tory government is entirely capitalist or a Labour government entirely socialist.
The Tories are capitalists, though (or more accurately, neoliberals). And Jeremy Corbyn was a socialist, although many of his MPs weren’t.
The government is a mixture of the two because change doesn’t happen overnight. Labour governments of a socialist persuasion have implemented socialist policies and Conservative governments since 1970 have done their best to dismantle them while remaining on the good side of public opinion.
That’s why we have the social democracy that we have; the policies implemented by previous governments that are not repealed by their successors remain in effect, no matter whether those successor administrations approve of them or not.
The amount of socialism exhibited by any government may be gauged by the amount of benefit to the people. So, for example, Norway provides a huge amount of benefit to its people and may be considered to be at the better end of the scale. The United States provides much less and may be considered to be at the worser end. The UK would be closer to the United States.
We won’t see an end to wage reduction, more jobless, food banks, and child poverty while we have a Conservative government because those are all results of capitalist (in reality, neoliberal) Conservative policies. They can only come to an end when a socialist government ends them.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: