Tag Archives: neoliberalism

Theresa May touts phony, crony capitalism. She wouldn’t know a free market if she was put up for sale on it

Reforming the unacceptable face of capitalism: Theresa May and Philip Green by Dave Brown. She said she would reform capitalism after the BHS scandal [Image: @Cartoon4sale on Twitter].


Theresa May’s attempt to lecture us all on the joys of capitalism is another howler in a series of blunders that should only end in her ejection from politics and the (self-)destruction of the political party she has been running into the ground for the last 14 months.

This Writer hastens to add that this is not because she advocates free-market capitalism as the “greatest agent of collective human progress ever created”. I don’t agree with that sentiment but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with capitalism in itself; pack that system full of good worker-owned co-operatives and I’ll be delighted.

The problem is that Tories preach free-market capitalism while actually practising something very different – neoliberalism: a sort of protectionist socialism-for-the-very-rich.

Neoliberalism demands that the benefits of scientific and cultural progress should only be enjoyed by those who can afford to pay for them using their own money.

That is why, internationally, eight people own as much wealth as half the population of the world. It is why, here in the UK, the richest 1,000 families have nearly tripled their wealth since the financial crisis (“all in it together”? I should bleedin’ cocoa) while half the country has to make do with just 8.7 per cent of the wealth.

It is why, under the neoliberal governments of Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and now May, national industries and utilities have been privatised – to take their profits away from the UK’s government and into private hands (and never mind the fact that some of those “private” hands happen to belong to foreign governments). The intention was to deprive the state of valuable funds, preventing it from investing in projects that would benefit the populace at large.

It is why social housing has been sold off and cruel penalties – like the Bedroom Tax – have been imposed on those living in the housing stock that remains. The aim is to drive the poorest into the gutter, opening up the properties for resale and redevelopment as “gentrified” – read “expensive” – estates.

It is why wages have been pushed down – to increase profits for rich company owners and shareholders who squirrel them away in offshore bank accounts where they do not have to pay tax to the UK government – and trade unions’ ability to oppose this cruelty has been rendered illegal by draconian legislation.

It is why regulations that protect citizens’ rights have been removed, to make it easier for privateers to provide substandard products or skip safety procedures altogether, thereby maximising their profits.

It is why people with long-term illness and/or disabilities, considered to be “useless eaters” in exactly the same way as in Nazi Germany, are persecuted to their deaths by a perverted “benefit” system that in fact strives to remove any help available.

Ultimately, it is the reason the UK has been pushed deeply into debt (sources of funding for the government having been either sold off, scrapped or squirrelled into tax havens) – to turn the country into a so-called “zombie economy” in which the vast majority of the people labour for a pittance, their tax money used not to provide public services but to partially pay off the interest on the national debt. Only partially, mind – the intention is for the debt never to be repaid.

That is what Theresa May calls the “greatest agent of collective human progress ever created”. That is the central aim of all Tory economic policy – not an improvement in living standards, not protected jobs, but the exact opposite.

Of course she has been ridiculed:

In fact, the greatest agent of human progress every created was socialism, as enacted by Clement Attlee in his 1945-51 government and maintained in the post-war consensus years from 1945-79. Those were years of unprecedented prosperity that happened in spite of Conservatism and neoliberalism.

Tories and neoliberals hated those years. You can prove Mrs May a liar simply by pointing out that her neoliberalism was not responsible for the most sustained increase in living standards of everyone in the UK – living standards here were at their highest in 1977, under a Labour government in the post-war consensus years.

By then, the neoliberals were well on their way to power. The oil shock, engineered by the very rich, had prepared the way by creating social unrest due to inflation-stoked price rises – for which the Labour government was blamed. Margaret Thatcher had told the Parliamentary Conservative party that they now believed in Hayek-style neoliberalism and was plotting the destruction of the UK’s industrial base, in order to deprive working people of the security they had built up over the previous 30 years. Tory think tanks were filling the pages of newspapers and the time on TV political shows with pro-neoliberal dogma in order to sway public opinion.

Thatcher, and the other prime ministers since her, were all elected on a promise that living standards would improve. Instead, they have worsened.

Theresa May’s lying speech is an opportunity for us all to put an end to this insanity. Let’s denounce her version of capitalism for what it is – socialism for the very rich – and put both it and her on the scrap heap of historic failures.

Theresa May defended the free markets after Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism of capitalism by saying … that it is the “greatest agent of collective human progress ever created.”

Speaking on Thursday, May told the Bank of England’s 20th anniversary of independence conference that capitalism “is unquestionably the best, and indeed the only sustainable, means of increasing the living standards of everyone in a country. And we should never forget that raising the living standards, and protecting the jobs of ordinary working people is the central aim of all economic policy.”

The prime minister said it was free-market economics that “led societies out of darkness and stagnation and into the light of the modern age.”

Source: Theresa May defends free market capitalism after Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism


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:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

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:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

President Trump is indeed a wake-up call, but not for the reasons you might think

American poverty: Hillary Clinton would have done nothing for these people. But will Donald Trump be any better for them?

American poverty: Hillary Clinton would have done nothing for these people. But will Donald Trump be any better for them?

The claim that there is no left/right divide in politics anymore, and it has been replaced by neoliberalism and neoconservatism is the sort of thing that many might dismiss as conspiracy theory nonsense.

But it is close enough to accurate in the USA, where they have only ever really had a right/right divide in any case, and was accurate in the UK when the Labour Party was run by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. Why else would Margaret Thatcher have said her greatest achievement was New Labour?

Jeremy Corbyn has drawn a line under that and is pushing back towards “traditional” Labour Party values – and the mass media reaction in the UK tends to confirm the claims in this article, that they will support gross lies in order to maintain a status quo that lowers living standards for the poor domestically and starts wars abroad.

From the evidence, Donald Trump is a raging racist, sexist, xenophobe, liar, cheat, and narcissist – but I also agree that most of his supporters want “real social justice” as defined here, although they’ll be out of luck when it comes to healthcare.

I also agree that “any woman [or indeed anyone] who finds herself having to work three jobs and [is] still unable to adequately feed her children or to have enough ‘disposable income’ to feel she has a decent standard of living, will have little problem overlooking sexist remarks or racist hyperbole by a potential president if he promises to address the serious issues that concern her and do away with the kleptocratic policies pursued by Obama (and by Clinton, and by the Bush administration).”

The article goes on to say, “most of this underclass in the US are unlikely to be savvy political analysts with a deep understanding of the nature of the rapacious neoliberal/neoconservative agenda. But what they do understand is that if their living standards have continued to fall under one government, then that government is responsible, and a change is in order.”

That is something we are told the electorate here in the UK has yet to grasp.

But we are told it via opinion polls that do not reflect what is actually happening at polling stations, where Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has been making very strong headway with double-figure increases in the percentage of people voting for the party. Here’s a typical example:

The conclusion – that fascism isn’t on the American agenda because of Trump but “has been your bread-and-butter for decades” – is eerily similar to my own, in an article late yesterday.

The difference is that, while Jeremy Corbyn has a proven Parliamentary record against which we can judge his choices, Mr Trump does not. I think this is why we have seen some abominable behaviour in the United States since his victory.

We will know him by his actions. He has a lot to disprove.

The fact that Donald Trump was elected President of the USA is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is the conditions that allowed for him to be elected President of the USA.

So what drove Americans to vote for either Trump or Hillary in this week’s US presidential election? Ask the mainstream media, or any Hillary supporter, and they’ll probably tell you it was issues like liberal values and social justice. They’ll also tell you that Trump supporters were motivated primarily by racism, sexism, and hatred. In reality, Trump voters were just as concerned about social injustice. In fact, this is the issue behind most popular votes around the world these days. And ironically, Trump voters were arguably more concerned about social justice than the liberals who voted Hillary because the social justice that drove millions to vote for Trump is very different to the ‘social justice’ that concerned Hillary supporters.

Here we need to note the clear distinction between the working-class ‘rednecks’ in the USA, and some of those in a more upwardly mobile financial position. Most people who voted for Trump were the ‘rednecks’ and they did so because they are feeling the negative effects of 8 years of the Obama government’s ‘liberal’ economic and foreign policies that have continued unchanged since the ‘conservative’ Bush years (you might wonder why that is and how it works – hint: the president isn’t the ‘decider’, by a long shot). Those policies coincided with the 2008 ‘crash’ and the bank ‘bailouts’ that saw millions of American homes repossessed and many traditional manufacturing job losses, both of which disproportionately affected the poor.

It was precisely this marginalization of the most vulnerable in society that was behind the Brexit vote in the UK earlier this year. Both the British people’s vote to leave the EU and American people’s vote for Trump were not primarily votes for racism or xenophobia but votes against the neoliberal status quo under which the poor saw their living standards drop further and everyone saw war and death abroad increase.

To underline the bipartisan nature of these protest votes; in the US it was the nominally ‘left’ government candidate that was rejected while in the UK the protest vote occurred under the nominally ‘right’ Conservative government. The point being; the supposed ‘left’/’right’ political paradigm in Western democracies no longer exists. It has been replaced by a combination of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, two fancy words that describe ideologies that together form the ‘elite’ project for transnational globalization and domination of the world’s resources by corporations and their political friends through the ‘projection’ of US military power around the world.

So while the mainstream media, largely supportive of Hillary as the establishment candidate, spent the last 12 months spreading the line that Trump supporters are ‘deplorables’ and that Trump himself is a raging racist, sexist, xenophobe, liar, cheat, and narcissist, this was a gross lie that hid the truth that most Trump supporters were motivated by a desperate desire for better jobs, better wages, better health care (or any health care), etc. In other words, real social justice.

Source: President Trump Is A Wake Up Call, But Not For The Reasons You Think — Puppet Masters — Sott.net

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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!

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:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

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:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

No, Iain, benefits ARE behind the rise of food banks – and Germany proves it

CPAGFoodbankslarge

Iain Duncan Smith’s feet must be riddled with self-inflicted bullet holes – if only metaphorically.

Today (December 14) he went on the record saying that it was wrong for a cross-party group of MPs to suggest that the rise of food banks was purely to do with benefit-related problems.

Germany had more generous benefits and higher pay – yet more people there used food banks, he said in an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

He said 1.5 million people a week used food banks in Germany, whereas the Trussell Trust – the UK’s largest food bank provider, has said it fed 913,138 people during the 2013-14 financial year.

“It is tiny in proportion here compared to a place like Germany which has more generous benefits and in which you have a higher level of pay,” said the man this blog describes as RTU (Returned To Unit) or SNLR (Services No Longer Required).

“So just saying it is to do with benefits is quite wrong. What I do say is there are lots of other reasons lots of people go to food banks.”

Oh really?

It seems Iain has been misreading a blog by the London School of Economics, from 2013 – a year and a half ago.

In it, author Stefan Selke does say Germany feeds 1.5 million people via food banks, but does not stipulate whether this is weekly or annually – so the Work and Pensions secretary is already off-message. Was he intentionally misleading viewers? Hard to tell with a man as stupid as him.

Now look at this paragraph from the LSE blog article: “The main growth of foodbanks in Germany began 2005, when Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s government introduced the ‘Agenda 2010’ of tax cuts, and cuts to pension and unemployment benefits. Around the same time, a new form of unemployment insurance (‘Hartz IV’) was introduced, reducing previous benefit levels and the duration for which they can be received.”

Aren’t these exactly the same reasons people use food banks in the UK – problems caused by benefits?

In both countries, the conditions under which benefits are provided have become stricter; the amounts available have decreased; and new forms of benefit payment have been (or are in the process of being) introduced that reduce entitlement still further. In both countries, taxes have been cut, most probably justifying further cuts to public services (clearly Germany has also been Starving the Beast – a policy with which long-term VP readers should be intimately familiar). Would anybody be surprised to learn that Germany has embraced neoliberalism?

The only difference is that Germany started this process five years earlier.

Unsurprisingly, nobody at BBC News seems to have bothered to do their research on this (it took Yr Obdt Srvt less than five minutes with a search engine) so – yet again – the mass media have let the British people down by failing to do their job properly.

A worse problem is that Iain Duncan Smith has never done his job properly – and clearly wouldn’t know how to.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
debunking Tory spin with hard facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Farage is cowardly – but aren’t ALL our party leaders? – Observer

David Cameron - the new Hitler? According to Nick Cohen, he hasn't got the b- ... that is to say, he's too much of a coward.

David Cameron – the new Hitler? According to Nick Cohen, he hasn’t got the b- … that is to say, he’s too much of a coward.

At Rochester, the main party leaders showed they are too frightened to take on Ukip’s rabble-rouser in chief, writes Nick Cohen in The Observer.

He continues: You cannot describe UKIP as a far-right party without running into trouble. Really? Vox Political does it all the time. UKIP is a far-right party, in UK terms. Respectable commentators tell you that, while individual members may be neo-fascists and that while UKIP had indeed allied with far-right parties in Europe, it does not come from fascist tradition. And I just about accept that. Why? It’s full of fascists and allied with them. “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…” it’s clearly a UKIP fascist.

Hardly any commentator, respectable or otherwise, notices that Nigel Farage has created his own stab-in-the-back myth. The treacherous “Westminster elite” so despised the decent people of Britain that it flooded the land with foreigners who “took our country from us”. They also claim the treacherous social media so despise UKIP that we’ll make up anything so they’ll look bad – even if it’s factually accurate! This is the manure in which far-right movements have always grown.

But, once again, if anyone objects, I accept that Farage is not a führer or duce. Rather than arguing about labels, let us agree to allow the facts to speak for themselves. Farage is a rabble-rouser and a coward. He plays with racism the way Ian Paisley used to play with sectarianism: whips it up, then backs off just before he can be accused of inciting violence. Ah. So what Nick’s saying is that, while UKIP is a far-right organisation, its leader isn’t strong enough to be “a führer or duce”. Let’s see the evidence:

He does not attend the meetings of the European parliament to defend British interests but pockets the money of the “hardworking taxpayers” he affects to represent and skips away. Party of the people, anyone? He claims to be a patriot while defending Britain’s enemies in the Kremlin. A fan of despotism, then. He claims to be the friend of the working man, while slapping down his economics spokesman for proposing tax rises that would hurt his backers in the City. Are we sure he’s not at the far-right of the political spectrum?

As for the men and women he leads, UKIP candidates and donors have suggested they want to drive Lenny Henry out of Britain because he is black, bar women from the boardroom and stop gays from having sex because, as everyone knows, God punishes the sin of Sodom by flooding the Thames Valley.

If you cannot call UKIP a far-right party, you can at least say that it is an alliance of the septic that’s septic, not sceptic and the geriatric: a movement of the empty-headed led by the foul-minded.

So what about the Tories and Labour? It tells you everything about the absence of principle in the mainstream parties that they don’t even try to beat Farage. Political commentators could not have been more foolish when they believed David Cameron’s promise to “throw everything” he had at stopping UKIP winning in Rochester. And did you all see Michael Gove backtracking like his life depended on it, on Friday’s Newsnight?

Cameron may have thrown money and marketing strategies, but he did not throw punches. The Conservative attack on UKIP’s ideas never came. That’s worth repeating: The Conservative attack on UKIP’s ideas never came. Perhaps he agrees with them? Cameron, who once presented himself as a moderate, instead conceded acres of ground to the extremists, no more so than on the immigration question… He has abandoned the centre and veered to the right… The new Cameron wants to show UKIP voters that he is just as right-wing as Farage.

“Just as right-wing as Farage – so it’s admitted that the Conservatives are moving towards Fascism, too. And how humiliating for Cameron that he has allowed UKIP to do to the Tories what the Tories did to Labour in the 1990s.

Alex Massie of the Spectator brilliantly summarised Cameron’s strategy of never allowing Farage to outflank him on the right by saying that it came down to the slogan: “UKIP are right: don’t vote for them!” Except, of course, UKIP are wrong. Cameron is a neoliberal Conservative and therefore wrong by definition, therefore his opinions about the other parties are also wrong.

The funeral of Cameron’s gutless strategy came when a desperate prime minister appealed to the centrists among Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat supporters in Rochester to vote tactically to stop the extremist UKIP candidate winning. Reasonable people could not see the difference between the extremist Cameron and extremist Farage and ignored him.

Cameron’s capitulation carries a warning. He won’t fight UKIP not only because he is frightened of Farage but because he is a prisoner of his party’s right. If he wins the next election, we now know that he will keep capitulating because he is a leader without honour or inner strength, whose own cynicism defeats him. Vox Political made this point on Facebook the other day – a commenter said a strong government needs a strong opposition and VP had to point out that we don’t have a strong government. If it was strong, then we really would have full employment, with everybody working full-time for a living wage (if not more), and both the deficit and debt would be falling. Instead we have a gang of corporate puppets who have hollowed out the British political system to make it a mechanism allowing those same corporations to profit from the taxpayer and pay the Tories for the privilege.

Not that Ed Miliband is any better. Cameron has tried and failed to pull the political insiders’ “triangulation” trick, practised by Bill Clinton: get close to your opponent (Ukip in this case), steal his votes and victory is yours. Miliband has tried to follow the “core vote” trick of George W Bush and Barack Obama: get out Labour’s “core” – about 30% of the electorate – throw in old Lib Dems, who cannot forgive the Tory alliance, that’s another 5%, and, eureka!, our strange electoral system will deliver victory. Like a child building a house out of Lego bricks, Miliband thought he could pick up the handfuls of voters he needed for victory and forget about the rest. This seems likely – but is it? Isn’t it more accurate to say that Labour is practising ‘the art of the possible’? Under unrelenting pressure from the Tory media, Miliband has had to come up with costed policies that would show it was not planning to increase borrowing and make our debts worse. Notice that the Tories are under no such constraints and can promise unfunded tax cuts to their hearts’ content. UKIP has come under no such scrutiny; its tax policies are the same as those of the Conservatives – isn’t that a hint in itself? – and it isn’t going to form part of any government anyway.

A friend should have told him that astounding condescension lay at the heart of his “35% strategy”. Labour assumed that its “core” supporters would not listen to anyone else; that, even at a time of economic distress and political disintegration, Labour “owned” them. Many of those “core” supporters are defecting to the Greens, it seems – making a future Conservative victory almost a certainty unless Labour brings them back with a clear message and genuinely crowd-pleasing policies.

Mr Cohen presents an unhappy prediction for life after May 2015: With Labour’s “core” voters offering their votes to the Green Party – a futile gesture – and UKIP pulling the Tories towards fascism, you can expect David Cameron – coward though he is – to start wearing black uniforms and demanding that everybody salute him thereafter.

Only 70 years after we defeated Hitler’s Germany in World War II, we will have become the enemy we opposed.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
providing the sharpest political commentary!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Great Coalition Failures: Privatisation

zcoalitionfailprivatisation

Please share if you agree.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Why D-Day and the victory over Nazism must be linked to the welfare state and the NHS

140606nhsd-day

A veteran’s view: Click on the image to read Harry Leslie Smith’s Guardian article.

I was disturbed, this morning, to read that parts of the media were trying to silence people who had created images and sites linking D-Day and its 70th anniversary with the National Health Service – its creation and current problems.

The comment was made by an organisation calling itself The Labour Forum and ran: “D-Day and the NHS have nothing to do with each other. Whatsoever. Any photos trying to link today’s political issues with D-Day are offensive and will be deleted immediately.”

This seems extremely strange to me because, from what I have read, the creation of the NHS and a ‘welfare state’ (the term did not actually enter the Oxford English Dictionary until 1955) were exactly what the soldiers at Normandy were fighting so steadfastly to ensure.

When Britain went to war in September 1939, it was woefully ill-prepared for the task. Our professional army was not a match for Germany’s well-nourished, well-trained and well-equipped war machine (Germany’s welfare state had been ushered in by Otto von Bismarck during the 19th century). Not only that, but the crop of recruits brought in by conscription was a step in the wrong direction, being untrained, in poor health and malnourished after 20 years of Conservative rule.

Yet these were the men who were going to win the war, supported by equally poorly-served women, youngsters, and pensioners on the Home Front.

We know the first few years of the war went badly for Britain. We were forced out of Europe and attempts to create a front in Africa found themselves on uneven ground.

Then came the Beveridge report, Social Insurance and Allied Services. It was written by the Liberal Sir William Beveridge, who had been tasked with carrying out the widest social survey yet undertaken – covering schemes of social insurance and – as stated – allied services.

He went far beyond this remit, instead calling for an end to poverty, disease and unemployment by fighting what he called the five giants on the road to reconstruction – Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness – and claiming to supply the means to do so.

His plan dealt mainly with Want and Disease, proposing a system of social insurance against the interruption and destruction of earning power and a National Health Service for the prevention and cure of disease and disability, and for rehabilitation.

Winston Churchill (who was of course Prime Minister at the time) privately made clear his concern at the “dangerous optimism” created by the report’s proposals. In public, although he could not attend a debate on a Labour motion that – significantly – called for the early implementation of the plan as a test of Parliament’s sincerity, he sent a message saying it was “an essential part of any post-war scheme of national betterment”. But he refused to “tie the hands of future Parliaments” by starting any legislation to bring the plan into effect.

I quote now from The Welfare State, by Pauline Gregg (George S Harrap & Co, 1967): “To refuse its immediate acceptance, to refuse to make public any plan for its immediate post-War implementation, even if not for its implementation then and there, was to the people betrayal… You cannot refuse to welcome a saviour without being suspected of not wishing to be saved – or, at best, of being so blind that you do not know salvation when you see it!”

The social and economic questions that most troubled the electorate in 1944 were housing and jobs – as they should be today. But the wartime coalition broke over arguments about housing, and Churchill’s Conservatives refused to commit to full employment, as demanded by Beveridge. Instead it proposed that “a high and stable level of employment” should be one of its primary responsibilities, with no legislation planned on the grounds that employment could not be created by government alone.

This is why Labour won the 1945 election with such a landslide. The people expected the Tories to betray them when peace was restored, and they could not back Beveridge’s Liberals because they were afraid of half-measures.

And the people – both those who fought as soldiers and those who supported them at home – were determined that their war would mean something; that it would create a better future. They wanted Beveridge’s plan for social security and they absolutely demanded a national health service.

That is why they were prepared to fight so hard, and even die for their cause. Not the continuation of a British government that couldn’t care less about them until it needed cannon fodder – but the creation of a new system, in which every citizen had value and could rely on the support of their fellows.

It was a system that enjoyed success – albeit to varying degrees – right up to the early 1970s when Edward Health tried to replace it with neoliberalism. He failed but he paved the way for Margaret Thatcher, Nicholas Ridley and Keith Joseph to turn Britain into the mess it is today.

And here we sit, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, facing exactly the same issues as our parents and grandparents did back then.

Do we want a National health service? Or are we content to allow a gang of money-worshipping bandits to turn it into a profit machine for their own enrichment while our health returns to pre-1939 conditions? Rickets and tuberculosis have already returned. What next?

Do we want a housing boom for the rich, while the workers and the poor lose the benefits that allowed them to keep a roof over their heads (pay having dropped below the level at which people can cover all their bills without help from the state)?

Do we want a job market that deliberately ensures a large amount of unemployment, in order to keep wages down and ensure that the lower echelons don’t forget that their place is to serve aristocrats like Jacob Rees-Mogg?

Or shall we remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers on D-Day and throughout the war, and demand better?

The choice is yours – and no ‘Labour Forum’ has the right to stop you discussing it.

(The latest Vox Political book collection – Health Warning: Government! – is now available. It is a cracking read and fantastic value for money. Only available via the Internet, it may be purchased here in print and eBook form, along with the previous VP release, Strong Words and Hard Times.)

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy Vox Political books!
The second – Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook
The first, Strong Words and Hard Times
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook