Before I begin, just a little about myself. I was born into a working-class family in County Durham. My father, instead of becoming a miner like the rest of his male relatives completed an engineering apprenticeship. His job was to visit the many coalfields around our area to maintain the machinery that dug out the coal.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I socialised with people who were members of Militant and other left-wing organisations. Their mission was to infiltrate the labour party and turn it into a real socialist party and dump the MPs who sat on the right of the Labour party. What they never explained was why they did not form their own Socialist Party and name it thus with their distinctive brand of socialism.
When Margaret Thatcher came to power, they aimed to overthrow the government in a violent left-wing revolution. They sought a worldwide revolution, where the people were subservient to the state. As neo-liberal politics was about individuals, The left saw it as selfish and uncaring. Their collective mindset was that you do not think for yourself, as they did the thinking for you and you did as you were told.
Being a person who likes to do his own thing, there was no way I would comply. A collective way of thinking was not for me. I am me, selfish or not, an independent thinker, I am not easily led. My days of thinking I was a radical communist were coming to an end. As a historian by degree, I have read the theories of Marx and Engels, the Communist Manifesto. I am well acquainted with the doctrines of Fascism, National Socialism, totalitarianism, liberalism and Conservatism. There are distinct differences between all those political ideas.
However, to those on the left, anything right of radical socialism is viewed as fascist, an easy word to use to smear people. My point is that JC and his allies and momentum belong to that far left group. These people will promise anything, but won’t explain where the money will come from to pay for these promises.
We all know that Labour plans to nationalise the utilities, the railways (can’t say that worries me too much), the post office, possibly the telecoms industry and construction industry. It wouldn’t surprise me if Arthur Scargill demanded the revival of the coal industry. Apart from the fact that burning coal is not green and many of the mines closed so long ago it would take millions of pounds to reopen and reequip them to become productive. When they dig the coal out, if there is any – who will buy it?
If JC and his chancellor do nationalise the industries as mentioned above, consider the people who own the companies. They will want compensation, the market value of the company (Think in billions). Of course, a radical Labour government could seize the companies. In doing so, they save the taxpayer and exchequer millions of pounds. However, seizure of private assets by the state will create a wealth of legal cases from shareholders and investors such as pension funds costing the government millions in legal fees, paid for by the taxpayer, defending their position.
For the record, the Thatcher government sold off the Steel industry, the utilities and the telecoms because collectively they needed million pound investments in their infrastructure to be more competitive. The productivity of those UK nationalised companies lagged behind similar industries in Germany, France and Japan which were more efficient. Using the Marshall aid to good effect, the above countries invested in rebuilding their primary sectors. British industry was not able to compete at the same level due to government policy, and Trade Union influence. The Labour government in the post-war era built the New Jerusalem, setting up the NHS and creating a welfare system fit for heroes without considering how the government would pay for it all.
On her election, Thatcher decided that the taxpayer was no longer going to prop up inefficient state-run industries. Deciding on a policy of denationalisation – selling the industries off to investors and the public who would be responsible for financing the upgrades to the infrastructure with their money and save the UK taxpayer millions.
With that in mind, what could the scenario be if a labour government nationalised the Utilities to cut gas, electricity and water bills for everyone? Give or take a few years the Labour Government could be in a position where they are selling the energy for less than they paid for it. Therefore taxpayers will be subsiding their energy bills through taxation and their bank accounts.
The only people to benefit will be non-taxpayers.
If the utility companies begin to lose millions every year how will the government fund and maintain the infrastructures – the mechanism used to deliver the energy? Without profits to reinvest the government will need to raise many millions in taxpayers cash to fund significant upgrades to the infrastructure.
A government can only tax people so far. JC and McDonnell have made it clear that they will tax the rich to pay for their fair share. My bet is many high earners will migrate overseas to avoid paying higher rates of taxation. The Labour government could then lower its sights to fund their manifesto (their promise to the electorate) until the lowest paid in UK society feel the brunt of taxation.
Taxation under the Wilson/Callaghan government for the rich peaked at 80% and 98% on investment income. The Labour chancellor, Dennis Healey said they would squeeze the rich until their pips squeaked. The year before he threatened Property speculators with high taxes. Even the working classes like me lost more than a third of our wages in taxation.
JC and Momentum don’t like entrepreneurs, the self-employed (that’s me) because in JC’s view we distort the job market. So, effectively People like me could be forced into alternative arrangements regarding work. What can we look forward to with JC and John McDonnell and their employment plans? Will they wreck the opportunities for freelancers? It remains to be seen, but I won’t hold my breath.
And finally, (take a deep breath), JC has supported terrorist groups from Hamas to the IRA and has a dislike for our armed forces past and present. Some of his MPs have alleged he will not take national security seriously and indeed could place the safety of the UK at risk. He could disarm us and sell us out. As for the current debate over anti-semitism within Labour, I can firmly say that many left-wingers that I knew – despite claiming to be anti-racist are indeed fascists and nationalists. Think about that!