Before I begin, just a little about my origins. I was born into a working-class family in County Durham North. All my male relatives, past and present had worked either down the mines or worked for a company that had a connection to the mines. At the age of fifteen, my father began an engineering apprenticeship. His job was to visit the many coalfields to maintain the machinery that dug out the coal.
Labour in the 60s and 70s
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 socialist manifesto.
Gradually my days of promoting my radical communist manifesto ended, and I drifted. As a historian by degree, I am well acquainted with the theories of Marx and Engels, the Communist Manifesto. I am well acquainted with the doctrines of Fascism, National Socialism, totalitarianism, liberalism and Conservatism.
However, to those on the left, anything right of radical socialism is viewed as fascist. However, my very working class Grandmother viewed Labour MPs as communists. I will quickly add that she did not like my communist principles. So, we have – Fascist and Communist – two easy words to use to smear people whose politics you don’t like.
What could Labour cost us?
During the last General Election Labour made many promises (Student debt being one). IN short more money for the NHS, Police, public transport, welfare. Be in no doubt Labour will offer much as a General election approaches.
We all know that Labour plans to nationalise the utilities, the railways (can’t say that worries me too much), the post office. Other possibilities for nationalisation could be the telecoms industry and the construction industry. It won’t surprise me if Arthur Scargill makes a bid to reopen the coal mines.
On her election in 1979, Thatcher decided that the taxpayer was no longer going to prop up inefficient state-run industries. The Tories based that decision on the fact that many of the State-Owned sectors collectively needed millions of pounds in investments to upgrade their infrastructure. Thatcher was adamant that the taxpayers were not going to be responsible for their upgrades. Therefore, a policy of denationalisation followed – selling the industries off to investors and the public who would be responsible for financing the enhancements to the infrastructure with private money, saving the UK taxpayer millions.
What will happen if JC and his chancellor do nationalise the industries as mentioned above?
Of course, the Labour government could seize the companies to save the taxpayer and exchequer millions of pounds. However, such a seizure will no doubt create a wealth of legal cases from investors costing the government millions in legal fees defending their position (with taxpayers money). Before handing over control to a Labour Government they will want compensation, the market value of the companies which could run into billions.
What could the scenario be if a labour government nationalised the Utilities to cut gas, electricity and water bills for everyone? The point of nationalisation would be to lower prices. The Labour Government honour their manifesto pledges sell the energy for less than they paid for it. The only people to benefit will be non-taxpayers as the rest of us will pay through taxation and our bank accounts.
Should the utility companies see their profits wiped out, the government will have no option but to use taxpayers cash to upgrade the infrastructures, that ensure the efficient and timely delivery of the energy we use? Failure to improve and modernise means that year-on-year the companies will consume more taxpayers cash to keep supplying power as they fall further behind risking blackouts and poor delivery of gas and water.
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 vast sums in taxation. If so, Labour could be forced into lowering its sights to the middle classes with tax rises and at some point increase taxation on the lowest paid in UK society to fund the government’s manifesto.
Taxation under the Wilson/Callaghan government for the rich peaked at 80% on earnings 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 back in the 70s lost more than a third of our wages in taxation. It is worth reading a BBC interview with Denis Healy, the Labour Chancellor back in the 1970s and the problems with High Taxation.
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.