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August 06, 2015



Chris, I have enough trouble dragging the Labour party to the left without you going over to the dark side. Call yourself a Marxist :)

Look at the quality of the Blarite timber (crooked timber) they are all invertebrates (spineless). They have closed Overton windows, they thought they did not need any policies, or a narrative for the electorate...just move nearer the Tories.

Wages can be raised by legislative fiat, Osbourne has done it, but what the Tories are doing is transferring the burden from the state to employers without improving the situation for workers. But fiat might be the only mechanism left given market failure on wages.

Politics is not about management of the country, in management speak, it is about creating/controlling the weather. Micromanagement runs up against the limitations of knowledge. Politics sets the agenda, not the implementation.

Ms Kendall, has no idea how to achieve the ends, just rhetoric about motherhood and apple pie, tokenism with no policy facilitate (not implement) change.

Mrs Cooper, well does she have any policies outside identity politics, I am a woman and Labour needs a women leader, because identity is all that matters, apparently she can't make decisions.

That is failed asylum seekers, it is not desperation, but a disincentive, however it is also inhumane, and may drive some to crime.

Ed Balls tried that along with credible spending, how did that turn out, Labour lost on the economy. Labour does not need to soften neoliberalism, it needs to reject it, and demonstrate an alternative.

Accepting your opponents frame, just confirms that they are right and the electorate should stick with them.

Good luck with IHT and LVT, it was difficult enough to get them to consider re-nationalising railways (without the £20Bn bill).

No Mr Burnham will not introduce LVT, it is far too difficult, for the weak and ineffectual, to even contemplate, beyond a sound bite.

Mr Corbyn still hasn't embraced a Citizens Income (or Job Guarantee) LVT and IHT.
As for socialising investment, how else should you pay for a public good, it is not like we don't need the investment, given the current waste of resources.

Giving £385Bn to the rich, that should be grounds for linching. Banks still too big to fail? Glass-Staegall and more.

The state needs to investment to stimulate the economy, we can't continue to live on asset inflation forever.

Of course I am even more of a leper in the Labour party than Mr Corbyn, so I can continue to advocate outside the Overton Window.

The too difficult box is where I live. I am already sent to Coventry so nothing to lose, by been candid :)


Your suggestion that Blairites should embrace LVT reminds me of the story about Robert Owen - he wanted implement socialism right across the country, so he arranged a meeting with the King. Corbyn isn't advocating LVT - or a CBI - and the reason he isn't advocating them is that they're (seen as being) too radical.

Steven Clarke

@chris Why is French productivity so high? Is it partly due to higher unemployment (amongst the least productive - like young people) and a bigger State sector (where it is more difficult to measure productivity)? I'm not sure this is so great to emulate.

On LVT and IHT - I completely agree on economic grounds. But I fear it's a political non-starter. It hurts the most vocal voters, whilst the potential winners are diffuse and won't vote.

Joe Bloggs

So, Corbyn is offering what Blair offered in the 90s - newness, change and hope. What a pity he turned out to be every bit the greedy fascist the current crop of tories are and constantly attacked civil liberties. His persistent efforts to extend secret justice and detention without trial are examples. In addition he took us into a 'new' illegal war based on a lie - knowing it to be a lie. Also the four words that describe his tenure are: Bend Over For Bush.


I like this but having survived indyref, your use of the epithet 'Quisling' is pretty objectionable.


I was going to ask the same question about French productivity. The public sector in France is huge. Is its productivity possibly being overestimated?

"So, why is French labour productivity high? Because they’ve got mass teenage unemployment and they pay vast salaries to the jobsworths in government."



May be higher french productivity is the result of more collectivism rather than a spiv economy based on asset speculation? The quality of life seem to be very good and the comparative statistics constantly favourable, for example on access to health care and performance.

Forcing the unemployed to do fake makework jobs or work for free under pain of arbitrary sanctions is a recipe for low productivity and poverty. These are essentially the approach of Hitler to the Labour market when he came to power. In the german case from 1933 German productivity also was very poor. Strange how abolishing trade union rights and forced Labour always produce low output and low pay!!


"By 1938, unemployment was practically extinct.[2] Wages increased by 10.9% in real terms during this period.[3] However, nationalization and a cutting off of trade meant rationing in key resources like poultry, fruit, and clothing for many Germans.[4]"


"The quality of life seem to be very good and the comparative statistics constantly favourable, for example on access to health care and performance."

It does help that they don't have a National Health Service!


Blair did indeed offer 'newness, change and hope' - hope of getting elected which came from offering a product the electorate would buy. Of course it helped that the Tories had screwed up so Blair was in with a chance. But for good or ill he repackaged Labour and shoved the Left into the sidelines. So the question is will Corbyn's 'newness, change and hope' result in a product the electorate will buy?

Probably not. On past form the Tories will have screwed up by 2025 by which time Corbyn may well have come and gone (he will be 76). So how will Labour and Liberals have changed by 2025. How will the political landscape have changed. Is it possible voters (and economics) will have become so sick of Toryism they will be ready for a big swing to the Left. Or will a new Blair (or LibDem) be offering Tory-Light once more. Even if Corbyn wins I don't reckon he will last the distance.


"And whereas Blair was a moderniser ...... "

I don't think that Blair used the word "moderniser" to mean someone who updating policies to a new context. He meant turning a Party into a product with a great deal of PR surrounding it sold by a salesman like him.

I'm suspicious of the word "moderniser" because it can mean anything and nothing, while always giving the impression of being up-to-date and forward-looking.

Igor Belanov

I think the use of the word 'modernisation' or 'moderniser' is usually designed to give the impression that a particular process of change is inevitable and it would be pointless to oppose it. It is especially useful when you are personally directing the process of change in question!

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