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March 29, 2020



an emergent intelligence that Labour lacks

Unfair. The Labour Right knows very well that some issues are cans of worms that should not be opened, and so does the Labour Left. To borrow a line from Tom Stoppard (writing during the Cold War), one half of the party is at peace with itself and so is the other half. It's just that, in normal conditions, the Right of the party incurs very few immediate costs by highlighting the Left's open wounds, and vice versa. (One reason why the last election campaign was so very special was that substantial parts of the Right managed to persuade itself that these conditions still applied.)

Jonathan da Silva

In many respects temporary for sure but the most fiscally conservative economically are the Lib Dems and the well named moderate people of Labour. Indeed the Cons can triangulate or are doing or have done so already.

Rachel Reeves is as low as 2/1 to be Shadow Chancellor. I give up.


Since business makes its real money from market imperfection (monopoly power), 'business-friendly' and 'market-friendly' policies, while sounding the same, are usually completely at odds with one another. Tories, as the party of big business, have every incentive to bury this distinction.

Thomas Philippon's latest book shows that US policies have been firmly pro-business in this millenium, shoring up monopoly positions in the airline industry for example, because politicians in the US must rely on business for campaign finance In the EU policies have been more pro-market, since DG COMP has been relatively insulated from such de facto bribery.

Nick Drew

@ "business makes its real money from market imperfection (monopoly power)"

Is that what you think? Sheesh

David Friedman

"One reason why the Tories want a large private sector, of course, is that they are the party of capitalism, and capitalism is about making profits."

One reason why Labor wants a large government is that they are the party of government power, and government power is about being able to push other people around.

That is no more unfair than your statement — and no less. The reason Tories want a large private sector is that they are the party of capitalism, and the reason they support capitalism is that they believe it makes people much better off than the alternative. That belief is dramatically supported where we can contrast two otherwise similar societies that differ a lot in how capitalist they are — East and West Germany, North and South Korea, Maoist China vs Taiwan, Hong Kong Singapore and post-Mao China, Venezuela vs Chile.

You can argue about whether the U.K. would be better off with a little more capitalism or a little less, but the way you put it is rather like saying that the reason surgeons want to do surgery is that they like cutting people up.


@David Friedman.
Your country comparisons are somewhat simplified and in a way that transparently sets out to laud 'capitalism'.
All of the aforementioned 'captitalist' states are mixed economies some of them with huge public sectors, some with very little private property and/or autocratic regimes and most if not all with private sectors hugely reliant on public subsidy and protection from competition (internal and external) and varying degrees of monopolisation.

Most if not all the so called non capitalistic states are either Stalinist or state capitalist.
So you have not demonstrated anything more substantial than extreme state capitalism is less productive than so called crony capitalism which Tories traditipnally seem to support.
Set the bar low enough and the flatlining inequality nurturing Toryism the UK exhibits does appear to be relatively attractive. Quelle surprise!

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