Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Red and Blue

I had a useful little chat with Ken Loach last night. He is recovering well from the death of Deirdre.

Seriously, I did have a useful little chat with Ken. All sorts of things are moving.

A recurring theme in The Spirit of '45, much discussed afterwards last night, is that, for all its stunning achievements, the 1945 settlement was overly centralist and bureaucratic.

It replaced private corporate bureaucracy with central government bureaucracy. In the first instance, it very often turned exactly the same private corporate bureaucrat into a central government bureaucrat.

That said, central planning was the whole point of the NHS, and of the nationalisation of transport (especially the railways) and of the utilities.

The lack of central planning is the very problem with the dismantlement of the NHS, and with the privatisation of transport (especially the railways) and of the utilities.

Many of us remember when privatisation very often turned exactly the same civil servant into a lavishly remunerated "captain of industry".

In the intervening three years, the people making the critique of 1945's centralism and bureaucracy have become staunch supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, or they have died, or both. Mostly, though, the first of those.

Tony Mulhearn, John Rees, the late Stan Pearce (whose uncompromising dialect must have caused quite a stir at many an international film festival): Trotskyists all.

Yet all articulating the exact sentiment that Blue Labour was also articulating, at exactly the same time.

I have yet to hear a Blue Labour stalwart express any enthusiasm for Owen Smith, even those who reluctantly intend for vote for him.

When Jeremy wins again, then the common ground is already waiting to be cultivated. Both sides bear some responsibility for the fact that has not already been going on for a year by now.

6 comments:

  1. Owen Smith is the candidate of the private corporate bureaucrat and the central government bureaucrat.

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    Replies
    1. His defeat will be the defeat of both.

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  2. "It replaced private corporate bureaucracy with central government bureaucracy..."
    And nobody was more responsible than Mandelson's father in law: Herbert Morrison.

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    Replies
    1. Really, grandfather. Thanks for the correction.

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  3. I sense an advisory role for you, Mr. L.

    ReplyDelete