BRITAIN’S economic system is under threat, and as a right-wing, free-market extremist — it is an out of body experience to be having a “red-pill” kind of moment regarding the very Capitalist system I have admired all my adult life.
I’m not a Venezuelan supporting Corbynista, I believe that Free-Market Capitalism is the greatest economic system ever introduced. For over 20 years, it lifted millions out of poverty, provided opportunity for the many, and changed the very face of Britain, but in the past ten years, it has failed us all.
1945: BRITAIN EMBRACES SOCIALISM
AFTER Britain and the Allies defeated Hitler in 1945, Britain didn’t elect Churchill. They voted for Socialism. After years of war, Britain voted Labour and they won with a landslide. For a while, the Socialist experiment worked for Britain, inequality fell and Bankers earned the same as GPs, Teachers and Doctors.
Part of Britain’s socialist experiment was Nationalisation, (Where the state owns the company) Coal was nationalised, British Telecom was nationalised, Steel was nationalised, Trains were nationalised, Water was nationalised, electricity was nationalised, car manufacturing was nationalised, The whole of Britain was nationalised Socialist hell-hole.
You could wake up and use energy from the state, boil state water for your tea, hop on a bus operated by the state to work for state, never coming into contact with the commercial world.
Britain’s Nationalised Companies didn’t bother to improve their product range or services because they were the only players in the market. If you wanted a landline from BT, you could have wait MONTHS – Just imagine waiting Months for an iPhone or a Sky subscription.
The Socialist experiment went wrong due to stagnation and rising inflation, in 1974 striking coal workers brought down The Conservative Government. Things got so bad that then Tory Prime Minister, Edward Heath had to issue a three-day working week to conserve energy. Making everyone poorer. Inflation hit astronomical levels rising to 24.2%, (Compare that to today’s rate of 2.9%)
By 1978, Britain was now under a Labour government and Inflation continued to spiral of control, the unions needed higher pay to cope with rising Inflation and they hit Britain hard with more strikes and Labour and the Unions sowed the seeds to their death. Labour prime minister, James Callaghan, decided to push back the election. The single biggest mistake in political history.
Britain is gripped in the biggest industrial dispute since the general strike of 1929. The Binmen are on strike, rubbish is piling up in London’s Leicester Square. Grave workers are on strike in Liverpool, the dead remain unburied. Trains and planes remain grounded and flights are cancelled due to striking workers.
This was then Modern Britain’s crack up point, Britain was now the sick man of Europe, in decline, having to borrow money from the IMF. The country that released Europe from tyranny was under the tyrannical rule of the unions.
Conservative Prime Minister, Magaret Thatcher was elected into office in 1979 and promised harsh medicine known as ‘Thatcherism’ to fix Britain’s stagnated economy and turn Britain into a full Capitalist powerhouse to curtail rising inflation.
Thatcher believed that the key to cutting inflation was to cut the supply of money through reduced money-supply growth. She also wanted to reduce Britain’s budget deficit and removing the perceived temptation to monetize and inflate away future debt.
She believed that nationalised industry was a reason for Britain’s failure, uncompetitive and overfunded, Britain had bailed out the Nationalised industry for decades making it unprofitable.
Thatcher’s reforms weren’t for the faint-hearted, Britain’s industry collapsed and in 1980, inflation hit 18.0% – the highest level since 1975,
Unemployment rose to almost 4 MILLION and Northern industrial towns were decimated due to the loss of industry and jobs, this created a North-South divide that still exists today.
Thatchers’ Critics expected her to be obliterated in the next Election, Maggie, however, had a great deal of luck.
U.S. president Ronald Reagan used similar policies to tackle similar problems in America. Simply Red summed up the mood of the brave new economic world with his hit “Money’s too tight to mention”
“We talk about Reaganomics.
Oh Lord, down in the congress
They’re passing all kinds, of bills
From down on Capital Hill”
BIG BANG AND THE BOOM
Reagan and Thatcher got the job done, both Britain and America began a solid recovery in 1981 and with the help of a win in the Falklands, restoring Britain’s national pride, Thatcher went from being the most unpopular Prime Minister in 1980 to riding a wave of success that saw her win TWO more landslide Elections.
In 1985 Thatcher curtailed the unions by regulation and told everyone to tell Sid about the newly available shares in privatized state-owned industry.
Thatcher reformed Britain’s economy and made it a free-market paradise. British Gas, British Telecom and British Rail were all privatised, the Neo-Liberal free-market economy fixed the failing economy.
Maggie Thatch de-regulated The City of London, meaning the Wall Street giants could operate in London and created thousands of Cocaine-Fuelled young Bankers who earned thousands of pounds, drove a red Ferrari and drank champagne for lunch every day. Greed was good, the rich got richer, and if you worked hard enough, you could get rich too.
Thatcher created a nation of Tories who owned their own homes, credit became easily available and boy, did Britain go shopping.
The nation wanted to live the lifestyle of the Gordon Gekko’s and the Richard Branson’s, but the only accessible way to do this for most of us was through easy credit, financed by the banks.
Everyone saw this “free money” as an easy lover, and if you had lived in relative poverty for most of your life, of course, you would bite the hand of the bankers offering easy credit cards, car loans and mortgages.
The economic booms of the 1980s were mostly created through gambling on the stock market and most importantly, all the debt Britain and America were accumulating on credit was also tied up in what is known as ‘Securities.’ But this credit wasn’t an easy lover, and “She’ll get a hold on you believe it, Like no other and before you know it you’ll be on your knees.”
GREED ISN’T ALWAYS GOOD
Capitalism was cool and by end of the decade, Capitalism won the Cold War. The USSR (Russia) collapsed with the fall of the Berlin Wall and by 1991, the USSR was dissolved and the Free Market Capitalist Russian Federation was born. By the early 2000s, even Red China has ditched Communism and had embraced a Free-Market Capitalist system.
By the mid-2000s, Britain was addicted to the easy lover of credit and the Free-Market dream that lifted thousands out of poverty was about to come crashing down.
The Bankers had taken greed to extreme level, they tied “bad-credit” Securities that could never be paid back to legitimate mortgages and finance.
This lead to the Great Crash of 2008, Lenders across the world started calling in the risky loans and if the Banks were unable to retrieve the money owed, the banks went bust, people lost their homes and credit dried up.
Nothern Rock and Lehman Brothers were the biggest casualties of the 2008 crash, the bad banker’s greedy gambles had spread through the banking system like a virus, it seemed Capitalism had gone rogue and just as the Unions destroyed the notion of Socialism the 1970s, the bankers with their high-risk loans destroyed Britain’s faith in Capitalism with Greed.
The infection of badness in Britain’s banking system forced Gordon Brown and his Labour Government to bail out Britain’s banks. Since 2007, the UK (You the Taxpayer) has spent almost £1.162 TRILLION bailing out the banks. That is equivalent to 31% of GDP or around £20k for each person in the UK.
The bankers have got richer and for TEN YEARS Britain has been enduring austerity, the 1% are living the high life whilst the rest of us are struggling to get by. Stating this doesn’t make you a ‘Socialist’…Britain’s workers who keep the system moving need their bailout, they need a pay-rise.
We may laugh at McDonald’s workers asking for £10 an-hour to flip-burgers but with stagnated wages, this is only fair… People will become disillusioned with the system if the system doesn’t reward them fairly for their hard work.
Britain’s decision to vote for Brexit was a retaliation to the super-rich and the 1%, To stick it to the foreign investors using London as a “Monopoly” board and as an investment opportunity that only benefits the super rich, and squeezes out British people, making housing unaffordable. Brexit was the start of the Political earthquake.
Young people are struggling to buy homes, they have been outpriced by the very market that is supposed to improve their lives, This is why Jeremy Corbyn is so popular, He offered something different to the status-quo, Just as Thatcher did in 1979.
The other 99% isn’t the lazy benefit scroungers, these are the people who are working to the bone to better their lives, The squeezed middle class, the young that want homes, they don’t want something for nothing, they want to be able to afford to live in the society we have created.
If those people are still unequal after working hard and paying taxes, the nation will see that as a failure in the system and if we want to preserve Capitalism, something needs to change or that very system WILL fail.
Theresa May went to the polls in 2017 and failed to recognise the real struggles of everyday Britons, she said she wanted to help the “JAMS” (Just about Managing) but she failed to offer any real change and failed to understand why Britain voted for Brexit.
Yes it was partly to do with the way the EU was run, and with sovereignty – but it was also about Britain’s rising inequality and a belief that the European Union only benefited the Globalist super-rich.
Thatchers Capitalism was all about opportunity and making people better off, but today’s Capitalism isn’t doing that. If the Tories fail to fix broken Capitalism, then that isn’t going to make the 99% richer, that isn’t going to make us better off or make young people believe in Capitalism and the free market.
Pay in Britain hasn’t risen in real terms for over a decade, if people are continually economically castrated, and are forced to endure extreme inequality, then those very people are going to lose faith in Capitalism and see Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of Socialism as the better alternative.