Ed Miliband is asking for 10 years in power to “turn Britain around”.
He’s being uncharacteristically modest. Socialists have never needed years to destroy a country when they take over.
Depending on their radicalism, this feat may take them days to achieve (Lenin) or perhaps weeks (Hollande). Never years.
Writing his essay The Apocalypse of Our Time in early 1918, shortly before he starved to death, Vasily Rozanov remarked ruefully: “Russia faded away over two days, three at the most.”
Of course Lenin’s speedy version of socialism relied on such time-saving measures as mass confiscations, torture and murder.
Our ‘democratic’ socialists regretfully have to use more moderate techniques to achieve the same purpose: transferring more power from the individual to the state.
The results are therefore slower in coming, but they do come. Actually one result is always almost as instantaneous as it was in Soviet Russia: when the socialists take over, the most capable, energetic and enterprising people flee.
A recent demonstration of this law of nature was kindly provided by François Hollande who in a matter of weeks turned London into the world’s fifth largest French city.
I don’t know if Ed has deliberately set out to stem the influx of French economic migrants, but he’ll certainly achieve this purpose, given the chance.
For he’s proposing all the same policies as those Hollande introduced to such a rapid effect. The result will also be the same: reduced liberties, economic devastation, job creators fleeing to create jobs elsewhere.
The refreshing effrontery of it all is that the Milibandits are trying to give the impression they’re proposing something new. In fact they’re following, mutatis mutandis, Marx’s prescriptions – certainly in general principles, if not every detail.
Their umbrella promise is pure Marx: to create paradise on earth (the only paradise this lot believe in) by taking from the rich and giving to the poor, thereby reducing the gap between the two.
As is the case with socialist fantasies, the results aren’t just different from the promises, but often diametrically opposite to them.
For example, in the second half of the nineteenth century, when Marx’s and Ed’s dreaded capitalism was at its peak, robber barons at their most oppressive and markets at their freest, the average ratio of income earned by US company directors and their employees was 28:1. Yet in 2005, when socialist corporatism became the norm, if less so than in Europe, this ratio stood at 158:1.
What Ed is proposing is a rehash of the same wicked idiocy that has historically brought Britain to her knees under every Labour government – and has never failed to achieve similar results everywhere else.
Miliband has declared he’ll “save the NHS” by pumping an extra £2.5 billion into this moribund socialist project. That’s throwing good money after bad.
Such Leviathans always end up operating for the benefit of the operators, not in this case patients. Hence the ruinous cost of the NHS is greatly attributable to the cancerous growth of the administrative staffs running it.
Hospitals all over Britain are reducing the numbers of beds and frontline medical staffs. Instead they bring in leeches and freeloaders: all those highly paid Directors of Diversity, Optimisers of Facilitation and Facilitators of Optimisation.
Such bureaucratisation is an ever-present feature of socialism, as Lenin realised months into the Soviet nightmare. Here too, if in the past a hospital was run by two people, the head doctor and the matron, today doctors and nurses are marginalised.
Under Labour this tendency will gather speed, whatever Ed says. It always does, and other countries, even those that are even more socialist than we are, know this.
That’s why Britain remains the only Western European country with completely socialised medical care; everyone else relies on a mixed system with a strong private element.
Anyway, where’s the £2.5 billion going to come from, Ed? No problem, at least none for the mendacious chaps who claim that borrowing one in every six pounds, as opposed to one in five, constitutes cruel austerity.
The billions will come from squeezing the rich till their pips squeak, in Denis Healey’s colourful phrase.
Specifically, the Milibandits will introduce ‘mansion tax’ on expensive houses. One wonders if they’ve followed the asset inflation over the last few decades, which has been outstripping the money inflation by a factor of almost 10.
This means that property prices have for decades been growing 10 times faster than incomes. The observable result of this two-speed economy is that many people on small incomes live in jolly expensive houses, those they bought years ago.
Making them pay even higher taxes will force them to sell out and move, but the houses won’t move with them. They’ll be bought by the rich, which will further increase the very gap between the two groups that keeps Ed awake through those long Hampstead nights.
What else? Oh yes, of course, Ed will reintroduce the 50% tax rate.
Serious economists have shown, calculator in hand, that this punitive measure would result in, at best, trivial gains in tax revenue.
But the slowdown in economic activity would be far from trivial. Economic emigration will start, not at the same rate as that prompted by Hollande’s 75% tax but ruinous nonetheless.
Abolish the married tax allowance, that goes without saying. God forbid we’ll give people financial incentives to get married, and who says social engineering has to be economic only?
The family is the greatest competitor to the power of the central state, which is why all socialists seek to destroy it. This started with the founders of this evil creed – just read The Communist Manifesto. So Ed will simply continue this fine tradition.
Have I forgotten anything? Nationalisation perhaps?
Actually this word hasn’t been uttered yet; focus groups must have suggested the Brits aren’t quite ready to hear it again.
But crude confiscation isn’t the only way for a socialist state to gain control of businesses. This was demonstrated by another socialist, of the national variety, Adolf Hitler.
The Nazis didn’t nationalise companies, they simply told them how to go about their business: whom to hire, whom to fire, what to produce, in what quantities, how much to pay, how much to charge and so forth. It’s good to see that Ed takes lessons not only from Marx himself, but also from his diverse disciples.
Hence he plans to force large businesses to take on young apprentices. A universal result of such policies, observable for example in France, is burgeoning unemployment. Rather than being saddled with unsupportable labour costs, companies stop hiring.
To make sure this happens, Ed also plans to introduce an £8 minimum wage, which many companies will be unable to pay. Unskilled labour, which otherwise would have been employed, say, for £6 an hour, will go on the dole instead.
The Milibandits also promise to make wages grow at the same rate as the economy, which is a safe proposition. The only way to make sure this happens is to tell businesses how much they must pay their employees. If any government is asinine enough to try this, it’s a surefire guarantee that the economy won’t grow at all.
But it’s not all about destruction. Ed also promises to create – a million ‘green’ jobs in environment-friendly industries. How exactly?
The only way a government can create jobs is to nationalise more of the economy, where the public sector already accounts for almost half of GDP. If you wonder how this will work, look at Britain circa 1975.
Of course another way would be to provide tax incentives, but this would clash with Ed’s other ambitions.
So far I haven’t mentioned the national debt and budget deficits, but I’m not the only one. Neither did Ed, in his yesterday’s speech at the Labour Conference.
Such reticence is understandable, for both will climb as rapidly and vertically as the Harrier used to do.
Neither have I said anything about the profound immorality of everything the Milibandits are proposing. There’s no point: wicked immorality is the founding and defining feature of socialism in its every manifestation.
“Friends, it is time we ran the country like we know it can be run,” concluded the Demosthenes of Labour. Yes, into the ground.
My forthcoming book Democracy as a Neocon Trick can be pre-ordered, at what the publisher promises to be a spectacular discount, from http://www.roperpenberthy.co.uk/index.php/browse-books/political/democracy-as-a-neocon-trick.html