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There is more rejoicing in heaven....

Discussion in 'Personal' started by bonkers 704, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. bonkers 704

    bonkers 704 Lead commenter

    Pretty amazing article from Peter Hitchens:

    PETER HITCHENS: Privatisation! Free trade! Shares for all! The great con that ruined Britain

    I am so sorry now that I fell for the great Thatcher-Reagan promise. I can’t deny that I did. I believed all that stuff about privatisation and free trade and the unrestrained market. I think I may even have been taken in by the prophecies of a great share-owning democracy.

    I thought – this now seems especially funny – that private British Telecom would be automatically better than crabby old Post Office Telephones.

    I think anyone who has ever tried to contact BT when things go wrong would now happily go back to the days of nationalisation. Soviet-style slowness was bad, but surely better than total indifference.

    And it’s all very well being able to buy cheap goods from all over the world, as we fling our borders wide and abandon the protection of our own industries that everyone says is so wicked and will make us poor and backward.

    How I miss the old names of trusted brands, and the knowledge that these things had been made for generations by my fellow countrymen.

    But the new broom swept, and it swept pretty clean. In towns I know well, car assembly lines, railway workshops, glassworks engineering plants, chocolate factories vanished or shrank to nothing.

    A journey across the heart of England, once an exhilarating vista of muscular manufacturing, especially glorious by night, turned into archaeology. Now, if it looked like a factory, it was really a ruin.

    Someone usually pops up at this stage and says that we still manufacture a lot. If you say so, but then why are the drug-dealers so busy in our new factory-free industrial areas, and why can I never buy anything that was made here, except from absurdly expensive luxury shops?

    Why are our warships made of foreign steel? Why are the few factories that do exist almost always foreign-owned, their fate decided far away by people who don’t much care about this country?

    And why is our current-account deficit with the rest of the world the worst it’s ever been in peacetime, and nearly as bad as it was during the Great War that first bankrupted this country a century ago?

    If it’s all been so beneficial, why do so many of the containers that arrive in British ports, full of expensive imports, leave this country empty?

    Sure, some things have got cheaper, and there are a lot more little treats and luxuries available.

    The coffee and the restaurants are better – but the essentials of life are harder to find than ever: a good life and an honest place; a solid, modest home big enough to house a small family in a peaceful, orderly landscape; good local schools open to all who need them; reasonably paid secure work for this generation and the next; competent government and wise laws.

    These have become luxuries, unattainable for millions who once took them for granted.

    And now the remains of our steel industry are vanishing, not because nothing can be done (any determined government could save it if it really wanted to) but because we’re all still worshipping that free-market dogma that captivated us 30 years ago.

    I never thought I’d yearn for the National Coal Board or British Steel or, good heavens, British Leyland. But I do begin to feel I was fooled into thinking that what was coming next would be any better. At this rate it may soon be much, much worse.
    InkyP and Dunteachin like this.
  2. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Scint has already started this:), great minds.
  3. bonkers 704

    bonkers 704 Lead commenter

    Yes I know - apologies given.
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    That article almost beggars belief......speaking as the ex wife of a steel worker who remembers only too well those long hard weeks of the steel strike. Can it be that this plonker has forgotten that catastrophic woman Thatcher and her selling off of UK industry?
    Words are near failing me right now.
  5. mandylifeboats

    mandylifeboats Occasional commenter

    The thread title doesn't seem to apply to IDS.....
  6. mandylifeboats

    mandylifeboats Occasional commenter

    But that's the thing, bonkers: no-one's got a crystal ball. I'm sure many people genuinely believed that privatisation would be a good thing. My gripe is that it hasn't been good for many apart from the cronies who made a bomb out of it, and yet drawing a line under it and saying "Well, we tried, but it hasn't really worked out. Let's have another go at the old way and see if we can't do it better this time with benefit of hindsight etc etc."
    But no. Anything but that.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Thanks for posting the text - I didn't want to click on the link on the other thread.
    The whole thing is just an admission of how stupid he is. Being conned by the ideals of the free market is one thing but then he twitters on about a halcyon age which just didn't exist. Post war Britain had (almost) full employment because half the male population was dead and there was a continent to rebuild - hardly peaceful perfection and security.
  8. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Hitchens hates the Conservative party, he has written about its demise for years and correctly states that its factions are irreconcilable and since John Major's 'new Labour' government it was heading for oblivion. Yet here we are with a Conservative government.
    But don't be fooled, his core views are very right wing. He thinks that socialism is the home of the naive and ignorant. Anyone who still believes in socialism who is over 40 years old is immature and really should have left behind such fantasies when they became parents and became responsible adults.

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