The ghost of socialism is coming back to haunt us and there's nowhere to hide. Be afraid, says Mark Dolan
I've got three words for the unions who are seeking to set this country back decades: No, no, no!
Soaring inflation, class and cultural warfare, spiralling debt - 2022 is like the 70s, without the great music, big hair, funky fashions and unprotected sex. And unlike the 70s, we don't have bellbottoms any more, just the leaders of the trade unions who are seeking to bankrupt Britain, in the way they did, five decades ago.
Everyone and their mum, wants to go on strike, including today the Royal Mail, who have announced plans to stop delivering letters.
Will we notice the difference? Crumbs, if only there was, an electronic alternative, for mail.
Frenzied calls across multiple industries to down tools, is why the RMT battle, is such a test case for economic sanity. If we fail to see off the rail industry, who were subsidised to the tune of £16 billion during the pandemic, and who must adapt, to shrinking demand for rail services, with so many working from home, there will be a domino effect, of strike action across every sector you can think of.
Barristers, teachers, civil servants and local government are all professionals who we know, are considering industrial action, and they, are the tip of the iceberg. As Dominic Sandbrook points out in the Mail newspaper this week, wage demands in the 70s were sometimes in excess of 20 or 30 per cent. And the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, all too often, paid up.
What was the consequence? Eye watering inflation, which topped out, at 26 per cent.
Pay increases, to tackle inflation, achieve just the opposite, inflating prices further. It's economic quicksand, a race to the bottom. Things got so bad in the 70s, the dead remained unburied and Britain went to the International monetary fund, to borrow billions.
What bothers me most, is how little we’ve learnt, from our mistakes of the past, in particular the 1970s, when Britain was widely known, as the sick man of Europe. How many times, has history shown us, that socialism doesn't work and that, it is a doomed economic model. I embrace ideas of the left and am a former Labour voter. I may have good reason, to support them, again in the future. Here’s hoping. I back the principle, of free education and healthcare, and a welfare state, that supports the weakest in our society.
I don't want to live, in an ultra capitalist dystopia, where government policy, is geared exclusively, towards the super rich, featuring tax cuts for millionaires, whilst ordinary members of the public, on slave labour incomes, live in bad housing, and have poor education and health. I want everyone, to thrive.
But with extreme political correctness, this woke takeover of our culture, and with trade unions, seemingly dictating government policy, including pushing for school closures during the pandemic, it seems that socialism is back.
What is socialism? It is a collectivist ideology, in which the individual, matters for nothing. In which there is no aspiration, no entrepreneurship, no impulse to make something of your life. The only ambition, is to drag everyone down, to the lowest common denominator.
To decimate people’s economic opportunities, so they are dependent on the state. The Welsh government, are at it, as we speak, with Mark Drakeford, planning on literally handing out money to youngsters leaving care homes - £1600 a month for two years. For doing nothing. Who’s going to pay for that, what will it achieve and what message will it send?
The furlough scheme, was communism in action – literally the state paying people money to stay at home and twiddle their thumbs. It was Jeremy Corbyn's wet dream all brought to us by a supposedly Conservative prime minister in Boris Johnson.
The pandemic, ushered in, a new era of British socialism, and we will pay the price. Our institutions and corporations, have been infiltrated, by socialism’s evil sibling, wokeism - defining our history as full of shame, calling artistic geniuses like Shakespeare, problematic, demonising the man who stopped Hitler, Winston Churchill, seeking the banning of books, sitcoms, comedians and pop songs, and of course their greatest hit: denying the basic facts of human biology – the fact that a man is a biological male and a woman is a biological female.
Welcome to bonkers 2022, where that has to be reiterated. Following two years of Chinese Communist Party-style measures, like lockdowns and masking, we run the risk that our society and our economy, will be based on hard left, collectivist principles for the foreseeable future.
So many of the pandemic measures, including stay at home orders and mask wearing, fitted with the collectivist mechanism of control and of compliance. You will stay home, you will wear a mask, you will read the books we allow you to read, you will watch the news that we prepare for you. We will decide what vehicle you drive, how you heat your home, how often and where you travel and you will take the medications we prescribe, all for the common good.
I make no apologies for wholeheartedly condemning socialism. A failed ideology and business model, which has consistently brought countries to their knees wherever it has been practised. I'll give you a free market West Germany versus state controlled East Germany, from where you would be shot, if you tried to escape. North versus south Korea, Eastern Europe versus West. In the 1950s, resource rich Venezuela was the fourth wealthiest country in the world.
Today, following a prolonged experiment with socialism, Venezuela is poorer than it was prior to the 1920s, its infrastructure is deteriorating, and its economy shot to pieces. Hyperinflation has left the currency worthless and made it almost impossible for Venezuelans to afford basic necessities. Millions have fled, with almost 90 per cent of the population living in poverty.
I'm politically centre ground and have voted for all of the major parties in my life, but my allergy to socialism is born out of my youth in the 70s and early 80s, when hard left central and local government presided over an economic disaster for Britain. And in the 80s, I watched loony left Labour authorities in London enforcing compulsory purchase orders on people's homes and bankrupting our great cities. God knows he made mistakes and then some, but Tony Blair, a former labour prime minister actually banned the use of the word socialism from his party, so discredited was the word. And it was by eliminating failed, bonkers socialist ideas, that he achieved three landslide victories.
New Labour was a left-wing social democratic party, but it kept taxes as low as possible, was aspirational and built on the positive aspects of Margaret Thatcher's legacy.
It's no accident that in the 80s under Thatcher and in the late 90s under Blair, Britain enjoyed sustained economic growth. And yet these disastrous policies of tax and spend, seem to be making an unwelcome return.
Even the man who almost broke Britain, mineworkers union chief Arthur Scargill is back – like a particularly stubborn case of chlamydia.
Let's learn from history, not repeat it. Let’s not make the mistakes of the past.
I've got three words for the unions, who are seeking to set this country back decades, and for those preaching failed socialist ideas and trying to undermine capitalism and Western liberal ideas like free speech, free markets and democracy. No no no. The ghost of socialism, is coming back to haunt us, and there’s nowhere to hide. Be afraid. Be very afraid.