14th Century: Pauperism is the state of being poor, in England a "pauper" was someone receiving relief under the English Poor Laws. Therefore pauperism is distinguished from poverty.
The Ordinance of Labourers was one of the first "Poor laws" issued by Edward III in 1349, and revised in 1350. This was in response to the 1348–1350 outbreak of the Black Death in England resulting in the deaths of an estimated 30–40% of the population. This created a labour shortage in the agricultural economy. Landowners had to raise wages to secure workers or were not able to produce. Wages rose as did prices. In an attempt to rein in prices, the Ordinance of Labourers was introduced requiring that everyone who was able would be required to offer their labour at pre-plague levels. Although people tried to leave such work Edward III passed additional laws to punish such individuals and additional legislation such as the Statute of Cambridge (1388) restricted the movement of labourers as well as beggars.
15th through 18th Centuries: This system was relatively easily imposed because the social model was one of feudalism where absolute rulers maintained their position through granting individuals power over land areas in exchange for protection and a willingness to raise troops to become engaged in campaigns chosen by the ruler. These individuals who controlled productive resources were in reality untouchable as a result of absolute power leading to a social structure where the majority had no means of changing the system, criticizing conditions or gaining retribution for unjust treatment or punishments, certainly these untouchables could not be punished for any excesses. The Magna Carta (1215), often heralded as the beginning of English Common Law, did not address the conditions of the majority of the people but rather the rights of landowners. In this system the population, in general, had few rights other than to work for landowners who could earn their income from taxation or shares of production (in kind) carried out by the people. In many cases land assignments were not transfers of ownership but were a form of leasehold where actual ownership rested with the ruler. For well over 600 years to the present day "leadership" has been able to impose laws and later with universal suffrage, "policies", to control the general way in which the economy functions and the relative ease whereby the majority earn their income.
The power of the untouchables was reinforced by the power of the church in imposing the sense of duty and intimidation and a short period of inquisition, including burnings at the stake, saw a renaissance and protestant reformation alter the content and scope of people's expression and beginning to voice discontent with the given order. In simple structural terms the complaint against a feudal model where those with control over assets and production resources controlled the state of wellbeing, social relationships and standard of living of the majority and where the majority had no assets and worked directly or indirectly at the behest of untouchables. The legal framework established originally by the Ordinance of Labourers established a concept that finds echoes today that the most of the people of the country had no options other than to work in one way or another for asset owners.
With universal suffrage and the trauma of two major wars, the psychology of working people changed following a long fought journey to gain the vote. The general assumption was that as a result of the apparent status of possessing the vote that voters would be able to influence policy. It reality, it would seem that his was not the purpose of universal suffrage as far as political parties and their benefactors were concerned.
18th-20th Century: It so happened that William Beveridge's work was to open a way to improve the conditions of the majority, and in particular the poor. He had always dwelt on the ways and means of improving the lives of the poor and after leaving Oxford university he became concerned with the causes of unemployment. He worked at Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in London. He was influenced by Sidney and Beatrice Webb on social reform and became active in promoting old age pensions, free school meals, and campaigning for a national system of labour exchanges.
This largely home-grown awareness of poverty as a national social and economic problem did not arise from any influence of the Soviet Union since it did not exist at that time, and although the Labour party has just been founded, Beveridge's work was to be taken up initially by the Liberal party.
Later, of course, the Beveridge report of 1942 entitled, "Social Insurance and Allied Services", laid much of the foundation of the 1945 Labour government's plans to rebuild and improve Britain after the war had ended. Berveridge declared, on delivering his report, that there were five "giants on the road to reconstruction".
Change under a rational form of socialism
The revolutionary components of Beveridge's work are that he laid the foundation of turning the situation of poverty into a transformative system of innovation to benefit the whole economy by advancing individual income, health, and educational status of all as well as concern with housing and gainful employment. The welfare state was not intended to be a modern day "Poor Law" for paupers. The underlying motivation to improve the social conditions and scope for opportunities of the majority, brought into existence an approach to the economy which was essentially a British socialism. It was a system that was transformative without being associated with agitation and confrontation but it advanced on the basis of improving the general standards of living of society as a whole.
John Maynard Keynes came up with a macroeconomic strategy for generating close to full employment. He developed his analysis and solution in response to the Great Depression's high levels of unemployment.
Given the direct involvement of government in the last war in procurement and investment in arms industries, the role Keynes saw for governments under conditions of depression and high unemployment, was attractive to those who saw a greater role for government in the economy. However, although it was expected that Keynesian policies would have been applied following the war, in reality, between 1945 and 1965 no Keynesian policies were applied because unemployment fell at a rapid rate as a result of reconstruction activities. The implementation of the Welfare State progressed as set out by William Beveridge. Even the Conservative party in the form of Richard Butler's Education Act of 1944 under the guise of an example of "One Nation Conservatism", formalized a free education system that provided grammar, modern and technical schools and a leaving age of 15 while many remained to qualify for entry to universities and technical colleges. This drift of the Conservatives in this direction was very much influenced by the obvious public support for Beveridge's ideas.
During the period 1945-1965 the United Kingdom experienced unprecedented growth, rises in real wages and very low unemployment, robust investment and also low income segments experienced higher growth rates in income levels than higher income segments and thereby helping reduce disparity.1These major improvements took place in a period when energy, coal production, railways, iron and steel production were nationalized.
One of the reasons for robust real economic growth was that following the Great Depression, which had been precipitated by speculative trading in assets in the form of shares leading to a bubble and then a drastic fall in the stock markets in 1929, legislation had been introduced to separate retail banking from investment banking. As a result money volumes advanced under monetary policy were modest, interest rates were held steady and government current accounts remain positive throughout the period 1945 through 1965. In other words, because of rising incomes government revenues were sufficient to progress in the establishment of the Welfare State. Industrial policy was based on the tripartite agreements between government, business and the unions and Harold MacMillan could declare, "Britons have never had it so good!". Whereas Conservative politicians would not have called policies in those days of a mixed economy, "socialism", this was in fact a period of a highly successful management of the economy as a socialist welfare state.
Even although policy making and the majority of the constituency was urban, British agriculture benefited from rational policies to become production oriented. In 1945, the UK needed to maximize food production. Food rationing did not end until 1953. As a result of this, generous guaranteed prices were continued for major agricultural products. The 1947 Agricultural act was passed (and supported by all political parties) and stated:
The shock to the system
In 1975 there arose a phenomenon that was unexpected as a result of warfare in the Middle East resulting in significant rises in the price of petroleum. This plunged the world economy into a state of cost-push inflation and rising unemployment or slumpflation as a result of most countries having to import petroleum.
Keynesian policy instruments of raising government loans to increase "demand" would only exacerbate the state of affairs and in reality monetary policies linked to money injection and altering interest rates could not solve this crisis. Starting in 1975 two "alternative" policy approaches were developed. One was developed by Robert Mundell the Canadian economist as "supply side economics" and the other "real incomes approach" by the Hector McNeill2 the British economist. Supply side economics was in reality a tax break for high income earners, it had little connection to the "supply side" but was a variant on fiscal policy. In practice it resulted in a very big deficit under the Reagan administration. The same happened during the Thatcher administration. In the USA and UK monetarism was adopted largely as a result of assertions and false claims made by Milton Friedman. What was not fully understood was that the blind application of the monetarist interest rate instrument to kill inflation which the real incomes approach had explained in 1976, does not work in the case of cost-push inflation, and as a result the application of very high interest rates led to widespread house repossession and loss of farmsteads by family farms both in the USA and UK. So the combination of supply side economics and monetarism only depressed the economy even further. This created an increasing panic on the part of asset holders and so the corporate, finance service industries and landowners lobbied heavily for the removal of the financial regulations put in place following the 1929 crash. These regulations, it will be recalled, were what provided the stability that resulted in a successful implementation of the country's experimentation with the socialist mixed welfare state between 1945 up to 1975.
McNeill's development of the real incomes approach has continued up to the present date under the slogan RIO-Real Incomes Objective. The theory behind this development is wholly supply side where policy propositions aim to strike a balance between productivity and real incomes seeing demand as being a function of wage earner consumption, or real incomes. The Real Incomes approach rejects the aggregate demand models applied by Keynesianism, monetarism and supply side economics, so-called.
Commies, Trotskies and Socialists
In 1991 the Soviet Union economy collapsed. Rather than result in relapse in the cold ware rhetoric and rivalry and an earnest attempt to, ".. create ploughs out of weapons and to work to spread a peace dividend", members of NATO and the USA in particular, worked to isolate Russia. Domestically, this event was used to gain an edge on Labour in the 1992 election by the Conservatives suggesting that voting for Labour would turn the UK into the Soviet Union. As a result, Labour lost the 1992 election causing a good deal of introspection which led to a new leadership contest. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown realized that in spite of the fact Labour had no alignment with communism there was a need to "tidy up" the image of the party. As a broad church Labour was bound to have members who were in fact communists but these were very few and did not represent a real a danger to anyone.
British politics has always contained, somewhere, a utopian socialist strand. The latest manifestations link back to the Fabian Society (founded in 1884) whose members contributed much of the intellectual foundation of the Labour party. During the early post-war years, the fact that Russia, a dominant Communist country, had been an ally in the defeat of Fascism and the Nazi horror resulted in many in British politics being seduced by the output of an international propaganda machine which gained momentum under Joseph Stalin. Two influential Fabian Society members who seem to have been taken in by Communist propaganda were Sidney J. Webb and his wife Beatrice Potter Webb. There were many apologists for Stalinism. It is as if George Orwell writing and publishing "Animal Farm" which portrayed a more accurate image of the suppression of individual freedom under Communism lived on another planet. The distinct trend in the years immediately following 1945 was the increasing power of the trades unions and their influence within the Labour party3. There was increasing reference by the left to something called Clause 4 which had been drafted by the Fabian member Sidney Webb in 1917 and adopted by Labour in 1918. Clause 4 was essentially the Communist position of the need for "the workers" to gain ownership of the means of production. Those supporting this political perspective riding on the trades union movement within the Labour party saw socialism as the natural outcome of a continuing class struggle but there was some confusion between socialism and Communism aspracticed in the Soviet Union. This contributed to a polarization of British politics into basically two distinct ideologies between 1945 through to a peak in the 1980s. On the left there was a promotion of more worker and state control over an economy based upon centralization and Clause 4.
Important shifts in socialist outlook were championed by Hugh Gaitskell the Labour party leader and Anthony Crosland a Labour MP. In 1959 Gaitskell had attempted to change party policy on nationalization (Clause 4). The intellectual justification for his stand was to be found in work by Anthony Crosland in his book, "The Future of Socialism" published in 19564. Here he argued that there was no need for nationalization because the actual power resided in the management of economic activities and not in the hands of the owners and the state could influence sector activities sufficiently well. This particular observation was to become the central justification for reducing the force and significance of Clause 4. Crosland is reported to have observed that capitalism seemed to have solved the problem of coming up with adequate per capita incomes for the workers5. Crosland's observations can be traced back to meetings of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), launched in 1950 in Berlin and headed by Melvin Lasky (51). The general drift of Crosland's book's content had been discussed at a Milan CCF conference attended by Hugh Gaitskell, Denis Healey, Rita Hinden and Daniel Bell the author of a book in the same vein entitled, "The End of Ideology". Hugh Gaitskell died in 1963 under suspicious circumstances after becoming ill during a visit to the Soviet Union and Anthony Crosland died following a stroke in 1977 at the age of 58. There are sound arguments for considering Anthony Crosland to have laid much of the intellectual foundation for what was to be picked up, some 20 years later, as new Labour policy although New Labour under Tony Blair committed a series of blunders which Anthony Crosland would have been unlikely to have made.
Getting rid of Clause 4
Tony Blair set about getting rid of reference to Clause 4 as Labour party objectives to tone down any association of Labour with the need for public ownership of the means of production (assets). At the same time, Gordon Brown invested his time talking to bankers and the City of London. At the same time, Brown took control of all expenditure planning of all shadow minister briefs and set about reducing them so the trend became "less government" with the implication that this would
Blair's argument for removing clause 4 did not consist of any profound logic but was based on the simple question, put to the members and in particular the unions, "Do you want another 10 years of Thatcherism?" So Blair's "Clause 4 moment" which many consider to be a triumph in political diplomacy was no more than his inciting a visceral response to a possibility, based on some degree to past fear and intimidation linked to the experience of the miners and their pickets who had been brutally attacked by the police as well as an encroaching media attack on the unions.
Making the Bank of England independent
Gordon Brown had been puzzled by the fact that the Conservative's won the 1992 election when the blame for a massive house repossession could be pinned on Thatcher's ridiculous interest hikes which turned perfectly sound mortgages into sub-prime mortgages because of the excessive rises in premiums. People suffered as a direct result of government decisions to raise interest rates.
In order to safeguard the incoming Labour government from any such a risk he made the Bank of England independent as his first act as Chancellor in May 1997, so that the setting of interest rates would become the "responsibility" of the Bank. This was, in reality, a mistake. As a result, subsequent monetary policy excesses geared to driving up asset prices, proved to be beyond governmental and parliamentary control with the "independent" Bank of England's motivation becoming increasingly in line with the interests of the private financial services actors.
It is interesting to note that with the Breton Woods system having failed in 1971,(see, Why Bretton Woods financial systems was a baked-in failure ) and the slumpflation crisis arising soon after, the interesting coincidence with the collapse of the Soviet Union was the yet-to-be-noticed initiation of the collapse of the economies of the UK and USA as reflected in rapidly rising balance of payment deficits as competition from offshore investments in South East Asia took hold5. Also as a function of increasing offshore investment the funds for onshore investment declined and with this employment in a wide range of industries fell, creating the initiation of the rust belt in the USA and the red wall in the UK.
The focus of monetary policy on raising the price of assets in favour of asset holders saw the economy move towards a new neofeudalism where the untouchables gained increasing control over policies that favour the upward movement in the value of what they possess with no constructive thought or concern being given to policies that support the wellbeing of the majority. This process of a rising monetary policy only focusing on asset values became a repeat of the pre-1929 crash period. The rhetoric in political circles became confrontational with asset holders not wishing to return to the type of economy that worked so well for most in the period 1945 to 1975. As a result a campaign started in the 1990s making Labour and "socialists" the target of what were smear campaigns led by newspapers owned by large corporations and earning income from advertisements from interested parties who, using the failure of the Soviet Union as their "evidence", equated socialism with communism and "Trotskyism", which never seems to be defined, with repetitive reference to the failure of the Soviet economy but never referring back to the relative success of the welfare system introduced largely by Labour as a successful model for socialism. There were parallels in the performance of the UK economy and US economy over the period 1945 to 2000. Income disparity declined and real incomes rose between 1945 and 1975 and then, since that time, the economies under increasing financialization under monetary policy, have both entered productivity and investment tailspins leading to falling real incomes and increasing disparity of income, leading up to the financial crisis in 2008.
A considerable amount of the cause of the collapse was fraudulent activities involving banks and rating agencies. When it came to looking for solutions to the 2008 crisis Gordon Brown's hands were tied as banks threatened to sink the economy if they were not given a bail out at the public's expense. With this threat and the Bank of England beyond Brown's reach, since he made it independent, the "solution" became quantitative easing which, of course, favoured asset holders and prejudiced wage earners and the supply side.
Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the size of the Labour party grew significantly to become the largest socialist party in Europe. He is a good campaigner and various youth organizations and a new group, Momentum, the grassroots organization formed in 2015, helped in this process of a significant rise in the membership of the party.
John McDonnell, as shadow Chancellor, initiated an in-depth review of the problems facing Britain and drew upon a series of workshops and seminars to shape a new economic policy. This initiative involved many international economists as well as British economists. The resulting propositions for policy eliminated issues that arose from the experience in 1945 through 1975 as well as more recently. Lessons learned helped create proposals designed to make the economy more productive and competitive. All of the contributions made were analytical and constructive and set out a vista of an interesting advance on the experience of the welfare state after the war.
However, through this period, the rise in the stock market was becoming more linked to share buy backs than from fundamentals of rising productivity and corporate prospects. Real incomes were continuing to fall with investment and the economy became atomized into a series of encapsulated asset markets while the supply side goods and services production sectors lost investment and demand and real wages continued to decline. Quantitative easing was generating evidence of a complete failure in policy and as increasing numbers entered the ranks of the poor and food banks began to grow. Those supporting QE as assets holders needed to discourage support for the maturing and logical propositions being put up by the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn.
The 2019 Brexit election
When it came to the 2019 election linked to the Brexit question, the Conservatives made use of the increasing awareness of a failing economy, caused by QE, to blame this on the EU. There was no connection, but as a result, the very people who could have benefited from a 1960's style welfare economy put their faith in supporting the Conservatives. Jeremy Corbyn appears to have made a mistake in suggesting a need for second referendum on the final deal, which of course is a participatory approach. But in contrast to the apparent "clarity" of the Conservative position, the Labour party position was confusing. The Labour manifesto was good in terms of economic propositions but as a result of the position on the referendum, Labour lost the election. Continued quantitative easing post-Brexit will hurt the very people from the red wall areas many of whom were Labour voters who will face worse situations under the Conservative government's policies.
Racism in the Labour party
The topic of racism is not one that would be expected to feature in a discussion on socialism in Britain. However, the particular events surrounding the way in which this subject became a major issue for the Labour party is a case study in the various means whereby those who wish to destroy socialism as a result of a poor understanding of its potential have used various means to destroy the integrity of the Labour party as a broad church of opinion. This has included a wholesale onslaught from the mainstream corporate media, so-called, who use any means to attack anything to do with socialism. More disturbing has been the direct interferences of intel and agencies of an alien state in fermenting this upheaval. As will be explained, this represents a serious constitutional issue because it is a case study of how a small minority can virtually destroy a political party and hold the remaining leadership to ransom for fear of the destructive power of this same minority. This calls into question the independence of British political parties and, therefore, is a vital question for the constituency of the United Kingdom with respect to the operation of the party system. This is because, as things stand, a small minority has been able to censor free expression and rational discussions concerning the conduct of a state with whom the United Kingdom has active relations and who is a repeat offender in ignoring international law concerning human rights and treatment of people within a territory over which they have maintained a military occupation.
Jeremy Corbyn as a passionate defender of peaceful means to secure justice for all has been brave enough to stand his ground on this value. However, unfortunately, many with less credibility with respect to their commitment to fair treatment for all, have conspired against him in a shameless and cowardly manner.
The Israeli government's relatively open attack on Jeremy Corbyn for his life long support of the Palestinian cause morphed into false accusations of his supporting "terrorists" from the IRA to Hezbollah. As a pacifist, Corbyn's contacts with such people were always linked to his attempt to identify ways and means to terminate violence and to find peaceful solutions. As an MP he was hardly meeting with such people to hatch some plot against the country, as some media inferred. Anyone doing this would never had organized such open meetings.
Those working against Corbyn latched onto the idea of slowing down investigations into complaints of antisemitism that had occurred. They simply permitted complaints to go unattended on purpose to allow them to fester and create rising resentment against their own party machine. In this context the General Secretary Ian McNicol was particularly ineffective. In 2017, under McNicol there was one expulsion for antisemitism from the Labour Party. In 2019, when Corbyn took action and placed the complaints mechanism under the control of Jennie Formby, there were 45 explusions. Corbyn on several occasions called attention to those responsible, including McNicol, to the lack of speed in completing investigations and asked for them to be speeded up. There do not appear to have been adequate responses. He is also on record at having complained about the slow speed of implementation of the 2016 Chakrabarti recommendations on racism. These interventions were later interpreted as his "interfering" in the processes.
It is notable that the media coverage on this particular issue was levered upwards creating an impression that the Labour party was a teaming nest of antisemites when in reality the number of cases compared with the party membership at 0.03% was well below the estimates of antisemitic cases in the population as a whole. There was therefore a significant exaggeration of the level of antisemitism in the Labour party. The most marked aspect of the evolution of this affair was how the issue of antisemitism amongst some members or people blogging, some who were not members, became focused on Jeremy Corbyn individually. Jeremy Corbyn is well know for having a management style where he delegates duties to responsible individuals in good faith. The Labour party is a somewhat complex organization but to blame him for the conduct of investigations, which were not his responsibility was unusual.
It became evident that increasingly this identification of Corbyn as "being the problem" was more related to the Israeli government's campaign against Corbyn than the reality within the party. It became very evident that many individuals involved in complaints were tying these complaints to comments made by others criticising the Israeli policies of occupation, building illegal settlements on Palestinian land and the policies of Palestinian dispossession and its Apartheid and ad hoc arbitrary murder of innocent Palestinians, including children, and sequestration of natural resources such as water. It is quite remarkable that anyone complaining about these unacceptable policies of Israel could be accused of being antisemitic.
Things got a lot worse when many Jews in the Labour party whose experience in the Holocaust brought them to be passionate supporters of the oppressed and therefore supported the Palestinians were attacked by those of the Jewish persuasion who interpreted this to be antisemitic. As a result there appeared a rift within the Jewish groups between those Jews who did not support Corbyn and associated him with an exaggerated perception of antisemitism in the Labour party and those Jews who were considered to be traitors to the cause or "the wrong types of Jew". So the confusion within the Labour party, in reality, was caused by a rift within the Jewish membership and had very little to do with antisemitism.The accusation that Corbyn did not act is completely untrue, of course, as stated when he took action by replacing the investigative team head by Jennie Formby investigations speeded up and 45 were completed resulting in expulsions. The previous team who were obviously working against Corbyn, had expelled just 1.
It is notable that the Conservative party in parliament would frequently use the perceptions of antisemitism in Labour to openly criticise Jeremy Corbyn in parliamentary exchanges. This is why the intervention of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was suspicious because of the highly political nature of the setting. Even although an internal report by the Labour party with detailed collated 10,000 emails covering a range of cases was leaked it is strange that the EHRC did not request these to carry out a more thorough investigation.
The Israeli government worked against the interests of Jeremy Corbyn using the accusation of antisemitism knowing of its "chilling effect" at branding people as unacceptable. There were also obvious differences in positions within the Jewish members of the Labour Party. There was ample evidence to show that Jeremy Corbyn had acted to speed up resolution to cases. The EHRC entered a highly political arena to address a highly restrictive terms of reference rendering it incapable of taking the full range of relevant issues into account. One of the more important being the constitutional implications of attempting to draw conclusions on events arising from a battle within the Jewish community within the Labour party which was essentially based on the degree to which each group supported the policies of Israel, an alien state. Such highly relevant questions fell outside the terms of reference of the investigation and in any case fall well outside the competence of the EHRC. For this reason there should have not been any such intervention by the EHRC since it constituted no more than an interference in an important and fundamental constitutional question concerning possible interference in a British political party by an alien state. This was obscured by the EHRC's weak and biased intervention, indeed its orientation can be interpreted as a tactic to smother the degree to which the Israeli government and the activities of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy of Israel headed by Orit Farkash-Hacohen in direct coordination with Benjamin Netanyahu.
As a result the EHRC report essentially followed the media line of blaming Jeremy Corbyn for the situation.
That Jeremy Corbyn stated that the EHRC report had exaggerated the issue is no more than a statement of the facts.
Keir Starmer the current leader of the Labour party denies involvement but Corbyn's statement ended up with Jeremy Corbyn being expelled from the party and then reinstated, but then, Starmer withdrew the whip. Starmer seems to have sided with those who favour the illegal policies of Israel and today several of these members of the Labour party have openly proclaimed their support for Israeli policies directly against the Palestinians.
Starmer is turning out to be a disappointment obviously afraid of political assassination at the hands of the same people who targeted Jeremy Corbyn. To maintain his "position" he seems to be willing to tolerate the intolerable by allowing his decisions to be under the control of an aggressive factional religious minority within the party. More tragically, Starmer seems to be intent on completing the job on behalf of those wishing to undermine the interests of the majority by by attacking "socialists" within the party (see:, "Labour Civil War: Sir Keir Starmer’s aide tells the Left to 'Bring It On'"). Apparently those concerned about this drift away from socialist principles are demanding dialogue as opposed to isolation (see, "A united Left Demand Labour hold a special conference to bring the Party back from the brink" ).
From the track record over the last 70 years, the most productive and equitable and successful economic performance in this country occurred in the almost 25 years when Labour and Conservatives maintained a policy that constituted a welfare mixed economy that was founded on the socialist principles of the Labour government of 1945. The other 45 years involved a wasted 15 years applying inappropriate policies to tackle slumpflation and the 30 years of financialization and monetary policies that have drained the real economy by raising asset values through the 2008 financial crisis and the situation exacerbated by 12 years of QE.
The constituents of this country, and economists, need to gather information on this period to understand better how our economy can work to the benefit of all. Technologies have changed, climate change is a major challenge and, like any period, mistakes might have been made, so today any version of socialism will be different and no doubt improved. This was the objective of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn and this medium will research this work to review its proposals in the light of the potential contributions in helping the country emerge from the current poor state of the economy.
The growth in pauperism
The Conservatives love to boast that there are more people in work today than ever before; this is a consequence of the growth in the size of the population. The problem is that increasing numbers, exceeding 20% of the working population, need state or private support of some kind to survive, such as using food banks. Here our economic policies have been able to merge the working poor with pauperism and, in comparison with Edward III's time, we now have more paupers that ever before as a direct result of government and Bank of England policies.
Gaps in opposition economic propositions
In 1976, Hector McNeill established that inflation is not caused by money volumes. This was based on the analysis of slumpflation but the analysis applies to any state of a competitive economy. In 2020, the outcome of quantative easing provided ample evidence for McNeill to advance this analysis leading to a demonstration of why the logic of monetarism, the Quantity Theory of Money (QTM), is flawed. Mathematically, this is because the QTM has 4 variables where the impact of monetary injections impact 10 different major determinants of economic performance which do not appear in the QTM. In other words it is mathematicaly impossible for the simplistic QTM to predict anything of value. This is why the benefits of QE never materialised and it contributed directly to austerity and the impoverishment of increasing numbers of constituents and corporate failures and declining investment. McNeill's 2020 paper "A Real Money Theory" 7 demonstrates the reasons for the disastrous impact of QE and why the QTM as a policy planning tool could never predict the outcome. This single paper, is considered by some, to undermine the whole edifice of the monetary theory and policy. In this paper he provides an alternative model. In very recent work he has extended this analysis to explain in greater detail how monetarism has contributed generated increasing pauperism8. Cetainly this work dispels any remnants of belief in the notion of "trickle-down economics". Naturally this analysis has been met with a stoney silence from policy makers and academia, the majority of whom have survived by generating peer-reviewed, i.e. like-minded contributions, to the mythology of monetarism.
The ideological imposition of austerity did not need a faction of ignorant politicians to deliver it. All that was needed was an "independent" Bank of England to introduce and sustain quantitative easing. The logic of this argument is that monetary policy is seriously flawed in its current form because of its direct connection to the alarming growth in pauperism. This type of analysis is difficult to argue against and provides a more objective clarity to cut through the negative media propaganda fomented by foreign state interests and minority factions bent on taking over or destroying the Labour party. These errant scurrilous side-shows need to be cut down to size and exposed for what they are. They are abhorrent, bent of winning at any cost to the country, oblivious to the collateral damage they cause. They undermine the operation of British democracy and have absolutely no consideration for improving the prospects of a better future for the majority of citizens in this country. It is still taking time for these facts to disseminate through the British constituency because no media carry these essential messages to the voting public other than the APEurope group of media.
The mixed economy and welfare system that was so successful enjoyed a generally positive support and involvement of Trade Unions in macroeconomic policy planning. Since the slumpflation fiasco and Thatcher administration, membership of unions has fallen and stagnated. At the moment, this remains a major gap in the dialogues in finding solutions to the post-Covid-19 period.
With recent demonstrations of the power of internet "swarming" by individuals, such as the recent case of hedge funds on Wall Street failing because of the actions of "retail" investors combating their fraudulent dealings, the APEuropePool reports that the Corbynista.org website will be reporting on a new movement towards "people's syndicates", not to replace unions, but rather to help them spread the word on the need for more constructive union intervention. Corbynista.org was established to support the efforts of Jeremy Corbyn's Project for Peace & Justice (PPJ) because of the importance of this general agenda. However Corbynista.org has no organizational links to PPJ and maintains a position of independence from the PPJ. We understand that Corbynista.org will be adding some specific proposals on what unions should be doing to support the whole country rather than just their membership. This is because there are specific easy-to start businesses that, in the past, were not supported by unions, largely because they were not conducive to shoring up the power of union bosses. However, this represents an enormous self-imposed shortfall in the potential membership of trade unions. Those in the system find it difficult to grasp this fact.
Organizations to support this move were set up late last year and are gathering steam to begin operations; currently their names and other details are embargoed by these groups for the moment. We will report on these activities as soon as we are able.
We are checking and collating references for this article; process will be completed soon.
1 Matthews, R. C. O, "Matthews, "Why has Britain had Full Employment since the War?", Economic Journal, 78(311): 555–569.
2 McNeill, H. W., "A Real Incomes Approach", INTERCOMEX-Rio de Janeiro, 1976. and McNeill, H.W., "A Real Incomes Approach to Economics", Monograph, Charter House Essays in Political Economy, 1981. McNeill (editor) The Real Incomes Approach - 1975-2021.
3 "Chapter 14, "The Power Strategy", pp:128-140,McNeill, H. W., "The Briton's Quest for Freedom - Our unfinished journey ...", 420 pp., HPC, 2007, ISBN: 978-0-907833-01-7.
4 In a recent presentation to APEuropePool correspondents, Hector McNeill noted that Crosland's main interest was how to eliminate poverty and his emphasis was to change capitalism to achieve this end rather than advocate the overthrow of the system. Crosland's emphasis was on workable solutions. He did not have much time for the somewhat airy fairy theoretical conceptual notions of a socialist revolution which for obvious reasons could not be achieved without considerable social disruption or even violence which would only exacerbate the situation of the poor, and everyone else.
5 In a recent presentation to APEuropePool correspondents, Hector McNeill noted that Crosland's comments on wage levels under "capitalism" we very much the result of the influence of Trade Union contributions to the trialogues on national planning through the Tripartite system at that time. Today, he presumes Crosland will have been apalled at the lack of attention of macroeconomic policy to the issue of wages.
6 McNeill, H. W., "Bretton Woods in retrospect", Real Incomes, 2021.
7 McNeill, H. W., "A Real Money Theory II", 2020.
8 Although McNeill has produced several articles on the impact of QE the most recent covering digital currencies has a section where this argument is particularly transparent in the description of encapsulated markets, Real Exchange - A practical proposition for investment for a better distribution of real economic growth - Part 1., 2021.