The best that can be said about the last 13 years is that they could have been worse. That Labour still supported privatisation in government tells you how much more mature it was compared to New Zealand Labour. However, the only reason Labour gets away with it is the cultural dominance of the BBC which happily perpetuates a centre-left view of the economy, and the ineptness of the Conservative Party and the business sector, both of which are scared of backing capitalism or in the latter case, rather keen to engage in continued corporatism.
Allister Heath in City AM is particularly worried that the trend has now moved clearly leftward, on Miliband:
"He supports high tax not primarily because he thinks it will raise revenue but to punish the better-off. Ken Livingstone wants to go even further. Even though bonuses are already mostly taxed at a marginal rate of 51.5 per cent, Miliband wants to increase the bank tax, reintroduce a bonus tax and slap a Tobin tax on financial transactions. He believes in the need for the government to regulate pay levels in the private sector. He supports a new graduate tax."
He concludes with a bleak forecast:
"There is no place in Miliband’s intellectual framework for the idea, shared by Thatcher, John Major and Blair alike that too much tax and too much red tape is counter-productive, reduces effort and investment, chases away capital and talent, impoverishes the nation and destroys the public finances. Instead, to Miliband, the private sector can be taxed and beaten and throttled – and it will always come back for more. This view of the world is shared almost entirely by the coalition’s Vince Cable wing. The two men appear to agree on everything apart from the budget deficit, about which Miliband is in denial.
The opposition hates the City and wants to tax everything that moves; Cable agrees; the Tories are too scared to resist. The public, which has not been exposed to a proper defence of capitalism for years, wants to lash out. It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult to remain optimistic about Britain’s long-term future. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear for the UK’s jobs and prosperity."
I am slightly more optimistic, as I think the Vince Cable wing of the government is just about releasing steam from the left of the Liberal Democrats with no real substances behind it. I also think the British public wont stomach the Labour Party of the 1980s today any more than it did then. However a decent defence of capitalism is rare in the UK, with only the Adam Smith Institute and City AM being consistent on this.
Is it time for a UK TeaParty to bolster the Coalition to cut spending?