Thursday, 13 July 2017

Curious

Listening to a program on R4 earlier.  Comparing the Tory Primrose League of the 1880's with Labour's current Momentum movement.

In the 1880's the Tory's were weak in the countryside and they established the Primrose League to build their voter base.

The Momentum lady on R4 tonight observed that it was now the reverse and that the Tories were weak in urban areas.   She also made the predictable Momentum / hard Socialist economic points about public ownership etc etc.

She was then asked what the Tories could do to rebuild their urban support.  Without any hesitation the Momentum lady said that they need to make it possible for urban dwellers to buy their own houses.

I really don't think she saw the irony. Nor I suspect would she consider the Thatcherite implications of what she was saying.

As I say, curious.

24 comments:

Bayard said...

The brainwashing is total.

DBC Reed said...

Yeah but the Tories can't encourage the urban poor to buy cheap houses ,(BTW they're poor because the Tories can't understand that high wages increase demand): they've inflated house prices out of reach.Sayid Javid has said in his Housing White paper earlier this year, (I translate from the original Bullshit) "We have totally fucked the housing market by pursuing Homeownerist policies of buying votes with increased capital gains for homeowners: we have also fucked the economy by making people pay so much in eye-watering rent and mortgages they can't afford goods and services.Along the way we have set off a recession in 2008 which like stupid arseholes we have dealt with by taking more money out of popular demand.Vote for us.You know it makes sense."

Dinero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dinero said...

Not everyone knows about the political theories of 1980s conservative council house selling. I spoke to someone last week who did not.

Lola said...

DBCR. You cannot ignore the contribution to the expansion of land prices from 1997 to 2008 under the Blair Brown Balls regime. Their expansion of money and credit, and all at the 'wrong' interest rates, drove an absolute frenzy of land speculation. Egged on by the Euro and the failure of the regulationism of the international banking rules on bank capital. Not forgetting the role of Brown's FSMA2000 which effectively 'nationalised banking by regulation'.

paulc156 said...

Talking of artificially low interest rates, then there was the boom of the late eighties, erm...what was it now? Oh yes the Lawson boom caused by the very same shadowing the Deutschmark. I imagine (regards the Thatcher era) that the Momentum woman would remember that Thatcher not only offered huge incentives to lucky lottery winners (council tenants) to purchase their homes but she effectively barred all but a tiny amount of social housing built by local authorities. All in all she laid the foundations for property speculation as a national pastime.

Lola said...

p156 Thatcher herself was both caustic and critical of Lawson's interest rate policy. She had warned him about it.
You could look at the Right to Buy as probably the greatest wealth transfer ever.
I am not clear on the use of the receipts of the sales but from what I have seen the Thatcher governments did ban councils from spending them on new council house building.
Land speculation - or more accurately a desire for unearned income, has always been the English national past-time. It's just that Thatcher made it easier for everyone to join in.
She was though very clear about two aspects of her policy. One, Right to Buy was intended to enable people who wanted it to own their own home and hence have a stake, something to lose, that would tend to make them vote not socialist. And two, to try and bring financial accountability to local government, hence the Poll Tax.

James Higham said...

The Momentum lady on R4

That says everything one needs to know on the BBC.

paulc156 said...

... because you wouldn't expect a national broadcaster to interview political figures that aren't strictly establishment? Even if they are relevant.

Mike W said...

Lola above,

Let's have her name so we can Google her. Don't doubt the public ownership bit. But the only thing 'grassroots' Momentum have in common from your Primrose link, it seems to me, is this:

'To encourage and help our members to improve their professional competence as leaders;'

This is true. It means all the youngsters(some oldies too) are being trained to understand over complex, internal Labour rules,on how to stand for local office etc, etc, and how, at the moment,to restructure Labour's NEC(still home to the Blairites).So Brighton will be a shit storm for the vermin right(we hope). Members are fully occupied in taking over their constituency and ward Labour parties. That's it.The civil war continues until all the 'dead wood' at all levels is gone.

When listening to Blair, Harmen, Lesser of Two Eagles, Jabba the Watson,Cooper,Far from the tree Benn,Chuckit etc. We say 'fuck off and die'. So I cannot imagine any of the Labour youngsters I know,offering 'constructive' tips to the Tories, beyond that. Most of us think it will have to be a massive council house building exercise.
They, however, are fully aware that the Tories have learned about the Momentum media campaign and they will up their game next time.This is already being baked in for next time. If she didn't say any of this, then I commend her on her Radio 4, piffle/distraction exercise. Although I don't know the reason why.

Changing Topic:In my small world HG/LVT has so 'infected' our Labour Party, that I wasn't even the first member who bought the subject up with our shiny, new, Labour MP, at our post election meeting. He said to me in a surprised tone, 'your the second person who has asked about this' :) :)

Bayard said...

"I really don't think she saw the irony. Nor I suspect would she consider the Thatcherite implications of what she was saying."

Nor the economic implications. What people want is not cheap housing, nor just cheap housing in expensive places. What people want is housing sold at undervalue, so that they can realise the full value when they sell. It's no good buying a cheap house in an expensive place, if you can't afford to buy a normally priced house when you want to move up the f*cking "housing ladder" (how I hate that expression, encapsulating as it does all that is bad about our attitude to housing). Now that all the social housing that anyone would want to buy has been sold, that means the government either paying people to buy houses or building them themselves and selling them at undervalue. We may yet see this, but OTOH it may be too blatant, even for Tory Britain.

Also it's no good building more houses, as the talking heads keep saying in the meeja. Even if that had any effect in reducing prices, which it wouldn't, it would also then reduce values, which, as any fule pol kno, is electoral suicide.

Lola said...

Mike w. The momentum lady was somewhere in here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08xcpld I can't be bothered to go back all through the programme again.
They were not comparing philosophies between the Primrose League and Momentum. They were comparing electoral tactics. They were not offering constructive tips.

Bayard. To misquote an evil man "When I hear the phrase 'property ladder' I reach for my Luger", a sentiment with which I agree.

Mike W said...

Thanks Lola,

Will not go over the whole broadcast as they were rather boring. Except for her. She is Guardian journalist, Ellie Mae O'Hagen. She says she went to the 'World Transformed' to see what the M buggers were up to.Which is far more than most Labour MPs did.Even though the wankers were all in Liverpool that week for their conference/wake.

She has a good grasp.I doubt she is a member though. For me, she is commenting on, not speaking for M.The comment on property I heard her discuss (I just picked through the broadcast )was one about property ownership being a dividing criteria in our society. Certainly a point we agree with. I would call her 'Thinking Left'. See her article about the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' in Guardian, not out of place here.

Bayard said...

"See her article about the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' in Guardian, not out of place here."

Link please, or better still, a post?

Mike W said...

Bayard,

Have a look.Top right. I suggest she (like many lefty youngsters) is on a journey that will lead her to us.

https://www.theguardian.com/profile/ellie-mae-o-hagan

Shiney said...
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Shiney said...

@MikeW
" I suggest she (like many lefty youngsters) is on a journey that will lead her to us."

If by 'us' you mean The Labour Party.... at some point she'll grow up and come to her senses :wink:

If by 'us' you mean the Georgist types here... great!

Mike W said...

Shiney,

I'm surprised you have to check. 'US' is Georgism. A Corbyn Labour Party is the most likely tool that will carry out these goals. In my opinion. A view strongly rejected by you and many here I know :) Fine.

I had noted your comment the other day about joining a party. Good.Given the theoretical framework and arguments have been worked through here, the point is to carry the fight where you stand and how you see fit.I support everyone here that is prepared to carry the HG/LVT/CI cause into the Tories, the Liberals, even UKIP. It is just not something I could do myself with passion or conviction. I'm sure your point of view is just the political 'mirror' to mine. Good Luck.
I support the thinking behind the YPP too. It's just I think this has to be done within a major party or LVT will seem too marginal/ technocratic. This is simply a strategic choice and nothing to get too worked up about.

DBC Reed said...

Never realised until now how much I too loathed the phrase "housing ladder".Housing is surely an absolute term without relativities: you either have a house or you don't.Nobody talks about a "health ladder" (but perhaps its not wise to give Tory class warriors any ideas in this direction: they will soon make health an aspiration for people who have passed numerous exams; a reward of "success" [measured in house prices of course] ).
We should have a go at rebranding the scam . MW (I think) suggested Magic Money Tree which is good but deflects attention from the banks- create-money issue. I would suggest Magic Money Ladder( but "ladder" suggests effort ,I suppose).

Lola said...

Mike W. I agree that the Labour Party is possibly the most likely to apply LVT. The problem is they will do as an extra tax rather than in the proper way to replace or reduce pretty well every other tax. Socialists are welded to the idea that they can spend other people's money better than those people can themselves. This is false.

Mike W said...

Lola, Shiney, et al,

'The problem is they will do as an extra tax rather than in the proper way to replace or reduce pretty well every other tax.'

I am committed to the HG/LVT model carefully construted here too. The question is what am I/you prepared to -'horse trade' on- over -what time frame- to get to a politcal reality that will allow for our approach.

I would consider your worst fear(LVT is simply added on to the list of government tax streams with no reductions) a small price to pay for a Labour Party legislative commitment and full civil service support in laying the groundwork (again). A second term in government and no World War, and no House of Lords to stop us this time, would mean a new political reality ready for our objectives. What is stopping you and Shiney, all the folks here, piling into the Liberals and remnant Tory party, assuming the Labour party doesn't do Georgism properly? To get LVT into even the small 'dormant' corner it has occupied in Denmark since 1945, for example,(politically and economically) is the real prize. Imagine what we could achieve from that type of foothold here? Consider it a Pascal's Wager, I say. For a couple of years of an extra LVT tax, which will then be repealed, like last time, by the Right.... or the world?

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, I know plenty of people in various political parties large and small who have spent years or decades agitating for Georgism and achieved nothing. I wasted a few years in UKIP (I learned a lot about day to day politics, but that's another story) and achieved nothing.

My view is, only the Tories or Labour will ever be in government so those are the ones you have to influence. As the last couple of elections showed, if you want to influence them, what you do is vote for somebody else with a clearer manifesto and they will shape their policies accordingly.

Which is why we set up YPP. Whether a YPP candidate ever gets elected is nigh on irrelevant. As the Greens and UKIP have shown, once enough people are voting for you - 5% to 10% - the Tories and Labour will adjust their policies to suit and so they have achieved a lot, even if only indirectly, and right now that'll do me.

So that'll be the topic of this week's Fun Online Poll.

Mark Wadsworth said...

.. and the argument that Labour would just introduce LVT as another tax on top is one of the few KLNs which actually has some validity.

Mike W said...

Mark,

(1)
'.. and the argument that Labour would just introduce LVT as another tax on top is one of the few KLNs which actually has some validity.'

It does. It is historically sound too. That is what Lloyd George intended for LVT along with his fuel duty in the Peoples Budget 1910.I think the fuel duty would have raised more money though? But I am asking: is it not a small price worth paying over the longer term?

(2)
I repeat from above on the perfectly reasonable 'stalking horse' strategy' you have outlined here several times.

'I support the thinking behind the YPP too. It's just I think this has to be done within a major party... This is simply a strategic choice and nothing to get too worked up about.'

Is the poll going to be: within? or without? :)

(3)

'My view is, only the Tories or Labour will ever be in government so those are the ones you have to influence.'

I Completely agree.

(4)
'As the last couple of elections showed, if you want to influence them, what you do is vote for somebody else with a clearer manifesto and they will shape their policies accordingly.'

Hold on with that one Mark:

Or - try to influence/be part of, those who are about to take over the whole dam party?

(5) Just in case.I apply a 'wager' on myself too. A few more years supporting the project here (in the form I have elected to do it in) and then ultimate failure, sure, most likely. But I had turned my back on the Labour Party 20+ years ago anyway. And, big and, what if our Georgist 'insurrection' can take place within an 'insurrection'?