In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘National Investment Bank’

Decision Time: New Politics, New Economy, New Britain?

Posted by seumasach on March 3, 2016

 

Decision Time: New Politics, New Economy, New Britain?

A speech by Jeremy Corbyn to  the British Chambers of Commerce conference

Labour Press

3rd March, 2016

 

This speech sets out a major policy framework including some notable quotes (with my own comments):

And we cannot outsource economic policy to the City of London. That has not served our economy well, and it has not served business well.

The subordination of the UK economy to City interests is, indeed, at the heart of the matter

The banking sector has to be reformed. Finance must support the economy and not be an extractive industry that treats consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses as cash cows.

Rather than simply going on about capitalism Corbyn clearly distinguishes between predatory finance capital and productive capital in the real economy. Robert Owen the 19th century socialist and entrepreneur who wanted an alliance between the working class and the industrial capitalists against City interests would be very happy with this speech. It is significant that he is addressing the Chamber of Commerce.

We need a national investment bank at the heart of economic policy to target investment on key public and economic priorities, not just for quick returns.

As Den Xao Ping used to say: “whatever you do never lose control of financial system.” We never had control of it but perhaps that’s about to change

For some politicians, the state is only a burden, to be reduced or removed.

But we see a crucial role for the strategic state to create the conditions for people and businesses to thrive and deliver prosperity that is stable and shared.

The term “strategic state” is an absolute taboo in British politics. Are we becoming French dirigistes? If there is one word(or two words) to sound the death knell of the thatcherite consensus, it is this.

Regarding crisis in NHS

First, there is the legacy of PFI debt – an inefficient way of delivering necessary investment.

The last Labour government lacked the confidence to make the argument to borrow to invest, and so it did what banks thought they could get away with before the crash, an off-the-books accountancy wheeze.

In both cases, putting debt off the books did not work it came right back onto the books and helped trigger crisis.

Corby takes  the Blairite legacy head on! Blair put dodgyPFI deals at the heart of his programme

Then there is the problem of infrastructure. Think about the creaking, underfunded infrastructure our country relies on.

Enterprise and innovation cannot flourish when our roads and railways, ports and airports are lagging behind our competitors.

To do this , of course, requires long term investment and planning another no-no in Thatcherite Britain

…we are campaigning to remain in the EU because we believe, like 60 per cent of businesses the BCC surveyed, that the EU is the best framework for trade and cooperation in the 21st century.

None of the above can be accomplished without incoming investment, several hundred billion of which have already been promised by China. He knows that they are awaiting the “yes” vote before committing themselves to this but it is not very politically correct to point this out since the British people are still largely unaware of the fact that we have been living off incoming investment for decades. The difference now is that investment will not be going into UK government bonds but will be direct investment in finance, manufacturing and infrastructure.

Read speech in full

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Osborne blazes the Deng Xiaoping trail

Posted by seumasach on September 28, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

28th September, 2015

Once again I have been proved to be wrong. I had interpreted the decentralization of the British state as the key development linked to inward, especially Chinese, investment and predicted that a Tory/SNP duopoly would dominate Britain in the coming years. But Osborne’s barnstorming performance in China, following on from Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, opens up completely different perspectives. His idea of integrating our financial markets with those of China suggests nothing less than a Chinese takeover of the City of London rather than piecemeal investment in Britain’s devolved regions/nations. This chimes in too with Corbyn’s plan for a National Development Bank which is tantamount to central planning, hitherto an absolute taboo. It is not difficult to see that the kind of infrastructure overhaul that Britain requires cannot be done merely through devolved assemblies and combined councils but must be Britain wide and centrally planned. It also makes much more sense for China to finance the whole thing through the banks which can issue credits for projects as required just as they would do in China. And so we go from the Panarin-type post-imperial scenario of fragmentation to one of systemic transformation of Britain as a whole.

Such a radical revolution is inconceivable without opposition. It is striking that as Osborne blazes the trail down China way, the knives are out for Cameron back home. Cameron has been until recently vociferous in his claim that Assad must go. He obviously had an intuition that someone must go: but it has turned out to be himself. He has called it a stab in the back but the blows are coming from all sides, decisively from Michael Ancram, et tu Ancram, who has raised the specter of Libya, hitherto the politically correct war, ominously drawing the parallel between Cameron and Libya and Blair and Iraq. This is deadly and given the reality of what was done to that once thriving country and its catastrophic consequences for Africa and Europe this just won’t go away. Of course, just about all of us were implicated, but all the more need for a scapegoat.

An excellent analysis of recent events in Australia by WSWS focuses on a conflict between the ardently pro-Chinese Malcolm Turnbull and “powerful sections of the Australian military and intelligence apparatus as well as the media and political establishment, not least within the Liberal-National Coalition”This presumably parallels tensions here and it looks like Cameron has found himself on the wrong side of this argument. In other words, the proposed financial merger with China will go ahead over the dead bodies of assorted dead-enders, security state and MIC interests and neocons. In these historic September days the Blairites and the Cameronites have commenced their exit from the British political scene.

Is this another Glorious Revolution? In 1688 certain Dutch financial interests were invited to take over Britain to establish a financial system orientated towards war and empire. This time we have invited a foreign power in the to rebuild an economy gutted by a failed hegemonic project. We have come a full circle since this marks decisively the end of empire and a new historical époque in which war will no longer be the normal state of affairs

Posted in British economy, Multipolar world | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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