Sunday, 24 July 2016


Jeremy Corbyn is under siege from all quarters. He seems like a decent cove, albeit the slightly unhinged one who will nurse a half-pint in the corner of the public bar, patiently waiting for the chance to educate the unwary about how he would build a better society. But at least he has convictions and many people support him for his unyielding adherence to those principles, too, it’s just a shame that they are invariably unworkable. Lawyers have said that Corbyn’s pledge to make companies publish pay details can never be implemented and is simply an unrealistic policy.

While it seems like a great idea to those who stand to gain from it, as Maggie Thatcher said, "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money". Plus the law of unintended consequences has a habit of surfacing and inevitably hurting the very people you try to help. Free movement of people, for instance, has given us record rates of employment but has also depressed wages so that there is no incentive for people to come off welfare to take a low-paid job. The safety net intended to help out in times of need has become a way of life for millions and worse, for generations.

Bring in a minimum pay law and the lawyers will soon find a way round it, such as making employees declare as self-employed, taking care of their own holiday pay, sick pay and other payroll benefits and often tax-dodging into the bargain. Headline rates go up while real pay drops and less tax is collected. Make pay rates transparent and all that will really happen is that the onerous conditions of earning that published wage will be concealed from view. The only ones to gain, ultimately, will be the employers and their expensive legal advisors

Heath Robinson style, when you pull the lever to make one thing better a whole series of unexpected mechanisms are engaged and for every apparently positive outcome a dozen aberrations will occur. The success of legislation to change behaviour is generally measured at a level which ignores the detail, so something like minimum alcohol pricing does appear to lower overall alcohol consumption. But those who are dissuaded from buying are mostly the marginal consumers anyway; the hard-line alcoholics remain uncured and the market for counterfeit tax-free hooch booms.

If socialism starts out from a happy place where the talk is of equality and sharing and social duty and all that hippy-dippy loveliness, it invariably ends up in misery and as misery loves company there are plenty of failed socialist states out there to study. And this includes the UK. I mean, look at us: With every year of equalities legislation the inequalities widen. With every anti-prejudice law the prejudice hardens. Minimum wages become maximum wages and attempts to restrict working hours are so impractical we have to have an opt-out.

The naked truth...

One day, maybe, the world will be a fairer place, but that won’t happen until a different kind of human evolves and given that we have succeeded because of our greed and opportunism, that human will probably be an inferior breed. Until that day the best advice you can pass on to your kids is that whatever the rules, when the chips are down it’s every man for himself – as true under socialism as it is under any other paradigm. If there are laws there will always be loopholes and the winners are rarely those who abide by the rules. 


  1. Corbyn strikes me as something of a contradiction in terms. He seems on the face of it, a decent, well meaning albeit stupid bloke. But he does love causes which at every turn would (and have) wreaked extreme violence on Joe Public - the IRA, Hammas, anybody who hates Isreal or us or the US. And for a man who espouses a gentler, nicer sort of politics, he seems to have acquired a Praetorian Guard of quite the nastiest and most intolerant people in Britain. These are deeply nasty and violent people, brimming with self righteous hate of anyone who commits, for example, a hate crime (like wolf whistling) whilst carefully avoiding topics like armed nut jobs driving heavy trucks into crowds of erstwhile happy men, women and children. Somehow, this sums up the response of our Establishment to the existential threat which European civilisation - what is left of it anyway - now faces.

  2. I must agree with what David has stated in his comment re Mr Corbyn. The highs of labour's achievements from the Welfare state and joining NATO are long since forgotten since their several party splits (SLP & SDP). The 'winter of discontent' has stretched out into an 'Ice-Age of discontent' with a lot of it seemingly being internal. Even New labour of the 1980's had grass-root members leaving to join the a fore mentioned split off parties and the recent resignations en-mass and the drama of leadership bids just seems to paint the picture that labour can't seem to agree on how far left they want to be or even what type of socialist ambition they wish to pursue. The introduction over the years of many welcome and positive policies by labour seem lost amongst the almost constant but very consistent banal internal bickerings all of which adds up to a party that must give members and supporters alike a genuine worry for its future or indeed its new direction.

    I am, I must admit, disillusioned with most of the major parties and most certainly & adamantly with the dictates that we have to bow down to from the Brussels Oligarchy. The positive vote to break from them via the June 23rd referendum has given me much confidence that we can move past these dark days, that look even darker gazing out from the White cliffs of Dover towards Europe and the migrant fiasco. I feel sure that this is one of several Bilderberg strategies of culture reshaping leading to their envisaged future. Perhaps you can dismiss that thought of mine as some wildly inane conspiracy theory but please ask yourself why some European member leaders are beginning to resent this open border policy, why are some leaders under so much pressure from their own people who are crying out for safety and reason even at the expense of losing their national identity into the supersatate, seem powerless to act. Why are we becoming unbelieving of main stream media that seemingly refuses to tell the truth and offers naught but Brussels propaganda and trying vainly to sway opinion towards E.U positives and succeeding only in alienating those to whom they are supposed to bring impartiality and unbiased facts. Why all of this if there is indeed no game a-foot!

    The confidence I feel at present is that the Conservatives appear to be conforming to what the public majority voted for despite negative media and suggestions of alternative scenarios being played out.
    Over and above that, my confidence continues with the fact that we could be on the dawn of a new and exciting style of politics. I am talking about UKIP and yes, I understand the left leaning, EU supporting establishment types want to class them as right wing extremists, Fascists, racists, and a plethora of other negative terms but UKIP appear to be the ones that really do listen to the people and UKIP really are the party that helped us in our first step of escape from the clutches of the Dictatorial EU. Looking around the world it seems right wing politics are the way to escape this present madness that we endure. Mr Trump in the USA, Marine Le Pen in France, the German AfD, Italy's 5-Star Movement and the Golden dawn of Greece. These parties must look extremest to those who have complacently fallen into the blinkered zone of leftist dominated society, but for the ordinary masses of people they are beginning to look like a beacon of hope.

  3. Reading your post, Batsby, reminds me of how my late father would always sing out, "The working class, can kiss ass, I've got the foreman's job at last" whenever the TUC was on the news. To the tune of Le Internationale, of course.