Strangling the future

An English columnist notes the probable conclusion to these economic “rescues”:

A quarter of a century ago, in the era of the Labour manifesto that was dubbed (by a member of the Labour shadow cabinet) “the longest suicide note in history”, when one wanted to depict the absurdity of the view of the world advanced by Tony Benn and Michael Foot one simply had to say: “They want to nationalise the banks!” People fell about laughing.

Today, it is all considerably less funny. We are all socialists now.

For the Government to take stakes in our leading banks in order to re-capitalise them is not quite the sovietisation of Britain, but it is a pretty good start. Given the instinctively socialistic leanings of our Prime Minister, it may well have been a move he undertook calmly and, quite possibly, with a little excitement. Perhaps the consequences of his not having socialised our financial system in this way could have been catastrophic – a view taken not just by his closest Cabinet colleagues but also by the main opposition parties. Equally, the consequences of his having done so could be catastrophic, too, because the socialist experiment rarely ends up with people feeling happier, richer and more free until it has ended.

Anyone over the age of 40 will recall the abiding result of the days when we had a socialist economy in this country: poverty. We had better prepare for some more of that.

Fortunately, the USA isn’t going to take any steps that overtly socialist, because we’re fortunate to have a strong, Reaganite conservative, George W. Bush, at the helm instead of a Scottish socialist like Gordon Brown… hang on, strike that thought.

One can only conclude that one of my Australian friends was prescient a few months ago when he said, prior to the first bailout in the ongoing series: “Amerikih is f—–!”