Ann Pettifor

New Labour lags behind the times

The Guardian reports today that one of Tony Blair’s key allies, Phil Collins, has bravely attacked Labour’s weakened leader. Collins singles out Old Labour’s ‘faith in the ‘benign’ power of the central state’ and suggests that Ed Balls’ policies for children will set the party on a path to tragedy.

When the most ardent of ‘invisible hand’ ideologues are cheering on the bail-out of Britain’s private financial sector by the “central state” (i.e. the nationalised, albeit nominally independent, Bank of England) Collins argues that “‘the only hope for the party is to excavate its liberal treasure’.

Tell that to Sir Fred Goodwin at RBS or to Ron Sandler at Northern Rock – or indeed to their depositers – all of whom have benefitted fromabout £150 bn of taxpayer-backed largesse provided by the Old Lady of Threadneedle St.


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