Cameron's announcement that he wants to scrap 'green' regulations in order to mitigate the rise in energy bills is a perfect illustration of the elevation of short-term expediency that characterises pure Capitalism. It makes the argument for central planning of key parts of the economy (as well as that for returning utilities to democratic ownership) better than any socialist theorising.
'Socialism postulates that an altogether different economic system will in due course come to replace capitalism, and that this economic system will be based on the principle that no person should work for the private enrichment of another and under conditions of enforced subordination; and wage labour … will be taken to be as morally repugnant as slavery or serfdom are now viewed as being'. (Ralph Miliband, Socialism for a Sceptical age, 1994, p.29)dit
In the Times today, there's more on the Miliband reshuffle replacing Blairites with Blairites. Labour remains desperate not to be thought Left wing. Yet if the Daily Mail episode has taught the Labour party anything, it should be that it is pointless trying to appease rags like the Mail, Sun and, yes, the Times.
Inside, 70 leading social welfare charities call on the coalition to stop maligning and stigmatizing those depending on welfare.
Miliband was forceful and angry in defence of his father. Would that he would show the same spirit in defence of ordinary people.
We learn that overstretched care-workers are being paid less than minimum wage even though they are working at the edge of society, with difficult and vulnerable cases.
Yet proof that this is a wealthy country, not a poor one, but that the wealth is increasingly unequally distributed is provided by the story that private tutors, at up to £100 a session, outnumber school teachers.
And we learn that the Milgram 'we're all concentration camp guards really' experiments were effectively faked. An aspect of neo-liberal mythology is that humans are unpleasant and out for what they can get. (Though in practice dependant on the philanthropy of those in ragged trousers - such as care workers). This shows that humans have a much higher degree of decency and it takes a lot to get most people to behave like b*stards.
The UK's largest prison, HMP Oakwood, privately run by G4S, has failed every test of how a prison should operate. Imagine if this had been a state-run institution, the Times might have given it rather more than a paragraph.
At its 2013 Conference Labour party delegates voted unanimously, unanimously!, to bring the railways back into public ownership and renationalize the Royal Mail if and when it is sold. The Labour leadership took no notice. So much for those who argue people on the Left should stay in the Labour party and fight their corner there. It just ain't gonna happen! With Blair Labour has crossed a line from the Left to the Right and while Ed Miliband isn't keen on dragging Labour any further to the Right, he seems quite happy where he is.