The European Left

Socialists who delivered good public railways and who pulled out of Iraq whilst pushing through an urban progressive agenda (with large parts of which I don't agree) in domestic matters have won tonight. They now face an economic crisis based around housing deflation and the national debt. In France, the Socialists are enjoying a revanche. Tories are talking up the Labour Government in Britain. Hungarians, in a broad right-left and populist coalition, have just rejected health charges and the destruction of their minimal social contract by globalism. My friend Neil Clark has much more on that latter development here. In America, a Democrat is very likely to win the election in November.

All of this raises an interesting question. The Left, if such a thing exists anymore, French revolutionary terms being somewhat passe thankfully, trades in hope. We are facing the mother and father of economic, political, military and cultural crises within the next eighteen months or so. Is anybody actually ready for what is coming, or for the dislocations that will become our lot? Are we just to hope, or is anyone preparing?

Europe's future in the face of all this is, I would suggest, strengthened by a degree of state power and by the economic insulation which is the other side of not mortgaging everything to the market. Those who have strong states and protection for their workers to the least degree will come from being the bottom rail in global markets to being on top soon. They've been slow to grow, but now they may be steadier and have less of a fall than those who gave in to the private finance fix.

In this country, it may not be too late, though I think it could be. We should ignore feel-good green nonsense about climate change and domestic 'reforms' based on class, sex, Dr Moreau-style embryology, or lifestyle and instead offer citizens a degree of insurance and equality as citizens by, first and foremost, getting a grip on economic management.

States should begin to build up social ownership, pay down debt, and cut back their exposure to private financing secured against government bonds for the sake of the rainy day that will very soon come. Given all the problems with oil, which may have passed its peak and with wheat, Britain might start by sponsoring co-operative mines that re-open the coalpits on a clean environmental basis and by building up small farmers again.


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