Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Place Of Nye

At a Labour Party Conference in 1959, Aneurin Bevan said that "Socialism in the context of modern society means the conquest of the commanding heights of the economy". It is telling that Martin Rowson should produce this cartoon in the former (and continuing) Bevanite magazine "Tribune". It is a brilliant response to New Labour's embarrassed nationalisation of the disgraced Northern Rock.


Tom said...

It would be interesting to think about what socialism means today.

I would say that it means control of markets by society, along with opportunity and civil freedom for all.

Bevan is a hero of mine, but many of his policies wouldn't be worth pursuing today.

That said, the left needs someone in his mould right now.

Plus, Labour in Wales seem to have finally got his way on the NHS. We should learn from them. To do so would be equally popular in England.

Harry Barnes said...

Miller 2.0 : I made an attempt to tackle the massive question you raise in a three part series as below. As Bevan said in 'In Place of Fear' -"Democratic Socialism is essentially cool in temper...Because it knows that all political action must be a choice between a number of possible alternatives it eschews all absolute prosciptions and final decisions" and earlier - "It can not live on borrowed vitality. Its driving power must derive from its own principles and the energy realised by them."


Robert said...

The NHS in Wales is falling to bits, we are now waiting again nine hours in A&E and up to two years for a hospital appoitment.

Harry Barnes said...

Robert : whilst the NHS has a great number of dedicated people working for it, it is operated under an alien structure. It rasps itself into private sector operations across the board. Too many consultants are allowed to give priority to their private sector work, whilst using their NHS activity as a recruiting ground. In a superious attempt to move away from bureacracy and centralisation, links with private services have got out of hand with competitive market principles being brought into its operation. The answer to bureacracy should not be market principles but internal and external democratic provisions. Thatcherim and its offspring New Labourism have undermined Nye's greatest achievement.