Politics (UK)

From WikiCorporates
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Political Ideologies

Anarchism • Communism • Fascism • Islamism • Libertarianism • Marxism • Monarchism • #Nationalism • Progressivism • #Social Democracy • Socialism • Utilitarianism.

Social Democracy

  • Mar.11.2018: Populists will eventually be found out – moderates must be ready for that day. Social democrats may be struggling but there is little to suggest that voters are clamouring for the statist left or libertarian right. There is one thing to be said for the bleak place in which social democrats find themselves. They have time to reflect on what went wrong. They were too often managerial and metropolitan with the result that they lost connection with segments of traditional support that felt condescended to by a cosmopolitan elite. After the scarring electoral defeats at the hands of the right in the Thatcher-Reagan era, the centre-left over-corrected in its approach towards markets. They were too indulgent of the excesses of high finance in the run-up to the Great Crash of 2008 and have been duly punished since. They were too mesmerised by the power of globalisation and the dividends to be had from it; they paid too little attention to those who lost out or felt left behind. Some argue that social democracy is not just in distress – it is defunct. There is a paradox about this crisis for social democracy. The broad formula of the centre-left still has appeal to many millions of voters. There is little evidence that the modern electorate wants to embrace the heavy-metal socialism of a super-statist society. Nor can we detect a great clamour to live in a state-shrunk society of unfettered markets and devil-take-the-hindmost. Many voters may have given up on social democrats, but they still like the idea of a regulated market economy with good public services and decent welfare protection. This is the western Europe that social democrats were so influential in creating in the decades after 1945. Progressive taxation, equality of opportunity and the idea that the strong have a responsibility towards the weak are basic tenets of the centre-left that have become embedded. It was so successful that it could make social democrats of Conservatives as when Britain's Tories accepted the Labour-created NHS. Witness also the rather social democratic way in which Theresa May's govt is proposing interventions in the energy and housing markets. Social democrats have arguably had more influence over the development of western Europe than any rival political movement. They created a world that electorates have, by and large, come to take for granted. This may be part of the problem. Fewer and fewer voters are old enough to have memories of how ghastly some of the alternatives can be. When electorates get experience of what the snake oil peddled by the populists really tastes like, social democrats may be given an opportunity to be heard again. They had better be ready with attractive things to say and compelling leaders to articulate them. Andrew Rawnsley, The Guardian.


There are many different interpretations of the word. Here, we refer to Neo-nationalismWikipedia-W.svg, which is associated with eg. right-wing populism, anti-globalisation, protectionism, anti-immigration, anti-Islam and anti-Muslims, and Euroscepticism. Notable examples include the UK's EU Referendum, and the election of Donald Trump.

  • Feb.07.2019: 'Aristocrats are anarchists': why the wealthy back Trump and Brexit. Nationalism has been sold as ‘a war for the little guy’ but Brooke Harrington argues that it serves the interests of elites. In 10+ years of research on global elites and tax havens, I have found that a shared political project unites the ultra-rich with ultra-nationalists: both seek to weaken or dismantle international alliances that constrain them. Trump's strategist Steve Bannon is now fomenting populist revolution across Europe, calling for “deconstruction of the administrative state”, he specifically targets the systems of taxation, financial oversight, and public accountability that constrain the ultra-wealthy. Arron Banks may have had a similar motivation: he became the largest financial backer of Brexit’s Leave.EU campaign following the imposition of costly international regulatory requirements on his insurance companies. The links first started to become apparent in the Panama Papers leak of May 2016, which showed that several of the most prominent supporters of Brexit held substantial assets offshore. Their wealth helped finance the Leave campaign, which trumpeted the importance of local control and taking back control from “foreign elites”. After interviewing 65 wealth managers in 18 countries, I learned that many individuals with enormous wealth and power deeply resent any institutions that limit their freedom or hold them accountable to obey the law - so they form common cause with populist political movements, which attack the authority and legitimacy of policy professionals and politicians. A wealth manager observed: "what people fail to realize is that govts are now just little parishes. Who do you think is more powerful: Procter & Gamble or the govt of France? P&G, of course. And high-net-worth individuals are the same way.” The problem was, he said, that onshore governments – particularly some in Europe and North America – didn’t yet understand their place in this new hierarchy. For that global elite, it is convenient and profitable to support ultra-nationalist movements. These elites have no desire to destroy the state: they enjoy public roads, fiat currency and other creations of govt just like the rest of us; they simply want to weaken states’ power to constrain them. The rich know that they won’t bear any of the costs of populist movements. For example, Legatum founder billionaire Christopher Chandler, quietly exempted himself and his family from the fallout by purchasing EU citizenship. Brooke Harrington, Professor of Sociology, Dartmouth, The Guardian.

Political Systems / Forms of Government

Anarchy • Autocracy • Democracy • Dictatorship • Monarchy • #Oligarchy • Plutocracy • Theocracy


  • Mar.16.2018: The corporate media ignores the rise of oligarchy. The rest of us shouldn't. The rapid rise of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral, economic, and political issue of our time. Yet, it gets almost no coverage from the corporate media. The corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives and causing many of them to work two or three jobs, while CEOs make hundreds of times more than they do. We urgently need to discuss the reality of today’s economy and political system, and fight to create an economy that works for everyone and not just the 1%. We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns our country, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many people living in poverty? What are the forces that have caused the middle class, once the envy of the world, to decline precipitously? (more... The Guardian, Bernie Sanders

Economic Reform

ToDo: This isn't a good title, or a good place, for this.
  • Mar.17.2018: The three crises of liberal democracy. We now swim in dangerous waters, and we can no longer take the persistence of liberal democracy for granted. Yascha Mounk’s extraordinary new book, The People versus Democracy, provides a clear, concise, persuasive, and insightful account of the conditions that made liberal democracy work – and how the breakdown in those conditions is the source of the current crisis of democracy around the world. The success and stability of liberal democracy, Mounk argues, was premised on three assumptions: (1) the citizenry had a relatively similar worldview because broadcast news, newspapers, radio, and the like were all one-to-many forms of communication in which gatekeepers ensured that news and information remained within the mainstream. (2) broadly-shared economic growth and relative economic equality. (3) social homogeneity.
    In the last 15+ years, all three have come under severe stress. (1) is scuppered due to social media. (s) Growth has been stagnant for a generation. (3) immigration has sparked racial and cultural anciety.
    The consequence is that liberal democracy is coming apart. On the one side, we see the rise of “illiberal democracies”; others flirt with "undemocratic liberalism," government by elite technocrats, which preserves rights but at the expense of democratic engagement and accountability. Mounk offers three directions to save liberal democracy from its enemies ... The most interesting suggestion might be Mounk's call for imagining a new form of nationalism, which he calls "inclusive nationalism". Ganesh Sitaraman, The Guardian.
  • Mar.12.2018: Bold vision will shake up the political order. For decades, mainstream politics has generally been constrained within a narrow band of centrist, low-tax, free-market policies in a social democratic tradition. Now, Richard Leonard (Richard LeonardWikipedia-W.svg) has dismissed this consensus. The scale and scope of his unambiguously socialist ambition is only now becoming clear. "Our party’s mission under my leadership is not simply to secure a fairer distribution of wealth from the existing economic system, it is to fundamentally change the existing economic system. We are here to change society to its very economic foundations," he said. His targets are clear: "socialised ownership" of the care sector; an interventionist industrial policy; a new wealth tax; removing private finance from public spending; the return of council housing; and a new openness to govt "running the economy" through central planning. Labour centrists who equate electability with a rejection of the hard left are appalled. Mr Leonard presents his Labour statism as “a mixture of old idealism and new energy”. In a fluid political climate, with old certainties under threat and anger at the elites still raw, he believes there is an audience in Scotland for a fundamental shake-up of the economic order. Is he right? Kenny Farquharson, The Times.


  • Jan.09.2019: Britain must rid itself of the delusion that it is big, bold and in charge. With a disorderly Brexit on the horizon, a timely lesson in humility may be fast approaching. After WWII, Britain’s aspirations to global leadership remained undimmed. Hopes that the Commonwealth would serve as a proxy empire were swiftly disappointed. Govts did not adjust their ambitions; instead, they transferred them to the European Economic Community. Economic weakness pushed govts towards membership; but there was no doubt that Britain’s rightful place in Europe was at its head. For Thatcher, Europe was simply a new vehicle for Britain’s historic vocation to power; successive govts have echoed the same sentiment. They have persistently refused to re-imagine themselves as an equal partner; thus in the imagination of the Brexit right, if Britain cannot be king, it must be a “vassal”, a “prisoner” or a “colony”. The liberation that Britain so urgently needs is not from Brussels, but from its own delusions. Robert Saunders, senior lecturer in History, Queen Mary University of London, The Guardian.