Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Remember that word? Most areas of human activity have one or two taboo or quasi-taboo concepts. Use of drugs? You've got 'decriminalisation'. Sex? Of course, 'masturbation'. I always think it should be spelled massturbation but a discussion of that suggestion would take me in a completely different direction and I will resist the temptation. Until relatively recently, in religion, the whisper of 'atheist' would turn heads and elevate eyebrows in polite company. But back to 'nationalisation'.

Basically, the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. It is still the primary tenet of Communist Manifestos worldwide and, as Clause 4, it was foundational to the Labour Party Manifesto until 1995 when it was completely ditched. But have we thrown the infant out with the sudsy H2O? Bear in mind that several banks had to be part-Nationalised following the recent Credit-Crunch. Think on.

It is generally accepted that modern Capitalism cannot be completely laissez-faire; it needs to be centrally regulated. I suggest that a modern, and more enlightened, version of Nationalisation would involve only some 'industries' and the public ownership of just a controlling interest; say, a 51% stake. Which industries? Well, off the top of my head, I can suggest two criteria that may be relevant to the justification of  'New Nationalisation'. Firstly, any industry that is so important that it would have to be bailed-out with public money if it was in danger of collapse. No cigar for being able to think of an example. Secondly, any industry that needs national coordination and/or would be subject to 'cherry-picking' in the wider, free-enterprise economy; example - public transportation.

So there you have it. The suggestion is to consider 'NewNat' for some of our industries and enterprises. What say you?

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