The future if the Murphmeister gains economic power

And what promises they had been. Corbyn pledged to clamp down on once-legal tax avoidance as well as illegal tax evasion, claiming that a staggering £120 billion a year could be raised just by forcing the rich to pay their due.
He would renationalise the railways, scrap Britain’s nuclear deterrent and do away with independent schools and the state system’s academies in favour of a centrally controlled National Education Service.
Even more eye-catching was Corbyn’s scheme for a National Investment Bank to back a massive programme of public works and house building, funded by the simple expedient of ordering the Bank of England to print more money.
‘This is quantitative easing for the people, not the bankers!’ he had declaimed to cheering fans, waving ‘Jez we can!’ banners.


In the run-up to the 2020 Election, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, had issued warnings that no Government, of any party, could buck the markets. Printing money to fund otherwise unaffordable policies ‘had the same effects in every country that’s tried it, from Argentina to Zimbabwe’.
‘If you drastically increase the amount of money in the system, you drastically reduce its value. So you need more money to buy the same goods. That causes hyper-inflation. And with that comes disaster’.
Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Corbyn took his revenge. He stripped the Bank of its political independence, renamed it The People’s Bank and sacked Carney.

The seizure of the Bank told Britain’s creditors that their money was no longer safe. The pound plummeted in value. There was a global sell-off of Treasury ‘gilts’, the Government bonds that finance the UK’s National Debt. The Government found that, instead of paying interest rates of less than two per cent, it was suddenly contending with Greek-style borrowing costs of ten per cent or more. Pundits spoke of a ‘Wonga economy’ as debt repayments alone became the Government’s single biggest expenditure.

Declaring a ‘siege economy’, and ‘socialism in one country’, an increasingly exhausted Corbyn made desperate pleas for the people to rally against the forces of capitalism. But the introduction of food rationing was the final straw.

They needed little excuse to censor the press and broadcasters in the interest of ‘fair, honest and truthful reporting’. A blogger who wrote that Britain was descending to the level of Zimbabwe was prosecuted for libelling the memory of President Robert Mugabe.

Possibly a modicum of narrative enhancement there but there’s also a certain amount of truth there.

49 thoughts on “The future if the Murphmeister gains economic power”

  1. Nice story, and I agree that the Murphmeister isn’t too clued up. However, a regime where “print and spend” takes the place of traditional forms of stimulus is actually possible. As to the Mugabe problem, that is easily dealt with by having the central bank rather than politicians determine the amount to be printed, though it would be politicians, not the central bank that decided on how to ALLOCATE that money.

    Indeed, traditional fiscal stimulus (i.e. having the state borrow and spend) followed by QE actually comes to the same thing as “print and spend”, and we’ve been doing that big time over the last three years or so. You could say that all “print and spend” does is to cut out that senseless borrowing.

  2. The slightly strange bit is:

    The Germans made it plain that Britain could not escape the medicine taken by other EU nations that had found themselves in crisis. London would have to take its orders from Berlin, just as Athens had done. Corbyn simply refused.

    Because, of course, he can. Quite simply.

    It is the € that means that Greece has ceded a lot of its options to the ECB. And we’re not in the euro. Not now and not in the first 1000 days of a putative Corbyn administration.

  3. RM,not exactly a left-wing figure, is right about the senseless of borrowing from the banks when they just make the money out of nothing i.e. fountain pen money as those madcap lefties at the BoE put it. You would expect hysteria from the hysterical British ruling class and their clients among the public ( for stonking bribes aka guaranteed untaxed, unearned capital gains in the value of their houses) but you would not expect it from somebody who considers himself an expert on the bigger picture economy-wise in the moments when he is not slagging off women in public life for their appearance, complaining about the anti-men bias of the rape laws, and becoming mad with jealousy that Murphy has become much more influential than he has.
    I can remember the Conservative Party selection process when the complete outsider and professed enemy of the British State ,Margaret Thatcher was elected. Everybody foretold disaster but we are now living in an economic and social Utopia.

  4. Is Tim jealous of Murphy because of Murphy’s influence? Nope. Worstall has managed to get one of his pet policies enacted, Murphy hasn’t got one even accepted by a political party. Murphy might have lots of sheep following him, but Tim has intelligent people debating with him.

    The emotion Tim has of Murphy is pity for being such a stupid person.

    My view, probably totally wrong of what Tim actually thinks of Murphy.

  5. Margaret Thatcher was elected. Everybody foretold disaster …

    Everybody? Really? Everybody in your social circle, perhaps, and the grumblings of the misogynists who still exist everywhere and at the time were significantly more common.

    But Thatch was a new broom. She was a complete break from the previous consensus. And, frankly, it worked. Not even Brown managed to screw it up until external pressures showed how dangerous his “abolishing of boom and bust” had been.

    Corbyn’s policies have been tried before. Numerous times. Venezuela is hardly a successful outcome (but that was the evil imperialist Yankees, of course.) Or Zimbabwe (which, obviously, was our fault. Nothing to do with Mugabe being a deranged socialist dictator. No, nothing at all.)

    If I wanted committed, socially aware, kind hearted* and utterly economically naive, I’d be in church this morning.

    * I don’t give Corbyn this, though. His habit of meeting, greeting and speaking supportingly of numerous breeds of terrorist vermin shows that his kindness only extends to “his people”.

  6. It’s a parable for the 21st century.

    Because we’ve had QE, then we may as well have PQE.

    Because now we see QE as a handy little tool, rather than the kicking in of the door of the Last Chance Saloon, which is what it really is.

    It’s also alarming to see the comments on the article. My youngest son’s friends – 25-30 year old Londoners who are earning reasonable dosh – see JC as someone who will enable them to impose their will on the dozy, idle, stupid general population. It may be that they have all commented on the article, judging from the reactions.

  7. Back to (the politics of) 1979? Back to a strong Tory leader? Back to getting the state out of people’s faces and wallets?

    Please. But we won’t get it from Cameron (or from Boris. Less certain about Osborne.)

  8. SE

    “But Thatch was a new broom. She was a complete break from the previous consensus. And, frankly, it worked. ”

    Isn’t the whole Corbyn thing not a lot more than a time machine back to this previous consensus, with a little ‘Hope and Change’ special sauce thrown in for good measure?

    Not having to actually live in the UK I’d quite like to see them carry out the experiment and see how it goes, it should be amusing observed from a distance.

  9. “As to the Mugabe problem, that is easily dealt with by having the central bank rather than politicians determine the amount to be printed, though it would be politicians, not the central bank that decided on how to ALLOCATE that money.”

    Yes, and who decides how to take the money out of the economy when inflation starts to rise? No-one minds a unelected (and unremovable) central banker saying ‘Here’s some free money boys, spend away!’. When he starts saying ‘Sorry chaps, no more free money, and taxes have got to go up by £10bn this year, to slow things down’, those who get whacked by tax increases (who are likely not going to be the same ones who benefited from the earlier largesse), and those whose free money has come to a halt are going to be a bit pissed off they can’t remove said central banker.

    And therein lies the fundamental flaw in MMT – in order for it not to end up like Zimbabwe you have to take the money creating ability out of the elected politicians hands, but in doing do you create a dictatorship, as whoever controls the money and taxes effectively controls the nation.

  10. Isn’t the whole Corbyn thing not a lot more than a time machine back to this previous consensus, with a little ‘Hope and Change’ special sauce thrown in for good measure?

    I’d not be quite that kind to Corbyn – he’s a Bennite – they were out on the other, utterly irrational, side of that consensus. Hence the overwhelming support from the Murphies of this world.

    But, yes, certainly on the “Hopey, Changey” and ‘Bob the Builder’ sloganeering. Hence the overwhelming support from the Joneses and Brands of this world.

  11. bloke (not) in spain

    “But Thatch was a new broom.”

    That’s the tripe as DBC peddles. She was the same broom with a different handle. Same old same old. Public spending continued to rise. The public sector mushroomed. Half the problems we have now were hatched in the Thatcher era. She did some minimal privatising. And it’s easy to forget, a lot of what was privatised had only been in the public sector a short while. Was in it for political reasons, not economic.
    She’s no excuse not to hang Tories.

  12. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Anyone who doesn’t think the Eighties in the UK were vastly better than the Seventies must have lived through neither.

  13. I’m often asked whether things got better under Thatcher (and Major, don’t forget him).

    Well, when Mrs T got into power I was getting just 50p a week pocket money and had no girlfriend. By the time Major was booted out I was on £36k a year and had a gorgeous girlfriend who gave great blow jobs.

    So, yes, things certainly got better for me.

  14. bloke (not) in spain

    And you owed it all to John Major, Andrew? Even the BJs. How incredibly generous of you. Conservatism works!

  15. When I was growing up my dad worked as a labourer, and would often be without work for weeks at a time – and my mum was a barmaid – and things like food were a bit of a worrying expense. They somehow missed this golden 70’s era of full employment, with everyone having stable jobs and big retirement plans.

    I think the golden times the Guardian remembers is because some people had one or two distant relatives who worked for the likes of British Airways, and got a million perks – while the tens of millions of plebs couldn’t afford to ever get on a plane.

  16. Bnis
    OK, but what are you in favour of? What alternative, realistic or unrealistic, would have made life better in the 70s/80s or better now? Just curious.

  17. @ BiCR
    Actually some people who did live through the 80s but not the 70s believe that – what you should have said was “can’t have lived through both in the UK”

  18. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Well, I did both. The passage of time dims the memory of how absolutely fucking demented the 1970s were. Sugar rationing? During peacetime? Power cuts not because of a storm but because the hard Left was engaged in a slow-motion coup? Everything was shitty, worn-out, dirty, cracked. We were absolutely boracic even though my father was in a middle-management job. I’d never been outside the UK until 1982. We grew half our own vegetables. By the end of the 80’s my parents were taking a couple of foreign holidays a year. Corbyn is scum, and he represents scum. I doubt he’ll ever get within sniffing distance of real power, but if it were to look like he was in with a chance, measures would have to be taken.

  19. I really don’t get lefties. It’s like they are completely blind to history. What is happening in their minds that make them think their idiotic schemes are a good idea? I honestly can’t get my head around it, “It will be different this time”, yeah of course it will mate, it’s fucking insane.

    I was born in ’78 so I don’t remember the 70s but the stories you hear make it sound pretty fucking terrible for the average person compared with when Major left government. Do these people really believe we were better off in ’78 than in ’97?

  20. BiCR
    Some stores wouldn’t sell more than a bag a time but I don’t believe there was official sugar rationing.

    However, I do remember being issued with a ration book for petrol as a precautionary measure. It was never needed.

    The music was better then. I still remember where I was when I heard that Marc Bolan had died.

  21. Politically, the 70s were pretty much crap from start to finish, kicking off with the arch scumbag traitor Heath, followed by the thieving Wilson and then by the genial, incompetent buffoon Callaghan. But from a personal perspective, the 70s were great, starting with my going to grammar school (my local one hadn’t been closed down by Wilson), losing my virginity, discovering alcohol, traveling around Europe and finishing with university. The 80s were pretty special too, graduation, marriage, 3 kids, extended university life doing a PhD. I even managed to enjoy the Blair years because I won’t let mendacious politicians ruin my personal life and our youngest daughter was born while he was in power (to some extent this was also helped by us buggering off to Australia in 2002 so we got to watch the second half from afar).

  22. Child of the 70s.

    Orange juice was a luxury in our family, and it had to be measured out very carefully so each child got the same amount.

    And we weren’t a poor family.

  23. @BenS,

    I don’t remember orange juice as a staple until the 90s. I remember dinner in the late 80s being a rotation of mince & onion with potatoes, fish fingers and chips, sausage casserole, a roast on Sunday, and not much else.

    I also tried explaining to my American in-laws that my middle-class parents grew up in the 50s and 60s without refrigerators. They thought I was bullsh1tting.

  24. GlenDorran

    At times I probably do go overboard in banging on about how dangerous I reason Murphy to be – but to echo Madsen Pirie from the ASI, one of the problems the ‘Corbyn agenda’ has created is that he is popular with people for whom the 1970s and 1980s are but a distant memory (i.e the young and clueless), and as a result policies that we thought that decade had comprehensively discredited are being dredged up and presented as ‘new’ and ‘radical’ when in fact they have led to almost sheer unadulterated ruin for any society foolish enough to follow them.

    All the people remembering the 1970s are spot on, and therein lies my one sliver of hope – many of the People originally backing Corbyn are idealistic youth corrupted by an education system which is (despite the idiotic protestations of dbc reed)dominated by the Hard Left – they are prone to factional splintering and unused to hard economic reality.

    When reality bites, the fallout will be hard for the Left to deal with……

  25. @V_P

    “When reality bites”

    The truth is, reality never does bite for these people. When their idiotic policies go wrong, it is never the fault of the idiotic policies it is always the fault of evil neo-liberal intervention.

    Hard-left countries don’t have basket case economies because of their hard-left policies, it’s all because of nasty evil US cheating.

    The last election wasn’t a disaster for the left because their policies were rejected, it was a combination of the policies not being left-wing enough and also the evil distorting right wing press.

    Reality and the left are strangers.

  26. AndrewC

    Sorry – you are of course right – for the likes of Murphy, Reed, Horrocks, etc there is always a bogeyman out there – but for the sheep following them I think enough will realise they have been hoodwinked to consign them to the political margins, which is as much as we can hope for, unless like the man himself we start ‘putting them on a plane’

  27. From.the Telegraph:

    ‘ John McDonnell, Mr Corbyn’s campaign agent, told the Observer that a future Labour government would “reserve the right” to renationalise industries without compensating shareholders.
    Chris Leslie, the Shadow Chancellor, urged him to “consider [the] impact on pension funds/ charities”, which invest in shares as part of their portfolios.
    Mr McDonnell replied: “That’s why if you were a wise fund manager you wouldn’t risk your fund in speculating on dodgy privatisations”.’


  28. Dongguan John

    And Murphy felt comparisons with Venezuela and Zimbabwe were ‘too insulting’ to merit a response…….

  29. @Dongguan John

    ‘I really don’t get lefties. It’s like they are completely blind to history.’

    It’s more that they’re blind to human nature, incremental rewards and what I will call the fairness lacuna.

    In terms of human nature, socialism can’t work, just can’t, because some people are lazy and uncreative, and others are dynamos.

    All combinations of the above exist – lazy geniuses, hard-working thickos etc – but the bottom line is that no intelligent person is going to work his arse off for little reward and see others loaf around all day for the same or similar reward.

    It just will not happen.

    And we as a whole need intelligent dynamos to drive us forward.

    Under socialism, those creative and intelligent and hard-working people either leave the country, or they find ways to game the system a bit, or they just say fuck it and become drunks.

    Then you come to incremental rewards.

    In a true socialist country, Bill Gates would never have founded Microsoft. Maybe he would, but name a thousand entrepreneurs and most wouldn’t. The closest we have ever come to socialism – the USSR, Venezuela, Cuba etc – is proof of that. They had to steal our designs and copy them, badly, to get anywhere. People starved to deat while we got fat. They banned any real choice in life (except for the bosses) and built walls to keep their people in.

    But western leftists look at people like Gates and his billions and all they see is a rich bastard.

    They don’t see that his wealth is the result of lots of tiny incremental rewards for his creative genius – I paid Microsoft a hundred quid for the software that runs the PC I’m writing this on. Less than it cost me to watch a day at the Ashes a week back. OK, it’s not perfect but it’s pretty fucking cheap. I am delighted to give Gates that hundred quid in return for an off the shelf OS which the richest man in the world couldn’t have imagined owning when my father was my age.

    Without the PC (I appreciate it’s down to more than Gates) where would the lefty twitterati be?

    Finally, the fairness lacuna.

    Life isn’t ‘fair’. Some people have more than me. I can live with that. I can see that the ‘unfairness’ of many individual situations is outweighed by the wonderful lives we mostly now lead, in comparison to our ancestors.

    The left don’t understand how and why life has been made better. They cannot get past the unfairness.

  30. VP

    The terrifing thing is this is what they admit they would do… stealing businesses from their owners, deporting people who won’t do what they’re told, that’s the loons thinking they are being reasonable. What they would actually do doesn’t bare thinking about.

  31. Interested

    Yup… the socialists seem to think everyone would be happy to put in the hard graft to pay for it all with no one slacking off because they get their dosh anyway. Like we’re all the 7 dwarfs fucking hi hoing off down the mine whilst our benelovent Snow White leaders sit on their arse all day.

  32. John McDonnell, Mr Corbyn’s campaign agent, told the Observer that a future Labour government would “reserve the right” to renationalise industries without compensating shareholders.

    What! From people who are in any case perfectly happy to print / debase the currency? What did I miss?

  33. If you think these sound thuggish now, imagine what they would be like in government with a majority in the HoC. Does anyone think their (private) pension would be safe with these people in charge, for example?

  34. There is no “if” about Murphy gaining power…..

    “Jeremy Corbyn may find Corbynomics is mainstream, long before he gets to power”

    According to Murphy.

  35. The Hard Left are mentally ill. When you’ve been given enough examples over the last 100 years of what happens when socialism is implemented, what it does to people, their human rights and their standard of living, and you choose willfully to ignore that and invent excuses as to why it’ll all be different this time, that is the definition of madness – replacing reality with your own version of it.

    I mean, I can excuse the Leftists in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. They were fed a line that socialism was all new and the way of the future, the propaganda from USSR looked amazing, they were leading shitty lives in pre-War Britain, of course socialism looked good. But once the reality was made widely known post war there was little excuse, and nowadays none whatsoever now we have the Soviet archives to study.

    Anyone who agitates for that world to return is not only mentally ill, but downright evil to boot.

  36. “The Hard Left are mentally ill. ”

    Must be the fault of the vicious Tory cuts to the mental health budget I keep hearing about.

    (would make a mega spoof charity advert – footage of Corbyn, “This man is mentally ill. In fact, he’s so ill he thinks he’s living in 1974, and that the Soviet Union is a fantastic place to live… He’s not been the same since the wall came down, and now cuts to the mental health bill have led to him going out in public and now he thinks he’s going to lead the Labour party.”

  37. Bloke not in Cymru

    Abbott as chancellor – we really have wandered into some sort of weird screwed up parallel reality if that ever came to be true
    We’d be better off with Abbott and Costello as chancellor and pm that abbot and corbyn.

  38. “We’d be better off with Abbott and Costello as chancellor and pm that abbot and corbyn.”

    Who’s the foreign minister. What’s the name of the education minister.

  39. @ Interested
    I don’t regard it as unfair that some people have more than I if they’ve worked for it. The Diane Abbotts on the other hand …

  40. I think it’s unfair that some aristocratic prick has more than me, despite doing fuck all to earn it. But I understand going after him and appropriating all his wealth ‘for the people’ will likely lead to a capital flight, as everyone with anything will run for the hills. A big capital flight (Zimbabwe style) will make me and most other people poorer. It’s not fair, it’s realpolitik.

  41. Bloke not in Cymru

    Andrew c
    “We’d be better off with Abbott and Costello as chancellor and pm that abbot and corbyn.”

    Who’s the foreign minister. What’s the name of the education minister.

    Good one, though Jimmy Edwards for education minister obviously

  42. @ Bloke in Malta
    You’re reflecting the impact of The Grauniad’s campaigns – there are, and always have been, bloody few aristocrats because over the centuries war has relentlessly winnowed them out. There are less than 300 peerages dating back before the 19th Century when governments started allocating, or selling, them to their supporters. So 1 in 200,000 – and a lot of them have to work quite hard to pay for the upkeep and repairs of the ancient and crumbling stately homes. I went back to Bothwell a couple of years ago and was horrified when I saw the castle had mostly fallen down since I was a kid.

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