The white hot heat of the technological revolution

Haven’t we heard this before?

We will create what Marianna Mazzucato describes as the entrepreneurial state.
A strategic state works in partnership with businesses, entrepreneurs and workers to stimulate growth.
Government’s role is to provide the opportunity for massive advances in technology, skills and organisational change that will drive up productivity, create new innovative products and new markets.
That requires patient long term finance for investment in research from a effectively resourced and empowered national investment bank.

We ended up with Concorde and British Leyland.

29 thoughts on “The white hot heat of the technological revolution”

  1. All of this sounds remarkably like Corporate subsidies/welfare; exactly what he has pledged to.cut.
    Let’s not ask him to explain.

  2. Not forgetting Kirby Manufacturing and Engineering, Meriden Motorcycles and Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. Tony Benn’s workers’ cooperatives.

  3. A strategic state works in partnership with businesses, entrepreneurs and workers to stimulate growth.

    Seem to remember another group of people trying this sort of thing not so long ago.

    Messerschmitt, Junkers, I.G. Farben, Heinkel Flugzeugwerke, Rheinmetall, Focke-Wulf, Krupp, etc.

    You make the supply, we’ll provide the demand…I’m sure it’ll work this time.

  4. It’s always entertaining watching the tergiversations of this lot as they try and explain why this policy programme, which looks like something straight out of the Heath/Wilson era is in any sense new. As the excellently named ‘Crazed Weevil’ points out, in spite of the obvious accusation of Godwin’s law – you do not have to go back much further in history to find an example of another collectivist regime who seem to have had the same ideas as this shower.

    If you take the glasses off Murphy anyone else think he looks a bit like Hermann Goering circa 1939?

  5. If 8/10 start-ups fail, then even if we assume govt-funded innovation is in that ballpark (questionable, at least) it’s not going to generate growth on the timescales that are required, is it?

    It might be useful as plain stimulus, with any return being a nice bonus, but as a philosophy of government…?

  6. Crazed Weevil and Van_Patton can rest easy; after Red Len’s speech yesterday comparisons with the Nazis are no longer offensive. Because this is a new kind of politics and Jeremy, John Mac and our Ritchie don’t “do personal” or ad hominems. So comparing your opponents to Nazis is just fine now.

    P.S. When that Marxist cunt McDonnell tries to sound reasonable he’s lying.

  7. Ironman

    ‘It’s only offensive if the Tories do it’ – But as ever you have suggested the right line of attack – I would be emphasizing the links with Venezuela of Owen Jones and Abbott (if I were the Tories) – also Venezuela should be mentioned every time Murphy is interviewed – his reaction is priceless.

    Matthew L

    I am guessing Walther Funk knew considerably more about economics than the Murphmeister but you are right – a much greater resemblance…….

  8. Ironman:

    I saw McDonnell being interviewed by Evan Davis last night. He kept saying that none of their plans would be enacted “unless modelling shows them to work”.

    I wish Davis had said that modelling isn’t needed; we have over a hundred years of real-world evidence that their policies end in disaster.

  9. One of the most innovative areas of state spending is in the defence industry, which Corbyn wants to close down so that its workers can be employed more socially usefully. Maybe he will embark on a Kennedyian trip to Mars.

  10. The Blatcherites promised big things with the exact reverse: privatisations; being friendly to business (which in the UK always reduces demand by reducing wages); taking a laissez faire attitude to house price inflation (actually the real laissez faire types like Adam Smith and JS Mill were land taxers).
    So its the swing of the political pendulum.Nationalising the railways looks progressive again after years of profiteering and deteriorating services.Tough!

  11. To be fair, Concorde was pretty smart. And if it hadn’t been for the a) the oil crisis and b) the Americans going all protectionist over noise restrictions, it might just have paid off.

  12. DBCR goes full-on DBCR, inventing his own history.

    “Nationalising the railways looks progressive again after years of profiteering and deteriorating services”

    Does anyone else remember the 70s, that time of unprecendented railway punctuality and great service?

  13. I wonder if they will go back and revive any more of the Kaldor/Balogh playbook…Selective Employment tax anyone?

    The UK precedents for having eminent economists giving you policy ideas show that it has not always worked out so well.

  14. @blue eyes
    Actually if they did plow some money into either UK space programs or contribute properly to the EU program I wouldn’t mind, an area where as a country the uk have underfunded for generations.

  15. @ DBC Reed
    I actually met Geoffery Howe once (when he was in opposition and had spare time to talk to young moralists/enthusiasts). He told us that he got elected to the HoC on the basis that ICI was able, and willing, to raise wages thanks to the higher efficiency that it created by research and capital investment while the state-owned did not.
    Privatising the railways after decades of deteriorating services made sense. Renationalising them makes sense ONLY to the rail unions.

  16. Jim,

    Not really. Concorde was just the sort thing that happens when people are spending other people’s money.

    Anyone crunching the numbers before spending billions would have asked how many people were willing to spend an extra £700-800 on a flight to save 4 hours (back in 1979, almost no-one).

  17. ‘Government’s role is to provide the opportunity for massive advances in technology, skills and organisational change that will drive up productivity, create new innovative products and new markets.’

    Government doesn’t provide opportunity. Government squelches opportunity.

    ‘We will strategically invest in the key industries and sectors that will deliver the sustainable long term economic growth this country needs.’

    Which will kill them. Government doesn’t make business decisions, it makes political decisions. Government investment will bring government control and political decisions.

  18. @ The Stigler
    There was a handful – I remember my boss’s boss commenting to an investment committee meeting that X (now sadly deceased) had flown to New York for a meeting and then flown back the same day. In those days it was so exceptional that even hearing about it was memorable. I don’t know what X’s added value was but I guess that it was at least in eight, possibly ten, figures over his working lifetime so £200/hour was acceptable.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Not really. Concorde was just the sort thing that happens when people are spending other people’s money.

    Anyone crunching the numbers before spending billions would have asked how many people were willing to spend an extra £700-800 on a flight to save 4 hours (back in 1979, almost no-one).”

    Try 1956 as the starting point: http://www.concordesst.com/history/timelineindex.html

    Once they’d kicked the project off it was never going to stop, just look at those vested interests at that first meeting.

    Of course if we’d had a National Investment Bank it would have taken a much more programmatic view and wouldn’t have been persuaded by silly talk of jobs in marginal constituencies.

  20. Bloke not in Cymru, I would tend to agree, I’d quite like a trip to the moon myself, but wouldn’t the Corbynistas themselves scream about skoolsnospitals and tax credits?

  21. Privatising the railways after decades of deteriorating services made sense.

    Privatising the railways would have made sense: most of the lines would have been closed, and the land put to more beneficial use, leaving just the few profitable lines in operation.

    The bastardized public/private sector hodge-podge that Britain got makes little sense. But at least it seems to be better than ‘we’ll try to get you there sometime’ British Rail.

    Well, when the unions haven’t shut it down, anyway.

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