Interesting question

Labour’s nationalisations in the 1940s increased the national debt by 25% of GDP. It seems a price well worth paying again

So, err, why didn’t the profits pay off the national debt then?

18 thoughts on “Interesting question”

  1. The post war nationalisations mostly took industries that were knackered from wartime deprivations, and in long term decline anyway, and subjected them to a continued lack of investment, because governments don’t like raising the price to the consumer, always have something else to spend their money on and refuse to close any bits that need closing.

    So whats the State going to get this time? Railways (again), well thats a) in decline due to covid changing the work paradigm, b) always in need of investment and c) politically difficult to raise prices or cut services. Then there’s the electricity grid. Not in long term decline, if anything a growth area due to ‘green’ requirements, but therefore needing huge investment in the coming decades. Water? Steady demand, always needing investment in new capacity and repairs, pricing definitely politically difficult. Steel? Massively in decline due to foreign competition and green nonsense, capital intensive, politically difficult to close down. No money to be made there.

    Looks like the poor old taxpayer is going to buy a pup, again. And pay for it twice in higher taxes for debt and capital investment and in poorer service…….

  2. Don’t worry, now that freedom-crazed tax-cutting, growth-promoting lunatics such as Kwasi Kwarteng have been completely humiliated, the adults are back in charge and – well – Britain’s future is so bright, you won’t need shades:

    French oil company TotalEnergies has announced it will cut back on new well spending in the North Sea next year as a direct consequence of the Government’s windfall tax raid. The North Sea operator announced last night it would withdraw a whopping £100 million from its total investment – roughly a quarter of its spending on new wells – and abandon plans to drill a new well at its gas field off the coast of Aberdeen. Just ten days after Shell announced it was considering a cut to its £25 billion investment in UK energy for exactly the same reason…

    This is, of course, despite Rishi claiming it was “vital we encourage continued investment by the oil and gas industry in the North Sea” earlier this year.

    And how’s that all going?

    Well, Total might not be the last to tighten their belts. Norwegian oil giant Equinor are now mulling whether to scrap their £8bn Rosebank energy project as well:

    “The Autumn Statement did not help investor confidence and we are evaluating the impact of the energy profits levy on our projects.”

    Equinor had previously claimed the project could provide 8% of the UK’s oil production between 2026-2030. Now it may not go ahead.

    (From Guido Fawkes)

    Yes, boys and ghouls, the Bank of England and Conservative MP’s overthrew a legitimate British government for this.

  3. Over here the great and the good are looking at nationalizing our social media. For our protection, of course.

  4. Steve @ 12.27, the war on fossil fuels continues.
    When The Peanut Farmer imposed a windfall tax on the US oil and gas industry in the 1970’s, investment in exploration and output fell the next year.
    “Insanity – doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result”. A. Einstein.

    The Green lobby – not wanting us to go green, wanting us to go without.

  5. “French oil company TotalEnergies has announced it will cut back on new well spending in the North Sea next year as a direct consequence of the Government’s windfall tax raid.”

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall at SNP HQ. They’re in coaltion with the Greenists, remember.

  6. Just in case you’re wondering whether Oz is any different, great Albo proposes to place a windfall tax on all oil, gas and coal production.

    This will obviously stop the vicious exploitation of the electricity consumers and reduce the price. As he promised when seeking power.

    But I must admit he wasn’t able to shut down any coal burners this year. Maybe in 2023??

  7. @ JIm
    The Attlee goverment nationalised “the commanding heights of the economy”.
    They all ceased to be commanding heights.
    Next time they will nationlise the drug companies and we will all die from the next pandemic – look at the death rates in countries that use Chinese and Russian vaccines – Peru’s death rate is more than double that for Brazil, which the lefties all portray as the prime example of how *not* to deal with covid, more than 220% of the UK rate.

  8. Joey Vimsante The Poet

    I support the best of socialism and capitalism together. The best of both worlds.
    Freedom but with a balance of order, equality, economic dymanism, tolerance,.peace and wealth creation.

  9. John – look at the death rates in countries that use Chinese and Russian vaccines

    Look at the death rates of the unvaccinated, they’re doing just fine.

    Sam – Oh, to be a fly on the wall at SNP HQ

    Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t give a fuck about oil industry workers, a lot of them are white males and relatively few of them are refugees or transgenderers. If it’s not trending on lefty Twitter, it’s not on the SNP’s radar.

    The SNP is now more or less fully aligned with the Tories and Labour on energy. And they in turn are fully aligned with the Raving Monster Green Party. “It’s Scotland’s Oil” is an embarrassing throwback to the days when they were Scottish nationalists.

    There are no nationalists, socialists or conservatives left in British politics, they’re all cunts offering basically identical platforms of incompetent woke managerialist failure and decline.

    Vote Lion to lionise the lying liars.

  10. @ Joey Vimsante The Poet

    Socialism. Dictionary definition – “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

    So no personal freedom to an individual to own or decide what to produce.

    Which countries has that worked best in?

    Which is the ‘best bit’ of no personal freedom?

    What you actually mean is you support a watered down version of socialism which incorporates all the bits of capitalism which you don’t mind and so (i) isn’t actually socialism and (ii) is pretty much indistinguishable from capitalism without the excesses of a completely unregulated market.

    So you’re a capitalist with some social leanings.

    I support living happily ever after, The End

  11. @JVtP: Is that a quote from Mussolini or Lenin? Both of them were big on getting socialism and capitalism to work together in an optimal fashion. Didn’t quite work out as they expected.

  12. Joe Vimsante The Poet

    I am for a moderate centre-left government.

    Andrew C. The UK and much of Western Europe has used the best of socialism and capitalism. I also support the charity sector which is a vital part of a free society. Having total freedom is an anarchy society. I do not think that would work. Who would look after the poor, disabled, weak and exploited? Who would fight crime?
    A pure capitalist or communist society is unworkable.

    Andrew the cat. It is not a quote from Mussolini or Lenin. Mussolini was extreme right and admitted he was right wing. Lenin was extreme left wing. Fascism and Communism both failed, and were tyrannical.
    Mussolini was extreme right and once wrote, in The Doctrine of Fascism, ‘doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the right, a Fascist century’

  13. “Who would look after the poor, disabled, weak and exploited?”

    Those people of their own free will who choose to look after the poor, disabled, weak and exploited. If you complain that not enough people are looking after the poor, disabled, weak and exploited, then use your free will to follow that up and join the ranks of those looking after the poor, disabled, weak and exploited.

  14. @JGH:


    “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

    “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    “And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

    “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

    “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

    “Both very busy, sir.”

    “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

    “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

    “Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

    “You wish to be anonymous?”

    “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

    “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

  15. Possibly not, given that Trump went through at least one bankruptcy……solvency being a pretty important part of one of those.

  16. Nationalisation was an idelogical move by Labour, but it was actually widely viewed favourably outside.

    There were, I think, two factors at play here :

    Capitalism was perceived to have run its course. Coal, steel, shipbuilding,railways etc should be run for the people as a whole rather than top hat wearing plutocrats. This attitude of course took the wrong lesson from the Great Depression ( and indeed Britain’s travails beforehand). Britain emerged quicker than other leading economies, precisely because these old behemoths were failing and that new industries ( electronics, chemicals, light engineering ) were emerging that shifted the industrial centre of gravity from the North to the South.

    The other wrong lesson was derived from the War itself, where central planning had proved so successful. The trouble is, of course, that there is a universe of difference from mass producing Spitfires or tanks that get blown up or shot down to making cars that people would actually like to drive.

    When my Alevel teacher, a youngish fellow in 1984 said, war production proved that central planning was far more effcient than free enterprise, I just thought to myself “I’m wasting my time here.”And basically lost interest in the rest of the course.

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