This is just so fundamental to socialism, their politicians think that they know best about everything that everybody does. So they put in systems that make you jump when you are told to. For instance they micromanage every classroom and every hospital ward and as a result we are left with incredibly expensive education and health systems that aren’t very good. Experts say that there is only one nation on earth that is more micromanaged from the centre than us and that is North Korea.
During World War 2 the country ran on a system of rationing, so that scarce resources could be efficiently allocated. The 1945 Labour government loved rationing because it gave them power and control. And they didn’t just keep rationing at wartime levels, they made it even stricter, till it was a pernicious burden on society that created genuine hardship. The Conservatives said this rationing wasn’t at all necessary and Labour said that it was essential. Of course when Winston Churchill got back into power in 1951 he got rid of rationing as promised and of course the Conservatives were proved right because capitalism works.
Another element of socialism is nationalising industries, supposedly so the “people” own the main manufacturing resources, but really to give the politicians immense power over just about everything. They nationalised steel, coal mining, the railways, ship building, the utility companies, car manufacture and much more. They were in a position, for instance, to tell the steel company exactly how much steel to make and what price to sell it for. Politics ruled decision making instead of commercial reality. No wonder that nationalisation ran all these industries into the ground. Fortunately Margaret Thatcher came along and returned these businesses to entrepreneurial management. She rescued the country. Overall this led to massive investment and a huge hike in product quality, the customer became number one again.
More socialist control freakery came in the 1970s with a ridiculous prices and incomes policy that allowed Labour to micromanage the prices of large numbers of goods and the pay that lots of workers received. Obviously this was an unmitigated disaster and contributed to the overall wrecking of our economy that the unions and nationalisation were causing at that time.
Blair and Brown were just as much control freaks as their predecessors had been. Take the national health service, this was given to Frank Dobson to run, he immediately removed the Conservative reforms because they looked like a market, and socialists don’t like markets because they create fair pricing. As a consequence the wheels fell off the service and the newspapers were full of stories of massive waiting lists. There was an election coming up and this was causing Labour huge problems in the polls. Blair got rid of Dobson by making him candidate for London Mayor and then tried to undo the damage. The answer was to employ tens of thousands of managers to give Labour strict control over every aspect of health. And of course to throw money at the problem. Health spending tripled and yet some key health indicators went down. The gross mismanagement of the health service cost the British taxpayer hundreds of billions of pounds and is the main reason government spending was so unbelievably out of control at the top of the cycle. We will be paying for this for decades.
More Blair and Brown control freakery was using the excuse of terrorism to take away lots of our rights, including Magna Carta rights going back to 1215. They also massively increased police powers and put in surveillance systems that make us the most watched nation on earth. Yet all this anti terrorist apparatus was very rarely used against terrorists, instead it was massively abused against the ordinary man in the street, which is obviously what was intended.
Above I have given just a few examples of the control freakery that is fundamental to socialism. They believe in taking power and choices away from the individual because they believe that the individual is not to be trusted with such freedoms. This, of course, is utter rubbish. It is the individual who knows best and who should be empowered and it is nice to see our coalition government starting to put things right, but they have a very long way to go.