Did you know some theatre companies drop the last couple of pages of ‘Hamlet’, because they like Hamlet’s dying words, “the rest is silence” as the last line?
Well I’ve never done this before. The book is Citizen Clem by John Bew. The pic at the top of this article is from the Ken Loach film, Spirit of ’45. When you’ve read this book review, if you’re interested in all the talk of Jeremy Corbyn being like (or not like) Clement Attlee, I suggest you watch that film. It’s probably better than this book, and it’s more likely to contain the information that’s relevant to us today:
So, my mobile went squiffy and a couple of days later the home phone-lines went down, leaving me the choice of the sort-of functional computers at the children’s library or life off-line. The worst thing was, after a few days of it, the temptation to try and get news from mainstream TV got the better of me.
You were as upset by what happened in Manchester. You’ve been all keyed up trying to do your best for a fast and furious election campaign, and now you feel sad and sorry and worried sick. The campaign’s been halted. And while you sit there trying to work out the rules, (Tory) government ministers are on TV and radio, telling listeners how they’ll keep us all safe, and the media billionaires and their right-wing supporters run riot all over the news stands and social media.
This is a thank you to the many people who commented on my ‘doorstep answers’ blog post here, or on Facebook or elsewhere. The comments tend to fall into two categories – “they won’t believe it” and “here’s some better info”.
“Where’s the money going to come from?” It’s a question a lot of people ask on the doorstep, when Labour campaigners come around and tell them we have the answers to the problems the Conservatives have created. Surprisingly often, the question wrong-foots the canvassers. It’s because it’s such an illogical question. How do you pay for a revenue generator? It’s like saying where do you find the energy to eat your dinner?
Here’s my answer:
How do we pay for renationalising the NHS? By rejecting deals with private companies that put hospitals expensively in debt, by refusing all corporate ‘services’ that are priced so high to pay for share-holders’ dividends and commercially minded managers’ salaries.
In short, we pay for renationalising the NHS by renationalising the NHS.
How do we pay for renationalising the railways? Pretty much as above, except that we don’t even have to get into arguments about ‘compensation’ for companies that were expecting to get rich out of our railways – we just take them back when their franchises end. We could also drop ticket and season ticket prices so that more people could afford to use the railways, if we re-invested the money currently going to foreign companies in profits.
In short, we pay for renationalising the railways by not paying for any more franchise deals.
How do we pay for all the local authority schools, childrens’ centres, libraries, museums and other education projects we’ve been losing in recent years? By ceasing to funnel vast amounts of government money into private and semi-private ‘academy’ companies.
In short, we pay for education and culture by renationalising education and culture.
How do we pay for running the tax collection system properly?
By adjusting taxes so that those who can afford to pay more – the millionaires, the billionaires and the corporations – do pay more. We can put a small proportion of the revenue generated that way into re-staffing and powering up the HMRC so that it has the capacity to administrate and collect all the tax that should be collected. The result will be a MUCH greater income, with less burden on those who DON’T have large amounts of money to pay taxes with.
How do we pay for setting up a national investment bank?
With the rest of the income generated by sorting out the tax system.
How do we pay for the council houses, the new schools, childrens’ centres and care services, and the green infrastructure we’re desperate for? With the money generated from the national investment bank, once it’s set up and funded by the money rolling in from the HRMC.
How do we get everyone who wants to work back into work so they can pay some taxes and keep things rolling? By employing them to get on with all the things listed above.
Any other questions?
Update added 20th May 2017: some other questions did come up – here are some answers to those, courtesy of We Own It …
Update added 30th May:
More answers please pass around one more time, with the added message for any Tory-leaning friends that…
the BIG, BIG problem with selling off your assets to gain funds is that it comes to a dead stop when you run out of assets.
A couple of days ago, I was moved to make a Facebook status comment “So long Danczuk and thanks for all the er… er…” It immediately collected some comments of a similar but stronger nature, and then this…