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Britain's Trade Union Society and Cold War Monetarism are No Longer Relevant for Today

Stephen Hornsby-Smith
Stephen Hornsby-Smith

There has been a marked departure from the Cold War monetarism, pre-war Keynesianism and dependency on an industrialised Britain's trade union society, mass permanent structures, systems and ideological agendas. These have been crashing down, reorganising the concept, abandoning the paradigm and the practice of state interference since the twentieth century. Attlee's government and its nationalisation programme didn't start a new generation and era of statism, but illustrated the process of its decline. Indeed, as recently as 2010 and the credit crunch, the perception of Brown's boys of state intervention as repo-men into a programme of renationalising essentially of banks, was over. Maybe Brown did 'save the EU' or was that the world?

But by 2010 public ownership and state intervention grew a new head of a society of universal managerial responsibility no longer ideologically quarantined by industry, union and welfare state but liberated from them. Government by new virgin terrain provided jurisdiction rather than executive annexation of budget responsibility. This became the era of interdependence, investment rather than a hand-out rolled-back the ideological self-satisfied but sedentary use of tax revenue.

Welcome to the entrepreneurialism of the state. Tory comprehensive society evangelised an army of philanthropic volunteers and expanded the potential of government without hang-ups over laissez-faire, that” wait and see stake-out from a distance”. Thatcher's hands-on state interventionalism was in the context of the Cold War fought as temporary as Keynesian 1930's fight against poverty, mass unemployment and the last days before the Empire would dissolve. Today's temporary state interaction and partnership extends executive power by deregulating brittle economic orthodoxy with the power of 'shelf-life assistance' in the new paradigm of government turns death-rattled businesses into the black to recycle and update the privatisation that Thatcher had pioneered where the state intervenes for popular individualism. We can then say Thatcher used executive powers not against a concept of 'society' but a concept of unionisation and socialised nationalisation crystallising a rigid anti-social class divisiveness.

This negative consciousness that interfered at every social level was as ephemeral as twentieth century class deference that was itself a residual characteristic of imperial Britain anyway. Thatcher fought many wars, both ideological and literal whereas Cameron quietly politely outmanoeuvred and got rid of the Liberal Democrats and provided a unique precedent in fighting the credit crunch for both PMs, May and Boris, to engage in a different context. Tory ideology has therefore evolved to tackle the fallout of Covid-19, and has anticipated its progressive neutrality in response rather than its negativity about state intervention per se. Welcome to the age of national mutual protection by mutual self-preservation, welcome to post-industrial, post-imperial macro and micro laws of short-term government by mutual executive-driven protectionism. This enables fast-tracking of the profit motive in British financial sectors to pay for short-term government state action by long-term popular consent.

The future tells us that Covid-19 will decimate the brain of the economic 'neural' trade network of globalisation, but Britons share the D.N.A. of national resolve that will pull us through the black hole of decades of recession stimulating individual British values and institutions because of the Brexit, and not in spite of it.

I voted Remain, but Brexit is actually an economic advantage in non-recession proof E.U. that will have to combine all E.U. members E.U. wide in fighting post Covid-19 recession. We don't have to wait for others to catch-up and thus we are its beneficiaries of liberated Tory thinking over state interventionism because Britain is, and has no choice, but to engage managerial economic and social intervention by a new nationalistic paradigm. No wonder our N.H.S. is part of the Tory independence movement from the E.U. because we have broken the determinism and yoke of slow progress or the inevitable slow rolling of E.U. decision-making to ensure that all E.U. members must be included in protecting negotiated arrangements to tackle post Covid-19. Like that last sentence, it is too protracted and Britain is therefore free to anoint individual deals and micro-manage our very individual social needs and not have to linger for others to catch-up. We have deployed a constitutional limitation on the 'monarchy of the popular perception of ultra vires governance of the U.K.' and therefore Brexit is more spirit of 1689 than a reactionary, non far-sighted xenophobic narcissism that I once feared Brexiters wanted. Perhaps we have to be revisionistic here: Brexit might have had the ignorant nationalism fired in combative mode for its supporters and opponents, but that is not the Brexit we'll get! Brexit will be mauled by Covid-19 recession and thus Tory Brexit may be a completely different animal in operation than envisaged, where the Boris ticket will take us all into virgin political and ideological territory, where we make new deals, new blue-prints for state intervention and where , for example, we re-integrate what it is to be an N.H.S. Briton!


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