Labour’s operating model is old-fashioned socialism. Old fashioned socialism is premised on the basis that those bad old capitalist need to have their exploitative businesses taken over by the benign state. This is pretty much what happened after WWII. However, the problem became clear by the mid-1970’s the state was bad at running industries and could not do it efficiently and so a programme of sell off’s was embarked on. On the other side of the state equation, the industrial model taken from nationalised industry was deployed to deliver large scale health and education and again it has proved problematic. Local authorities too developed this large scale delivery model with the 1974 reforms. These big delivery models become incapable of adapting and begin to consume resources to maintain themselves rather than deploying resources to the people that need them.
So if we end up with a Labour government or some kind of ‘progressive’ alliance will we see a return to the alienating industrial scale delivery of the 1970’s? the evidence seems to suggest that we will and it won’t take long before the whole lot ends up costing more than the country can afford. To understand what to do about this tragic situation we need to understand it’s nature and then develop a new delivery model for the services we need. To do this we need to, first of all, see the country and its people as different from the state, and see the state as a consumer on our behalf. We can then see whether the state as a consumer is costing the country too much and if so whether to use an old Marxist term the state should start to wither away as we develop new delivery models for essential services. We don’t think the Labour party has got that bit of Capital v0lumes 3 yet.