Thursday, November 28, 2019

No Regard

Historians will judge Blair harshly for Iraq and Cameron for Brexit, yet one of the great ironies of the debate over the last few months has been Blair's trademark lack of self-examination across repeated interventions in favour of Remain. He appears not to acknowledge the pivotal role of his own government in laying the foundations for populist revolt.

There are clear parallels to see in Chile. A series of nominally socialist administrations in the post dictatorship years chose to adapt to the growth-inducing free market ideologies so favoured by Pinochet.

Just as New Labour in the UK had disaggregated and de-localised healthcare and education, Chilean socialists opened the path to ‘monetisation’ of these public goods and in just the same sort of short-sighted manner - no regard for the possibility of macro changes in economic conditions, no regard for the impact of globalisation, no regard for an upsurge in immigration and consequent pressure on resources and most significantly, no regard for the possibility that under these changing conditions they could soon be replaced by a government of the right, more purist in its laissez-faire intentions and willing to push on far more aggressively with the removal of the state from key areas of the public services.

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