IT has become a common lament of Labour’s critics that, through its socialist policies, it wants to take us back to the 1970s.
I mean, who’d want to go back to then, when the unemployment rate fell to 3.4% without workers having to have their rights shredded, people could afford to buy their own home and, statistically speaking, economic inequality was at its lowest ever? Weirdos
Much better now, what with austerity, the gig economy, home ownership a pipe dream for many and economic inequality at a level that would have had Charles Dickens reaching for his quill.
The ’70s comment was there again after the Labour party conference when Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell outlined plans to take back the Royal Mail, public utilities and the railways into state control.
Before you could say glam rock, images of interminable strikes, power cuts and polyester suits were being conjured.
I’m not saying the ’70s were all good – yes, I can still remember the winter of discontent – but it certainly wasn’t as unremittingly bad as the 2010s have been, with the pain showing no sign of ending for many.
Another thing that exercised the right-wing press last week was McDonnell’s idea for employee ownership schemes in large com-