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A piece to learn from - just reverse it (04/09/22 11:40:45)



    "The Ridley Plan prefigures almost all of the key moments in the long neoliberal assault on public ownership, from the open war against the miners to the privatisation “by stealth” (Ridley’s own words) of the NHS. It suggests that Thatcher pick her battles, provoking confrontations in “non-vulnerable industry, where we can win” such as the railways and the civil service, while taking steps to create the conditions for eventual victory against the more powerful trade unions. It outlines a plan to prepare the ground for privatisation by introducing market measures in the running of nationalised industries (such as changes of leadership, targets for return on capital, and new incentives for managers), and fragmenting the public sector into independent units that could later be sold off.

    Ridley explicitly describes this as a “long term strategy of fragmentation”, “a cautious ‘salami’ approach - one thin slice at a time, but by the end the whole lot has still gone”."

    "The questions it confronts – where the Thatcherites were strong and where they were weak; where they should pick battles and where they should proceed more cautiously; how to erode the power of their opponents to the point where they could win – are exactly the questions the left needs to answer today if it is serious about changing the system.

    What happens during a crisis may depend, as Milton Friedman put it, on “the ideas that are lying around”. But it would be naïve to think that ideas are enough. In the teeth of powerful and entrenched interests, we also need strategies for shifting power so that these ideas can become reality."

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A piece to learn from - just reverse it