Hacker’s Guide to Economics

Hacker’s Guide to Economics

I went over to Hackney to attend the People’s PPE. This, their second event was called the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Economics and I originally produced a storify, which is now here which is a collection of tweets and other social media comments about the event. The rest of this blog is based on my notes and the thoughts it provoked, on debt, banking regulation and Islamic finance, a bit less about the class war.

Ann Pettifor, Director of PRIME, opened the session, stating that the problem was debt and the banks, which create debt.  …

Poison pill

The private pension savings of those caught in the secret privatisation of the Thatcher Government are an inhibitor to non-market price compensation for nationalisations. i.e. nationalisation without compensation. One of Thatcher’s early ‘reforms’ was the re-architecting of the pensions industry and its regulation. She abolished SERPS and introduced contracting out, which created the funds for private money purchase schemes. A threat to nationalise without or with below market compensation means that all the personal money purchase pensions would be reduced in value. You could argue that it’s only fair since QE has artificially inflated these funds but it will create a lot of opposition once the financiers realise how to convert it into votes. It’s a Thatcher designed poison pill for socialism. All the bollocks about swapping rights for shares is a distraction. …

Unifying the Left in the Labour Party?

Unifying the Left in the Labour Party?

I went up to London to attend the Labour Representation Committee Special General Meeting. The original LRC was the fore runner of the Labour Party, but today it is a left-wing pressure group and it called a special meeting mainly to discuss strategy after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Party. The most important debate would be the LRC’s relationship with Momentum as Momentum regularises its position within the Labour Party. The meeting was opened by John McDonnell MP who reprised the previous nine months and then followed by the debate which shows the Left are as conflicted as the Right about the new members and renewed interest in the Labour Party. …

Priorities

38 degrees are canvassing supporters on the EU referendum and ask if we believe that the EU referendum is more or less important than their other campaigns. The reasons the right want to leave is that the EU is crucial constraint on what they want to do. It’s as important as the other individual campaigns.

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Slow times

My normal train journey is disrupted by engineering works; when I say disrupted, there are no trains running on the track. I have been using the bus, but at more than an hour, it’s beginning to make a nonsense of a pied-a-terre. The views are much better though.

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Mandate

Some of the Labour Right claim the PLP has a 9.3m vote mandate based on the 2015 manifesto and results. The 9.3m voted for Labour, the mandate is shared! Also many of that 9.3m voted for losing candidates; don’t think that the PLP can claim them as part of their mandate if they choose to oppose the Party. …