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What a Labour government would mean for business in the UK | FT


Britain may be just weeks
away from yet another general election, and business leaders
around the world are nervously trying to find out what a
potential Labour government would mean for them. This shadow chancellor
is different. I want you to know,
the greater the mess we inherit the more
radical we have to be. Behind deep divisions over
Brexit and the crisis over anti-Semitism in its ranks,
there’s been less attention on Labour’s radical
economic agenda. Lobbyist Ian Anderson
says his clients, blue-chip international
companies, are hungry to know more, and
in particular about shadow chancellor John
McDonnell and his promise to rewrite the rules
of the British economy. When I’m abroad,
when I’m in New York, or when I’m in Asia there’s
a huge amount of interest in Labour’s policies. What does higher corporate
tax actually mean? What would the change in the
approach to regulation mean? And on the wider
economic agenda, is there a partnership between
business and inward investors to help build Labour’s
infrastructure plans? And would you say that
it’s a positive sense among the business world about
what a Corbyn government would mean? Most businesses are
uncomfortable about prospect of John McDonnell as chancellor. There’s not a lot
of common ground. And whilst John
McDonnell will say that he’s talking to
business, a lot of the time he’s talking at business. Corbyn and McDonnell have
taken much of the limelight. But behind them there’s a large
policy network of leftwing MPs, activists, advisers,
Trotskyists, Greens, pressure groups,
think-tanks, academics… the list goes on. In this film, we meet some
of the faces behind the most radical leftwing policies seen
in Britain since the Labour government in 1945: large-scale
redistribution with taxes on the rich and business,
borrowing for infrastructure, the renationalisation
of water, the railways, and other privatised companies,
with shareholders paid back below the market price, the
gradual transfer of 10 per cent of the shares of every big
company to their workers, strengthening the rights
of consumers, workers, and tenants against
shareholders, landlords, and bosses. And these are only the
current existing policy. There are also ideas
being knocked around for a three-day weekend,
a universal basic income, and the land value tax. And on it goes. In the network of policymakers,
Ann Pettifor, a leading critic of neoliberal
economics, stands out as a longtime adviser to shadow
chancellor John McDonnell. What would you say
to business people? Are they right to
be watching this with some measure of alarm? Yes, if I think if you’re
a rent-seeker, you know, if you’re one of today’s
rentier capitalists, there will be a
lot to worry about. It’s not going to be so easy
to drain valuable public assets of wonderful rent easily. In the future, that
may be the case. But I think most of your
readers will actually look forward to this. Because what they want more than
anything else, I would think, is economic stability
and economic prosperity. As long as we have the
low levels of income that we have now, where we have
the kind of insurrection that is represented by
Brexit and that is very destabilising
in the economy. And what business
people often ask… they kind of see
two John McDonnells. They see a shadow chancellor
who has a very amiable bank-manager manner. There’s also the
John McDonnell who’s suddenly very angry about
bringing down capitalism. Which is the real
John McDonnell? There’s no doubt that
he’s on the left. But when it comes
down to it, John is really pragmatic and
sensible, and sometimes, in my view, a little too
conventional, really. When it comes to
Labour’s ambitious plans for renationalisation one
campaigning group has been very influential among the
Corbynistas, We Own It, founded by Cat Hobbs, who wants
to reverse the privatisations of the 1980s Thatcher era, a
policy that was largely left untouched by Labour
under Tony Blair. Some critics of Labour’s
nationalisation policy suggest that it is very
labour-intensive, time-intensive. Do you think it is the best use
of the time of a radical Labour government? Absolutely. Because what this is
about is taking assets that will make a profit
for the public purse back into public hands. So it means ending the rip-off
that we’ve got right now. It means giving
everybody a fairer deal in terms of our
bills and the money that we’re paying out
for these services. But it also gives us
a really vital tool that we can use in
delivering a Green New Deal, in tackling the climate crisis. Are there other
private-sector industries which you would like
to see nationalised which, at the moment,
are not being discussed? So We Own It is calling
for all public services to be run in public hands. And so what that means is
it means energy, water, the railways, buses, the NHS,
schools, council services, libraries, care work, parks,
all of those things… But what about… …should be… …the defence industry? …in public hands. What about airports? Yeah, I think wherever
there’s a public service. So defence industry,
yes, airports, yes. All of these things
are public services that we don’t have a choice
about relying on, really. We’re not talking about
the whole economy here. So we want to see
a mixed economy. Public services should be run
for people rather than profit. Private companies
and private investors can invest in the
rest of the economy. The chance of these radical
policies becoming reality is being taken seriously
in some quarters. Former head of the Civil
Service, Bob Kerslake has been charged with
advising McDonnell and team on the potential
transition into government. I’m not a member of
the Labour party, nor am I developing
their policies. What I’m doing is
helping them think about the task of
moving into government. And it’s worth saying they
face some real challenges. We have huge social
divisions that are matched by economic divisions. And in my view,
the important thing is that we have a government
that has the courage to see through the
radical responses that are going to be needed. We’re talking about a very
ambitious programme of radical change. But most of the people around
Jeremy Corbyn have not been ministers or running the
government under previous Labour administrations. Does that make it
harder for them? Yes, it is a radical programme. And indeed they have some
who have got experience of government, but not many. And in a way, that’s
not surprising if you’ve been out of
power for nearly a decade. But I think if you look at
the policies, many of them are policies, if
you went to Europe, would not be hugely surprising
– national ownership of the railways, for example. So they’re radical
for the direction that this country has gone
in for the last 50 years. But they’re not so
radical when you look at some other
countries in Europe. But Labour is deeply divided,
and the radical Corbyn agenda has alarmed many
more moderate MPs. In February 2019, it was
enough for Chris Leslie, a former shadow chancellor, to
resign as a Labour MP against what he said was Labour’s
shambolic Brexit policy, anti-Semitism in the party,
and its hard-left economics. Ultimately, it is
anti-capitalist. It’s not about
regulating markets, it’s about overthrowing markets. From my point of view, looking
at a choice of finite amounts of money, are you going to spend
£90bn to nationalise the water industry, or should that £90bn
be used for something more socially productive? But they’ll make the point that
that is covered by the profits that you then get by
owning the water industry. And they would suggest the £90bn
is far too high an estimate. Yeah, but only in an
environment where the market is going to say, oh, yeah,
we’re absolutely fine with you taking assets
below market value. I mean, the idea that a Labour
chancellor is going to go to the market and say, we’d
like to borrow £500bn pounds. Oh, but the person
in front of you, we just sequestered their
assets below market value. Those behind are
going to say, well, we might lend you some money,
but at a much, much higher risk premium. And of course, when the
interest rates increase, who pays the price for those? Ultimately the poorest in
society, or the public services that will suffer as a result. Laura Parker, the national
co-ordinator of Momentum, the grassroots movement founded
four years ago to support Jeremy Corbyn, believes
that Labour can move beyond the current rows over Brexit and
anti-Semitism and its election defeat in 2017 to win the next
general election on a radical platform. Do you think the movements
around Jeremy Corbyn, Corbynomics, will have a life
beyond the current leader? Yes, absolutely. And I think that now
we have mainstreamed this thinking about
economics in particular, throughout the party. We’ve got a new generation
of people in parliament. I mean, I don’t think
it’s that, you know, when Jeremy takes
off to his allotment, suddenly there’s nobody left. You know, we’re not
stuck for people. I mean, you know FT readers
are probably pretty smart folk. And smart folk will
have understood that we can’t continue as we are. Whenever that general
election comes, we’re ready. We’re ready to
campaign for victory. We’re ready for government. We’re ready to build the future. We’ll be proud to call that
future socialism, solidarity. Some pundits believe Labour
has little chance of winning a general election, not least
because of Mr Corbyn’s low opinion poll ratings. But elections are unpredictable. In 2017, Labour started
out 24 points behind the Conservatives, but ended
up winning 30 seats and almost gaining power. Business leaders in the UK and
around the world are looking very carefully to see what a
Labour government could mean.

Stephen Childs

100 Comments

  1. Take our survey and tell us what you like about our YouTube channel and would like to see more of: https://bit.ly/33SJ8AI.

  2. IT will mean EVERYONE will pay the correct tax, how much difference will that make to public services and the NHS, Anyone who believes that Starbucks will give up the HUGE profits they make on the coffee to prove a point is crazy, and any company that does will find a new company jumping right into the place they leave empty to gather all that ready made market and those ridiculouse profits up imediately. No, they will pay what they should always have been paying and so will the rest. Not paying your tax is a lovely BONUS that goes right on top of the money your business makes from trading and it is time it was stopped.

  3. Even though I use my vote (and we all should) I am disillusioned with Politics. It would be great if the powers that be, were interested in getting it right for the people of this country. Instead rhetoric.

  4. These Marxist will. Bankrupt the UK. Promise everything free based on fantasy accounting.

    More nurses, more hospitals, four day week, more more nurses, more more hospitals.
    More teachers, more schools, four day week, more more teachers, lower class sizes, more schools and more more teachers.

    What's the cost?
    Em it's all coated as free as the the rich will all happily pay for this unicorns and rainbows fantasy.

    Everything free, everything more, everything better.
    Vote Marxist, it will work this time and we won't starve like all the other times it was tried.

  5. Public services should be run for people rather than profit………but we're going to make lots of money out of them for the public purse……how can both these things be true?

  6. We are coming for you. Get used to it. The country is ffucked and your lot fucckked it!!!!

  7. 7.27 = this guys pay is probably 125k a year and he's crying because he will be applicable to higher rate of tax under labour. We won't be taking anything to the grave mate….pay up…..

  8. We will NEVER EVER forgot the RED FLAG song you lot…….. Sung in our VERY OWN Parliament …… TRAITORS

  9. Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery. For God sake people it doesnt work. We don't live in fairytale land. Yes all this would be great but it just doesnt work.

  10. How can you be British and vote labour. Corbyn has said that the IRA YES THE IRA the ones who bombed our troops with there shitty petrol bombs That they were right to fight us So why do we want to vote labour then?

  11. So I guess it was ok for the tories under thatcher to take assets we already owned as a nation, and sell them back to us at below market value making a few people a fortune in the process, and setting the UK up for the great 'rip off' to come. Chris Lesley is a New Labour man, which is really 'old tory'. The fact is this country's ills have been created over a very long time with tory policies and only radical reforms will change things for the better. What thatcher did to this country was a disgrace and we're reaping what was sown then and will continue to do so. God help us if the tories get a majority.

  12. ·      
    Brexit Quiz!

    Who said: "If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate, & we
    would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by ‘Bwussels’,
    but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills,
    a culture of easy gratification & underinvestment in both human &
    physical capital & infrastructure.”

    A) D. Cameron

    B) G. Miller

    C) B. Johnson✔

  13. ·      
    The choice is stark if you want to stop a no deal Brexit (the ERG Tories will not agree a free trade deal with the EU, because the EU says if you want free trade with us you have to play by the same rules as us) you have vote to stop the Tories.

    The only way to do that is to vote tactically. In your constituency you need to check the result of the last General Election and vote for the party that can beat the Tory. If you split the left vote the Tories will win. For confirmation of this all you need to do is check the results going back decades.

    The left vote has always been larger than the Tory vote, but the Tories have been in power more years than any other party. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

  14. ·      
    The
    Tories have "borrowed" more money than any government in history and
    all Labour Governments combined! They spent that money (so it equates that they
    have also spent more money than Labour ever has) on boosting the assets of the
    rich by £100s of £1000s, some by MILLIONS. They gave us cuts on cuts, just look
    at the state of our public services e.g. police, NHS etc.

  15. Labour is right: Britain has a broken economy that needs fixing: https://www.ft.com/content/d29b4cbe-0fa4-11ea-a225-db2f231cfeae

  16. Sorry , not interested in you and corporate opinions For long enough they got the cream of the crop Our shadow Chancellor and our Leader cares about the people

  17. Fraudulent postal votes are the only way Labour will win this election, get ready for record number of postal applications!

  18. While the rich laugh with their bank managers, the poor cry in food banks. Change is needed. Vote for the candidate that has the best chance of keeping the Tories out. The NHS and future generations need you. Get out and vote please.

  19. if the made it mandatory that all companies doing business in the UK had to have a UK registered office they could not avoid taxes by using tax havens.

  20. Keep the Tories out by voting for the party most likely to beat them in your constituency: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

  21. People should be asking the Chief Rabbi to put up or shut up. He's making a cowardly attack by not naming names and by not specifically citing incidences of Corbyn being racist. He's made these generalized attacks a number of times.

    He has had plenty of opportunity to cite specific incidences of Johnson being racist, but never has. Why not?

    Is his attack more about politics than anti-Semitism? And why aren't the media calling him out on this? Why should it be left to people like me?

  22. Labour is full of radical activists. A vote for them is a vote to bring the UK to its knees.

  23. Labour all the way! Why cares what the one percent think! We're talking democracy here!!

  24. At 04:47, I wondered how long it would be before the words 'climate crisis' came out.

  25. The last thirty years in the has seen British Society on its knees to the business community as politicians on both sides of the house have thrown away workers rights, creating a world where people in work live in poverty, reliant on running up debt or eating from food banks. Where schools and FE colleges are so starved of cash they can no longer function to educate our children. Councils ate starved of central government funding so they have to sell public buildings and public assets to arrogant, Tory profiteers to balance the books. Where job security and reasonable working hours are a luxury only for the rich. The railways are run as if we were a third world country. The roads are full of holes, Hospital waiting times ate the longest in a decade. Ordinary people are stressed, miserable and insecure living under the pitiless Tory yoke, Labour’s spending plans are no worse than those in Germany. Germany is the most successful economy in Europe. So please, let’s view this negative essay by the toffee nosed, ex public school, Oxford/Cambridge elite at the FT in the correct light. They are arrogant, self interested, rich people in the pockets of billionaires who are scared of a just and fair society and desperate to avoid paying their fair share of tax under a Labour Government.

  26. Hello socialism politics destroy capitalism markets. My opinion Christopher Miller 9:40amEST.

  27. business – it might be remember ed that they predicted doom when Blair stood. Yet within a few years they were invited to parties at number 10 the CBI has a mental block when it comes to working under labour who turned a blind eye to corruption in business, the days of the 10 grand lunch meetings in the city with business ripping off the public and being propped up by the sucker taxpayer British business runs with the fox and hunts with the hounds as long as they can hold the hand out for taxpayer money to cover up inefficiency and graft where the top echelons can do well even if the business is mediocre. You are being fooled if you believe a word they say. corporate benefits handed out to pals in the city who donate to the party – means you are aiding and abetting in this corruption as they use your taxes to line the pockets of greedy scum.

  28. Financial loss Times 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Bankrupting and misleading people since 1888. Trust your personal financial advice from our lobbyist. we will make you bankrupt is no time🤣. labour government is bad because we cant cheat the public anymore 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣.

  29. 4:25 – What complete bollocks she just dribbled. I have a dozen companies I can get my water/gas/electric from. Its so they can impose a green tax

  30. When a lobbyist says that his surrounding is unconfortable with a Corbyn government, that's the best endorsement he can get.

  31. Stop avoiding it and admit you are communist nobody will vote for them but they will finally have some principles

  32. Was it not the previous labour government that had lots of schools built by private contractors on a rent them forever basis? Also the street lighting in my area was taken over by balfour Beatty on a permanent rental basis during the reign of Gordon brown. Is this a u turn or a cunning ploy to requisition these utilities back from private hands?

  33. you do realise big business means lots jobs… lots of jobs means lots of tax… which pays for things like the NHS…. do you people not get that?.. drive AWAY big business, drive away funding for things you want….idiots

  34. Looks like if McDonald was leader the FTs beloved Tories would be in serious trouble.
    So close and yet so far…

  35. This video should be broadcast everywhere, Labour wold win in a minute and would revolution UK!

  36. It seems strange that the financial world deem "anything" to do with Labour policies not supportable , but if its a tory policy well thats fine.
    How can there be such a mindset amongst our financiers and business people , turning this around it presumes say Labour know why the business community wont vote for them but continue down the same road and drive into a ditch every election , one would think Labour would offer a different strategem to garner votes , yet it appears that the financial/business community only look at voting tory?
    Is this some sort of sinister club that once your a member theres no independent thinking allowed?scary.

  37. Corbynov and Macdonnelski learned economics from a Beano annual , both as thick as Dianne Abbott.

  38. "The greater the mess we inherit". Yeah, like when Cameron got into power only to find that Labour had bankrupted the country.

  39. Che Guevara was on the left. All these people are Champagne socialists compared to him. How many of them would give up their cushy lives to travel around on a motorbike helping the poor of this world? None of them.

  40. They give it all this about helping the poor and then go back to their easy lives and nice houses.

  41. Why does Iain Anderson speak like he’s just taken 5 pints of Special Brew anally?

  42. If buisnesses had it their way there would be no taxes.
    But unfortunately that's no good to just about everybody else so we need taxes in place so the redistribution of wealth is sufficient enough to give everybody a reasonable life.
    As soon as tax increases are mentioned it's always doom and gloom, but the economy's of the past functioned alright with high taxes so why is it so unforgivable now?

  43. Corbyn would soon turn the UK into the West's version of Venezuela, a broken South American country destroyed by Left-wing governments. Despite having one of the greatest oil and gold reserves of any country in the world, the populist socialist policies pursued by presidents Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro during the 2000s have left 95 per cent of its population in abject poverty.

    'The Corbyn-type extreme Left is a far greater threat to this country than anything since WW2

  44. I really don't think calling this proud future "socialism" is going to go down well with the public though.
    Welfare Capitalism would be a more accurate term.

  45. "That is nonsense calling Liberals fascists. The Plebiscite was what was wrong. They are tools of dictators and subject to manipulation by the state or media, the latter of which happened here." Obviously!

  46. Boris Johnson set for majority of 68 seats as Labour collapses – poll https://news.sky.com/story/general-election-conservatives-set-for-majority-with-359-seats-poll-11871956

  47. Business men and millionaires should never be allowed to run for public office ! Because their vested interest is always to defraud the public, cut services and increase their own wealth !! Let's *vote labour*, the only alternative to the thieving Tories to make our society more fairer !!
    Jeremy Corbyn is probably the nicest politician in the country and deserves a chance to serve the public.

  48. Ever year the Labor Party refuses to listen to White Voting British People and wants more and more African and Asian Voters in Britain.
    The Labor Party are traitors to the British White People.

  49. jesus that lobbyist was uncomfortable as hell to watch, I would just want to punch him in the throat if he was talking to me

  50. It has emerged from a report by Max Blumenthal in the Grayzone that intelligence agencies in the US and UK are colluding in a dirty tricks campaign to block a people friendly Corbyn Government.They prefer a corporate friendly Conservative government. This is, of course, highly illegal and anti-democratic.
    They want our NHS to be privatised.
    They want to maintain austerity and food banks.
    They don't want to end student tuition fees.
    They don't want us to enjoy a rise in living standards.
    They want corporations to have it all.
    They want the class system strengthened in the UK.
    They don't want alternatives even discussed.
    They don't want us to know the main cause of bankruptcy in America is unaffordable medical bills.
    They didn't want us to know the Tories had secret talks with Yanks to privatise our NHS.
    But we do know. It came out. They got caught red handed!

  51. odd old world The CBI said if labour under Blair got in it would be curtains for UK industry and yet within A year most directors were on the knighthood list and spending time on the round of No 10 cocktail parties whilst they saw salaries
    In th city turn into loads of money with five grand lunches whilst inefficient companies took 'corporate dole from the taxpayer in British business you can still earn 20 times the average wage and display incompetence the mugs will pay up. most successful business in the UK is foreign owned or using a Brass plate address in the UK whilst making the product in a low wage economy

  52. If they implement their policies from there manifesto they will destroy small businesses
    They want a 50% income tax to anyone earning £125000 or over
    A small business starts out in there first year and gets £125000 they already lose £62.500 then they have to have a wage for themselves then any employees which they also want a £10 an hour minimum wage, then on top of that they need to pay for the products and services they sell then rent on wherever they are operating from
    No business will survive that

  53. Newsflash. Having woke radical left opinions does not make you a moral or decent person. It makes you an idiot. Being a mora and decent person makes you a moral and decent person. These fictional radical left opinions include ignoring the fact that the former Soviets killed more people than the Nazis, claiming gender is a social construct, wanting “safe spaces” for everyone but attacks on conservatives, investigating people for their views on gender, gender neutral babies, cultural reappropriation, claiming maths is racist, flying in private jets and telling everyone else not to take once a year holidays, jailing people for offensive tweets (in Europe), calling people comrades. Going for equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity,’and making irrational claims like police gangs databases are racist and Islam is aligned to feminism. Rooting for an ideology wants to take away all our freedoms and remove our humanity shaming us into repeating what we know to be untrue. The west is still free but these freedoms are rapidly disappearing as institutions are enforcing this ideology. Do you want to crate a world like Orwell’s 1984 where people are forced to state that 2+2=5. Conservatives are always guilty and liberal left is always innocent. It is the suspension of logic itself. Do you want to remove the individuals right to think, choose and make decisions. If you let this continue and force the individual into speech, you are forcing their thought so they are turned into robots that cannot even think. This does not make you a moral person, it makes you a brainwashed lunatic, victim of a control grid and an immoral actor. You have the opportunity to walk out of the abyss.

  54. Diane Abbot for next leader of the Labour Party anyone 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  55. Capitalism isn't really working for all, it's inevitable that a shift to the left will happen.

  56. Why do the British hate the rich so much and are so obsessed with getting the money of the rich and giving it to other people? I come from a developing country, family from a very modest background, and I clasify that as theft. I thought people in first world countries were less guillible than they are by believing in Corbyn's economics, or I'd say, lack thereof.

  57. You cannot have economic stability under a socialist economic policy! It's never happened and can never happen in the future!

  58. Labour Party is the Democratic Party of the U.K. they both are Pro Socialism/ Communism. Conservative Party is Republican Party the are Pro Capitalism/ Republic. Socialism/ Communism destroys economies and countries and it fails every time. I don’t know how anybody can support these failed policies.

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