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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Freedom of speech exercised

For the benefit of anybody who has come this way, from Richard Murphy's blog (I wouldn't go there unless you have professional interest in hearing what sort of tax advice is fed t0 the TUC), I have had a comment deleted by the blog moderator. This a common occurrence and I find myself barred there from time to time and the occasional irate email from Mr Murphy, but no matter. I only mention it because he mentions the fact and comments that it was patronising and rude. Well that's his opinion, but for the benefit of the prurient who may have wade their way over here, this is approximately what it said.

In response to a question on alternatives to share ownership one poster commented "hmmm - the problem is the common ownership bit. How do you imagine that will work?"

To which I naturally replied "The state owns all businesses. You work for the state. The state owns you. You don't like it? The state shoots you in the back when you try to get over the wall. Simples."


Graeme said...

Richard Murphy used to talk sense: I agree with him on the domicile rules (even though I could potentially benefit from them if I come back to the UK), for example. He started going over the top last year, and I stopped reading his blog.

I assume your comment was on his "theology of taxation piece". There are lots of alternatives to capitalism and state ownership: mutuals and co-operatives (building societies, the Co-operative Wholesale Society) ownership by trusts (John Lewis, the Welsh Water company) and mixtures of different types of ownership (The Co-operative bank, hose sole shareholder is a co-operative).

They are all quite attractive, but their common weakness is an inability to fund capital intensive industries (it is hard to imagine most of them building a semi-conductor fab from scratch, for example), especially when capital needs to be reallocated.

As for the theology, Jesus did repeatedly say "give all you have to the poor" and there seems to be little dispute the meaning of "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God", even though there is a lot of dispute over the words.

Anonymous said...

Alex, I actually was enjoying your postings in the blog and it would be sad if you are completely banned by Richard Murphy.

And I think you are right about the common ownership idea. The Soviet Union had not developed any consumables, which could have been exported and sold on the open market except probably vodka. For me as a former Soviet Union citizen it is quite surprising to see that people in the West start to look with admiration to this type of economy, which was based solely on the immobility and low pay of human resources (you can name that slavery).


Alex said...

Billy, I doubt he will ban me for ever, although he gets most uopset when his arguments are torn to shreds, particularly if it is done with one decisive blow.

Unfortunately, once Mr Murphy decides he disagree with someone's views, however benign, he can be quite unpleasant. I don't know whether this is his recent media exposure going to his head, desperation at Labour losing power, or just an unpleasant streak in his make-up.