David Cameron comes clean: he’s secretly a Marxist

The Tories have tacitly made a very important concession


When back in 2013 Labour leader Ed Miliband announced a 20-month freeze on energy bills the Conservative Party went into paroxysms of rage. The announcement was a ‘con’ that would not be out of place on the pages of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, according to the Tories.

These were not the shrill cries of the party’s backbenches, either. No, they were the words of no less than the prime minister and the chancellor. Commenting on Labour’s 2013 price freeze announcement, they said at the time:

“We have to address the causes of prices, rather than effectively come up with what is a con.”

David Cameron, 10 October 2013.

“I know he wants to live in a Marxist universe. He needs a basic lesson in economics.”

David Cameron, PMQs, 9 October 2013.

Meanwhile the chancellor George Osborne described the energy freeze as something out of Das Kapital.

Conservative cheerleaders in the press didn’t hold back either. Here was Allister Heath in the right-wing newspaper City AM:

“…price controls have been tried thousands of times throughout history in hundreds of different markets and always fail“.

So what do we take from this? Well presumably that all price controls are nascent signs of Marxsim-Leninism that ought to be thoroughly opposed by all right-thinking people.

And yet what’s this we see coming over the horizon today? Only a Conservative party promise of a …rail fare price freeze.

There is already a restriction in place limiting increases in fares to RPI (retail prices index) inflation which has been in place for two years. However under today’s Conservative proposals this will be extended until 2020, saving, so the Tories claim, around £400 per rail commuter.

A price freeze in other words – and the sort of thing the Tories previously decried as an unfailing sign of incipient socialism.

It would be an exageration of course to claim that we are all Marxists now, but there is hope: the Tories have with this policy tacitly made a very important concession to the left: that market mechanisms by themselves do not – and cannot – solve all of our problems.

Welcome aboard, comrades – perhaps we’ll see you in Cuba over the summer…

James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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16 Responses to “David Cameron comes clean: he’s secretly a Marxist”

  1. James Chilton

    The rail fare price freeze, if it comes about, will mostly benefit affluent commuters in the South East who travel into London.

    In other words, a Tory client group has been promised a benefit that would be stigmatised as a ‘hand out’ if offered to people already on welfare.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    It’s also not a “freeze” as most people understand it. It’s limiting the rises to RPI. For some fares. On average.

  3. nodbod

    Just been listening to the BBC news on this. Apparently a disproportionate number of the richest 20% of households stand to gain from this. Must look after the rich whilst claiming to benefit everybody

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    Well most people were priced off trains long ago. The entire thing needs a wholesale revision of the pricing model.

  5. nodbod

    You’re correct there. I live 50 miles from London and last year two of us wanted to go to London and back over three days. If we wanted to go Friday and return Sunday we were being quoted in excess of £60 each! By going late Friday and returning mid-morning Monday we got returns for about £15 each. Luckily I did not lose work over it but at £60 each it was cheaper to drive and pay parking. My opinion is that it is a service and should be in state control and priced to break even or just in profit.

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