Chris Grayling (the Minister whose Justice “reforms” were overturned by the most toxic figure in British politics, hater of experts, yet, somehow, “evidence” based arch-reformer, Michael Gove) was shuffled into Transport by Theresa May and, shock of shocks, his solution to the Rail Crisis is to privatise National Rail. At the time when everyone and their dog are calling for rail services to be re-nationalised, the Tories solution to the failed experiment of rail privatisation is more rail privatisation.
It is the perfect example of politics being driven by ideology and of that ideology making those politicians incapable of fixing the problems that their ideology has created. The problems Britain currently faces, both economically and socially, are products of the neoliberal viewpoint that has been proven to be both ineffective for societies and destructive. It has created the monopoly economy that has so isolated large swathes of society and transfers wealth into fewer and fewer hands. The victims of neoliberalism and its vandalism have begun to strike back and, I’m sure, the answer from the neoliberal ideologues will be mass suppression. There are ugly times ahead.
Those being driven by the neoliberal ideology (who are also conveniently the beneficiaries of it) will seek to exercise the power that their accumulated wealth buys and the death of neoliberalism will witness a great deal of thrashing about of its beached ideology before we are done with it. In the meantime, the Tories are proving that they not only do not have the answers to the problems that they are creating but that their idolatry of privatisation and the vestiges of the neoliberal economy makes them incapable of accepting the causes of the problems.
Even as the Tories, on some level, must know that they are the wrong people at the wrong time, they don’t have any other go to philosophy than to believe in their absolute ‘rightness’ to rule. The Tories’ politics only works when their politics does not face economic and social tribulations. Neoliberalism is, at its heart, a parasitical ideology that bleeds healthy hosts. Neoliberalism has no scope for shoring up troubled economies or societies, neoliberalism is built on the fundamental belief that governments exist to facilitate the transfer of public wealth from populations to private individuals.
The neoliberalism of Thatcher and Blair would not have created the NHS or the Welfare State precisely because it would have seen those institutions as distributors of public wealth to the public by the public. Neoliberalism does not believe governments and democracy can effectively control societies, it sees democracy as a corruption of the ‘rightness’ to rule of philosopher kings. Societies need the benevolence of ‘righteous’ men to rule over them and those men should control all the wealth, to most efficiently decide how best to apply it. It doesn’t seem to matter that history has proved that such ‘benevolence’ is always absolutely corrupted by such a totalitarian ideology (or maybe it is just conveniently overlooked by the beneficiaries). The ‘madness’ of Thatcher and Blair’s overwhelming sense of ‘rightness’ that any means were acceptable to justify the invasion of Iraq because he believed in it ably demonstrate that corruption.
And so we are faced with the Tories proposing to carve up and give away yet more public assets. It is no accident that, when faced with a national crisis following the Second World War, the Tories were rejected and Labour were able to provide the answers to Britain’s social economic problems. The generations after the War built legacies for future generations and they built them under Labour governments, since the 1970s, the neoliberals have been giving those legacies away, Thatcher to New Labour to Cameron and, now May.