The return of socialism

I have been saying for years that the FT was the best left-wing newspaper in Britain: just look at today’s issue which proclaims the end of Thatcher/Reagan capitalism. Just as New Labour, built on the rejection of Clause Four (for younger readers, a commitment to nationalise “the commanding heights of the economy”) implodes, the Financial Times welcomes the nationalisation of the biggest insurance firm in the world, and the leader asks whether such measures should not be permanent:

the reach and power of the state has been greatly extended. The Bear Stearns bail-out involved the Fed moving to cover investment banks. With the AIG takeover, it has moved into insurance. In the long run, policymakers must turn their minds to how systemically important institutions should be governed without creating over-powerful regulators, and whether any parts of the financial system might best be kept in the public sector.

Extraordinary to reflect that I have lived long enough to see communism die and then the capitalism that replaced it too; to see the nation state and the empire wither away in Europe, and now to return in Asia, and that I have managed to do this without getting very old at all.

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