A common observation of ours here is that there's really nothing quite as conservative as the British left. The more they proclaim themselves to be progressive, radical even, the more they retreat into the world of yesterday. Owen Smith is a case in point. Here the self-proclaimed radical gives us his vision of the Forward to the 1970s movement:
He will propose:
Reintroducing Wages Councils, abolished by former Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher, across different sectors of industry - to boost pay above the minimum wage in sectors such as retail and care
Minimum guaranteed working hours and the abolition of zero hours contracts
Scrapping trade union reforms that curb the ability of unions to call strikes
To establish a Ministry of Labour
Same rights for agency workers as full time workers
Workers to be placed on company remuneration committees
A ban on companies being allowed to recruit only foreign workers
Mr Smith is also expected to call for an end to private provision in the NHS, more spending on public services and higher taxes on the wealthy.
This is one of those Reverse Chesterton's Fence moments. The original is that one cannot decide to remove something until one works out why it was at first inserted. The reverse is that we cannot go about reinstating mythologies from the past until we work out why we abandoned them.
And the truth is that for the British economy the 1970s didn't really work. Which is why we undid many of these 1970s style policies.
But as we say, nothing quite as conservative as the British left these days. Maybe they hope to disprove Einstein by it all working out differently this time?