Debate Magazine

Yet Another Gem

Posted on the 14 May 2015 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
From here An obvious solution would be for unions to reinvent themselves as service providers to their members as part of a reborn mutual movement for self-help. As David G Green of Civitas has pointed out, most working people used to belong to such organisations in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1910, 6.6m people belonged to friendly societies, 2.5m to co-operatives and just 2.5m to unions. Instead of wasting money on supporting unelectable socialist politicians, opposing progress in education and health or trying to ruin commuters’ lives, the unions need to withdraw from party politics, make their peace with capitalism and carve out a new role for themselves as service providers. As the state rightly retrenches, they could run free schools, enter house building and provide low cost-insurance based welfare. The only certainty is that, without reinvention, the union movement will be destroyed, and sooner even than in its worst nightmares. Good Grief!  Between cronyism and rampant socialism from 1910 (ish) onwards the Unions and the 'professions' (especially doctors and insurers) destroyed the functioning private support networks based on Friendly Societies and similar.  And now the very people whose warped beliefs precipitated this destruction are being suggested as those capable of re-establishing what they destroyed. Surely the irony cannot be lost on them.  Surely? You really couldn't make it up.  Well actually yes you could.  You could call it 'Twenty eighty- four'.

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