United Kingdom

British Labour Party Politicians, Supporters Make Their Terrifying Preferences Known at Conference


BBC Screenshot

The BBC is featuring a rather scary video of British Labour Party supporters voting on whether they support socialism or capitalism at their annual conference, which finished yesterday. 

It is hardly a surprise that the majority of Labour Party members shown in the video voted for socialism. However, there are some particularly disturbing parts of the video, namely the young woman who said, "I don't think anybody benefits under capitalism" and the two young men who mention their support for something called "responsible capitalism," as if "capitalism" wasn't quite good enough or entails some degree of irresponsibility.

A few politicians are shown in the film; Chuka Umunna MP and Caroline Flint MP both decline to cast their vote. But Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP, who will (absent a shadow cabinet reshuffle) be chancellor of the exchequer if Labour wins the next general election, enthusiastically cast his vote for socialism.

Watch the video below:

A few days ago Labour Leader Ed Miliband gave a speech at the conference in which he unveiled (among other things) energy and housing proposals.

Under the energy plan, if Labour wins the general election in 2015, the government would freeze gas and electricity bills for 20 months. Miliband has described warnings of power cuts from power companies as "scare stories." The plan has been criticized by some in the Labour party.

Speaking about housing Miliband said "we'll say to private developers, you can't just sit on land and refuse to build. We will give them a very clear message—either use the land or lose the land, that is what the next Labour government will do," a message that was called "a Stalinist attack on property rights" by the chief economist at the Institute of Directors.

It would of course be easier to laugh off such absurd proposals if it weren't for the fact that they are being put forward by the leader of the U.K.'s main opposition party, who could very well succeed David Cameron as prime minister.

NEXT: Grand Theft Auto Online May Allow Purchase of In-Game Currency

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ?Hasta la victoria siempre!

  2. Perfidious Albion is so, so fucked.

  3. IngSoc is finally victorious. May Airstrip One long be under the benevolent gaze of Big Brother.

    1. Yes, from now one I will refer to the former UK by it’s more appropriate title: Airstrip One.

  4. I’ve come to realize that the reason socialists/leftists/collectivists are so invested in collectivism and “it takes a village” is because their utterly failed model absolutely requires roping in everyone so that they can bleed the productive and those who have talent for as long as possible. Their model is unsustainable, but if you drag everyone into it, it will last far longer. Put just the ones who believe in socialism into their own community, with no ability to force those who do not believe in socialism to participate, and their society would be a horror in no time at all. This is why they are excoriating towards those who would opt out. Because that scares the shit out of the socialists; there goes their cash cow.

    And, of course, this is why they are all about force. Because they need it to keep their model going. Not to mention that they also see themselves as the directors of that force. Tyrants all, no matter how petty.

    Sic semper tyrannis.

    1. I think, to them, the ideal situation would be to enslave capitalists and have them operate and produce as if they had free market incentives without, in fact, having a free market at all.

      1. Look, ProL, if the capitalists can make things work in a free market, they can make things work if forced to do it at too. Or something. Do you see the flaw in your logic now?

        1. Indeed. They’ll work even harder if threatened with death on a daily basis. Heck, we’ll torture them into efficiency!

          It’s all so clear to me now. Thanks!

        2. If Capitalists were not so damned selfish and would be willing to work for the common good, we could make this work. They are standing in the way of paradise. Is there any punishment too severe for such selfish people?

          This is what Marxists believed. The people who went through the Ukraine shooting starving people for the crime of hiding a jar of rice, honestly believed they were helping to usher in a new world. The truth about communism and socialism is so monstrous it gets hidden because few people will believe such a thing could exist.

      2. Sure and if everyone could trade things at a net loss and still have something, the world would be utopia. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t enough resources to fully sate all needs, so one might think that a system which maximizes the efficient use of resources that have alternative uses based on aggregate demand as signalled by valuation in a currency that is fungibly traded for anything else of value might be as close to ideal as one could get…

        But obviously this is crazy.

      3. Isn’t that more or less the definition of fascism?

        1. Absolutely. All collectivism will eventually devolve into fascism. You can all it fascism, or communism, or whatever, but we all know what it looks like, and at its core is pure force.

          1. you misspelled evil there.

      4. I think that’s what “responsible capitalism” means – “Sure, we can call it capitalism, as long as you do what I tell you to do.”

        1. I think that’s called some other -ism. Can’t remember the name. Think it starts with an f.

          1. Well, I should have specified that that’s what “responsible capitalism” means to those guys. Yeah, the rest of us would call it the f-word.

      5. the ideal situation would be to enslave capitalists and have them operate and produce as if they had free market incentives

        Most socialists seem to think that they should labor purely for the honor, out of a sense of duty. I’ve heard this repeatedly about doctors. They should work for love of helping people, not money! Somehow teachers are exempt from that requirement though.

        1. You see, there is some subconscious idea of the optimum income and lifestyle. Teachers are below it while doctors are above it.

    2. I think that nails it pretty well, and why my utter contempt for them. They are thoroughly evil.

    3. It absolute is about force. Socialism works on the assumption that people will work as hard for the collective as they will for themselves. That is why they can’t understand they price controls always cause shortages. They think the power companies should be willing to produce power no matter what the price. They make power for the benefit of the collective.

      Of course people are never going to do that. They will always work harder for themselves than for the collective. So socialists are always reduced to trying to use brute force to get them to do otherwise.

      This is also why socialists always end up embracing the total state and completely rejecting freedom. If your purpose in life is to work for the collective, the collective then has an interest in pretty much everything you do. Moreover, it has to control you to make sure your efforts are being directed for the benefit of the collective and not yourself. The moment you smoke that cigarette or grow those tomatoes in your garden, you are taking away from the collective and must therefore be prevented from doing.

      It is a monstrous and horrible ideology. Really the worst ideology man kind has ever created.

      1. In the 1890s it was more forgivable to think that one factory could produce all the world’s shoes at cost. Today, with all the information available about socialism? Not so much.

        Today’s socialists aren’t just horrible people; they’re criminally ignorant. Unfortunately, they also vote. Wouldn’t want to take away their “right” to oppress other people at the ballot box, after all.

        1. That is the thing. When it became apparent after World War II that a single factory couldn’t do that and socialism was never going to provide the way capitalism does, the socialists went insane and rejected technology and the entire notion of civilization advancing. If everyone couldn’t have shoes, then no one could have shoes. The very people who once worshiped miracle of industrialization and science, rejected all of that embraced multiculturalism and an ascetic egalitarian ethic. They went from promising the world shoes, to rejecting shoes as a sin of decadence and consumerism.

          1. Well, not literally shoes, but they went from “socialism will provide humanity with abundance and progress” to “socialism will keep us from destroying the earth and save us from false desires for material goods”.

        2. “Wouldn’t want to take away their “right” to oppress other people at the ballot box, after all.”

          Short of eliminating the right to vote altogether, how exactly would you implement a system to prevent that?

      2. Stick to what you know, John.

        1. I understand your ideology better than you do, you half wit. You are the picture of the useful idiot Tony. You just emote varies talking points without any understanding of what they mean or where they came from.

          1. No you don’t. You clearly have a laughable caricature of my beliefs in your head, no doubt fed to you by what appears to be a recent binge on whatever white supremacist fuckstain website, radio show, or cable news channel you’re getting your anger from.

        2. You want the government to do things like asset forfeiture, you shithead. You are okay with NSA spying. Every shitty statist policy lately, you and all progressives have to answer for.

    4. Not to mention that they also see themselves as the directors of that force.

      All just so sure that they are “Inner Party” material.

    5. Without the sacrifice, how will Huitzilopochtli have the strength to battle the darkness?

    6. And something else. How was Europe able to go so socialist and not implode? The U.S. We’ve been the engine that’s kept the world going, because until recently, we didn’t pretend that the state could run the production and distribution of scarce resources, and we’d held on to enough of our free market outlook to remain a massive consumer society. And, of course, we’ve also been their military for decades now.

      1. And Europe was less socialist than American progs like to admit. Europe had a socialist veneer subsidized by American wealth.

      2. Remember that undergirding Europe is a deep-seated sense of tradition and common sense, and at the micro levels, that helps dilute the effects of their socialistic governments. Most Europeans will just ignore really stupid decrees from their governments, and that will be seen as common sense obvious by just about everybody.

        It’s an effect of tribalism, but it’s a rare mostly positive effect for them. There are evolutionary reasons for human tribalism, so there have to have been positive effects from it somewhere along the line, or it wouldn’t have been successful.

        1. One interesting revelation to me in recent years is how fucked up things can get without actually derailing everything. Europe is a great example of that, but, then again, so is the U.S.

          Humanity is like a giant, dysfunctional family, that still manages to keep going. Like the Lohans.

          1. …forever circling the drain but never actually going down. Amazing.

            1. It really is. I wonder how much more we can take?

          2. “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Millions of people, over a few centuries, build up a great deal of social capital. Which is not to say that you can’t burn through all of it eventually, but it does take a while.

    7. Leftists believe that people with ability have a duty to support those without it, and they are willing to use force to enforce that duty, whether or not the people with ability agree.
      It’s basically a philosophy that says that if you are the strongest person in a lifeboat, then the rest of the passengers have a right to chain you to the oar, even if you’d be more likely to survive by jumping out and swimming.
      And you don’t even have a right to (say) negotiate for more benefits in exchange for your greater rowing ability. In order to negotiate, you’d have to have some kind of bargaining power. Which you don’t if they’ve got you chained to the oar.

  5. Under the energy plan, if Labour wins the general election in 2015, the government would freeze gas and electricity bills for 20 months. Miliband has described warnings of power cuts from power companies as “scare stories.” The plan has been criticized by some in the Labour party.

    Socialism is a form of mental illness. We have been playing this game of “artificially control prices and create a shortage” for well over a hundred years now. The result is exactly the same every time. Yet, socialists continue to believe that it will be different this time. That is insanity. There is no reasoning with these people.

    1. ” There is no reasoning with these people.”

      I knew an old german in Mexico who, when the subject of socialism would come up, would begin spitting and cursing and slamming his fist, his bald head turning purple as a beet, and scream “There is only one way you can deal with them! Dont talk to them, shoot them!”

      1. I met a few people in Prague like that. And both your German and my Czech acquiescence speak from experience and are undoubtedly correct.

    2. Socialism is moral signaling gone haywire.

  6. Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades?

  7. So I went and looked at the video — the “responsible capitalist” guy wasn’t that bad, at least he had some idea that the 70s-era UK was not sweetness and light. The rest? Ye gods…

    1. I can’t watch the video because work block. Were they doings 360s and dunking?

      1. No, they were going on insipidly about how wonderful it was that Labour was moving away from Blairism and back to its roots.

  8. For the zillionth time a socialist paradise will be established, spiral into horrific poverty, commit unspeakable human rights violations and fail spectacularly. All the while, and long afterward its supporters will be crowing about its nobleness, blaming all of it’s failings on wreckers and capitalists.

    Whatcha say Tony? Wanna make a bet on how it all turns out?

    1. Prepare for a long whiny screed about how capitalists have no viable long term alternative or stone silence.

    2. Bla bla bla magic rights from the sky fairy bla bla bla Ayn Rand something something stupid rednecks.

      There, you got the full Tony experience.

  9. Watching Britain sink into the mire would be high sport if not for the knowledge that the US is sitting in the same bog.

  10. Zombie Thatcher 2025!

  11. I thought the U.K was already communist? Judging by that story a few months back of the retired couple who had the RV they saved their entire lives for stolen, and when they found the people who did it, the police refused to do anything about it because the thieves supposedly needed it more. Doesn’t seem like a society that has any regard whatsoever for private property rights.

    1. I think you have the details of that story wrong. It was not the thieves who needed it, it was a family who had bought the trailer unaware that it had been stolen, if I recall correctly.

      1. The bought a ~$30,000 RV from some guy in a bar for a couple of hundred pounds, and the guy was unable to provide any paperwork proving ownership. They had to know it was stolen. Even if they claim otherwise, they refused to return it even after the facts came out.

  12. Tobias: You know, Lindsay, as a socialist, I have advised… a number of countries to explore a planned economy where goods and services are distributed for the social good according to the whims of politicians.

    Lindsay: Well, did it work for those people?

    Tobias: No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but… but it might work for us.

      1. That’s from Arrested Development.

    1. I grant you a slow clap.

  13. Oh man, I can just taste those meaty leading man parts in my mouth.

  14. The British are doomed.

  15. we’ll say to private developers, you can’t just sit on land and refuse to build. We will give them a very clear message – either use the land or lose the land

    Wow, this is the same thing that is going on in California. The new goal of the far left apparently is to build as much high-density housing (apartment complexes) as possible. I can only assume that getting people out of houses and squeezing everyone into small apartments fits in well with the Left’s goal of easily controlling all.

    1. Well, get you into a small apartment, an electric ride-share car, and walking distance to your factory job. The Mayor, on the other hand, gets a large black SUV that parks where the fuck he wants, bitch.

    2. either use the land or lose the land

      Just like the native americans.

    3. Well, of course. You let people own their homes, they might start thinking they own themselves.

  16. Speaking about housing Miliband said “we’ll say to private developers, you can’t just sit on land and refuse to build. We will give them a very clear message – either use the land or lose the land,

    Ok, this is about eight kinds of confusing. So, is it fair to say that Labour are socialists, but definitely not say, environmentalists? They want people building, building early and building often. Here in the states, the left gets kind of grumpy when people “use” their land, and we even pass laws saying, “no, you need to sit on your land…FOREVER”

    1. This is similar to how Chna got to building a large number of empty, shoddily constructed cities.

    2. British socialists are also big fans of coal.

      Remember that Margaret Thatcher’s big fight was against the coal mining unions. They havn’t forgotten.

      I have vague recollections of them wanting to pour subsidies into coal a couple years ago – which to an American just seems bizarre for a left-wing party.

  17. Why am I willing to bet that a similar exercise with Democrat party members would yield an only slightly more capitalism tally?

    1. Because you are not an idiot…and about a third of the GOP would vote that way too.

    2. Slightly more capitalism? Wow, arent you the optimist.

  18. as if “capitalism” wasn’t quite good enough or entails some degree of irresponsibility.

    As if indeed.

    1. No one seemed to be for Responsible Socialism though.

  19. I suspect as equally as they don’t understand what capitalism is, many of them think of “socialism” as meaning “free healthcare and the dole”, not “State control of the means of production, just not quite Communism yet”.

    Very few people seem to use either term correctly. (Indeed, the “capitalist” side often prefers “free market” to a term invented by Marx…)

    1. The Conservatives are a bunch of “capitalists” whose core policy platform is to print lots of money, borrow like no tomorrow and bail out every banker.

    2. Not even that.
      They probably just think socialism means “niceness and sharing”.

  20. I hope they get it good and hard.

  21. It’ll take a second Stalin to wake people up.

    Perhaps I should learn to stop worrying and love the mass murder.

    1. You think that’s gong to wake anybody up? They want to believe this shit.

  22. I CTRL F – ed my way through the comments to find references to balls, but nothing.

    No ball jokes? Really?

    1. Capitalists really need to show more balls?

      1. Its easier to get balls deep in socialism.

  23. This is about social signaling. People unfortunately believe that socialism means “sharing” and capitalism means “greed”. Voting for “socialism” vs. “capitalism” is a proxy signal for “I’m compassionate” vs. “I’m selfish and greedy” to a lot of people.

    To me it means “I’m stupid” vs. “I have a brain”, but I’m abnormal. Most social signaling is about what a nice person you are, not your relative intelligence. The few people who voted for capitalism shows that there’s a small fraction of even the British Labor party that is a bit more intellectually sophisticated than average, although probably not very politically or socially astute (like libertarians).

    Whether voting for socialism in a signaling situation actually translates into voting for government to seize control of industry is a different question. I think humanity has a pretty basic problem in that our social instincts drive us to make really terrible political and economic decisions. But many people would recoil in horror at the actual policies socialism would entail. So most politicians benefit from signaling how much they love socialism, without actually implementing it. They get a lot of mileage out of damning capitalism while being careful not to undermine it too much.

    1. They get a lot of mileage out of damning capitalism while being careful not to undermine it too much.

      Is that why we have ObamaCare? I think the left destroys free markets whenever they’ve gotten the chance.

      I think the truth, at least in the US, has a lot more to do with the fact that the socialist left has controlled education and the media for a century, and this is the intellectual diet everyone has been fed since the day they opened their eyes.

      The fact that we haven’t gone full-bore socialist much sooner, is quite amazing. Somehow, a major thread of sanity has prevailed enough to at least slow the tide as it’s rolled in.

      1. ObamaCare isn’t so much blatant socialism as it is a retarded attempt at forcing markets to act like a socialist system and creating all sorts of perverse incentives in the process.
        ObamaCare is like a socialist trapped inside the body of a capitalist, attempting to get a sex change and failing.

        1. Obamacare isn’t really socialism at all. It’s mostly crony capitalism, with a thin “progressive” veneer. All it does is extend our current wildly inefficient system of healthcare funding. Why do you think health “insurance” companies came out in favor of it?

          1. It’s fascism, plain and simple.

  24. I like their versions of beer, football, comedy, and rock and roll. Their politics have been utter shite since 18-yickety-8.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.