On the subject of presumably a number of popular movements fighting Coalition policies at the moment, and in particular the campaign against workfare, Chris Grayling is reported in the Daily Mail yesterday as arguing the following:
‘This is part of a broader anti-capitalist trend in our society. Campaign groups are waging war very deliberately against big business.
‘If we don’t have big employers who are hiring, we won’t have any jobs for our young people. The idea that we should allow a bunch of extremists to get in the way of providing genuine, voluntary help for unemployed young people is just crazy.
Well, I’m sorry Mr Grayling – but you’ve just revealed a massive hole at the centre of government ideology. A truth you’d have probably been best off not uncovering.
There is no way that big business can be equated with the purer tenets of capitalism – unless of course your idea of capitalism involves sanctioning effective monopolies and cartels; the right to destroy small- and medium-sized businesses through unfair practices such as cross-subsidisation and loss leaders; creating cash cows on the backs of low-wage policies in emerging economies (more even-handedly reported here); and making so overbearing perfectly valid legal figures such as copyright and patent law that all reasonable attempts at innovation by new companies are effectively locked out of the market.
No, Mr Grayling – you and your government have got it wrong. Being anti-big business does not mean one is necessarily anti-capitalist – just as being pro-big business does not a freedom-loving government make.
And whilst our government understands and identifies capitalism exclusively with big business, we will continue to commit these huge errors of judgement. As well as fail to take advantage of so much that could be good about our nations.
So my suggestion? Sort out your deeply ingrained prejudices first, Chris – and then come back and start governing for us all.