My father was a socalist. Unashamedly so. When New Labour abandoned Clause iV he wrote to Tony Blair asking how long it would be before New Labour removed socialism. He was probably too late.
In 2004 we introduced P-CED to the UK with a business proposal to tackle poverty through a businesss model which re-invest profit in social objectives, saying this about government support
"Traditional capitalism is an insufficient economic model allowing monetary outcomes as the bottom line with little regard to social needs. Bottom line must be taken one step further by at least some companies, past profit, to people. How profits are used is equally as important as creation of profits. Where profits can be brought to bear by willing individuals and companies to social benefit, so much the better. Moreover, this activity must be recognized and supported at government policy level as a badly needed, essential, and entirely legitimate enterprise activity.”
Needless to say, we didn't get it, continuing our efforts under the banner of social enterprise.
Today Liam Byrne makes the call for entrepreneurial socialsm, claiming that Jeremy Corbyn's economic policies won't work.
By the sound of it, he's re-inventing social enterprise under his own brand,
In 2004, we'd warned of the risk of uprisings as a consequence of economic inequality.
"The opportunity for poverty relief was identified not only as a moral imperative, but also as an increasingly pressing strategic imperative. People left to suffer and languish in poverty get one message very clearly: they are not important and do not matter. They are in effect told that they are disposable, expendable. Being left to suffer and die is, for the victim, little different than being done away with by more direct means. Poverty, especially where its harsher forms exist, puts people in self-defence mode, at which point the boundaries of civilization are crossed and we are back to the law of the jungle: kill or be killed. While the vast majority of people in poverty suffer quietly and with little protest, it is not safe to assume that everyone will react the same way. When in defence of family and friends, it is completely predictable that it should be only a matter of time until uprisings become sufficient to imperil an entire nation or region of the world. People with nothing have nothing to lose. Poverty was therefore deemed not only a moral catastrophe but also a time bomb waiting to explode. Poverty reduction and relief became the overriding principle and fundamental social objective in the emerging P-CED model."
New Labour did nothing of course, as food banks and payday lenders began to flourish. We saw riots on UK streets in 2011.
According to Policy Network "Liam Byrne will set out proposals for a new Clause IV that puts the fight against inequalities of power centre stage – and in place of top-down solutions of the past, Byrne will argue for a 21st century 'opportunity state' with a radical new approach to harnessing innovation and entrepreneurialism to increase people's economic, social and political power."
He's about a decade late with this thinking, as you may read on Mixmarket where I describe the form of business which puts people before profit:
'This is a long-term permanently sustainable program, the basis for "people-centered" economic development. Core focus is always on people and their needs, with neediest people having first priority – as contrasted with the eternal chase for financial profit and numbers where people, social benefit, and human well-being are often and routinely overlooked or ignored altogether. This is in keeping with the fundamental objectives of Marshall Plan: policy aimed at hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine's poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a "top-down" approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first -- not secondarily, along the way or by the way. '
If you want some form of enterprise which is social. A 'Marshall Plan for Ukraine maybe of interest.
The primary focus was the plight of tens of thousands of children abandoned to stake care, whose welfare was of little interest to profit maximisers
Then ask yourself why it was brushed aside by the British Council and USAID and a partnership with oligarchs rather than grass roots activists.
As yourselves above all, why the poster boy of neoliberalism, Lord Mandeldson is involved in developing another 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine.