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Sir Keith Joseph

Economics of Unemployment

With the experience of two centuries of capitalism to go on, it might be expected that by now everything about the causes of unemployment and its fluctuations would be known. In fact, most economists and politicians are as confused about it as were their predecessors. They go on propounding old discredited theories, or the new absurdities that have emerged in the last half century. The TUC and the various wings of the Labour Party are as much in the dark as are the Tories. In defiance of the evidence, they all have a childlike faith that there must exist somewhere a magic formula that would enable them to run capitalism without unemployment—if only they and their computers could find it.

Running Commentary: A Right Royal Time

A right Royal time

Somebody's mum is 80 this month. She "looks 60” and still sloshes around in the rain in her wellies. Like many grandmas, she will celebrate her birthday surrounded by three or four generations of her family. So what's special?

If our grandma reaches 80, a number of people apart from the family will be pleased. The florists, confectioners, stationers and shops where we buy our flowers, cards and presents will all profit from the occasion. But this is nothing compared with the bonanza they’ll have when the Queen Mother celebrates her 80th birthday.

Sir Keith Joseph Meets the SPGB

Philippa Fawcett College 24th April 1975

Speakers: E. Hardy, SPGB, v Sir Keith Joseph, Conservative


The Philippa Fawcett is a teachers' training college. The debate was held during the afternoon and was attended by about 250 people, mainly students. Two south London newspapers and The Times had reporters and photographers present, but only the briefest of reports appeared. The following précis is from a tape recording.

Each speaker made a twenty-minute contribution. This was followed by a period for questions, to which both speakers were invited to reply. There was a final winding-up of five minutes for each speaker. The debate was attentively listened to and fairly conducted throughout.

Sir K. Joseph

What Will They Put in Place of Keynes?

Except in the Socialist Party of Great Britain, Keynes has for forty years dominated the British scene — the economists and politicians, the Tory, Labour and Liberal parties (including the Labour Party's "left-wing" fringes and hangers-on), the TUC and trade unions, all (with few exceptions) swallowed the Keynesian nostrum that full employment can be maintained and crises and depressions avoided by keeping up "demand": giving people "more money to spend", as the Labour Party defined it. All it meant in practice was "printing more money" — inflation — with the result that prices are now nine times what they were in 1938.

It has received such a battering that its adherents have deserted in droves. Not quite all, however; there are still groups such as the Labour Party "left wing", the Bourbons of the economic world, who still go on mouthing the old incantations as if nothing had happened.

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