Robens Admits it Again

Lord Robens, the chairman of the National Coal Board, has again stated that the nationalised coal industry is run on state capitalist lines. He told the annual conference of the National Union of Mineworkers in Douglas on 9 July:

“In 1961 the Tory Government produced the White Paper called “Financial and Economic Obligations of Nationalised Industries”. With this, the old Morrisonian concept of the socialist philosophy of public ownership gave way to State Capitalism; which even the return of a Socialist Government did not change.”

The last Labour government (which Lord Robens as a member of the Labour Party supported) was not socialist. Nor were the nationalised industries run on socialist lines up until 1961. Herbert Morrison’s philosophy was merely that these industries should subsidise the private sector rather than try to make profits themselves. Oddly enough Morrison once himself denounced one public corporation, the Port of London Authority as a form of capitalism (Daily Herald, 30 July, 1923).

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