50 Years Ago: Is This What Labour Voters Wanted?

A World Made Safe For Investors

The principal feature of the Labour programme at the election was the pledge to nationalise certain industries. In some vague way never clearly explained this was supposed to benefit the workers. It will, however, be noticed that since the Government entered office, the theme of numerous speeches by Cabinet Ministers has been that the compensation terms would be “fair” or even “generous” to the capitalist investors, while to the workers the Labour leaders’ reiterated appeal is for harder work, austerity, and greater production. (. . .)

As far as the workers are concerned, their position as wage slaves, exploited to maintain a propertied class in luxurious idleness, will not be altered. The State to an ever increasing extent will be the medium through which the exploitation is carried on. The accumulated wealth of the country (the means of production and distribution) will still be concentrated in the hands of the same small minority of individuals, the capitalist class, who own it at present.

(from an article by ‘H’ in Socialist Standard, March 1946)