This book challenges the consensus that has confined political economy to the options that the banks and big business will accept. Based on the policy agenda that Britain’s trade union and labour movement have begun to shape it analyses what is wrong with the British economy, arguing that the country’s productive base is too small, that the economy has become too financialised and that power has become concentrated on a narrow economic fraction based in the City.
It sets out policies to establish democratic and social control of the City, arguing that regulation is not enough. The book focuses on how immediate growth and longer-term re-industrialisation might be achieved, arguing that a socially owned banking sector can foster the creation of a new, sustainable, social housing sector, a new communications infrastructure and new green industries.
The book argues for an alternative economic strategy that breaks political dependence on the US, and diversifies economic relationships, fostering those with emerging BRICS economies and questioning anew our dependence on the European Union, whose ‘social model’ now seems a distant memory.
Critically the book tackles the problems that a progressive government would face and argues that an alternative economic strategy must be accompanied by measures to devolve political power and encourage the active participation of the people in exercising control over the actions of big business and finance in Britain.
It insists on the importance of a strategy that can boost spending power among the British people, begin to narrow the widening inequalities in British society and raise the standard of living and build a new, democratised public realm that insulates people from dependence on volatile financial markets.