This is from Larry Elliott this morning and is a massively important insight (so apologies for borrowing it from a fellow member of the Green New Deal group):
The dystopian vision of the future sees Britain displaying many of the traits of a developing country.
Here's what a typical developing country looks like. It is governed by an elite and there is a gulf between rich and poor. The elite extracts economic rents from the rest of the population, then salts them away in tax havens. Developing economies often rely heavily on one commodity, which crowds out activity in other sectors. To the extent that they have an industrial base, it is as an assembly plant for foreign-owned transnational corporations. The country tends to be deficient in physical infrastructure and human capital. All too often the best brains leave the country.
Now consider Britain. The country is dominated by the City, which exerts an extraordinary amount of political power. There is a widening gap between rich and poor. The rich find ingenious ways to avoid paying taxes. Large parts of the country are dependent on the public sector, while the private sector is increasingly dominated by financial services. Industry makes up a smaller and smaller part of the economy and not one world-class manufacturing firm has been developed from scratch since the second world war. Firms complain they can't find skilled labour. The infrastructure is a joke – witness the lack of snowploughs to keep Heathrow open during last winter's snow.
This is not an economy that is going places: it is going south.
The response of the elite is, of course, we must keep banking going: it's all we've got. Actually, it's all they've got.
I see that's not true. Britain's got talent. It's got large numbers of well trained people and some sound structures. It has some competitive advantages. although these are largely crowded out by banking. And that's the key point.
Unless we reform banking.
Unless we stop tax abuse.
Unless we close the tax gap.
Unless we liberate people from the curse of crony capitalism and the corruption inherent in it.
Unless we invest in green new Deal.
Unless we create a national investment bank.
Unless we demand that pension saving go into creating new jobs by putting at least 25% of all contributions into real investment.
Unless we make sure the poorest get more of their pay and, quite bluntly yhe rich get less so that they are not an impediament to hope, progress and innoivation by maintaining the status quo of big finance.
Unless we do those things we won't change this economy and our prospects.
We can liberate the enterprise, energy and wealth creating potential of the people in this country.
But only is we put finance bank in its box.
That's the simple choice we have to make