May’s massive paradoxical problem is that Labour say they’ll deliver all that she wants

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I love this from the Guardian this morning:

A strong and properly regulated free-market economy is the only way to guarantee higher living standards, Theresa May will say on Thursday as she contrasts her economic approach with the call for more state control made by Labour at this week’s conference.

All the problems May faces are to be found in the inherent contradictions in what she is saying.

I do not think that anyone doing serious politics really denies that properly regulated markets have a role in society.

Nor does anyone that I know deny that they generate wealth.

But they do not deliver higher living standards for all: a fact that is especially well proven in the USA and now increasingly so in the UK, where in both cases they have delivered massive growth for a few and none at all for many.

And we do know that the Conservatives have been very poor at market regulation: they wanted more relaxed market controls before the 2008 crash.

They also oppose level playing fields in tax whilst their chosen low tax systems for the wealthy encourage inequality, which is now known to be very bad for growth.

Their attitude to tax havens is support them behind a veneer of supposed measures to increase transparency that may well be ineffective in practice.

And as for their measures on the ground, Grenfell Tower was the tragic measure of their failure.

That is the reason why we need more state control.

The reason for it is to challenge monopoly abuse, ensure that essential needs are met when market choice cannot deliver, and to deliver the regulation that is the essential prerequisite of effective markets. Those are the pre-conditions for improved living standards for all but a tiny minority.

And only Labour is, in the UK national arena, talking about delivering that regulation right now. As a result, rather bizarrely, they're offering what May says she wants. And that's her massive, insurmountable and paradoxical problem.