That isn't something to celebrate, Kay

It's not often that I'll quote Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne, but she did say something interesting on last weekend's Sunday Politics Wales:

"It's critically important to understand where the United Kingdom was in 1979 when [Margaret Thatcher] came in and where it was when she left ...

"In '79 only 15% of the UK's GDP came from private enterprise. By the time she left [in 1990] it had switched so that the majority was now coming from private enterprise. That, for me, is her legacy; and it should be something we celebrate."

If these figures are correct, they show that one of the tenets of nearly all Conservatives is fundamentally wrong. It is clearly untrue to talk about the "wealth-creating private sector" as if it were the only way of creating wealth. Wealth can equally be created by industries that are in public ownership ... and, prior to 1979, most of it was.

All that happened to bring about the change Kay was talking about is that publicly-owned, wealth-creating businesses were sold off cheap, so that the profit they made was fed into the bank accounts of private shareholders instead of being retained for the public good.

That certainly isn't something to celebrate.

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