There seems to be some confusion in Britain about the word Socialism. Socialism is a system of economics that works to benefit a greater portion of society and in doing so strives to be fairer. Socialism is not Communism and it is not Militant it is just that these organizations do use certain elements drawn from Socialism. But whilst they do employ and apply Socialism and Socialist principles they apply them in more extreme ways. If Britain were to adopt socialist policies it would be both a fairer and more prosperous place. It would largely be a better place to live. It would not resemble Russia or China or any other Communist Country and it would not mean that enterprise was stifled or curtailed as the Tories would like you to believe. Instead it would have: improved NHS, better transport system, better roads, lower taxation, improved education system and cheaper fuel bills for everyone in Britain. This list could also go on to include better policing and improved council services and the list could go on.
Socialism in Britain has been discredited by those with a vested interested to do so
The reasons why there has been attempts to discredit Socialism in Britain lie in a number of vested interests. Traditionally the majority of the media in Britain has been controlled by some very wealthy people desperate to hang onto power. Who controls the media can also control the masses by telling them lies. Newspapers like ‘the Sun’ held campaigns in association with the Tories to propel people like Margaret Thatcher to power but switched allegiance only when it saw no real left wing threat from Tony Blair. This basically amounted to brainwashing the masses and the working classes into believing that any left wing policy that introduced elements of socialism was bad for Britain and was in itself an implicit threat of Communism. Such is the power of newspapers to actually do this. Socialist Principles have been artificially distorted, suppressed and discredited in Britain because of the vested interests of the wealthy and powerful protecting their own interests and using the media to wield this enormous power and influence to control the population. For example the chances of me being able to publish this and deliver it to you in an un-edited form such as this has only really come about through the internet. People power to express themselves in this way is something quite unique in history. Censorship and control of expression has been taking place for centuries in Britain and still occurs today even despite the internet in some parts of the world. The internet though is a unique tool bypassing the controls of the wealthy and powerful who have controlled the media and hence controlled the working classes.
Added to the control of the media is the bad impression that Organizations such a the Socialist Worker Party (now calling itself the Socialist Party) and Militant. These organizations have always projected an image of being reactionary or revolutionary. Often these organizations have gone about their business in the wrong way seemingly taking pride and pleasure from causing trouble or simply being a nuisance or disturbance. This gives the public a notion that these organizations are just trouble makers encouraging strike action or protest. Protest in itself is healthy and can stimulate debate but the overall impression that these organizations project is that there are willing to cause upset and disturbance and so cannot be trusted. It is unhealthy then that these organizations also use socialism as a part of their protest or a means in which to justify their actions. These organizations have given Socialism a bad reputation which it does not deserve.
The reason why such organizations use socialism as a part of their protest is because they are striving for a fairer society. Socialist principles basically guarantee a fairer society in that the public and every member of the public has a stake in society through public ownership. It is not so much a shareholding society in the way that is envisaged under capitalism whereby only the wealthy can have a stake. Through some forms of public ownership socialism offers all of society a shareholding stake and feels the benefits through dividends paid back through improved services, improved social infrastructure, lower prices and tariffs for transport and fuel.
Responsible Application of Socialist Principles would benefit Britain
Socialism has to be careful that it does not over-extend the sphere of it’s influence though and it has to be kept in check by a responsible administration (government). Socialism should not and will not if applied in a responsible manner; curtail social and personal freedoms, freedom of expression, freedom of business enterprise. freedom of movement. The proper sphere of influence for Socialism should be to control only those businesses in which everyone in Britain has an interest/stake in, or to put it another way only those businesses which directly impact on their lives and the lives of all. Such businesses would include; Railways, Roads and other public transport services, Council Services, NHS, Energy Providers ( Gas and Electricity ), Water and the Environmental Agencies. These industries and businesses are at the very heart of Britain’s social infrastructure and should be controlled and maintained for the the benefit of the public and not for the benefit of a few shareholders. These industries should serve the public and work for the public to offer the people of Britain the best possible deal and generate capital for future investment and the benefit of the successive generations.
Socialism offers a better future for Britain
By controlling over a limited sphere Socialism can work for Britain and benefit Britain and the future generations of Britain. By controlling only a limited sphere of interest Socialism cannot be accused of stifling freedoms nor creativity or enterprise. Administered and monitored in this fashion it cannot move towards a Communist nor Soviet or Chinese Style System of oppression. It’s sphere of influence will only be limited to it’s economic ability to re-distribute wealth more evenly giving everyone in Britain a shareholding stake and a dividend paid back through improved services such as the NHS, better Council Services, lower taxation burden etc. Managed in this way Socialism offers a better future for Britain. I believe that under the stewardship of Jeremy Corbyn socialism will be applied in a responsible way that benefits everyone in Britain.