Labour has always been a party of business. From the most left wing leader right through to Tony Blair it has been accepted that the best way to create a healthyeconomy is to provide encouragement for business to grow. The major differencebetween the two strands of Labour business thought is why and how it is desirable for business to grow. This paper lays out a vision as to how the Labour Left can embrace good capitalism in a post Neo-Liberal age.
The Blairite view on why a relationship with big business is important for Labour
One the one hand you have a very healthy view from Blairites that strong business growthincluding the oil, banking and pharmaceutical sectors creates large profits and thereforecontributes considerably to our tax yield. These companies also provide crucial stability tothe pension pots thus meaning that we all benefit from the success of big business. Bigbusiness, it is also rightly thought, have the best means at their disposal to invest billions inresearch and development that help position the UK as a leading innovator.Those who view the world as a global market also argue that we need to attract inwardinvestment through low Corporation Tax rates and incentivised grants. This for example ledto the Republic of Ireland attracting the investment of Google and Intel - no small feat. Theincentivised grants and targeted state aid pursued by Mandleson helped position the UK as aleading nation in the assembly and production of cars. Rightists also think that state help forsmall businesses is a crucial method of unlocking entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and bylogic employment as businesses grow.This is a perfectly viable approach to business.And so for lots of healthy reasons I applaud the reasoning of Blairite thinkers who wish tocreate a pro-business party. Above all else, they wish to use the proceeds created by theirlove affair with big business to pay for tax credits, investment in the NHS as well as ourschools. Their argument is coherent, logical and entirely plausible. Thus, the Blairite case forcosying up to big business can best be summarised as follows.