In his book, MP John McDonnell pointed out that New Labour and Conservatives have transferred decision-making powers to unelected supranational bodies which drive globalisation:
- the World Trade Organisation (WTO),
- the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- and the World Bank (WB).
These secretive, unaccountable bodies wield great power over the global economy.
The WTO’s liberalising trade rules are weighted against the interests of developing countries, the IMF structural adjustment programmes have led to cut social spending, and the WB makes many of its loans conditional on the privatisation of water – a scarce commodity in many of these countries.
The goal of successive governments under the away of these bodies has been to bring socially beneficial services – healthcare, education, housing, transport, care for older people and even the fight against climate change – into the market economy.
Two years before the celebrated work of Wilkinson & Pickett on inequality John McDonnell had pointed out that, in Britain, New Labour and succeeding governments have created a society that is more unequal now than at any time since the Second World War. His chapter on the subject: ‘Inequality disfigures our society’ is packed with relevant statistics.
He proposes placing the well-being of society above the narrow interests of capital and a modern constitution including:
- delivering quality public services funded out of taxation – replacing council tax and business rates with the fairer land value taxation,
- promoting co-operative based models and a democratic, not-for-personal-profit organisation of production and services,
- providing affordable, secure housing, free education, childcare and healthcare
- and the right to free and equal legal representation in civil and criminal courts.