Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Nationalisation/Peopleification

* So, pretty good week. In particular strong feeling here and elsewhere that nationalising Northern Rock wasn't our Black Wednesday. It really wasn't. Didn't feel like that. Wasn't on a Wednesday and in a host of other ways really wasn't comparable to that. We really actually feel and believe this.

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* We do wonder, therefore, about the wisdom of Damian beginning his briefing on the matter with--"This is not our Black Wednesday." Can't help feeling that once we said "Black Wednesday" people were thinking "Black Wednesday" and forgetting the all-important "not Black Wednesday".

* Tactically speaking, the problem with nationalisation is not the

ideological issue. After all, polling suggests that at least a quarter of people already believe the government in some way "does" all our major companies. Another quarter believes that every commercial enterprise is a branch of McDonald's operating under a variety of different names. A quarter have a fairly sophisticated comprehension of corporate ownership--thinking everything belongs to "the Japanese or Americans". The other quarter works servicing the car/computer/office/house/genitals of the 1 per cent who actually work in the City.

* This sector of people--who work for people who work in the City--seems to have profited from a "trickle-down" understanding of how corporate ownership/shares/derivatives work. …

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