1. Exquisite Tweets from @JeremyCliffe

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    To get through its crisis, Britain needs to return to the school of political economy known as Varieties of Capitalism (VoC). Here's why:

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    The UK economy is built on an eco-system of impatient capital, generalist skills, services industries and weak unions.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    In VoC theory, that makes UK a "liberal market economy" (LME). A country that makes these mutually-reinforcing factors its competitive edge.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Ed Miliband got this theory, yet shied from its implication: Britain must accept its unequal model or attempt a risky change of eco-systems.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    His 2015 programme was a tortuous attempt to confront Britain's inequalities within its LME eco-system. Perhaps for that reason, it failed.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Theresa May inadvertently shares this outlook. She is not against Britain's current economic model, but thinks it can be made more equal.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    But Jeremy Corbyn envisages the UK shifting to what VoC theorists call a "coordinated market economy" (CME), like Germany or Sweden.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    That means making: impatient capital -> patient, a generalist skills system -> vocational, hierarchical workplaces -> collaborative.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    I have long believed this shift impossible in UK for deep & path-dependent cultural reasons. VoC theory assumes LME/CME split unbreachable.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    So I thought UK's best hope was to increase equality within its LME constraints, ie through infrastructure spending, devolution, education.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    In fact, I made a whole Radio 4 documentary advancing this theory about VoC and Britain: bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04…

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    But what if I got that wrong? What if Britain can accommodate a shift to a more CME economy, to a more guild-like web of mores & structures?

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Corbyn's good result makes me wonder: is Britain less wedded to an LME model than I thought? Could its culture accept an eco-system shift?

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    In short: could Britain turn from a LME to a CME? And could it make a success of that? I used to think the answer obvious. No more. [ENDS]

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Good point and a to-do list for Corbyn if he really wants to change Britain.

    Marc Stears @mds49
    That's a good list - but not really Labour's agenda at 2017 election, where emphasis was more on restoring universal public services.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe