The 1945-50 Attlee government nationalized about 20% of the economy, including coal, railways, road transport, the Bank of England, civil aviation, cable and wireless, electricity and gas, and steel. However there was no money for investment to modernize these industries... The Attlee government greatly expanded the welfare state, with the Family Allowances Act (1945) and especially the National Health Service Act of 1946, which nationalized the hospitals and provided for free universal medical care. The National Insurance Act of 1946 provided sickness and unemployment benefits for adults, plus retirement pensions. The National Assistance Act of 1948 provided a safety net for anyone not otherwise covered.Although elements of this program have endured and are widely considered to have been beneficial, the consequences of many aspects of this program of economic socialization were counterproductive. Nationalization of the railways and road transport resulted in astonishing inefficiency and corruption, including massive pilferage of freight on both road and rail.
To cover the costs of social programs, marginal tax rates of 80% plus, 90% plus and, briefly, under Labour Chancellor of the Exchequor Roy Jenkins, in excess of 100%, prevailed. Such disincentives to enterprise combined with widespread Trotskyite trades union leadership destroyed a large part of British industry, including the British motor manufacturing companies, the sole survivor being the Morgan company, which to this day, hand-builds a few hundred wood-framed sports cars each year.
The comprehensive welfare system inspired by past Labour administrations, has today created an underclass continually expanded through mass legal and illegal immigration that is not only disinclined to work, but indignantly denies that it has any responsibility to work, while riotously demanding that the government "share de wealf."
But faith in the idea, or at least promotion of the delusion, that wealth for the masses can be conjured by fiat if only sufficiently stern Communist measures are taken, is exemplified by a piece of tripe from former UK ambassodor, Craig Murray, writing about the fascists sympathies of some members of the British aristocracy (a sympathy shared, though not mentioned by Murray, by a good many members of the middle and working classes).
Their vast wealth and massive land ownership [of the aristocracy] contrasted with the horrific poverty and malnutrition of the 1930’s, led the aristocracy to fear a very real prospect of being stood against a wall and shot. Fascism appeared to offer social amelioration for the workers with continued privilege for the aristocrats. ...The implication intended, it seems, is that aristocratic ownership of land somehow imposed poverty and malnutrition on ordinary people. However, farmland owned by the aristocracy was, obviously, farmed; the produce being made available for general consumption through the usual commercial channels. And this was not, in the 1930's, a profitable business for the aristocracy since British agriculture was unprotected from foreign competition and many aristocratic landowners were driven into bankruptcy.
That the aristocracy feared "the very real prospect of being stood against a wall and shot"was not altogether unreasonable in view of the fact that shooting landowners is one of the first things revolutionary Communist governments tend to do. That being the case, it was natural for the British aristocracy of the 30's to prefer Fascism to Communism, especially as, according to Murray, Fascism was thought to offer "social amelioration for the workers."
But that the British aristocracy avoided the fate of the Romanovs is evidently a matter for regret to Murray, who not only applauds the defeat of British fascism (has it really been defeated?), but regrets that Britain never became a Communist tyranny with the unfortunate result that "We never did get round to shooting the aristocrats."