John McDonnell’s claim is that government investment in this and that is a very good idea, very profitable. That’s why the central government should borrow to go buy all the utilities, the broadband, the transport companies and all that.
Before we consider any other issue here – like whether we actually want state control etc – the whole idea does depend upon the idea that government will be investing in sensible things. This being something we can test by going and looking at what government does invest in when it has the chance to borrow to do so:
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The Treasury has clamped down on local authority borrowing, amid fears that reckless investments in struggling retail properties could bankrupt councils.