Written by members of the GLC's Economic Policy Group and based on the GLC experience, this book describes the way in which the initiatives of local communities, trades unionists, women, and the unemployed combined with devolved political power to demonstrate the potential of a new kind of socialist economics. The popular planning which resulted was unique. Resources were employed in ways which local politicians, the traditional dispensers of local authority funding, could never have imagined.
Many of the problems which emerged were also new to local government: How to support experiments in workers' control when market pressures are driving companies to bankruptcy? How to organise effective allocation of resources between groups with uneven experience of the way the funding system works? How to develop ambitious new programmes for industries in which the real power is held by the banks, the multinationals and the government?
These are difficulties which many left wing councils continue to face today. They are also issues which any future socialist government will be forced to confront on a national scale. The lessons of A Taste of Power are of more than historical interest, they are a vital tool for understanding how the coming battles against unemployment and recession can be won.