Thursday, May 11, 2017

Now that's what I call "taking back control"


Whoever leaked the Labour Party draft manifesto obviously did it in order to try and damage the Labour Party as much as possible, but the plan has backfired because a lot of the policies it contains are exactly what the public want to see.

Renationalisation

Stuff like the renationalisation of the railways and Royal Mail are favoured by an overwhelming majority of the British public [source - YouGov]

Additionally only a minority of people who would argue against the plan to break up the profiteering energy companies in order to bring the natural monopolies of the transmission and distribution grids back into public ownership and establish at least one publicly owned energy company for each region. If this kind of energy strategy is good enough for Germany, why do we in the UK deserve less?

These policies obviously make sense because any profits the nationalised companies make would be reinvested in the nation, rather than siphoned off into private pockets.

Zero Hours Contracts

The idea of following New Zealand's lead and banning exploitative Zero Hours Contracts is also a good one that is universally popular across the political spectrum. 71% of Labour Party supporters would like to see them banned, but Tories are also more likely to support a ban than oppose it (by 46% - 35%) [source for stats - YouGov]

If New Zealand can ban unscrupulous employers from exploiting their workforce, then why can't the UK?

National Investment Bank

The Labour idea of a national investment bank is really good stuff, but for some reason the public remain unconvinced, which is odd because we accepted successive governments pouring more and more cash into the RBS black hole, but we're sceptical about a plan to create a bank that actually invests in public infrastructure and works like a sovereign wealth fund.

Instead of squandering their North Sea oil wealth on tax breaks for the rich and unemployment benefits for the millions of people they laid off like the Tories did, the Norwegians invested their North Sea oil bonanza in a sovereign wealth fund which is now the richest sovereign wealth fund on earth (not bad for a country with about the same population as Scotland!).

The UK missed a trick for sure when the Tories squandered the North Sea oil bonanza, but it's never too late for a good idea. If the idea of a national investment fund/bank is good enough for Norway (and almost every other developed country on earth) why can't the UK have one too?

Clampdown on outsourcing companies

Labour are planning to clamp down on profiteering corporate outsourcing companies, and it's about time too. They want to make sure that any company receiving taxpayers cash for doing government work must pay their fair share of taxes and not hide out in tax havens (how this isn't the case already is extraordinary).

Labour also want to make sure that companies carrying out government work are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This is a good move for a couple of reasons. Firstly the public should have a right to know how their money is being spent (whether it's being spent by government or by a private company), and secondly it would remove the unfair advantage that private companies have in being able to gather information on the publicly run services they're planning to take over, whilst keeping their own operations secret.

Other stuff

  • Putting a stop to creeping pension age rises
  • Bringing the UK corporation tax rate more back into line with the average for the developed world and scrapping to sweetheart tax deals between HMRC and multinational corporations like Google, Starbucks and Vodafone.
  • Review Tory cuts to the child welfare system and in-work benefits with a view to reversing them and immediately scrap the rape clause.
"Taking back control"

"Taking back control" was one of the most popular slogans of the Brexit movement, but if Theresa May and the Tories end up in an even more powerful position than they were in before, free to continue rigging society in favour of corporations and the super-rich, how have we taken back control?

Surely we'll have given even more control to the political establishment than they had before.

Jeremy Corbyn's plan is to "take back control" by taking back our public infrastructure from the corporate profiteers and running it for the national good, and to clamp down on other outrageous corporate practices like profiteering from natural monopolies, tax-dodging and worker exploitation.

So if we really want to "take back control" of our country from the out-of-touch Westminster establishment and the corporate interests they serve, then now is probably the only chance we'll get in generations to actually do it ...


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