Friday, 7 September 2018

How many of these Labour Party policies did you actually hear about this summer?


During the summer of 2018 the Westminster political establishment and their chums in the mainstream media ran an extraordinary smear campaign aimed at discrediting the lifelong anti-racist campaigner Jeremy Corbyn as a terrible racist.

The reason they've kept relying on the tactic of continually smearing Jeremy Corbyn is that they know they haven't got a chance of winning the political debate if they ever allow it to focus on policies and issues, rather than personal attacks.

So in this article I'm going to give brief overviews of some of Labour's policy positions that have been almost completely drowned out during the summer of smears.

Media

In August 2018 Jeremy Corbyn introduced a very interesting set of proposals for the media. These include reducing government influence over the BBC by democratising the BBC Board of Directors, empowering investigative journalists by giving them more Freedom of Information powers, and taxing social media giants in order to fund local journalism.

Unsurprisingly the right-wing propaganda rags decided to misleadingly attack Corbyn's proposals to empower local and investigative journalists and reduce his own ability to interfere with the BBC as a terrible attack on free speech, before dropping the subject as quickly as possible and returning to the smear campaign.

Railways

Throughout the summer Jeremy Corbyn has continued highlighting Labour's popular policy of bringing the rail network back under public control so that it can be used for the benefit of British people rather than being milked as a cash cow by corporate profiteers and the state rail companies of foreign states.

Another of Corbyn's rail policies is the upgrade of rail infrastructure in the north of England, especially a much-needed upgrade to the transpennine route between Liverpool and Hull to create a "Crossrail for the North".

There is widespread public support for renationalisation of the railways, which is why you've probably heard very little about Labour's rail policies over the summer, buried as they have been under the landslide of smears.

Police

As violent crime continues to soar out of control across the UK, Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated Labour's policies of reversing the Tory cuts to the police force, putting an additional 10,000 police back on the streets, and actually listening to public order experts like the Police Federation (rather than attacking and belittling them as Theresa May does).

Industrial strategy

In July 2018 Jeremy Corbyn delivered a detailed speech on Labour's industrial strategy, outlining multiple policies to make Britain a fairer and more prosperous place, but somehow an absolute hatchet job of an article portraying Corbyn's speech as some kind of Trumpian anti-immigrant rant went absolutely viral with the anti-Corbyn mob.

In reality the speech focused on issues like reversing the decline of British manufacturing (from 32% of the economy in 1970 to 12% today), creating a level playing field when it comes to taxation, investing in infrastructure, and the importance of establishing a customs agreement with the EU as a matter of priority.

It didn't matter to the anti-Corbyn mob that the fake news article they were sharing deliberately cherry-picked highly selective quotes and stitched them together to create a shockingly misleading account of Corbyn's actual speech. 

The article attacked Corbyn so they made it go mega-viral by sharing it, despite it being an utterly reprehensible pack of lies.

You can read about what Corbyn actually said in that speech and how it was so brazenly misrepresented by his political opponents here.

Education

Jeremy Corbyn has spent the summer expanding on Labour's fantastic policy of introducing a National Education Service to provide free education and training for all, from cradle to grave.

Corbyn is often presented as a clueless old duffer who hates business, but his education strategy is actually what's needed for Britain to become a high-skill high-pay economy like Germany. 

With technological developments moving at an ever faster pace, workforce flexibility is increasingly vital. And what better way to increase workplace flexibility than making sure every worker knows that they're entitled to free education and training to give them the skills to move from one job to the next?

Aside from his unmistakable enthusiasm for higher education, further education, and life-long learning, Corbyn also recognises the damage that Tory cuts to the education system are doing to the younger generations. It's beyond obvious that kids growing up in over-crowded under-funded classrooms are less likely to be able to make full use of their potential, so that's why Corbyn is promising to begin the process of reversing the shocking 8% per pupil cut in education spending that's happened since the Tories came to power in 2010.

Opposing Tory "no deal" Brexit

If you believed Jeremy Corbyn's detractors you'd think that he was guilty of supporting the Tory Brextremists' every move, but if you actually look at the parliamentary votes it becomes clear that Labour have opposed the Tories in virtually every House of Commons vote on Brexit.

Over the summer Corbyn has reiterated time and again that Labour oppose the extreme, hard-right anti-democratic, and economically ruinous "no deal" Brexit Theresa May and the Tories are working towards.

In one vital vote on the Tory Trade Bill that could have ruled out a ruinous Tory "no deal" Brexit for good, Corbyn and the majority of the Labour Party voted against the government only to be betrayed by four Labour Brexiteers (including Frank Field who has somehow promoted to political sainthood by the very same people who claim Corbyn doesn't oppose Brexit enough after he quit the Labour whip with an anti-Corbyn tirade).

Aside from the four Labour Brextremists, the Lib-Dem leader Vince Cable and ex-leader Tim Farron didn't even bother to turn up to the vote at all. Farron was too busy giving a £5 per head speech about how wrong he thinks gay sex is!


Water

Privatised water companies cost the public £2.3 billion more per year than public ownership. The British public are split 70-30 in favour of water renationalisation.

Over the summer Corbyn has raised the issue of water nationalisation several times, but if you search for mainstream media coverage of "Corbyn Water", you'll actually find more mainstream media articles written about the ridiculous Tory Love Island style water bottles they were giving away than on Jeremy Corbyn's water renationalisation policy!

Saudi war crimes

When the Saudi Arabian tyrants blasted a bus full of small children to pieces with a guided missile in August 2018 as part of their campaign of war crimes against the Yemeni people, Labour strongly opposed it, while the Tories just sat on their hands and refused to do anything to intervene.


One of Jeremy Corbyn's strongest positions is his stance that the UK should not be issuing arms export licences to regimes with poor human rights records at home, or records of committing war crimes abroad.

The Tories still believe in arming countries like Saudi Arabia, despite knowing that they're using British weapons to commit war crimes!


Outsourcing

Jeremy Corbyn is planning to introduce new rules to ensure that all companies that bid for government outsourcing contracts are registered in the UK and pay their fair share of tax.

In a way it just goes to show how warped the political debate has become that people who have allowed tax-dodging corporations to suckle the public teat for decades are routinely described as "moderates" and "centrists", while the guy who wants to put a stop to this farcical situation is derided as some kind of far-left lunatic.

Rational drug policy

Globally the tide is turning on drug policy with more and more nations ditching criminalisation and punishment in order to adopt sensible evidence-based harm-reduction strategies

Unfortunately the UK has been left swimming against the tide thanks to Theresa May's right-wing authoritarian stance at the Home Office, and since she became Prime Minister.

In the summer of 2018 Jeremy Corbyn signalled that he's open to rational drug policies by talking about how the drugs debate is moving on, and his personal preference for the decriminalisation of small amounts of cannabis.

Basic Income

In July 2018 Labour announced that they will include proposals for a Basic Income trial in their next manifesto.

Basic Income is the concept of allowing every citizen a basic subsistence income, with the aim of ensuring nobody falls into absolute destitution, but also that everyone who works ends up better off by virtue of the fact that they get to keep their basic income payment as well as their wages.

NHS

In June 2018 Jeremy Corbyn addressed thousands of people at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS where he spoke out against the Tories' hard-right agenda of cutting NHS and social care funding, and privatising NHS facilities and services.

In his speech he made a clear commitment to ending the 8 years of Tory cuts to NHS funding, so that NHS funding rises as a share of GDP in order to deal with rising demand for services, rather than falling as it has done under the Tories.

Ban employers from stealing staff tips

Even if you've never worked in the service sector the fact that employers steal their employees should annoy the hell out of you. When we leave tips we leave them for the staff, not as an additional income stream for the restaurant owners.

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to put a stop to employers from pinching their staff tips.

Austerity

Jeremy Corbyn won the 2015 Labour leadership election by virtue of being the only one of the four candidates to actually oppose Tory austerity dogma, so it should come as no surprise that he's still opposing it.

In the summer of 2018 he went further than ever before by raising the fact that Tory austerity dogma comes with a death toll when he said "there is clear and mounting evidence that austerity and inequality are killing people".

In a way it's astounding that people thought that it would be possible to slash funding for the NHS and social care services without thousands upon thousands of people dying as a consequence, to cut the welfare system without extremely vulnerable people being left to die as a consequence, to cut fire services without more people dying in house fires, to cut 21,000 police without violent crime soaring out of control ...

Even though Labour failed abysmally in their duty to oppose this ideological madness before Corbyn became leader, at least they're opposing it now.

Conclusion

The reason the mainstream media have concentrated their efforts on whipping up the anti-Semitism storm is beyond obvious. They know that the majority of British people would be strongly in favour of most, if not all, of these Labour Party policies, so they're intent on steering the political debate as far away from policy issues as possible.

The more people hear about the Labour anti-Semitism row, the less time and space is dedicated to providing honest coverage of Labour's actual policies like the 14 I've outlined above.

It doesn't matter a jot to the mainstream media hacks that anti-Semitism is actually much more rife in the Tory ranks, or that senior Tories have been meeting with the extreme-right white-supremacist kingmaker Steve Bannon, they'll keep on banging on about Labour anti-Semitism because they simply don't want the public thinking about all of the Labour Party policies that they're highly likely to agree with.

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