Thursday, 21 November 2019

13 of the best bits from Labour's 2019 manifesto


Before I get started, it's vital to say that you should definitely read the Labour Party manifesto for yourself rather than solely relying on other people's interpretations of it.

Don't let the right-wing billionaire propaganda barons and their mercenary hacks tell you what to think about it, don't fall for the Tories' fake Labour Manifesto website, and also remember that this article of mine isn't a comprehensive analysis either, it just covers some of the main themes.

If you don't have time to read it for yourself now, bookmark it and read it later: Labour Manifesto 2019

Investment not austerity


The Tory austerity ideology has failed.

The list of austerity failures is spectacular: the worst post-crisis economic recovery in centuries, the worst sustained collapse in UK workers' wages since records began, the lowest level of infrastructure development in the developed world, the UK's AAA credit ratings gone, the national debt doubled, collapsing public services, soaring violent crime, the lowest level of house building since the 1920s, and a plague of poverty spreading across the United Kingdom.

"Let's cut our way to prosperity" was always economically illiterate madness, when the tried and tested economic method has always been investment in infrastructure, education, transport, research and development, high-skill jobs, and affordable housing.

Labour will throw Tory austerity into the dustbin of history where it belongs, and actually invest in our economy to increase our future economic potential, rather than strangle it like the Tories have been doing for the last nine years.

The centrepiece of Labour's investment strategy is the development of a national investment bank, with the explicit aim of lending to businesses, infrastructure projects, and other productive sectors of the economy across all of the UK's regions, rather than just leaving investment to the private banks, who continually target the majority of their investments at property price speculation and gambling on the global derivatives casino.

If you want investment targeted at the engines of economic productivity, rather than used to re-inflate the house price bubble, or gambled on the kinds of junk bond derivatives that caused the 2008 economic crisis, Labour's economic strategy is the correct choice to make.

National Education Service

Education should be treated as a right which benefits everyone in society, not just the individual who receives it, not a commodity to be rationed out in order to maximise profits for the rich.

Labour's plan to create a National Education Service to provide free education to anyone who needs it, no matter their age, education level, or background is a truly transformative policy on a level with Labour's creation of the NHS back in 1948.

Things change so fast in the modern world that most people change careers multiple times in their working lives these days, meaning successful economies need flexible a flexible workforce.

Labour's education policy isn't just that young people get a good education without paying through the nose for it for their entire working lives, it's that anyone who loses their job, or chooses to change careers, can acquire the retraining and skills they need, at any age.

The National Education Service wouldn't just be for kids and young people at university, it would be for all of us.


Public ownership

Do you think that vital public infrastructure and services like the railways, water supply, Royal Mail, broadband infrastructure, national grid, and prisons should be operated by private profiteers as money-making enterprises, or as not-for-profit public services?

The overwhelming majority of British people believe in the not-for-profit public service option, however the unrepresentative Westminster establishment class have spent the last four decades defying the public will and transferring ownership of £billions in public assets to their wealthy mates.

Labour's 2019 manifesto represents a golden opportunity to set about reversing this process, and de-privatising things that should never have been given away to private profiteers in the first place.

Labour's manifesto includes commitments to de-privatise the water supply, the national grid, Royal Mail, the railways, broadband infrastructure, and prisons.

The privatisation fanatics will try to argue de-privatisation costs too much, but the way they come up with their ludicrous figures is to treat de-privatisation as an expense (money down the drain), rather than an investment (providing returns on investment).

A report from Grenwich University found that de-privatisation of key public services would pay for itself within the space of just 7 years.


Reverse Tory wage repression

The UK is the only economy in the developed world
where the economy has been growing but wages have
been falling in real terms.
Tory wage repression policies like allowing the spread of exploitative Zero Hours Contracts and years of below-inflation public sector pay freezes have resulted in a lost decade of wage growth for UK workers, and the longest sustained decline in the real value of workers' wages since records began.

Labour understands that workers with money in their pockets spend more, which creates economic demand, which creates more jobs, which creates more prosperity in a virtuous circle.

Henry Ford understood this in the 1930s, which is why he gave his factory workers good enough salaries that they could afford to buy his cars.

The Tories failed to understand this, and adopted the view that the best way to increase profits for the very rich, is to decrease the wealth of the very poor, as if the economy is a static balance sheet with a rigidly set supply of money to be carved up in the way that best benefits their mega-rich donors.

Labour understands that the economy is dynamic, and that there's actually more possibility for the wealthy to make money if workers have money to spend.

Thus Labour is pledging to raise the Minimum Wage to £10 straight away to give UK workers the pay rise they deserve, and to reverse the Tory public sector pay cuts in order to bring wages back up to the level they were before nine years of Tory austerity extremism.

Restore the NHS
 

If you haven't needed to use the NHS in recent times, perhaps you're unaware of how bad things have become after nine years of being deliberately under-funded, run-down, and ideologically vandalised by the Tories. If you really don't know, please take the time to speak to someone who works in the NHS about how much worse things have got since 2010.

Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs to pick itself up off its knees, they'll restore NHS Bursaries in order to combat the NHS staffing crisis, and they'll reverse the radically right-wing Tory NHS privatisation agenda that saw a record £9.2 billion in NHS services fall into private hands last year.

Labour will also ensure that all parts of the NHS, the treatment of patients, the employment of staff and medicine pricing are all fully excluded and protected from any international trade deals.

Housing

Four decades of right-wing "leave it to the market" ideology has created a housing disaster, with nowhere near enough homes being built to meet demand, and literally millions of people priced out of home ownership altogether.

Labour housing policies include: 

  • Building more houses, with at least 150,000 new council houses per year by the end of the parliament.
  • Rent controls and binding minimum standards for private landlords in order to prevent unscrupulous profiteers renting uninhabitable hovels at rip-off prices.
  • Scrap the Tories' bogus definition of 'affordable', which is set as high as 80% of market rents, and replace it with a definition that is actually linked to local incomes
  • A concerted effort to combat the homelessness epidemic that has absolutely soared since 2010
  • New powers to allow local government to bring empty properties back into use.
  • A £1 billion fire safety fund to ensure nothing like Grenfell ever happens again.
Rebuild local government

Some of the most devastating impacts of Tory austerity extremism have been felt at local government level, as a result of the extraordinary 67% cuts to local government funding.

If you've been wondering why your council tax bills keep going up, but your local services keep getting worse and worse, the Tory local government cuts are entirely to blame.

Labour's manifesto pledges to reverse these devastating cuts, and ensure local government funding is restored to pre-2010 levels.

Dignity for disabled people

Literally thousands of disabled people have died within weeks of being declared "fit for work" and thrown off their disability benefits by the Tory disability denial system, which isn't just an inhumane way of treating some of the most vulnerable people in society, it actually costs more to administer than it will ever save in reduced disability benefits.

Labour will end this systematic abuse of disabled people, adopt the social model of disability, and promote the acceptance of neurodiversity.

After a decade of unprecedented UK government hostility to disabled people (so bad it's been condemned by the United Nations), Labour are pledging to actually listen to disabled peoples desires, and care for their needs.

Public procurement

From Serco and G4S stealing hundreds of millions from the public through electronic tagging scams to the collapse of Carillion, there are countless examples of public procurement disasters.

Labour won't outlaw outsourcing, but they will dramatically reform the way government sources from the private sector.

Firstly Labour will end the current presumption in favour of outsourcing public services and introduce a presumption in favour of insourcing.

They will also stop the public getting ripped off by taking back all PFI contracts over time.

One key change will be the introduction of best practice public service criteria, meaning no more government contracts for companies based in tax havens, with poor environmental records, or who pay poverty wages to their employees.

Environment

Labour's commitment to the environment is written throughout their manifesto, from large infrastructure projects like the construction of 9,000 wind turbines and massive investment in solar technology, to legislative action like banning fracking and incorporating climate and environmental impacts into government budget forecasts so that the cost of not acting will be factored into every fiscal decision.

Green protesters will be disappointed that Labour haven't committed to making Britain a zero carbon economy by 2030, instead aiming for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s, looking for credible pathways to speed up the process.

This means Labour's zero emissions target is 2039 at the very latest, the Lib-Dems' target is 2045, and the Tories are intent on delaying until 2050.

Foreign Policy


One of the big reasons the political establishment class hate Jeremy Corbyn so much is that he's been proven right on foreign policy so many times, while they've been proven horribly and disastrously wrong.

Back in the 1980s Corbyn was protesting against Apartheid in South Africa, opposing UK weapons sales to Saddam Hussain, and encouraging peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. He was on the right side of history, and mainstream politics caught up with him in the 1990s in rejecting Apartheid racism, and finding a peaceful solution to the Northern Ireland conflict.

In 2003 Corbyn famously opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and was proven absolutely right about his warning that this invasion would set off a spiral of conflict that will fuel the wars, the terrorism, the depression, and the misery of future generations.

The ISIS terrorists grew out of the lawless terrorism breeding ground the US and UK created in Iraq, and then in 2011 Corbyn was one of the minority of MPs who opposed doing the same thing to Libya, which turned out to be a policy with deadly blowback in Britain as the Manchester Arena bomber came back to Britain from the terrorism breeding ground that our political elites decided to create there.

Labour's manifesto commits to avoid imperialist war mongering, and to put human rights at the heart of Britain's foreign policy objectives, which obviously means ending the Tory policy of flogging weapons to tyrannies, terrorism-spreaders, and war criminals.

Final Say referendum


The Tory decision to gamble the entire future of the UK with a completely undefined option on the ballot paper has created an absolute shambles. 

There's obviously no easy way of clearing up such a calamitous and divisive Tory mess, and anyone who says there is is either an idiot, or lying through their teeth.

Labour's proposal is to get rid of Boris Johnson's bodge job Brexit (which is even worse than the proposal Theresa May cobbled together), renegotiate a Brexit that doesn't annihilate the economy, and then put the decision back to the public in a final say referendum.

It's far from ideal holding a referendum between a defined Brexit and remain, because this is how it should have been done back in 2016, but at least it offers a credible choice to both sides of the Brexit debate, and avoids totally screwing over the 48% (like Boris Johnson and the Tories are taking such delight in doing) or screwing over the 52% (like the Lib-Dems are threatening).

Workers' rights



Last but definitely not least is Labour's position on workers' rights, which you'd expect to be good from a party calling itself "Labour".
  • Give British workers a well deserved pay rise with a £10 minimum wage, and the reversal of the callous Tory squeeze on public sector pay.
  • Provide free education for all means British workers will be have a right to improve their skills on the job, or acquire new skills when moving between jobs.
  • Strengthen protections for whistleblowers and rights against unfair dismissal for all workers.
  • Scrap punitive Tory anti-trade union laws.
  • Ensure no income tax rises at all for anyone earning below £80,000 per year.
  • Ensure workers have a say within government by creating a Minister for Employment Rights
  • Ban long-term Zero Hours Contracts and bogus fake self-employment contracts in the gig economy.
Conclusion

Labour's manifesto provides a blueprint for a better, fairer, healthier society in which all sectors of society enjoy the benefits of increased national prosperity, rather than just the mega-rich elitists.

Policies like investment in infrastructure and services, restoration of the NHS, de-privatisation of monopolies, action to combat the housing crisis, free education for all, and improved workers' rights aren't just abstract things that don't really matter. They're policies that have the potential to shape all of our lives for the better.

If this election is going to be fought on policies and which party has the better blueprint for what the UK could become in the future, this manifesto is a winner.

If however it's fought out in the political sewer, with deceptions, smears, lies, vacuous personality politics, fake websites ... then there's every chance these transformative policies will never see the light of day as the militant hard-right, ultranationalist, pro-privatisation, billionaire-bankrolled Tories spend the next five years trampling on ordinary people in order to rig society ever more in the favour of the billionaires who fund their entire operation.

We're at a crossroads as a nation, between what Labour have laid out here, and a very dark path indeed.




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28 comments:

TheSilentOne said...

For some reason, I am unable to see the Facebook comments. Plus the Facebook transparency thing is saying that the fb page is run by two people from Spain?

Great article either way, really laid it all out well.

Anonymous said...

This is laid out terribly. Thomas has gone for vague descriptions of what the manifesto wants to do rather then the actual re-nationalisation programmes Labour want to input, their price and how they will be funded.
So; Nationalise broadband, UK energy, buy out PFI contracts, nationalise the entirety of the education sector, the cost of student loans to the government (as well as estimates to how much it will continue costing at the hands of the taxpayer), cost of however many billions Labour want to put in the NHS (honestly I'd just stick with upping nurses and doctors wages personally but we'll see), cost of investing in social care (they've promised free personal care but not specified how they'd do this). Obviously they want to keep immigration at either the current levels (10x what it was from 2006) or raise it. That's not been costed or specified.
This is what Labour want to spend money on off the top of my head, anyone want to add anything in be my guest. A round figure would be good to go on.

Radioh3d said...

It's your head that's laid out terribly. Fucking mental case.

Neville said...

Labour will not be able to implement any of its pledges. When people work out what they are doing, they will vote for Boris.

Anonymous said...

All very nice and noble, but the 1970s are long past and the world is a far more different place, the UK is a individualistic society and no one with a house and a decent job gives a toss for Maria Scrounger and her 8 kids from multiple dead beat partners and is fed up subsidizing Bt the way she and her like could not be "bovert" voting

Radioh3d said...

So every high earner is a greedy piece of shit who's dim enough to believe that all their tax money goes towards Maria Scrounger and her 8 kids? They've never heard of trivialities like economy, infrastructure, NHS, Police, fucking human decency? They just believe the bullshit that's churned out by the gutter press every day?

Whatever, you're kidding nobody you disgusting Tory troll.

Anonymous said...

There's a LOT in this manifesto and I think that it's the first in a LONG time that returns to true Labour values.

There MAY be problems selling some of this in Scotland however. Much of what is offered has been argued against, most robustly, for years by the Scottish Labour Party. They've argued against free University education, free prescriptions, and an end to the Right To Buy. All of these have ALREADY been introduced in Scotland by the ruling SNP and Labour were vociferous for years stating what a TERRIBLE idea they were. And even on other matters like Water, for example and free Personal Care - these again already introduced in Scotland by the Labour/LibDem coalition some decades back. They were happy to do it in Scotland but refused to extend this to the rest of the UK. NB if they HAD introduced it in the rest of the UK then Scotland would've been funded for this, at the moment all of these policies AND the off-setting of the Bedroom Tax come out of Scotland's Budget, not Westminster's 'allowance'

I'm genuinely glad to see this, it's a sign that under Corbyn and McDonnell that Labour is again LABOUR! It hasn't been that for many years. But the Scottish Blairites won't be happy and Scottish voters won't be impressed, they've had to give up other things to pay to off set Tory Cuts for years and when Labour was in office it never took up any of these policies, although run successfully in Scotland, for the entire UK, thus denying funding to Scotland by the back door.

I genuinely admire Corbyn but I doubt whether he can carry his whole party with him (although that depends on EXACTLY who was selected and wins at the GE)and I doubt that Scottish voters will ever feel able to trust Labour after what the Scottish contingent have done over the last decade or so...

Anonymous said...

Labour’s policy is to negotiate a new Brexit deal within three months of coming to power – and then to put that deal to a referendum within six months. Why would the EU waste another 3 years? the EU gave Boris the first version of the deal, the backstop confined to NI.

Anonymous said...

So every high earner is a greedy piece of shit who's dim enough to believe that all their tax money goes towards Maria Scrounger and her 8 kids? They've never heard of trivialities like economy, infrastructure, NHS, Police, fucking human decency? They just believe the bullshit that's churned out by the gutter press every day?
Whatever, you're kidding nobody you disgusting Tory troll

THROW A TANTRUM IF SOMEONE HAS A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT,"When the argument is lost insult becomes the tool of the loser", Socrates.
In 2016-17, the UK Government spent £217 billion on these SOCIAL SECURITY payments, equivalent to 28 per cent of total public spending

Radioh3d said...

What argument? Who's arguing? I replied to your ignorant daily mail comment because it was heartless, hateful, backwards and disgusting, and because I'm sick of hearing shit like that from people like you. That's not what an argument is and no amount of googled Greek philosophy will change that.

If you can't see how incompetent, regressive and evil the Tories are after 10 cruel years of non-stop catastrophic fuck ups, then you're either mentally ill or you're a selfish lowlife who's benefitting from the hell they've turned this country into. If it's the former, then too bad, you should get help. If it's the latter, then fuck you. Things need to change.

Anonymous said...

@Radioh3d
Man, it's nice to see you replying to political conversation in the polite, level headed way we've come to expect from you, you wee cherub. Incidentally, I had a look at Scotlands smoking and drinking problem, the one that spikes the Scottish NHS bill... Y'know, one of the reasons Scotland welfare is so incredibly high.

https://uk.changeincorporated.com/context/why-does-scotland-have-the-highest-smoking-rate-in-the-uk

Thought you'd find this interesting.

Have you been repeatedly drunk lately?

Eject Scotland!

Anonymous said...

Anyone here genuinely think Labour are going to win a majority in the next G.E?

Anonymous said...

You are the 1st person I've found who likes labours Brexit policy.

Unknown said...

Ryan Jacobz: The Tory plant that BBC Question Time cannot get enough of.
https://dorseteye.com/ryan-jacobz-the-tory-plant-that-bbc-question-time-cannot-get-enough-of/

Also BBC News edited out the audience laughing at Boris Johnson on the topic of ‘telling the truth’ (and instead shows them clapping wildly him).
You can see the edited and original versions here.
https://twitter.com/NickFlaks

The BBC breaking election rules again.

Anonymous said...

If Labour are going to pay for everyone's tuition fee's, what's to stop universities from upping the fee's like they've done in the U.S?

Anonymous said...

If the UK birth rate is at 1.8 meaning that the population is decreasing and there are approx 300 thousand migrants+ coming in a year (ignoring illegals and students who also use up housing) and currently approx 200 thousand houses currently built a year on the private market... Does that not mean that if it wasn't for the immigration levels being ten times higher then early 2000 that there'd be enough houses built privately? Does that not mean that investing billions to make social housing to house migrants is a massive loss to the taxpayer for no reason... if migration were to return to 30,000 this wouldn't be an issue?

Anonymous said...

Is everyone in favour of nationalised broadband ok with Diane Abbott (as home sec) being the arbiter of what we're allowed to watch as she and Labour are absolutely pro internet censorship. Is no one worried this could lead to a heavy handed approach to anyone remotely perceived as dissenting against the state? The same laws they put in place will be there when the Tories are inevitably voted back in...?

Anonymous said...

If no deal is taken off the table as May promised it would and Johnson had to when he went in to re-negotiate, what makes anyone think the deal Labour would get would be any different? On top of this a referendum based upon remaining and the new deal would appear a plan to heavily favour remainers?

If this is the case, does anyone feel this is a) unfair and b) might cause social unrest/even rioting?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the effects of rent control on different cities and states and the effects it's had on housing?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the negative consequences minimum wage has had in: Canada, France, New York, Portland and California as a whole that has resulted in high rates of job loss and small businesses being unable to pay people the fixed wage?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the effects of zero carbon emission policies and how they will lower the standard of living for the general population. Additionally the straw that broke the camels back in France that created the Yellow vest surge was: A green tax on petrol.

Anonymous said...

By scrapping trade union laws and nationalising large sectors of the Uk economy, does no one think that this will give unions, specifically the individuals running them, enormous bargaining power based upon those workers in those unions not loosing their jobs. Meaning: If a technological innovation comes along that is a benefit for the rest of the UK i.e renewable energy, does that not mean that Unions will deliberately protest/utilise the industry they are in power of/representing to stop this innovation as this would clearly cost workers in Nuclear, oil, other renewable s, etc?

Is no one worried that strikes in this manner can cause blackouts circa the seventies and even in France in the 2000's?

What if there is an upgrade to the internet that means civil servants will be laid off in this manner?

Anonymous said...

Is no one worried that a Nationalised investment bank that invests in projects using tax payer money will be used for vanity projects and to fund the pockets of individuals who are quids in with various ministers and civil servants in charge of said bank? If so how will this form of cronyism be stopped/monitored?

Anonymous said...

Finally. Do any of you actually believe Labour will win the General Election?

Thank you for your time.

Radioh3d said...

Has anybody ever offered you the help you're desperately crying out for? Seriously Bob, a five year old would be able to read between the lines of your divisive daily mail drivel.

A quick skim over the huge amount of churnalized nonsense you just typed told me what I already knew... same old nonsensical, hateful gibberish straight from the Boris/Cummings book of just the two of us and fuck everybody else. On sale now at participating 'useful idiot' stores nationwide.

Go away Bob.

Anonymous said...

Left out the part where Corbyn says he will renegotiate an entirely new deal with the EU and then put it back to the people and goes on to say that he wants close alignment to the Single Market, which is only open to EU members by the way and allows as one of its 4 pillars the free movement of people, can you explain how that will work??

Anonymous said...

Corbyn will be gone on the 13th December 2019, wonder who will be the next leader?

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