Labour’s manifesto is out and people are going absolutely nuts for it

Corbyn and Labour manifesto
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The Labour Party has released its manifesto for how it will rebuild Britain if elected into power on 12 December 2019. And if the public response is anything to go by, Boris Johnson and the Tories have a problem. Because Labour just reminded voters what it feels like when a party has a plan for the entire country.

Labour’s manifesto focuses on policies that will benefit the many, not the few.

Ending crony privatisation

The crony privatisation of our utilities has seen the cost of living sky rocket. Worse, in most cases the taxpayer is still footing the bill, while private companies reap the profits. Privatised water alone costs £2.3bn a year more than necessary. In energy, private companies have quadrupled their profits since 1996. Meanwhile, household bills for electricity and gas have soared by a third and a half (in real terms) respectively.

Ever-increasing energy, water and rail bills from private companies are out of control. But no more. Because Labour will renationalise these natural monopolies, together with mail and broadband.

But rather than a nostalgic move to recreate the past, these plans are distinctly 21st century. The manifesto reads:

We will put people and planet before profit by bringing our energy and water systems into democratic public ownership. In public hands, energy and water will be treated as rights rather than commodities, with any surplus reinvested or used to reduce bills. Communities themselves will decide, because utilities won’t be run from Whitehall but by service-users and workers.

And reaction to the proposals has been a welcome one.

Rebuilding public services

Public services have been asset-stripped by nearly a decade of Tory austerity. If Labour wins on 12 December, they will be rebuilding those services. A National Education Service will scrap tuition fees, reintroduce maintenance grants, and promote lifelong learning.

If elected on 12 December, Labour has promised to scrap NHS privatisation and return to a publicly-funded, publicly-run health service. Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has pledged a fully-costed £26bn yearly cash injection to the NHS, along with a 10-point plan to reverse the impacts of austerity. The plans will return the NHS to the public.

A place to live, and a place to work

Labour’s manifesto looks to bring an end to the decade of falling wages and evaporating job security. Labour will use a windfall tax on Britain’s biggest polluters to create a million climate jobs. A Corbyn government would implement a Real Living Wage for all working people, and scrap the zero-hours contracts currently trapping almost 900,000 people. The party would also deliver a pay increase for all public-sector staff, who’ve seen their pay stagnate since 2010.

The manifesto reads:

We will create a million climate jobs in every region and nation of the UK – good, skilled jobs that will bring prosperity back to parts of our country neglected for too long.

We will bring in a Real Living Wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers – with equal rights at work from day one on the job. We will end insecurity and exploitation by ending zero-hours contracts and strengthening trade union rights.

And there are a string of measure to tackle the housing crisis as part of a £75bn “housing revolution”. The manifesto reads:

Labour will deliver a new social housebuilding programme of more than a million homes over a decade, with council housing at its heart.

It’s time

The excitement surrounding the manifesto launch is a much-needed reminder. This is how we should feel about the future: excited, prepared and determined. The terror and anxiety that’s come with every budget day for this past decade is not normal. It’s time to rebuild, repair, and renew a country torn apart by ideological austerity. It’s past time.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Show Comments
    1. The manifesto is a remarkable work. It distinguishes Corbyn-Labour from ‘Old Labour’ and from the gross aberration known as ‘New Labour’. It portrays vision of a political party ready to embrace opportunities and face challenges offered by the 21st century.

      I admire the manner in which the manifesto has been structured and written. It doesn’t read merely as a stall laid out with tempting baubles. Rather, the proposals, and further implicit reforms, cohere under clearly stated general principles. Nothing in it ought read as offensive to the bulk of the population regardless of whether they hitherto supported other mainstream political parties. Labour has added, for decades missing, intellect to its benevolent soul.

      Success in politics requires opportunism and pragmatism. Absent for too long has been guiding principle. Recent governments have merely tinkered with minor variations around the inchoate theme of neo-liberalism. Nearly two generations have been exposed to unchallenged assumptions and bleak consequences such as ‘austerity’. Now people are offered a genuine horizon uplifting to the eyes and with a compass bearing for reaching it.

      Few among the electorate will read the entirety of this or any other party’s manifesto. Nevertheless it provides cohesive guidance to candidates and people canvassing on their behalf.

      The manifesto shall be digested and regurgitated by divers news outlets and commentators. The message handed out will be coloured by the beliefs and prejudices of largely anti-Corbyn media. The Tories shall do all in their power to trash the manifesto; they will unashamedly resort to ad hominem attack, to misinformation (aka lies), and crude appeal to fears and other emotion rather than reason. Their leader epitomises these dismal characteristics.

      I hope Labour’s key strategists and tacticians have factored the foregoing pitiful reality into their general campaign. Somehow, not just the ‘goodies’ on offer but also the manifesto’s reasoning must be imparted to voters. Obviously there are some vital messages, one being that Labour gave us the NHS and now Labour is the only party to be entrusted with putting it back together after saving it from predators.

      Arguments relating to placing infrastructure back into communal hands require stressing along with bottom line implications for citizens regarding ensuing cost-efficiency in absence of profit taking; that links nicely to the proposed cap on earnings differential within the public sector.

      Proposed foreign policy is, in UK terms, revolutionary. It paves the way for engaging in military spats only when the UN (suitably reformed) gives sanction. Thereby NATO commitment shall wither away naturally because of reluctance to abide by its diktat rather than that of the UN.


      Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license (sic).

      Email: [email protected] (not a joke address)

    2. A great manifesto what I’ve seen of it so far, but as a socialist I’d be quite happy to pay a small monthly fee for broadband with the usual concessions for others. The government will need income and low-cost broadband would be fair. At the minute I use a dongle and because I download podcasts and videos I spend around thirty pounds a fortnight on it, so for me even a fiver a week is one-third what I pay now.

      I could get wi-fi cheaper but I won’t risk direct-debit contracts in case the DWP screw up my payments.

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