Watch Ken Loach use just 11 words to explain why people keep flocking to Labour [VIDEO]

Ken Loach Labour Party

After quitting the Labour Party in the late 1990s, acclaimed film director Ken Loach is back. He now produces party political broadcasts for Labour and receives standing ovations from members at the party’s conference. Asked by Sky News why he’d come back to the party, Loach replied that it was because of the party’s:

determination to put the interests of people first, before corporate power.

Corporate power

Loach explained:

I left the Labour Party when Blair was in his pomp and privatising everything he could see so I didn’t expect to be back here.

He continued:

The funding from Blair was there. But the structure of things like the NHS, of course, changed and… profits were siphoned off the health service into private companies. The increase in PFI.

Read on...

PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts were introduced by John Major’s Conservative government in the early 1990s. New Labour then expanded their use. PFI contracts use private funding to pay for big infrastructure projects like building hospitals or schools as a way of keeping debts off the government’s balance sheet.

Corbyn’s Labour has already said it would refuse to sign new PFI contracts. But on 25 September, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced a new policy on PFI. The Labour Party will, McDonnell said, review all existing PFI contracts and bring them in house “if necessary”. He explained why:

The scandal of the Private Finance Initiative has resulted in huge long-term costs for taxpayers while providing enormous profits for some companies. Over the next few decades, nearly £200bn is scheduled to be paid out of public sector budgets in PFI deals. In the NHS alone, £831m in pre-tax profits have been made over the past six years. Never again will this waste of taxpayer money be used to subsidise the profits of shareholders, often based in offshore tax havens.

Putting people first

The PFI review is far from the only policy announced at the party’s conference to put people before corporate power. Labour has also, for example, proposed a cap on credit card interest. But PFI was always a powerful symbol of New Labour’s capitulation to corporate interests at the expense of people. And McDonnell’s announcement marks a clear break with the New Labour past, as Loach explains:

I think there’s an ideological shift, and that’s to be welcomed.

Loach is not the only person flocking to Corbyn’s Labour. In 2016, Labour’s income from membership fees leapt by 50% [paywall] from the previous year, leading the party treasurer, Diana Holland, to announce on 26 September that the party was debt-free in 2016 for the first time since the 1960s. Old members are returning. Young people are backing the party. Because if there’s one thing the British political system has desperately needed over recent decades, it’s a mainstream party brave enough to take on corporate power.

Get Involved!

– Read more Canary articles about the Labour Party here.

– Read more from The Canary on the Labour Conference 2017.

– Join us, so we can continue to bring you the news that matters.

Featured image via screengrab

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed