Wednesday, 10 August 2016

JEREMY CORBYN AND LABOUR'S 10 PLEDGES FOR THE 2020 ELECTION - PART ONE

This blog is designed as a thoughtful response - in three parts - to the 10 Pledges that Jeremy Corbyn and his team have drawn up as a central part of the leadership campaign that has been forced upon them by the attempted coup against JC within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). In a smart and admirable political move, Jeremy and his team have turned the leadership challenge to advantage - these 10 Pledges serve as a strong statement outlining the policies that will underpin the 2020 general election campaign or any earlier general election that the new prime minister, Theresa May, may call.

I listened to the disputed leader of the Labour Party, in person, speaking at a rally in the Heartlands Mining Heritage site in Pool, Cornwall, on Saturday afternoon. He was my kind of leader - articulate, caring, well-informed, convincing, honest, inspirational, kind ... What else would anyone want? He highlighted several of these ten pledges in his  address. I want to cover three in this blog; four in the next; and three in the last in the series. But before I look at these promises I'd just like quickly to

Jeremy Corbyn at Heartlands in Cornwall last Saturday - (all photos from the 'West Briton') 

sketch the contributions of some of the earlier speakers at the rally last Saturday who described their experiences in living in a state diminished by the application of neoliberalism  ...

The mother on housing benefit who described the reality of being at the mercy of landlords in an under-regulated  rental market that offers little security to the tenant ... the distress of her children who never know when the roof over their head is going to change its shape yet again, or which school they will move to ... the frustration of the disabled man in a wheelchair who is told by the woman at the job centre that it will probably be best if he omits the fact he is a wheelchair user when writing an application - and is later told by the same official that she understands what it must be like to be disabled because her brother is disabled too ... the inspirational primary school teacher of ten years service who rages against the conformity and inanity of a curriculum that has become distorted by the meaningless demand for testing and evaluation ...

And then Jeremy. The crowd of around 4,000 - spanning the generations - were uplifted. We had a glimpse of a better future. A socialist vision.

We Pledge:         An economy that works for all

We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and nations and guarantee a decent job for all.

How?

By investing £500 billion in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries backed by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks.

Where will the money come from? Running a national economy is not the same as planning a household budget. Quantitative Easing (QE) - creating new money - has been a key element in both Tory and Labour government responses to managing an economy in crisis. It can and will continue to be so. Redistribution of income but even more importantly redistribution of wealth will be a critical means to make the economy healthier and society fairer and more just.

Heartlands, Pool, Cornwall - Saturday afternoon 6 August 2016 - the people gather


We Pledge: Secure homes for all 

We will build a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes, through a public investment strategy. We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of  private tenants' rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.

Where there is the political will, there is always a way. Remember the Labour government's achievements between 1945 and 1951 in war-torn Britain ...

We Pledge: Security at work

We will give people stronger employment rights from day one in a job, end the exploitation of zero-hour contracts and create new collective bargaining rights, including mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250 or more employees. We will create new employment and trade union rights to bring better security to the workplace and win better pay and conditions for everyone. We will act against the undercutting of pay and conditions through the exploitation of migrant labour.

Early seats at the rally for Jeremy Corbyn and all the people - 6 August 2016


This is government for the people, by the people - and in the interests of the people. Democracy in a word. Who wouldn't want to vote for such policies?  Corbyn and his policies, unelectable? His enemies - our enemies - are running scared.