Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for Britain, as the voting for the Labour Party leadership begins

25.08.2016 - London UK - Silvia Swinden

Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for Britain, as the voting for the Labour Party leadership begins
(Image by Pressenza)

The Economy

“Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity”, he has stated.

Former adviser to Bank of England among signatories to letter dismissing criticism of economic plans, saying they are ‘not extreme’. Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies have received the backing of more than 40 leading economists. He believes investment will help to grow the economy and has proposed a “People’s Quantitative Easing”, effectively allowing the Bank of England to print money to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects. (The Guardian).

He has proposed to raise again the top rate of income tax and close all the loophole on tax avoidance and evasion, bringing back into the economy the money stashed in Tax Havens.

Pressenza has reported already that John McDonnell, shadow Chancellor, is studying the possibility of Universal Basic Income as a response to the impending and progressive mechanisation of labour in the future.

Defence, War and Peace

He opposes the renewal of Trident (British Nuclear missiles system which would cost more than 100bn) and has consistently voted against initiation and escalation of wars, including Iraq and Syria.

Acknowledging there is no appetite in the British public to exit NATO at the present time he has nevertheless stated that in case of conflict he would not go for the default strategy of immediately getting involved in a war if a member is threatened but he would seek a negotiated political solution in the first instance.  He would also “talk to everybody” in order to secure peace in the Middle East. He supports cutting off the flow of money and arms to Isis.

Health, the NHS

Removing any element of privatisation in the National Health Service is central to his plans in Government. He wants to “ensure it’s completely publicly run and publicly accountable”. He has denounced (and apologised for) Labour’s previous PFI (Private Finance Initiative) policies that has landed the NHS with crippling debts.

Education

Elimination of tuition fees, Bringing back the piecemeal education network created by Free Schools and Academies under a coordinated National Education System.

Energy

Bringing back energy providers under public control in order to do away with the increasing cost to users from for-profit companies.

Railways

Renationalising the railways has been consistently proposed by the Corbyn team and based on investment into infrastructure, spiralling costs to commuters, overcrowding and chaotic services the policy seems to be popular not just with Labour voters but also with a good deal of Tory ones.

Women

Improved protection from domestic violence, reopening closed shelters and promotion of equal pay for equal work combine with his stated desire to balance the gender mix in his cabinet.

Showing the way forward

In spite of the intense attacks from the Media and from some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has remained determined to put forward his vision of a renewed Britain, reducing inequality and violence here and in the international arena. His challenger, Owen Smith, has the support of most of the PLP but there has been a process through the courts in order to prevent 130.000 members from voting (under Corbyn the party membership has grown to over half a million members).

We are witnessing a clear example of crisis between grassroots who do not feel represented and their so called representatives, as well as the inability of the establishment, represented by the Media, to deal with someone who cannot be controlled through the usual methods of carrot (Peearge anybody?) and stick (smear campaigns).

Whatever the outcome of the leadership vote it is important to stress that the visible figures of this new sensibility which is arising (Corbyn, Sanders, Varoufakis, etc) have already fulfilled their role of giving visibility to the millions of people who are demanding change towards a nonviolent and humanised world.

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