9 thoughts on “The Radical Alternative to Austerity

  1. guy fawkes

    It is one thing to invest in a mass public house building and renovation scheme alongside an apprenticeship scheme, whereby like my son who was an apprentice bricklayer during the Blair years and was used to do the labouring rather than training in the trade he wanted to do. Most of this public sector house building was for homes to buy not rent either which defeated the object of social housing to rent.
    More childcare is more or less saying single parents should get out to work if we provide childcare, even though paying them benefits to stay at home and care for their own children can be a cheaper alternative than to pay a decent wage to workers in nurseries.
    All of these policies on how to spend accrued revenue which Blair had from a thriving housing market are the same as what was initiated under the Blair government and which profited those quango’s working hand in glove with council run projects, rather than the ordinary working man or woman.
    Good luck with getting taxes from the richest to fund a revived economy.

    1. Deborah Harrington

      You don’t need good luck to get taxes from the rich. You just need to do it. It has happened before and, despite all the propaganda at the time Britain’s ‘talent’ didn’t all run away. Of course if you want a proper socialist agenda that puts money to work in the service of people rather than sacrificing people on the altar of profit then you have to also try and make it as international as possible. But everyone has to be prepared to fight for it. The rich never gave anyone anything without a fight. If you look at the 1970’s, before Thatcher destroyed the unions, there was a smaller gap between rich and poor in the country than at any time in the last 100 years. Contrary to propaganda the unions didn’t ruin the country, they worked hard to make it fairer. That was why they had to be not only crushed but disgraced in public memory.
      And I do think that the only way Labour can possibly retrieve any support from this mess is to stand up and admit that they were wrong to be complicit in the lack of investment in public housing, wrong to get into PFI agreements for the public sector, specifically the NHS, and wrong to allow themselves to be put on the back foot over accusations of being ‘in the pocket of the unions’. The unions is US. We WANT our government to be ‘in OUR pockets’. We certainly don’t want to have a few extremely rich individuals and corporations being able to buy our government. For a political party to represent the people is surely the point of democracy? For it to be bought and sold is the reality of modern democracy.
      On the subject of Labour, though, is it now what we really want? If we start new movements and have independent candidates (such as National Health Action Party) will that simply split the vote and leave a huge gap for the Tories to cruise into all over again? I find myself torn between wanting to be part of a new wave of politics and dreading allowing these lying, thieving idiots a second term in which to complete their destructive plans. I love this country and I can’t bear to see them in power over it another day, let alone until 2020.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Those are excellent, excellent points, and I’m glad to see at least one other person has doubts about the new left-wing organisations being a way forward (at least in the immediate future). My answer has been to get into the Labour Party and seek reform from within, while pushing the Coalition on everything it’s doing at the same time.

      2. guy fawkes

        I too agree with all of the above points Deborah Harrington made and would be against splinter groups forming political parties, but if the unions decided to form one major political party that really had ALL workers and non- workers interests at heart, then that would be a better proposition to get behind than voting for more of the same from NEW labour which I now abhor.

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  4. jaynel62

    Thanks for the repost Mike, I intend to pull all comments into a report for John McDonnell (anonymously as I didn’t state so previously) so this is particularly welcome

  5. ghost whistler

    I agree with the comment that it’s bunkum.

    John McDonnell may well be a decent MP – there must be one or two! But even he hasn’t updated that blog.

    It’s just tinkering round the edges. The changes we need are more fundamental and more radical. Taxing the rich a little bit more won’t help. Building a few new houses, even though there’s a chronic housing crisis, won’t solve the problems long term. What happens when the houses are built? What work do people find then? What about unemployed people that don’t want to build houses? Is that what the unemployed are for? A cheap pool of disposable flexible labour?

    It’s not radical enough. Nowhere near.

    We are not facing a period of austere yet temporary belt tightening of the sort that Christian culture has conditioned us to accept (work now, heaven later). This is as good as it’s going to get for generations to come. John’s suggestions still work within the same tired broken system that needs to go. Consider this: even if the Tories lose the next election (it’s not a coalition, let’s be honest, it’s clearly a Tory government underwritten by an increasingly irrelevant libdem minority), Lord David Freud will still be in the House of Lords. He will still be there, until the day he dies, to promote (for now at least) the agenda of his new friends in the Tories. How is that democracy?

    1. Mike Sivier

      I think the house-building programme is intended for all the building professionals who have been desperate for work over the last few years. More construction work would be likely to follow as confidence flowed back into the system.

      Having said that, what would you consider to be a radical enough solution?

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