Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has penned an excellent piece in The Observer, highlighting the Conservative Government’s attack on democracy and the need for a reforming – in the real sense, rather than the Tory lie – Labour government as soon as possible.
Here, he explains how the Conservatives are attacking your ability to get rid of them:
By driving through a new voter registration scheme that will slash the number of young and inner-city voters, while cutting the number of parliamentary seats, the Conservatives are gerrymandering the electoral system to benefit themselves.
By directly attacking Labour’s funding through their trade union bill, and by cutting public Short money support for opposition parties’ research, they are deliberately setting out to enfeeble democratic accountability of their own administration.
Add to that their lobbying and transparency “gagging law”, which prevents charities, unions and thinktanks from taking part in political debate; their naked threats to use the BBC’s charter renewal to hack away at its independence; their packing of the House of Lords with Tory peers; and their move to outlaw councils from boycotts of oppressive governments – and it all adds up to a serious attack on democratic rights and freedoms.
Next he discusses the “cocktail of threats” made by George Osborne to disguise what is in fact a Conservative economic cock-up:
This government is failing the country and the large majority of its people. It is carrying out the largest ever fire sale of public assets in a reckless attempt at a short-term fiscal fix – while banking on rising household debt to keep the economy afloat.
It is slashing public services, especially at local level, for those who rely on them for security and a decent life. It is driving the NHS and social care into crisis, while accelerating the privatisation and break up of our health and education services. It is failing to invest in the economy of the future. No wonder George Osborne is getting his excuses in first about the “cocktail of threats” to our economy.
Mr Corbyn describes Osborne’s economy as a “house built on sand”. He goes on to describe the alternative his Labour Party is offering:
My leadership is based on three main pillars. The first is a new politics that offers people a say in the decisions that affect them, in communities and workplaces, as well as more direct control over their own services. We want to see the democratisation of public life from the ground up.
The second is a new economy that puts public investment front and centre stage: in science, technology and the green industries of the future. Instead of Osborne’s economic house built on sand, our focus will be on the reindustrialisation of Britain for the digital age, driven by a national investment bank as a motor of modernisation – and sustainable growth that will slash the welfare bill in the process.
The third is a different kind of foreign policy, based on a new and more independent relationship with the rest of the world — and one where war is a last resort. For more than a decade, Britain has been at the centre of a succession of disastrous wars that have increased, not diminished, the threats to our own national security. Labour will never leave Britain unprotected, but we will put peace, human rights and real security first.
And he outlines Labour’s policy on the European Union – one that makes much more sense than Cameron’s:
Labour backs Britain’s continued EU membership as the best framework for trade and co-operation in 21st-century Europe – along with defence of the European convention on human rights. But we need to make EU decision-making more accountable to its people, put jobs and growth at the heart of European policy, strengthen workers’ rights in a real social Europe, and end the pressure to privatise services.
He reckons he can beat the Tories by building a coalition of middle- and low-income workers – the people who are being hit the hardest by the Tory interpretation of “reform” (real meaning: regression). This is not the narrow concentration of New Labour on Daily Mail-reading neoliberals:
The real middle Britain – of insecure self-employment, rip-off private pensions, unaffordable housing, mounting tuition fee debt and crisis-ridden social care – is crying out for a Labour government committed to fundamental reform. Millions in self-employment are as exploited as those in work, with fewer benefits.
Oh, and for those who still cling to the bizarre belief that Labour is falling apart:
In reality, there is in fact now a greater Labour consensus on domestic and economic policy than at any period in my lifetime. Even on foreign and security policy, where differences have been sharper, the Syria debate last month showed there was a clear majority in every part of our party for opposition to Cameron’s bombing campaign.
Labour stands for social justice and prosperity for all. It exists to deliver the jobs, security, services and life chances denied to so many. That is what Labour is for. That’s why we are building the genuine democratic alternative that the Tories are so determined to stifle.
That’s the situation at the start of 2016. You have a choice: Cameron’s regression or Corbyn’s reform.
Whose side will you join?
Source: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Reshuffle? Focus on Tory failings in health, housing and education instead’ | Opinion | The Guardian
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