Jeremy Corbyn has warned that the UK faces many more problems than Boris Johnson’s lame Brexit, that will hobble the UK far into the future.
In a speech today, he said the answer is a general election in the autumn.
While Brexit is the framework of the crisis we face, the problems facing our country run much deeper. A general election triggered by the Tory Brexit crisis will be a crossroads for our country. It will be a once-in-a-generation chance for a real change of direction, potentially on the scale of 1945 or 1979. Things cannot go on as they were before.
The Conservatives, and the wealthy establishment they represent, have failed our country. They have failed to protect living standards, savaged our public services, deepened inequality and failed to keep us safe. Boris Johnson and his hard right Tory cabinet have direct responsibility for the Tory decade of devastating damage done to our communities and the fabric of our society.
However the Brexit crisis is resolved, the country faces a fundamental choice. Labour offers the real change of direction the country needs: a radical programme to rebuild and transform communities and public services, invest in the green jobs and high tech industries of the future, and take action to tackle inequality and climate crisis.
Labour believes the decision on how to resolve the Brexit crisis must go back to the people. And if there is a general election this autumn, Labour would commit to holding a public vote, to give voters the final say, with credible options for both sides, including the option to remain.
The Tories under Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to deliver on their quick fix election promises – because their first priority is tax cuts for the big corporations and the richest. Boris Johnson and the Tories can’t be trusted to deliver for the majority because they will always look after their own. Instead of fixing a failed system, they will turbocharge its inequalities, insecurities and climate destruction.
Labour can be trusted to deliver: to end austerity, to take on the elites and the vested interests holding people back, and to transform our country for the many, not the few.
Labour can be trusted to take the radical steps necessary to protect the environment and provide hope, decent jobs, secure homes, opportunity to every nation and region, and build a fairer country that works for all.
As the leader of one opposition party (we all know which one, don’t we?) is dragging her heels over support for the vote of “no confidence” that would facilitate a general election, this speech is clearly intended to lever her in that direction – by fuelling support for Mr Corbyn’s plan among the electorate.
Perhaps that will encourage Conservative MPs to follow Guto Bebb’s example, rather than falling back on nonsense stories that deny the UK’s constitution, like Dominic Grieve.
As I write this, Mr Corbyn is delivering the speech live on BBC2. But will it get the more wide-scale coverage it needs in order to gain traction?
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