A clear Labour narrative is emerging, but certain key gaps need to be filled

You could almost write the Labour manifesto now, except that there’s a great deal more to come later this month as well as in the run-up to the election.   It can be grouped under certain headings:

Protecting living standards

A Living Wage (£8.80 in London, £7.65 elsewhere), encouraged by incentives to business and enforced if necessary.   An immediate energy price freeze lasting  20 months till January 2017, by which time the energy market will be radically restructured.   A private rent cap as a check against rapacious landlords.   The hated and deeply unjust Bedroom Tax will be repealed.

Growth and jobs

A National Investment Bank will be created to fill the gap left by the investment strike in the private sector.   Labour standards will be protected particularly in the case of low wage and agency work., though another gap is the need for a strong endorsement of the positive role to be played by the trade unions in achieving a sustainable economic recovery.    A grant of £30bn to local authorities to devolve responsibility for house-building, transport infrastructure and skills training will kickstart growth and jobs in the regions in the face of the currently anaemic recovery there.   But this is also one area where a very different message needs to be got across.   At present the dominant economic theme has been continuing the Tory cuts till 2020, which is about as offputting for disaffected Labour voters as can be.   The message should focus relentlessly on growth, jobs and a return to full employment as a contrast to the Tories’ super-high unemployment policies (never fallen below 6.6% in 4 years).   And growth is the best way out of austerity.

Harnessing the banks to Britain’s recovery

Since the banks precipitated the 2008 financial crash, have been greedy and culpable of gross and extensive corruption, and failed to rebalance the economy or increase lending to British industry, they should be broken up.   The country needs smaller, specialist banks, especially in the regions, and ones that focus on science and technology, low carbon economy, SMEs,and design and innovation.

Limiting inequality

A tax on bankers’ bonuses will be imposed, which should be accompanied by a restoration of the 50p rate of income tax on the top 1% paid over £3,000 a week.   A mansion tax on houses worth over £2 million will tax the ultra-rich in a way they cannot avoid.   In general there will be a serious and determined crackdown on tax avoidance, as opposed to Osborne’s pussyfooting around.

Social justice

The Health and Social Care Act will be repealed.   But a big gap here is the need for clearer education policies to counter Gove extremism.   And measures are needed to restore access to legal aid in the criminal justice system, as well to deal with the remorseless intrusion into privacy by the surveillance State.   Popular calls by 65-80% of the electorate for the return to public ownership of Royal Mail, the railways and the energy companies must also be heeded.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “A clear Labour narrative is emerging, but certain key gaps need to be filled

  1. “In an article for The Independent, Ms Cooper says Labour would also introduce compulsory sex- and relationship-education and turn the next generation of boys into “feminist” men?”

    These people are not of this planet.

  2. My own wish list would look something like this:

    Repeal of the Health and Social Care act, yes.

    An end to vindictive and pointless bedroom tax, yes.

    Break up the banks, yes, (particularly according to function with retail and investment completely separate.)

    Since no government can create real sustainable jobs, stop the growing abuse, criminalization and exploitation of the unemployed and the disabled by the government, various faux charities and commercial organizations for profit under spurious and dishonest pretext of, “helping us.”.

    Far harsher penalties for our many dishonest MPs, including loss of their seat if convicted of any serious crime resulting in them being jailed and confiscation of any assets, particularly property acquired through the kind of cynical dishonestly exemplified by David Laws, Maria Miller, Ed Balls and co.

    The same for companies, (and charities,) such as Avanta, G4S, A4e, Capita and so on and particularly an end to, and full transparency about, all political donations and sponsorship arrangements.

    The benefit system also needs rationalization and sensible reform, (not it’s de facto abolition,) to make sure the money reaches those who need reliably and regularly.

    I’d also like full PR.

    A period of perhaps at least 4 years before any former MP or civil servant can take up any paid post in the private sector.

    Well overdue reform of the entire rancid and rotten charitable third sector, (probably reduce the number of charities by 2/3 and a limit to the number of charities leeching off any single good cause and the immediate abolition of the RSCPCA,) and far greater resources for the charities commission, a cap of Chief executives pay and perks at perhaps £60,000. Can it really be right for example, than one charity receiving £7 million from government is paying to send it’s CEO’s children to private school and that another raised £176m from donations during its first two years but has distributed just £55,000 to charity and so on?

    An end to tax breaks on all charitable donations, a donation to charity is something you make after you’ve paid your taxes not instead of paying them.

    Abolition of these wretched, expensive and unwanted and unelected political Police Commissioners and their staff and the reintroduction of principle of operational independence, (with oversight,) with control of their own budgets also far greater resources for the serious fraud squad and so on, (to many serious and important prosecutions of the great and the powerful have been dropped recently because of lack of resources.)

    Fewer, simpler and more sensible laws not more on the pattern of Epizephyrian Locris whose renowned lawgiver Zaleucus decreed that anyone who proposed a change in the laws should do so with a noose about their neck, with which they should be hanged if the amendment did not pass.

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