Thursday, 18 May 2017

For The Many Not The Few - General Election (Week 5)

So this week we saw the launch of Labour's manifesto to a rapturous applause at Bradford University and what a great progressive one it's turned out to be. Jeremy Corbyn described it as a manifesto 'for the many not the few' and 'a programme of hope not fear'.

In order to put together the manifesto, Labour have consulted with loads of different people including experts, researchers, charities and of course ordinary members.

Just to recap on some of the proposals:

- Higher spending on the NHS (this must surely be one of the most important things to consider when casting your vote - the NHS is not safe in Tory hands and has been consistently underfunded as well as seeing creeping privatisation, especially as a result of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 which removed responsibility for the health of citizens from the Health Secretary and created Clinical Commissioning Groups, partly run by GPs but also private service providers.)

 - Reversal Of Welfare Cuts (this is equally as vital as the above because Labour voted against most if not all of the Welfare changes that have impoverished the lives - and worse - of many long term sick and disabled people since the Coalition in 2010).

 - Building of over a million new homes

 - Renationalization of the railways (when present franchises end), water, and Royal Mail

 - The creation of a National Education Service along the lines of the NHS to include free learning from the cradle to the grave and university fees will be scrapped making 'education a right and not a privilege'. Schools will be properly funded

 - There will be free child care for all 2 year olds

 - Voting age to be reduced to 16

 - A guaranteed triple-lock on pensions

 - A planned rise in Corporation Tax and a levy on firms paying very high salaries (this is a measure to reduce ridiculous inequality within society)

 -  No tax and national insurance rises except for the richest ie raising taxes to 45p for those earning over £80k and 50p for those earning over £123k

 - Scrapping exploitative zero hours contracts

 There were many more things in the manifesto including Brexit negotiations, helping the environment, making the country a more inclusive place and so on.

You will always get the naysayers who say the figures don't add up and the amount of borrowing but consider this: the Tories have borrowed more than all previous Labour parties!

At the launch of the manifesto, many of the media were present to pose questions and here is a flavour of some of Jeremy Corbyn's responses to their questions.

Somebody asked if anything could be done about 'the shockingly biassed media against the Labour Party.'  Jeremy Corbyn said he wanted to ensure there was diversity of all our media and that he thought freedom of speech in a democracy is important.

Then, when a journalist from some right-wing platform, posed a question on immigration he was immediately booed and heckled. But Jeremy Corbyn said 'Please, let's have respect for journalists - I'm a member of the NUJ.' But responding to the question on immigration, he went on to say that immigrants made 'an immense contribution' to our society and 'without immigration in the NHS, most of us would be far worse off in our health'.

Jeremy Corbyn likes to lead by example.  He quite rightly says that 'being strong doesn't mean shouting, dictating and insulting...I don't indulge in personal abuse.'  He just wants to 'debate the issues'.  But it is a sad reflection of affairs when so much of politics is about the 'cult of personality'.

Finally, there have been all those comments about 'taking us back to the 1970s'.  Corbyn's response was a comment in relation to the Conservative plans: 'fox-hunting and grammar schools...that's really forward-looking, isn't it?'

But whenever people make that comment I always say, better the 1970s than turn back the clock 100 years ago which the Tories seem to be doing - when inequality was rife and none of the rights that have been hard-won in the last few decades even existed.  For those of us old enough to remember the 1970s, great changes were made, such as The Sex Discrimination Act and The Race Relations Act which paved the way for a fairer kinder society.

So let us return to a fairer, kinder society.  We have had thirty years of Monetarism and it's failed.  Not everything that went before is bad and should never be revisited.   Let us learn from all that was good that went before. It is time to look back in order to move forward.

If you would like to read the Labour manifesto in full - please follow the link here:



  1. It's just one good thing after another, almost like taking a big vitamin supplement in which every single ingredient is good and energising. The Tories by comparison are all about, can't have this, can't have that, can't do this because.. it's the naysayers party, it's their spiritual home!

    1. Very true, Asterick. Imagine having all those vitamins after being deprived for so long!