Posts Tagged 'labour'

Tax reform and a Corbyn-led government will save our local services

Peter Latham, author of Who stole the town hall?, argues that the Spring Budget highlighted the Conservative Party’s allegiance to the City of London, not the small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed they profess to support.

He says that, to resist Tory-driven austerity policies and save our public services, we need a resurgence of social democracy and a reformed tax system.

“The Chancellor’s decision not to increase self-employed national insurance contributions (NIC) by £2bn, in a U-turn following the Spring Budget on 8th March, showed that the Tory government is ‘imprisoned by a minority of its backbenchers and by the Daily Mail’ according to The Guardian, 16 March 2017.

Moreover, as Aditya Chakrabortty noted, the government’s policies ‘hit the just-about-managing harder than the rich’. For example, the 2016 red book lists reductions to taxes on big businesses worth £18bn over the next five years.

Conversely, Jeremy Corbyn’s devastating assault on the Chancellor’s provision of just £2bn over three years to cover the crisis in social care – just a third of what the Local Government Association calculates is necessary – was slated by the mainstream media for not mentioning the Tory manifesto: even though he attacked the decision to raise the NIC rate.

Many Tory MPs fight shy of acknowledging their party’s first priority to the City of London, preferring to pass themselves off as the voice of small businesses, entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Increasing Class 4 NICs for the self-employed stuck in their craw, leading many party members to inform Philip Hammond and Theresa May that they would not support it.

Continue reading ‘Tax reform and a Corbyn-led government will save our local services’

Has the #Labourleadership contest changed British politics?

By tomorrow all the votes will have been counted and we will know who is the next leader of the Labour party.
Over the summer, traditionally the ‘silly season’ in news coverage, we have been inundated with stories about the Labour leadership contest, especially around the surprising emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as the frontrunner.
With the final votes having been cast on Thursday and an announcement due tomorrow, some of our key authors share their thoughts and views on the contest and the potential outcome…

Patrick Diamond

Patrick Diamond

Although there have been many critics of the Labour Party leadership selection process, it has resulted in one of the first genuine mass participation contests in the history of British party politics. We wait to see whether it will herald a wider revival of mass parties.Patrick Diamond, academic and author of forthcoming publication The Crosland Legacy

 

Roberts

John Roberts

“Let’s face it, Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham are all still constrained by Blairism, although, admittedly, Burnham sometimes shows signs of trying to move beyond Blairism. So, Corbyn, perhaps ironically, is the candidate who is the most modern of all the Labour candidates in trying to map a new ideology and set of policies for the Labour Party, which escapes the straitjacket of Thatcherism.” John Roberts, academic and author of New media and public activism: Neoliberalism, the state and radical protest in the public sphere

 

Lisa Mckenzie, author of 'Getting by'

Lisa Mckenzie

Jeremy Corbyn is a parliamentarian, he is a Labour man, he believes in Westminster politics, he is very far from a threat to parliamentary democracy he is as we might have said back in the day ‘a company man’.  The media, the Labour Party and everyone else appear to have got their knickers in a right old twist about a man who won’t have very much power, and essentially doesn’t want to change very much. Imagine if they got me.” Lisa Mckenzie, academic and author of Getting by: Estates, class and culture in austerity Britain

 

Simon Parker

Simon Parker

Corbyn will likely be a disaster, but his victory ought to shake the Labour party out of its complacency and force them to create a new progressive politics that is less paternalistic, more plural and which seeks to share power rather than to hoard it. The best thing that could come from the next few days is a new progressive politics aimed at the mainstream.” Simon Parker, director of  New Local Government Network and author of Taking power back: Putting people in charge of politics

 

Nathan Manning

Nathan Manning

The notion that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable [as British Prime Minister] highlights just how far we’ve drifted to the right and just how entrenched the neo-liberal orthodoxy has become.” Dr Nathan Manning, academic and author of Political (dis)engagement: The changing nature of the ‘political’

 

Mary O'Hara

Mary O’Hara

Bearing in mind the onslaught of austerity policies over the past five years – and with billions pounds of more cuts to vital services and benefits to come – what really matters is that a fully functioning Opposition is in place. Without a coherent and consistent challenge to the current government’s policies many thousands of people across the country including disabled people will continue to suffer.Mary O’Hara, journalist and author of Austerity Bites: A journey to the sharp end of the cuts in the UK

 

#labourleadership #labour #corbyn

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Hain: ‘Public investment is key to regenerating economy’

Peter Hain’s Back to the future of socialism publishes today. In his guest blog post to celebrate the launch of the book Hain questions how we got into the current financial situation of cuts and austerity. He shares his views on the need for a radical response from all politicians, but most especially the left, to take us back to a fairer future…

Labour MP Photocall

Rt Hon Peter Hain, MP

Did Big Government or Big Banking cause the global financial crisis? And what should be done?

Go for cuts and austerity, or investment in growth and jobs? Give market forces a free hand, or harness and regulate them for the common good? Forget about fairness or share the proceeds of growth?

And, one of the key questions for me is, quite simply, is democratic socialism outdated or the answer to today’s challenges?

Sense of purpose

In 1956 Anthony Crosland’s classic text, The Future of Socialism, furnished the democratic left with a new sense of purpose. By freeing Labour from past fixations, and by giving traditional Labour values a contemporary appeal, he gave the party a controversial fresh focus, reviving its spirit and restoring its impatience for progress.

Crosland’s approach – essentially one in which the state sought to spread the benefits of economic growth within, and without challenging the capitalist framework – underpinned Labour’s approach until the global economic crisis of 2008.

But the kind of capitalism we have faced since is a more internationally and financially integrated, more unstable and a more unfair system than Crosland’s generation ever anticipated: productive but prone to paralysis, dynamic but discriminatory.

It is a capitalism whose self-destructive tendencies require far more radical responses than the neoliberal, right wing orthodoxy of the post banking crisis era could ever provide. Responses that pose acute challenges to a Labour Party intent on getting the economy growing again whilst putting the public finances back in order. Responses to be made against a constant, and seemingly resonant, message through the media for more cuts to cure ‘the deficit, stupid’.

“Governments across the world allowed the financial system…to become a law unto itself”

I strongly dispute this, and believe that public investment, not ever more austerity is the answer – both to regenerate our economy and get the deficit down. It is a case for faster fairer greener growth where an active role for Government holds the key.

In truth – at the very least in terms of banking – governments were too small and too passive, not too big and too active as the right repetitively insists. Governments across the world (including Labour’s) allowed the financial system over a 30-year period to get out of control and become a law unto itself. Takeovers and mergers led to banks so big they couldn’t be allowed by government to fail. Bankers bent rules to lend ever more riskily without anything like enough capital cover, until it all unravelled to catastrophic effect.

The real choice facing Britain should be between the right’s insistence on minimalist government and the left’s belief in active government; between the right’s insistence on a free market free-for-all, and the left’s belief in harnessing markets for the common good. Politics has to change, with Labour becoming a different type of political party. And Britain’s future must be at the heart of Europe, leading a new progressive internationalism.

Back to The Future of Socialism aspires to be a defining book for the democratic left in this era, just as past generations saw Tony Crosland’s seminal book in his era. You can be the judge of whether it meets that test!

Follow @PeterHain on twitter and for latest news on the book search #backtothefutureofsocialism

Back to the future of socialism [FC]Back to the future of socialism publishes today and copies can be purchased at a 20% discount from the Policy Press website – here.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.


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