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UK Labour manifesto – for the many not the few

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 am, May 17th, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

It’s been a while since I’ve watched Jeremy Corbyn speak, and I’d forgotten how good he is (the Q and A is particularly good). Smart, socially intelligent, strong and comes across as real. Britain could do a lot worse than have this man as PM. The other thing that stood out was that two of the introductory speeches were by ordinary Brits. These weren’t PR-primed messaging deliveries, but two people stumbling a bit over their words and telling personal stories that will be familiar to so many. One of them then introduced Corbyn himself. A small thing but one that matters.

There are many reasons to want Labour to win the UK election, and getting us past all the post-modern, Crosby-Textor manipulative, image as god, power is god, winning at all costs, never mind the ethics bullshit, and back to politics with integrity is high among them.

The list of policies itself is almost shocking from this tired neoliberal side of the planet, and it’s certainly awe inspiring, so long has it been since we’ve had real hope. During the Q and A it was pointed out that after the manifesto leak last week the policies polled as very favourable.

Here’s the published manifesto and speech, which I’m sure we will see pulled apart by many with jaded glee, but I will also be remembering that this has just been delivered by people who care and aren’t afraid to put their careers on the line in order to stay true to what is right. Daring is the word that comes to mind. They look like they’ve just put a very important stake in the ground, not just for the UK but progressive politics across the English-speaking world. All power to them.

For the Many Not the Few

Introductions, speech and Q and A,

Transcript here.

29 comments on “UK Labour manifesto – for the many not the few”

  1. Nick 1

    Go JC!

  2. ianmac 2

    Real people. Refreshing.

  3. roy cartland 3

    I agree Weka. I’ve had flaming (good-natured of course) arguments with my signed-up NZLP member mate who hates JC. Reckons people need to get ‘realistic’. Reckons the UKLP needs someone who doesn’t suck in front of the media.

    My argument is similar to your proposal – fuck the imagery and the ‘game’ of politics, just vote on policy.

    What am I missing that he’s seeing?

    • AB 3.1

      “What am I missing that he’s seeing?”
      Most likely you are just interpreting the same thing differently.
      My view is that Corbyn up-ends contemporary expectations about ‘leadership’. Some people like it and some are just shocked. He doesn’t utter the vacuous, glossy certainties that we now expect from leaders – he talks a lot about the need to work and talk with others to find answers to problems, he talks about principles rather than solutions. He can therefore sound dithery and weak to people who have internalised the modern heroic concept of leadership.

      As a self-confessed leadership sceptic, I like Corbyn’s style. I would call it “anti-leadership” – by which I mean that there’s a sense that he wants to listen to people and empower upwards from the bottom. That’s not to say he sometimes doesn’t hit an odd note. But no-one is perfect.

      • roy cartland 3.1.1

        Could be.

        I get the uncomfortable sense that he thinks that LP somehow has to buy into that bullshit rhetoric and ‘play their game’, not far from tricking people into voting for it. To me, that’s just a race to the bottom and exactly how we end up with the scum we have now.

      • weka 3.1.2

        Nice analysis.

        There was a good bit in the Q and A video where he reminds people it’s not about the cult of personality. I’m guessing he intentionally resists the attraction of power that comes with the role because he knows what that does to people and the cause.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Thanks Weka, I stayed up and watched the live stream last night, and loved watching a traditional western Left party doing what it was designed to do, stand up unashamedly with policies that will benefit the many not the few.
    I have to say I did feel a little tinge of jealousy that the citizens in the UK are lucky enough to have such a strong and principled Labour party, one not driven obsessively by poll numbers, nor a deep (probably Freudian) fear of the middle class and certain MSM backlash, but one that presents a traditional Labour socialist manifesto that has only one guiding thread, a fair and equal country for all… you think it would be pretty hard to argue with that ideology for most decent human beings.

    I am selfishly hoping that Labour UK will really upset the Tories and therefore give Andrew Little the courage to swing the NZ labour party to the Left, I could well be dreaming on both counts…but dreams are free, and I need something to keep my morale up in these dark (well at least very murky) times.

    • weka 4.1

      I’m jealous too! Of Corbyn as much as anything, we simply don’t have anyone like that here currently.

  5. Spikeyboy 5

    A very sane foreign policy too.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I haven’t had read it completely yet but this appears to be fantastic.

    If Labour wins, it will show our own Labour Party what can be done with some courageous but sensible policy.

    This should be the template that New Zealand Labour uses in September

  7. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 7

    Listened to the launch – now that’s a Labour Party I could support with enthusiasm!

    Am working for NZLP to change this b-awful government, but oh, I do so wish they would come out with a really radical programme – for the many, not the few.

    Corbyn will sweep to power in the UK, against all the predictions, and perhaps embolden other ‘left’ parties to be similarly strong.

    Here’s hoping!

    • weka 7.1

      My feeling about that is that it works for UK Labour because of Corbyn (and the people around him, but without him it wouldn’t work). We don’t have a Corbyn here. Cunliffe tried but he didn’t have the strength to pull that off in the face of the ongoing abuse he got from inside and outside the party.

  8. Bill 8

    Just to repeat – I believe UK Labour could form the next UK government.

    On that front, I take heart from the Guardian running a ridiculous negative header on the release, claiming that some stuff Len McCluskey said in a telephone interview has overshadowed the manifesto’s release. Obviously, their headline seeks to make that the case 😉

    I was also thinking that any true blue unionist living in England and Wales who wants to see Scottish independence stopped in its tracks should be voting for Labour. Not that they will.

    The Canary has a few revealing articles that fly in the face of msm nay-saying btw. They’re worth checking out.

    • weka 8.1

      I reckon they could too.

      I don’t have a good enough political memory for this, but have been wondering lately about those elections where x party is assumed to win and then there is an unexpected shift to y party. Can anyone point to specific elections here or overseas?

    • Adrian Thornton 8.2

      @Bill, I just glanced over that Guardian piece, as I have said many time, the editors at the Guardian would rather eat their own babies than give a progressive Left project even neutral coverage in their rag, they are the proverbial Trojan horse of the left.

      I really do hope you are right about Corbyn/Labour, either way UK politics has finally reformed into a straight out ideological battle of Left and Right, without the smoke and mirrors that neo liberal politics seem to be able to muddy the water with.

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Here is a pretty straight up analysis of Labour UK going forward in this election, not really what we want to hear, (especially the last part of the interview @ about 9;30) but probably pretty realistic, and positive in the long term.

  10. Hooch 10

    Been following this election fairly closely. It feels as though the longer it goes on the more people are having to focus on the policy rather than brexit and are becoming more open to labour. Even the daily mail has said at least JC stands up for what he believes and has somewhat been critical of May.

    The other interesting point is how obvious the Crosby textor crap is. It’s like they’ve used the nz election as a blueprint, it’s all team May like team key all over again, PR sound bites, stealing labour ideas and ridiculing JC as they did with cunliffe.

  11. saveNZ 11

    Fantastic election manifesto.

    There is so much fear against Corbyn because he is so talented, and can push through change for Britain.

    Everything he says makes sense and is crystal clear.

    I hope Labour win. They deserve it with Corbyn because if Britain vote’s for May, it’s like Trump in charge of the UK, and they need someone much smarter and fairer and more able to negotiate, Brexit.

    They need Corbyn.

    • weka 11.1

      the fear and the resistance that Bill talks about from the Guardian is interesting. I mean it’s not like Corbyn Labour would impoverish the middle classes. So what’s the problem? English fear of working and under classes gaining power in the same way that NZ fears Māori getting too much power?

      • saveNZ 11.1.1

        I think it’s mostly MSM twisting the discourses. But we have had decades of a ‘competitive’ mantra. Competition for school places, competition for jobs, competition for houses, competition for everything. Competition means only one person wins and the rest loses. Rather than mutual benefit.

        If there was a shift to a collaboration culture then the fear of working and under classes gaining power would be decreased.

        • Adrian Thornton 11.1.1.1

          @saveNZ +1 I think that is a very true, and very unrecognized side effect of our day to day lives in this combative system.
          Unfortunately the simple answer for many is to blame their lack of perceived success on whomever has less power in society than themselves, hence UKIP, and the popularity of moronic meatheads like Mike Hosking.

  12. adam 12

    One point, just an observation.There now is an alternative, and idea of it being done a different way.

    No more T.I.N.A, by anyone, anymore, there are always options.

  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 13

    Not sure he can win (the RW TINA mindset is so strong in society), but hope like hell he does!! Would be a great example for NZ and the world.

  14. stever 14

    “[Our country] fails to build the housing the country needs. It robs many communities of secure, properly paid, skilled jobs. It leaves most people in poverty in work, earning their poverty. It allows multinational corporations to pay little or no tax while small businesses struggle.”

    It might as well be a statement about New Zealand….but it is in fact about…well, almost anywhere these days.

    Makes you think there might be a plan to do this to people since it seems to be happening all over!

    Comes from this great article by Owen Jones…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/16/labour-manifesto-left-election-social-democracy

  15. mosa 15

    Corbyn is not NEW Labour but REAL Labour.

    It would be truly a coup if he could form a majority in the Commons for this excellent programme and bring real hope and change starting in the U.K.

    If only the party had been unified behind him and had the courage to do what is right.
    Sadly that may be what stops him reaching number 10 when the campaign is over.

    Both Sanders and Corbyn have lit the fire under the established order and if Corbyn fails it won’t mean the end of this movement, it’s just the start.

  16. DS 16

    (Pre-amble: I think Corbyn is awesome, and would vote for him in a heartbeat).

    The sad thing is that when UK Labour lose badly (which they will – the question is how badly), everyone will say it’s because Corbyn was too left-wing. Never mind that the problem has never been that – it’s because his own MPs and the media Establishment have destroyed him since Day One. Even his alleged “incompetence” (grossly over-blown) could have been papered over with sufficient support from his parliamentary colleagues – much as Theresa May’s has. As it is, we’ve had Corbyn’s parliamentary questions being leaked to the Tories by his own MPs.

    • Hanswurst 16.1

      I’m not so sure whether Corbyn’s programme will be blamed and reversed so easily in the event of his losing. My feeling regarding the main reason for his hanging around is that he aims to fire up such a groundswell of support within the party for more leftist policies that any rightists’ attempts to lead the party back towards neoliberalism will be met with stiff opposition, and make them unelectable to the party leadership.

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    We live in (very) intersting times. The nzlp managed to neutralise the lp caucus. For once the caucus had to acknowledge they owed their positions to the membership they had ignored for so many decades (giving us douglas, prebble, and moore via the fish and chip brigade.

    The brits lp members managed it without a major conference stoush.

    Corbyn could well surprsie a blase british establishment. May is proposing laborite policies. Well at least acknowledging that people other than the wealthy exist and could with some govt assistance.

    When was the last time you heard a Tory leader say that?

    • Bill 17.1

      erm – the NZ Labour caucus is far from neutralised. Don’t expect any more steps down the path of democratisation – that experiment has ended.

      UK Labour is one person one vote and only because the idiot Blairites were blinded by their antagonism towards the unions and their block vote. Never crossed their minds that ordinary party members might have an opinion and a preference. 🙂

      I’d like to see Corbyn win and believe he can. You know that chunks of the UK Labour manifesto is essentially a ‘cut and paste’ job of currently enacted SNP policy, yes?

      And yet Corbyn insists on insisting that the SNP are an austerity party!

      Meanwhile, Scottish Labour are losing elected local body party members hand over fist. They’ve just had to suspend all of their ‘just elected’ Aberdeen counselors because their councellors struck a deal with the Tories to lock out the SNP. And they’re being faced with resignations in Lanarkshire too. The SNP will not go team up with the Tories. But Labour have said they will not team up with anyone who is ‘austerity’….meaning, that since they regard the SNP as a party of austerity…well, R.I.P. Scottish Labour.

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