Labour leadership contest: Hard-left caricatures of Jeremy Corbyn are neither fair nor right

Does Jeremy Corbyn lack economic credibility? Or is it those determined to stick with a 40-year-old economic consensus that has failed the people of Britain?

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The Independent Online

There’s been a lot of scaremongering from the Westminster establishment about Jeremy Corbyn proposing to move away from the neoliberal economic consensus that has ruled the roost in British politics since 1979 – a consensus which has failed ordinary people in relation to housing, education, jobs, wages and the gap between the super-rich and the rest of us.

Jeremy’s straight talk on the economy has struck a chord with people who are sick and tired of the same old “business as usual” politics.

Honest debate should be welcomed as a vital part of a healthy election process. But desperate caricatures and misrepresentations of Jeremy and his policies are simply not fair and not right.             

There is nothing “hard left” about Jeremy’s vision of an economy that works in the interests of ordinary people. He has consistently said that Labour should not run a deficit on the current budget – there is nothing sustainable about doing so. If there is still a shortfall in 2020, then it should be met by higher taxation on those with the broadest shoulders – not by cuts to services.

The horror with which the Westminster elite has reacted to Jeremy’s proposal of “quantitative easing for people instead of banks” is just plain silly. £375bn was created by the Bank of England to recapitalise the banks and inflation is around 0 per cent. But the usual suspects attacking Jeremy Corbyn’s clear anti-austerity economic policies claim that a smaller level of “quantitative easing” in the real economy would inevitably lead to high inflation. There is simply no evidence for this.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. It’s time to consider who lacks “economic credibility”. Is it Jeremy Corbyn and those who want real change or those in “the Westminster bubble” determined to stick with a 40-year-old economic consensus that has failed the people of Britain?

Richard Burgon is Labour MP for Leeds East