Whatever you thought of Jeremy Corbyn before, you can't deny that his manifesto delivers

'For the many, not the few' has turned out to be more than a slogan, unlike Theresa May's constant parroting of 'strong and stable'

Liam Young
Tuesday 16 May 2017 12:05
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Today, Jeremy Corbyn outlined a transformative programme for government. Beyond the slogan of “For the many, not the few”, the Labour party is offering a platform that will genuinely deliver. Rather than simply raging against the broken Westminster system and our rigged economy, we now have a leader and a party with a fully costed plan to fix it.

We now know that those trumpeting Brexit – the Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages of this world – did so to offer more and more control to the super-wealthy. But no longer will we allow the Tories to talk down nationalisation while they sell off our public assets to governments across the globe. In nationalising our energy industry and bringing our railways into public hands, Labour will genuinely be taking back control from the rich and the powerful in order to offer a better deal to ordinary people.

And the Labour party manifesto goes further than this with the promise of a £500bn new deal to renew and rebuild British infrastructure. Though the Tory party talk tough on economics, they have more than doubled the national debt to £1.7 trillion in just seven years. They have, in fact, borrowed more money in seven years than every single Labour government in history.

And what do they have to show for it? Crumbling schools, hospitals and roads; doctors and nurses on strike; the message that the privatisation of the NHS is “necessary”.

The Prime Minister argued yesterday that the best way for people to get out of poverty was to work – as if over half of those in poverty aren’t already in work in the first place, grafting day after day for the right to be in poverty in Tory Britain. Labour’s plan to lift the minimum wage to £10 an hour will lift people out of poverty and will offer dignity in work. All too often, the right to that dignity is being forgotten.

This manifesto is the manifesto of Labour’s future. The ambitious plan to scrap tuition fees, to offer a cradle-to-grave national education service and to invest in our communities tackles the real problems at the core of our social and economic turbulence. In setting out to tackle our low-productivity and low-skills economy, Corbyn’s radical vision will deliver a country that can stand proud of its ability on the world stage once again. That, during Brexit, is more important than ever.

Mark Steel: Labour's leaked manifesto proves it's stuck in the 1970s, unlike those modern Tories

In promising a guarantee that 95 per cent of earners will pay no extra tax, Corbyn is levelling the burden on those who have done the best out of a broken system that has fostered hatred and fear toward one another. This Labour manifesto is unashamedly bold and ambitious. And so it should be: it needs to be.

This pitch to the British people is one to be proud of. Beyond the rhetoric, it is a genuinely transformative plan that lives up to its slogan. For people who believe in society rather than individualism, these specific, economically sensible, compassionate policies make sense. Whatever you think of Jeremy Corbyn, that can’t be denied.

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