Last week the draft manifesto was leaked and following this sneak peak the national press was chomping at the bit to see how many of the policies revealed in the leak would make it into the final cut. Yesterday we got the answer. Labour has embraced a new level of radicalism which will differentiate the party from the Conservatives. At a speech in Bradford, Jeremy Corbyn unveiled the Labour Party’s general election manifesto and it is full of left-wing policies that will seriously address the root cause of many of the socio-economic problems that face the country.
Over the last few years governments of different parties have said that a key part of making the NHS sustainable is to integrate health and social care. This is a fine idea but it has been unclear what this would look like in practice. For a few months I have been thinking through an idea that would improve the quality of health and social care for elderly people, and yesterday Jeremy Corbyn proposed the same idea: take failing care homes into the public sector. This policy is part of the Labour leader’s rebranding exercise, and to be honest if these sorts of policies are proposed then I look forward to see what the next policy will be.
The recent political news in the UK has been ‘traingate’. A few weeks ago Jeremy Corbyn sat on the floor on a train journey from London to Newcastle. The purpose of the stunt was to draw attention to the overcrowding on many train services throughout the country and to call for the renationalisation of Britain’s railway network. However the controversy began when Richard Branson, the head of the Virgin Group, criticised Corbyn’s actions. The billionaire, whose company operated the service that Corbyn took to Newcastle, accused the Labour leader of lying because CCTV footage showed that the train had plenty of spare seats. Let’s break down as many aspects of this story as possible.
After sustained pressure from trade unions and steel workers, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has offered to buy into Tata’s steel business in Britain. This is overwhelmingly good news as such a move would preserve thousands of people’s jobs and prevent Britain losing a key strategic asset. However its also important on an ideological level as it reveals that the appetite for socialist policies in still there in the wider population, and that the Tories don’t have any ideological bravery. This is an opportunity the Left and doing nothing about this ideological dimension will be a grave error.