Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Labour's leaked manifesto

by Zwackus Fri May 12th, 2017 at 04:39:41 AM EST

A document, which is claimed to be the election manifesto for the (perhaps doomed) Labour party, has been leaked to the media at least a week early. Let's take a look.

Front paged - Frank Schnittger


This article at The Mirror seems to actually contain a fairly detailed and neutral list of plans. Labour manifesto 2017 at a glance: Policies from the leaked draft document on health, education, tax and more

There is a link to the full text in a related article, with an image of the leaked document. Leaked Labour manifesto in full

The pundits at The Guardian seem pleasantly surprised. The leaked Labour manifesto: our writers on how the policies stack up

Faiza Shaheen : No one can accuse Labour of not putting its money where its mouth is. The leaked manifesto is nothing short of a blueprint for a fairer post-Brexit Britain. From redrawing society's contract with business and tackling energy prices to addressing workers' rights and funding schools and hospitals, this draft manifesto signals a reversal not just of the austerity policies of the past seven years, but of the Thatcherite ideology that has underpinned our economic system for almost four decades.

But what exactly is being proposed?

Various sources claim that it rules out a "no-deal Brexit," promises to abolish college tuition, create a National Infrastructure bank, abolish unpaid internships and 0-hour contracts, and undertake some degree of energy-industry nationalization

The Torygraph - Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing Labour manifesto leaked

The party will also create a Ministry of Labour to hand more power to trade unions, stating: "We are stronger when we stand together".

Pay bargaining and increased unionisation across the workforce will also be introduced according to the draft plan.

The party will fund its socialist agenda though a huge programme of increased tax and £250billion of borrowing over the next decade with more spending on education and health and big levies on business and industry.

You can watch a totally neutral and unbiased video there about how this spells disaster for Britain.

The leak and its publication spurred the Labour party to action. BBC reports that Labour manifesto unanimously agreed - Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn did not take questions on the party's final manifesto, saying they would have to wait until its official launch.

But he said: "We have just unanimously agreed the contents of [the manifesto], we have amended a draft document that was put forward in the most informed, interesting, sensible discussion and debate in our party.

"Our manifesto will be an offer, and I believe the policies in it are very popular, an offer that will transform the lives of many people in our society."

He also announced an inquiry into the leak of a draft version, which included plans to nationalise parts of the energy industry and scrap tuition fees, which emerged earlier. The inquiry would report back after the general election on 8 June.

The BBC has a suggestive article comparing it to the manifesto for the 1983 election, where Thatcher absolutely destroyed Labour.

A rather mean-spirited article in The Independent claims the leak is more likely a result of incompetence, rather than division in the party, and suggests that the majority of the program is merely a retread of policies which Ed Milliband had wanted to run on before - but which had been blocked by Ed Balls.

Display:
The leak has actually been very helpful to Labour in moving the debate on from nationalistic cant about Brexit to real policy proposals for a different UK. I would not be surprised if the leak was a semi-authorised inside job.

At this stage Labour is doing so badly in the polls even a repeat of the 1983 defeat wouldn't actually be too bad.  Thatcher gained a 188 seat majority over Labour in the wake of the Falklands "victory" even though the Tories only outvoted Labout 42-28% and actually lost 1.5% of the vote compared to the 1979 election.  The unfairness of the FPTP UK election system is illustrated by the fact that the Liberals only gained 6 seats despite gaining 12% of the vote, and the Tories gained a net 37 seats despite losing 1.5% of the vote.

By way of comparison current polls put the Tories c. 45-27% ahead, so an even worse drubbing for Labour is in the offing.  So even if the Labour Manifesto only manages to move the debate on from an exclusive focus on Brexit to a more traditional Tory bashing of "socialist" policies, Labours fortunes could improve, especially if Corbyn manages to united and mobilise the traditional left behind him.

I think we could also have a slight "1945" effect where Churchill was defeated despite winning WWII. Having won the Brexit argument, Theresa May may find that a less than grateful nation is more concerned with greater social justice rather than nationalist triumphalism. The comparison is only slight because WWII had ended whereas the Brexit fight is only beginning.  Also the lack of opinion polling in 1945 meant the result was an utter surprise.

So I am not suggesting a Labour win is possible, or anything even close: Just that the Labour defeat may not be as bad as currently feared and the Theresa May victory not as convincing as Margaret Thatcher's in 1983, despite what current polling suggests. Returning Labour to its traditional policy strengths is not what the Blairites would want, but may be the only thing that could prevent an utter Tory Landslide.  Not that anybody will give Corbyn any credit for that.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 12th, 2017 at 08:43:32 AM EST
Labour doesn't even poll all that worse than at the last election. It's just that the Tories fused with Ukip and mobilised all the crazies.
by generic on Fri May 12th, 2017 at 10:07:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but many of those UKIP voters are also former labour voters. Racism has been key to trumping class war in UK politics.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 12th, 2017 at 10:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's worth pointing out that the pledge on renationalising rail services would be impossible without Brexit. The "market pillar" of the EU Fourth Railway Package requires passenger services to be opened to competitive tendering by 2023.
Revisions to Regulation 1370/2007 on the award of public service contracts. These are intended to facilitate the opening of the market for domestic rail passenger services. Competitive tendering will become the norm for public service contracts by December 2023, with exceptions permitted under specific circumstances and direct award contracts required to include performance and quality targets. Open access operators will be able to offer competing commercial services on domestic routes from December 14 2020, although restrictions designed to ensure the continuity of subsidised services will be permitted subject to `objective economic analysis' by regulators.
by Gag Halfrunt on Fri May 12th, 2017 at 03:12:00 PM EST
Does this apply even when the State takes over a bankrupt company? This has happened in the UK, so all Labour would have to do is wait....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 07:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That happened when Natioanl Express abandoned the National Express East Coast franchise and the Department for Transport established a new company to take over until the franchise could be retendered.

AFAIK, there was no legal requirement at that time to award a new franchise to a private operator, but the Fourth Railway Package does make competitive tendering obligatory from 2023 onwards. Governments can own train operating companies, but those companies can and will fail to win tenders.

by Gag Halfrunt on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 11:25:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so how are SNCF gonna stay in French state hands? And Db seems to be pretty much a state run franchise afaik.

tbh this is neoliberal dogma gone bonkers and needs to be called out as such.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 02:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SNCF can remain in government ownership, but they will be only one of several players bidding for regional and long distance franchises (including probably Arriva, First, Abellio, Stagecoach and all the other usual suspects). It will be as if John Major's government had allowed British Rail to bid for train operating franchises.

Regional services are already planned/commissioned and subsidised by the regional councils, so the leap to competitive franchising won't be that big.

Regional services in Germany are already franchised by Land governments.

Regional rail and local rail traffic is organised and subsidised (as the fares usually do not cover the running costs) by the federal states. Usual procedure under EU legislation is to award the contract to the lowest bid by means of a tender procedure. The respective states are free to announce short- or long-term contracts as well as to stipulate further conditions e.g. on rolling stock. In recent years, many bids were won by private rail companies like NordWestBahn or Arriva, although some states have awarded long-term contracts to local DB Regio subsidiaries.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 10:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, despite the BBC and the right wing press, ie all of them, trying desperately to present this as an own goal, the attention gained from the "leak" has generated very favorable reviews.

Of course, a lot of people are still claiming they'd never vote for labour while Corbyn is running the party, but they're probably the same people who claimed that Ed Miliband was too clueless to claim their vote either.

But this is really the brexit election. I imagine that nearly every "leave" voter who votes (a lower number than for referendum) will cast their vote for the conservatives. It's just not possible to really examine their motivations because taboid conditioning is now so reinforced by the BBC that it has more or less overtaken any rational analysis of policy positions.

I'm not even trying to discuss politics with some of my FB peeps, it's just not worth it. Theyre so full of tabloid nonsense that there's almost no point of entry into the conversation anymore. It has taken me 2 years to find a way to find shared values and discuss politics with my sister. But however much I manage to persuade her that many of the things she presumes to be true are far from being so, she remains proud of her leave vote and will cast her vote for the tories as usual.

who knows what's in the tory manifesto? Does anyone know what Theresa May thinks about anything? Nbody, but the tabloids reassure everybody that she's strong and stable so people will cast their vote accordingly.

In some ways, given the inevitability of brexit, this may well be a good election to lose. Cos everything is gonna get very bad in the next 5 years whoever is in power, better that the tories catch the blame

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 03:10:45 PM EST
18 months ago we were lamenting that Cameron's government would last until 2020. Who knows what the next 18 months can bring. Two more spontaneous national abortions?  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 03:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I genuinely fear what brexit will bring. The only confidence I have in the negotiators we will be fielding is that they will make an unholy mess of it in ways whose utter stupidity will dazzle historians centuries from now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 04:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This may not come as much of a consolation to you, but my sense is that the outcome of the negotiations (a hard Brexit with or without a deal) is now becoming more and more likely and almost irrespective of the quality of the negotiating team fielded by the UK.

This is because the political needs of the EU members - to maintain solidarity and keep their own hard right at bay trumps any concerns they might have of the economic damage a hard Brexit might do the EU.

The UK simply doesn't have many cards to play - goods and services that cannot be sourced elsewhere - or even stuff like financial services where the EU really needs to develop its own capabilities if it wants to be taken seriously as a world economic power.

It also seems inconceivable that the EU would allow Euro clearing operations to remain in the UK or allow UK based banks and funds carry out the majority of EU financial operations. The same goes for the aerospace, armaments and IT industries.

So Brexit represents a once off opportunity to broaden the base of EU economies at the expense of the UK, and there isn't a huge amount any UK negotiating team can do about it. The big problem is that the UK doesn't even seem to see this coming...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 13th, 2017 at 06:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A hell of a price to pay for having the blind and fools for political leaders.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 05:32:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, that's my impression of the default deal. My worry is that our "negotiators" will find ways of making things even worse than necessary

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 08:17:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who knows what's in the tory manifesto?

I do.  The same as the U.S. Republican manifesto.  Not the religious crap ... that's the shit they feed the impoverished idiots.  They want to slowly kill off the lower 99.999 ...% because the Earth's resources are running out. There's a war on ... not country vs. country but ultrarich vs. the rest, in every country.  Too bad the general population won't figure this out till it's too late.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.  I love that statement ... glad I invented it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 05:13:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 04:12:53 AM EST
Gives us money for our quality journalism:
The Guardian view on Theresa May's manifesto: a new Toryism | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian -
... we've got a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven't put up a paywall - we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters - because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

The Tories and Tony Blair are economically left-wing:

The Guardian view on Theresa May's manifesto: a new Toryism | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian -

The Guardian view on Theresa May's manifesto: a new Toryism
Editorial

Like Tony Blair in 1997, Mrs May is where the majority of voters are: to the left on the economy and to the right on social issues. She plays to this mood, a political judgment that risks society closing in on itself rather than opening up

by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 03:43:59 AM EST
I know, the Guardian's rightward drift is both truly disappointing and utterly nauseating.

But an interesting thing happened in yesterday's manifesto, the Tories fucked up. They're introduing a ridiculous cost on usng care homes for the elderly. this has already been dubbed the Dementia Tax and may well cost the tories badly.

A case in point: Last night's BBC Question Time. I rarely watch it as I can't stand the format, but the first question was on the dementia tax and first up to speak was Tory Priti Patel, followed by the Telegraph editor Charles Moore. Never has Napoleon's dictum, "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake" been more true, particularly I could have listened to charles Moore on that subject for hours as he carefully dug his hole deeper and deeper, shoring it up and squaring it off as he went. It was fascinating. And any time he hesitated before starting another sentence I imagined Obama saying, "please proceed, Mr Moore"

And as the camera panned over the audience, you could see them, row by row, recoiling in horror. It felt like the moment an ebbing tide began to race. If that represents how the public see it, who knows where this goes.

No, Labour aren't going to win, but it's not going to be a massacre anymore

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 07:14:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]