Unbeknownst to the world apparently on the 28th of March there was a video upoaded on the Labour Parties Youtube channel showing Jeremy Corbyn talking about his 10 pledges for a greater society. Without the aggressive campaigning that’s about to get underway, not only officially but from supporters on facebook too I imagine that this would remain rather under viewed as no one knew about it. Even though I enjoy quite a wealth of information thanks to all the political pages, groups and friends who share such niceties I was blissfully unaware of its existence.
While the video itself is only just under two minutes long, its simple and effective at getting the basic message across. The economy isn’t working and the people are suffering because of it, the corporations are getting away with murder (just a figure of speech) and he’s going to flip the system on its head, creating a better society which works for ordinary people because of it. It’s pretty much just putting together a few of the policies which have been discussed over the past two years into a single unit.
The video description connects to a webpage on the Labour Party website detailing the pledges with a bit more explanation. Here is the link itself: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges
Each one, ranging from creating a national investment bank with the purpose of investing in the local economy, to the security and home and work is all part of creating a more equal and fairer society.
The first one promising full employment. This will be achieved through the creation of a national investment bank and regional investment banks which will be given 500 billion to invest in the economy. Investing in things such as high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes. Quite excited about this policy, the free market has simply failed in these areas and its great that Jeremys’ government would step in to invest.
The second being to provide 1 million homes over the next 5 years, with at least half being council homes. This is fantastic, house building has being left to the free market for the past few decades and they’ve simply not being able to provide whats needed, limiting supply and driving up house prices. This has made it unaffordable for a good section of the population. Government investment, especially in providing council homes which would be a welcome reprieve to the 1.4 million on waiting lists for social housing.
The third would be the protection and introduction of more workers rights, ending the use of zero hours contracts and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights. I’m not too knowledgeable on this one other than the abysmal reality of zero hours contracts, not having guaranteed work but being unable to find other work as your employer could call you anytime to inform that you have a shift, usually on the night before or even on the morning.
Fourth is the protection of the NHS, reversing privatization. Good and simple policy. People not profit should be at the centre of healthcare.
Fifth is the creation of a national education service, the educational equivalent of the NHS. Not really sure how this one would work but okay. Also there will be universal childcare, a welcome reprieve for working mothers giving them greater freedom for participation in the workforce.
Sixth is a strategy to protect the environment helping to tackle climate change. The main plan here is to invest in green energy, while not only aiming to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint but also creating sustainable jobs in the sector. In the process taking on the big six energy companies to reduce their tight grip on the energy market.
Seventh will be taking back transport services into the public sector, especially the much reviled train services. Rebuilding public transport services is key to the economy as these are the vessels through which workers reach their employers, just as blood vessels which carry oxygen throughout the body.
Eight is a plan to cut income inequality and the staggering wealth disparity between the mega rich of the city and the rest of us at the bottom. Planning to use a progressive taxation system with more taxes on the rich to spread wealth across society, and not just horded at the top.
Ninth is a pledge to create a more equal society, pledging to bring an end to discrimination of all types against peoples faith, race or gender etc. Simple stuff. Just wanting everyone to exist peacefully without having to be harassed for the prejudices of others, especially when that something is usually outside of their control. This also includes refusing to use EU nationals as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations, guaranteeing the full rights their legally entitled to.
Last but not least is the tenth pledge of peace and prosperity at the heart of foreign policy. Attempting the noble cause of trying to peacefully resolve conflicts and put human rights at the centre. One of the ways this will be achieved is through the UN and being part of our trade policy. Whether the UK government ha any real clout to end internal conflicts within other nations is one thing, especially Syria which I’m Assad would be all ears, but its good that they wish peace over endless conflict.
Overall its not a bad start, focusing on policies for people rather than those just at the top. It’s one way to swing the pendulum back as wealth and income inequality are reduced and people really believe that things can change, things can and they will get better.