What next for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn?

The voting has been completed after a long campaign and tomorrow will see Jeremy Corbyn announced as the next leader of the Labour Party probably with Tom Watson (or maybe Stella Creasy) as his Deputy.

I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn and cannot at this time, see how he can possibly become Prime Minister. In my view, we have ended up with a leader who can “preach to the already converted” but sadly hugely divisive and offputting to those people whose vote we need to win again (just like Ian Duncan Smith was when Tory leader)

However, that argument has passed and we are now in a different stage. Here’s my guide to what may happen next.

  1. The result will be both legitimate and clear. Jeremy Corbyn should therefore be given the opportunity to lead and expect all Labour figures to support him personally in doing that. You can do this without agreeing with all of his views and fully campaign for the party and all our representatives. That is what I intend to do and encourage others to do the same although know many people personally in my CLP and elsewhere who will quickly resign from the party.
  2. All of the Deputy Leadership candidates should accept posts in his shadow cabinet. They all pledged to serve whoever was the leader and their breadth will be a good balance.
  3. Personally, I would advise the other leadership candidates not to accept posts at least for a 12 month period. They can serve in other ways perhaps leading party commissions on particular policy areas or be loyal backbenchers focusing on community issues but it would be unfair for them to have collective responsibility on leadership positions. Similarly many MPs will refuse to serve and they should be allowed to publicly disagree on areas such as Heathrow, Trident, foreign policy and economy so freely as long as it is about policy and not personal.
  4. Jeremy Corbyn should consider scrapping the whipping system for Labour MPs. As he himself rebelled more than 500 times, MPs can hardly be expected to show loyalty whilst in opposition. This would actually cause major problems for the Conservatives too by scrapping the pairing system. If Labour have no idea how many MPs will support a motion, how will the Conservatives do so with such a tiny majority? The end result would be Labour MPs feeling more positive by voting on conscience more regularly with the emphasis on polite disagreement rather than personal rows..
  5. Jeremy Corbyn should consider spending as little time as possible in Parliament. For Prime Minister Questions, he should stick to a few key themes perhaps foreign policy, impact of austerity etc and ask factual questions rather than debating.  His talents are more in communities and he has been elected to give hope to others and therefore needs to tour the whole country starting in marginal and safe tory areas.
  6. He will need to consider how to respond to situations where he could be perceived as hypocritical. For example, the Leader of the Opposition has certain perks and numerous invites (for example to attend state dinners with the royal family) So responsibility on the one hand may not easily fit with anti austerity on the other. It’s no coincidence that there has already been discussion about salary, special protection etc. This will be interesting to see and ironically if played well may end up being his greatest asset.

Even with these first steps, I would currently expect Jeremy Corbyn to last a maximum of two years. MPs will expect to see London choose a Labour Mayor next year and minor progress in Scotland. There will be an EU referendum which may cause tensions for all party leaders but the final key will be the 2017 local elections. If Lab are behind in those polls or do badly, I would expect MPs to act swiftly then and force a leadership contest or perhaps Corbyn himself might honourably resign/retire (he would be 68 then and almost 71 at next general election). The bookmakers are offering Evens that Jeremy Corbyn will be the Lab Leader at the 2020 general election and that seems very low.

Whatever happens, it will be an interesting and challenging time for all of the political parties and not just Labour.

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15 thoughts on “What next for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn?

    1. rodneybates Post author

      No – I wrote a post general blog outlining the two narratives going round the party as to why Lab lost and how to win in future. In my view, it’s obvious in that elections can only be won by getting the votes of those who do actually vote and this means regaining the huge numbers that voted Conservative last time. However, it seems that party members want to try the other route instead and believe that victory lies in attracting disillusioned non-voters instead…it won’t work as the number of far left voters is very small but it looks like we will waste some years trying.

      Reply
  1. Richard Wilson

    I particularly appreciate this blog post because I am struggling with the same problem. I have written a blog on the potential Corbyn victory but I’m saving it until after 11.30am tomorrow because I’m hoping against hope that any of the other candidates will win. To a lesser extent than Rodney I have committed much of my free time to campaigning for Labour over recent years and I will be horrified if the party decides to take a walk in the wilderness with Jeremy Corbyn. I can’t follow the direction he will lead but I will always remain a Labour Party member and voter.

    I am conflicted about point 1 above. As I see it, there are 3 options. 1- pretend to be assimilated and start praising Corbyn’s vision for wanting to reopen the coal mines (literal and metaphorical). 2- spend lots of time and energy battling the hard left in Labour meetings in the hope of ending Corbyn’s leadership quickly so the electorate can start forgetting it and forgiving us. Or 3- watch and wait while his leadership implodes and hope that the hard left learn a valuable lesson as they feel to blame for the next decade and more of Tory rule.

    There are no good options here. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. And tomorrow a new dawn will break, will it not?

    Reply
  2. rodneybates

    Agree – a new dawn will break and will impact all the parties. I do expect Jeremy Corbyn to be an effective opponent able to mobilise people against the current Government on key issues. Perhaps that is what people want at this time rather than the alternative government that I wanted?

    On point 1, I perhaps see it differently in that my view is that we support the Labour leader whoever that is in a personal capacity as better as the alternative. However, you don’t need to support their policies and apart from the Shadow Cabinet should be free to state that. So for example, I would have personal respect for Jeremy Corbyn as my leader (as per workplace or any group where I am involved) but would not be able to agree certain positions he may take and intend to vigorously argue those in due course. I certainly don’t intend to praise certain visions that I don’t agree with but this can be done whilst supporting the general Labour vision.

    There are various electoral tests in the next 2 years and I think JC himself agreed with a suggestion by Liz Kendall that the leader should stand for re-election in 2 years. If he repeats that today, he will buy more time.

    Reply
    1. rodneybates Post author

      Good to see that you have taken Jeremy’s advice and not resorted to personal insults such as calling longstanding party members “Tories”. Where did you campaign for the party in the last general election out of interest?

      Reply
  3. Tony New.

    A naked act of class war.
    The Conservative government’s July Budget was a naked act of class war. Its intention to slash spending on benefits by £12bn a year will bring destitution to large sections of the working class. It showed that capitalism is no longer able or prepared to provide an adequate system of state welfare for the working class. It was also an arrogant demonstration of power: the ruling class is confident that it is free to drive the working class into the ground without facing meaningful opposition. Labour leadership candidates Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper agree that the benefit system is too generous to the working class. Acting leader Harriet Harman concurred and announced that the Labour Party would not oppose the welfare bill implementing the Budget’s benefit cuts. Three quarters of Labour MPs duly followed her lead including Kendall, Burnham and Cooper. Only 48, including the fourth leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, voted against. Robert Clough reports.

    A fantasy recovery

    The ideological context for the Budget was the fiction that it would ‘move Britain from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy.’ Presenting a rosy picture of ‘the fastest growing G7 economy in 2014’ where ‘employment has reached record levels, and wages are rising above inflation’, Chancellor Osborne boasted that the government would eliminate a current budget deficit running at 4.9% of GDP, make the economy more productive, ‘reward work and back aspiration’ and ‘secure a truly national recovery’.

    The reality is quite different. Nothing of substance has changed since we reported on the March budget: rising household debt and stagnant investment show that whatever spin Osborne puts on the state of the economy, Britain is facing a ‘permanent low-pay, low productivity and debt-fuelled “recovery”’ (‘Fantasy economics for a decaying economy’, FRFI 244). Overall productivity at the end of 2014 remained below its pre-crisis peak in 2007. Manufacturing productivity is running 15% below what it would have been if pre-crisis trends had continued, and lagging 27-31% behind that of Germany, France and the US. Even Osborne had to acknowledge that investment in 2014 as a share of output was lower in the UK than in all other major advanced economies other than Italy.

    Manufacturing output in 2014 remained 4% below that of 2008, and industrial production overall 8% below. This stagnation is reflected in a balance of payments deficit on trade in goods running at nearly 6% of GDP or £30bn a quarter (£121.2bn overall in 2014). This would be completely unsustainable without the surplus on services which stood at £86.0bn in 2014 and other resources looted from the rest of the world. The overall balance of payments deficit of £35.2bn in 2014, or 2.2% of GDP, demonstrates the underlying weakness of the British economy.

    Plans to eliminate the public sector deficit by 2019/20, rather than 2018/19 as set out in March, will depend on the overall performance of the economy in a period of ever-growing uncertainty: with the political instability that will accompany the build-up to the referendum on EU membership due in 2017 and the unknown implications of the deepening financial crisis in China.

    The onslaught on benefits

    The centrepiece of the Budget, however, is an onslaught on welfare benefits whose impact on the condition of the working class will be staggering. Its consequences are such that the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculates that between now and April 2019:

    • the poorest 10% or decile of the working age population will lose an average £800 per annum or nearly 7% of net income;

    • the second poorest decile will lose £1,300 per annum, more than 7% of net income;

    • the third poorest decile will lose £1,100 per annum, over 5% of net income.

    Even the fourth poorest 10% stands to lose over £600 on average per annum or more than 3% of its income. By contrast, the wealthiest 30% stand to lose a fraction of 1% at most. The ruling class is not bothered to even pretend that the wealthy will be required to contribute.

    The main benefit cuts are:

    • A four-year freeze on working age benefits from April 2016 which will imply a real-term cut of some 6% over the period. Such benefits include Local Housing Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), and Working Tax and Child Tax Credits. This will remove £4bn a year by 2020 from those families either already in poverty or on the edge of it.

    • Working Tax Credit itself will be slashed: the income threshold above which the benefit is progressively withdrawn will be reduced from £6,420 per annum to £3,850 per annum, and the rate at which the benefit is withdrawn once this earning threshold has been met will be increased from 41p in the pound to 48p. For those few who have already been transferred to the new Universal Credit, single claimants without dependants, the equivalent work allowance will be withdrawn altogether. The impact of these cuts will be felt by claimants immediately after April 2016: £4.35bn will be cut in the first year from those on poverty pay.

    • Child Tax Credit will be removed for the third and any subsequent child born after April 2017, a measure Harman specifically supported. However, under Universal Credit it will happen regardless for any new claim starting in April 2017 adding a further penalty to a family with three or more children where earners become unemployed after that date. Other cuts directly affecting poor families are to the Family Element in tax credits and the Family Premium in Housing Benefit – more taken away from those on poverty pay.

    • A reduction in the Overall Benefit Cap (OBC) from £26,000 per annum to £23,000 in London, and to £20,000 elsewhere, to be introduced in April 2016. While the government claims it will affect 90,000 families, other estimates put the figure much higher, with perhaps three quarters of a million children in families possibly facing homelessness during 2016 with a claimed saving of £495m per annum by 2020/21.

    • Jobless youth under 21 will no longer be automatically entitled to housing benefit.

    • The education maintenance grant available to 50,000 students from the poorest families will be replaced by repayable loans to save £1.6bn a year.

    • Those in work who are under 25 will be excluded from the provisions of the new National Living Wage, itself set at a level below poverty pay.

    • Claimants on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) who have been placed into the work activity-related group will have their ESA cut by £29 per week to the JSA level from April 2017.

    Other measures in the Budget will worsen housing conditions for the working class. A reduction in tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages from 40% to 20% will force rents up at the same time as Local Housing Allowance is frozen for those who have to rent privately. ‘Pay to stay’ will force social housing tenants described as ‘higher income’ to pay market rents to remain in their homes. The threshold for this will be an annual household income of £40,000 for London and £30,000 outside; government estimates are that 340,000 tenants will be liable. Inside London, it will mean a family will have to pay an extra £1,000 a month. Outside London, the definition of a ‘higher income’ household would include a couple in full-time work on the minimum wage with three children – definitely poverty pay.

    Councils which retain housing stock will have to pay the surplus they get from a market rent back to central government. They cannot invest it in new homes. The aim is clear: to force social tenants into buying their homes and so further reduce the remaining social housing stock. Plans to reduce social sector rents by 1% per annum will have the same effect by cutting housing association income and so restricting investment in new social housing. Already housing associations are turning to the market to make money: in 2014, 15% of the homes they built were for sale and only 14% for a social rent. Most of the remainder were to let at the misleading ‘affordable rent’. The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, has just produced ‘A plan for homes’ which sets out to build 120,000 houses a year, none of which will be for social rent – 60,000 will be for sale, 60,000 to be let at either market or ‘affordable’ rents. The impact of the Budget on housing conditions for the working class will be catastrophic: the outcome will be soaring rent arrears, evictions and homelessness.

    More regressive taxation

    At the same time as benefits are being cut, indirect taxation, which is a greater burden for the lower paid, is increasing. Budget proposals that insurance premium tax should rise from 6% to 9.5% is an example of this trend, as are the changes to the road tax. The increase in personal tax allowances is of little consequence to those on poverty pay: the 2016/17 threshold of £11,000 per annum is meaningless for five million part-time workers who earn less than that, and does not begin to address the losses incurred from the benefit cuts. The Budget spin is that the principal source of tax is income tax and that those who pay more income tax are shouldering a greater burden. It is a complete fiction: the poor have always paid a greater share of their income in taxes than the rich. Recent government figures show that the poorest 10% of working age households pay 45% of their income in taxes, while the richest 10% pay just 34.6%.

    Handouts for the banks and multinationals

    The assault on the living standards of the working class is in stark contrast to the largesse shown to the banks and multinationals. When the government denounces what it calls ‘benefit dependency’ it is speaking only of the poor. Excluded from its condemnation are the enormous handouts given to the banks as part of their bailout during the crisis, as well as the estimated £93bn handed out to the multinationals every year in grants, tax breaks and other benefits.

    The Budget had even more to offer the rich. Inheritance tax will be changed to introduce an extra £175,000 tax-free allowance per person for their main property on top of the existing £325,000 allowance that can be applied to all assets. The plan to reduce corporation tax from 20% to 18% reflects the determination of the government to maintain Britain and the City of London as a pole of attraction for the international banks and multinationals. It reinforces the City’s tax haven status: with reliefs, the real rate will be close to 16% (Financial Times 9 July). The decision to phase out the bank levy on profits made from overseas operations and raise their level for domestic operations is a part of this drive. It is a response to the likes of HSBC which threatened to relocate their headquarters from London because of the levy. A fire sale of government assets including shares in Royal Mail and RBS will be a handout to the wealthy, in particular the RBS shares which are being valued at £13bn less than when they were bought as part of the bank’s bailout in 2008.

    Building resistance

    The ruthless assault on the living standards of the poorer sections of the working class will force a response from the millions who are affected. It is not just a fight against the Tory government, ruthless though it is, but against the ruling class as a whole, and its political representatives. The Labour Party has already capitulated. Desperate to avoid being stigmatised by the ruling class as the party of benefits, it is now in complete disarray. The Tories have Labour on the run and, together with the provisions of the new anti-trade union bill, intend to crush it altogether. Trade union leaders will mouth opposition, safe in the knowledge that they will not have to take action: they do not organise let alone represent those who will be affected most – young people, who make up fewer than one in 20 union members, or part-time workers or those on poverty pay. With further huge cuts to local government spending to be announced in the autumn budget, we have to organise amongst those who have no privileged status to defend, those who will face a dramatic loss of income or homelessness in the months to come. We have to start now.
    The Conservative government’s July Budget was a naked act of class war. Its intention to slash spending on benefits by £12bn a year will bring destitution to large sections of the working class. It showed that capitalism is no longer able or prepared to provide an adequate system of state welfare for the working class. It was also an arrogant demonstration of power: the ruling class is confident that it is free to drive the working class into the ground without facing meaningful opposition. Labour leadership candidates Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper agree that the benefit system is too generous to the working class. Acting leader Harriet Harman concurred and announced that the Labour Party would not oppose the welfare bill implementing the Budget’s benefit cuts. Three quarters of Labour MPs duly followed her lead including Kendall, Burnham and Cooper. Only 48, including the fourth leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, voted against. Robert Clough reports.

    A fantasy recovery

    The ideological context for the Budget was the fiction that it would ‘move Britain from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy.’ Presenting a rosy picture of ‘the fastest growing G7 economy in 2014’ where ‘employment has reached record levels, and wages are rising above inflation’, Chancellor Osborne boasted that the government would eliminate a current budget deficit running at 4.9% of GDP, make the economy more productive, ‘reward work and back aspiration’ and ‘secure a truly national recovery’.

    The reality is quite different. Nothing of substance has changed since we reported on the March budget: rising household debt and stagnant investment show that whatever spin Osborne puts on the state of the economy, Britain is facing a ‘permanent low-pay, low productivity and debt-fuelled “recovery”’ (‘Fantasy economics for a decaying economy’, FRFI 244). Overall productivity at the end of 2014 remained below its pre-crisis peak in 2007. Manufacturing productivity is running 15% below what it would have been if pre-crisis trends had continued, and lagging 27-31% behind that of Germany, France and the US. Even Osborne had to acknowledge that investment in 2014 as a share of output was lower in the UK than in all other major advanced economies other than Italy.

    Manufacturing output in 2014 remained 4% below that of 2008, and industrial production overall 8% below. This stagnation is reflected in a balance of payments deficit on trade in goods running at nearly 6% of GDP or £30bn a quarter (£121.2bn overall in 2014). This would be completely unsustainable without the surplus on services which stood at £86.0bn in 2014 and other resources looted from the rest of the world. The overall balance of payments deficit of £35.2bn in 2014, or 2.2% of GDP, demonstrates the underlying weakness of the British economy.

    Plans to eliminate the public sector deficit by 2019/20, rather than 2018/19 as set out in March, will depend on the overall performance of the economy in a period of ever-growing uncertainty: with the political instability that will accompany the build-up to the referendum on EU membership due in 2017 and the unknown implications of the deepening financial crisis in China.

    The onslaught on benefits

    The centrepiece of the Budget, however, is an onslaught on welfare benefits whose impact on the condition of the working class will be staggering. Its consequences are such that the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculates that between now and April 2019:

    • the poorest 10% or decile of the working age population will lose an average £800 per annum or nearly 7% of net income;

    • the second poorest decile will lose £1,300 per annum, more than 7% of net income;

    • the third poorest decile will lose £1,100 per annum, over 5% of net income.

    Even the fourth poorest 10% stands to lose over £600 on average per annum or more than 3% of its income. By contrast, the wealthiest 30% stand to lose a fraction of 1% at most. The ruling class is not bothered to even pretend that the wealthy will be required to contribute.

    The main benefit cuts are:

    • A four-year freeze on working age benefits from April 2016 which will imply a real-term cut of some 6% over the period. Such benefits include Local Housing Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), and Working Tax and Child Tax Credits. This will remove £4bn a year by 2020 from those families either already in poverty or on the edge of it.

    • Working Tax Credit itself will be slashed: the income threshold above which the benefit is progressively withdrawn will be reduced from £6,420 per annum to £3,850 per annum, and the rate at which the benefit is withdrawn once this earning threshold has been met will be increased from 41p in the pound to 48p. For those few who have already been transferred to the new Universal Credit, single claimants without dependants, the equivalent work allowance will be withdrawn altogether. The impact of these cuts will be felt by claimants immediately after April 2016: £4.35bn will be cut in the first year from those on poverty pay.

    • Child Tax Credit will be removed for the third and any subsequent child born after April 2017, a measure Harman specifically supported. However, under Universal Credit it will happen regardless for any new claim starting in April 2017 adding a further penalty to a family with three or more children where earners become unemployed after that date. Other cuts directly affecting poor families are to the Family Element in tax credits and the Family Premium in Housing Benefit – more taken away from those on poverty pay.

    • A reduction in the Overall Benefit Cap (OBC) from £26,000 per annum to £23,000 in London, and to £20,000 elsewhere, to be introduced in April 2016. While the government claims it will affect 90,000 families, other estimates put the figure much higher, with perhaps three quarters of a million children in families possibly facing homelessness during 2016 with a claimed saving of £495m per annum by 2020/21.

    • Jobless youth under 21 will no longer be automatically entitled to housing benefit.

    • The education maintenance grant available to 50,000 students from the poorest families will be replaced by repayable loans to save £1.6bn a year.

    • Those in work who are under 25 will be excluded from the provisions of the new National Living Wage, itself set at a level below poverty pay.

    • Claimants on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) who have been placed into the work activity-related group will have their ESA cut by £29 per week to the JSA level from April 2017.

    Other measures in the Budget will worsen housing conditions for the working class. A reduction in tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages from 40% to 20% will force rents up at the same time as Local Housing Allowance is frozen for those who have to rent privately. ‘Pay to stay’ will force social housing tenants described as ‘higher income’ to pay market rents to remain in their homes. The threshold for this will be an annual household income of £40,000 for London and £30,000 outside; government estimates are that 340,000 tenants will be liable. Inside London, it will mean a family will have to pay an extra £1,000 a month. Outside London, the definition of a ‘higher income’ household would include a couple in full-time work on the minimum wage with three children – definitely poverty pay.

    Councils which retain housing stock will have to pay the surplus they get from a market rent back to central government. They cannot invest it in new homes. The aim is clear: to force social tenants into buying their homes and so further reduce the remaining social housing stock. Plans to reduce social sector rents by 1% per annum will have the same effect by cutting housing association income and so restricting investment in new social housing. Already housing associations are turning to the market to make money: in 2014, 15% of the homes they built were for sale and only 14% for a social rent. Most of the remainder were to let at the misleading ‘affordable rent’. The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, has just produced ‘A plan for homes’ which sets out to build 120,000 houses a year, none of which will be for social rent – 60,000 will be for sale, 60,000 to be let at either market or ‘affordable’ rents. The impact of the Budget on housing conditions for the working class will be catastrophic: the outcome will be soaring rent arrears, evictions and homelessness.

    More regressive taxation

    At the same time as benefits are being cut, indirect taxation, which is a greater burden for the lower paid, is increasing. Budget proposals that insurance premium tax should rise from 6% to 9.5% is an example of this trend, as are the changes to the road tax. The increase in personal tax allowances is of little consequence to those on poverty pay: the 2016/17 threshold of £11,000 per annum is meaningless for five million part-time workers who earn less than that, and does not begin to address the losses incurred from the benefit cuts. The Budget spin is that the principal source of tax is income tax and that those who pay more income tax are shouldering a greater burden. It is a complete fiction: the poor have always paid a greater share of their income in taxes than the rich. Recent government figures show that the poorest 10% of working age households pay 45% of their income in taxes, while the richest 10% pay just 34.6%.

    Handouts for the banks and multinationals

    The assault on the living standards of the working class is in stark contrast to the largesse shown to the banks and multinationals. When the government denounces what it calls ‘benefit dependency’ it is speaking only of the poor. Excluded from its condemnation are the enormous handouts given to the banks as part of their bailout during the crisis, as well as the estimated £93bn handed out to the multinationals every year in grants, tax breaks and other benefits.

    The Budget had even more to offer the rich. Inheritance tax will be changed to introduce an extra £175,000 tax-free allowance per person for their main property on top of the existing £325,000 allowance that can be applied to all assets. The plan to reduce corporation tax from 20% to 18% reflects the determination of the government to maintain Britain and the City of London as a pole of attraction for the international banks and multinationals. It reinforces the City’s tax haven status: with reliefs, the real rate will be close to 16% (Financial Times 9 July). The decision to phase out the bank levy on profits made from overseas operations and raise their level for domestic operations is a part of this drive. It is a response to the likes of HSBC which threatened to relocate their headquarters from London because of the levy. A fire sale of government assets including shares in Royal Mail and RBS will be a handout to the wealthy, in particular the RBS shares which are being valued at £13bn less than when they were bought as part of the bank’s bailout in 2008.

    Building resistance

    The ruthless assault on the living standards of the poorer sections of the working class will force a response from the millions who are affected. It is not just a fight against the Tory government, ruthless though it is, but against the ruling class as a whole, and its political representatives. The Labour Party has already capitulated. Desperate to avoid being stigmatised by the ruling class as the party of benefits, it is now in complete disarray. The Tories have Labour on the run and, together with the provisions of the new anti-trade union bill, intend to crush it altogether. Trade union leaders will mouth opposition, safe in the knowledge that they will not have to take action: they do not organise let alone represent those who will be affected most – young people, who make up fewer than one in 20 union members, or part-time workers or those on poverty pay. With further huge cuts to local government spending to be announced in the autumn budget, we have to organise amongst those who have no privileged status to defend, those who will face a dramatic loss of income or homelessness in the months to come. We have to start now.

    http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/our-paper

    Reply
    1. rodneybates Post author

      Hayes and Harlington is of course one of the safest Labour seats in the country. Unfortunately not a representative seat of the type that we need to win at the next general election. My own ward is a marginal Lab/Con and I also helped in Reading West and the idea that we lost because we were not left wing enough is so fanciful to be ridiculous. The left of the party can shout as much as they like but we can only impact change by winning a general election and we can only do that by attracting back some Tory voters.

      On austerity, Labour must be economically competent and this means that we must live within our means. Therefore, the answer is cuts and lots of them in order to run a balanced budget. However, the question is where and this is where I would agree with you that it should not be done on the backs of the poor. Governments have massive discretion over their public spending and can therefore prioritise spending on whatever they like. As such, there are many areas of wasteful spending in all levels of Government and I would reduce these first rather than penalising people in desperate poverty.

      Reply
      1. Tony New.

        Firstly its rather irrelevant to argue where or who we campaigned for as that election was lost. The tactics used by the party, members and supporters were obviously wrong, however the first past the post system needs replacing possibly with PR.
        Secondly any cuts affect the Precariat, the only ones not affected are the rich.
        Thirdly 50,000 people have joined the Labour Party since Comrade Corbyns leadership election, more than the membership of the racist UKIP. Not a bad thing.
        In addition 150,000 people registered to vote in the leadership election the outcome is a victory for democracy.

    1. rodneybates Post author

      I agree and have previously said that there are too many “special responsibility” allowances at my Council and that some should be scrapped to save public money. Also opposed the disgraceful increases of up to 60% that Surrey County Cllrs decided to award themselves.

      Reply
      1. tonynew77

        How about you use the councillors expenses as a political tool, for instance you could say to the committee that until councillors expenses are cut you will oppose all other cuts.

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