Our 10 pledges to rebuild and transform Britain
An easy criticism of any political party is that people don’t know what they stand for. In the run-up to elections parties will publish manifestos. Often these are collections of promises and aspirations, but all too frequently they are uninspiring documents that largely go ignored by the majority of the electorate. Generally, it is left to the main stream media to explain (usually with some kind of unstated bias) what political parties believe in and want to bring about when, and if, they take office.
Most recently, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, announced 10 pledges. The pledges cover all aspects of life in Britain and how our country should relate to the rest of the world. The pledges are concise and accessible. No doubt as we prepare for the next general election a fuller and more detailed description about how the pledges will be implemented will be produced. In the meantime, they explain exactly what campaigning for a Labour government is all about. They clearly answer the questions about what our party actually stands for.
Below is a brief, summarised version, of each one. More information can be found here.
1.Full employment and an economy that works for all
“We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and nations and guarantee a decent job for all. By investing £500 billion in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries backed up by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks we will build a high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy that ends austerity and leaves no one and nowhere left behind.”
2. A secure homes guarantee:
“We will build a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes, through our public investment strategy. We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.
3. Security at work:
“We will give people stronger employment rights from day one in a job, end exploitative zero hours contracts and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights, including mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250 or more employees. We will create new employment and trade union rights to bring security to the workplace and win better pay and conditions for everyone.
4. Secure our NHS and social care:
“We will end health service privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS. We will integrate the NHS and social care for older and disabled people, funding dignity across the board and ensure parity for mental health services.”
5. A national education service, open to all:
“We will build a new National Education Service, open to all throughout their lives. We will create universal public childcare to give all children a good start in life, allowing greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the labour market.”
6. Action to secure our environment:
“We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, and take our fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement - starting by getting on track with our Climate Change Act goals. We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy.
7. Put the public back into our economy and services:
“We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation, put the public back into our economy, give people a real say in their local communities, and increase local and regional democracy. We will rebuild our economy with public investment to deliver wealth for all, across our regions and nations in a genuinely mixed economy."
8. Cut income and wealth inequality:
“We will build a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest earners are fairly taxed, act against executive pay excess and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid – FTSE 100 CEOs are now paid 183 times the wage of the average UK worker, and Britain’s wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will act to create a more equal society, boost the incomes of the poorest and close the gender pay gap.”
9. Action to secure an equal society:
“We will ensure that the human rights of all citizens are respected and all are protected from discrimination and prejudice. We will take action to tackle violence against women and girls, racism and discrimination on the basis of faith, and secure real equality for LGBT and disabled people.”
10. Peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy:
“We will put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit to working through the United Nations, end support for aggressive wars of intervention and back effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis. British foreign policy has long failed to be either truly independent or internationally co-operative, making the country less safe and reducing our diplomatic and moral authority.”
Theresa May talks about social justice, but only a Labour government can deliver true social justice for the United Kingdom.