Friday 12 August 2016


And so the last three pledges ... I hope you are as energised and hopeful as I am by envisaging this future for all the people of this nation. But I know there will be doubters. There is a gifted columnist who writes a regular weekly piece in 'The Cornishman' - Old Mike is his moniker. His is a voice of sanity and I've had letters published in that newspaper singing his praises. But he doesn't yet get the Corbyn phenomenon - or at least he's still only half-way there. This week he wrote:

'Many of his ideas are right on the button - a massive increase in social housing, an end to  privatisation, investment in our infrastructure, a drastic rein on the greed of the already rich ...

Anna Gillett addresses the crowds at Heartlands - she spoke of the plight of tenants in an under-regulated rental market 

So far, so good. But then comes the gut dismissal that betrays the prejudices and irrationalities and fears that shape the mainstream media and political establishment position on the leader of the Labour Party and his values - and crucially the half-million people, to date, who share those values. This movement is so much bigger than one man.

'But Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to offer Cornwall ... good words, but there's no detail of how to do it or where the money would come from.'

You could not be more wrong, Old Mike. See the detail about the National Investment Bank, read

about the value of quantitative easing - the creation of new money - to kick-start industrial  enterprise rather than to rescue financial services and in effect make the very rich even richer. National economies are not run on the principles that make sense for our family households. As a nation, we can borrow money very easily at a time when interest rates are so low in order to pump-prime our economy. A reinvigorated economy means more  people in work paying more taxes, fewer people on benefit, more profit for investors - and again more tax revenue too. Read J.M. Keynes; read today's leading and mainstream economists - Ha-Joon Chang at Cambridge, Thomas Piketty in France, Joseph Stiglitz in the States, to name just a few. Their ideas for the recovery of capitalist market economies and the creation of more humane and prosperous societies are broadly similar to those of Jeremy Corbyn and those who share his values.

I fear, Old Mike, you have fallen under the spell of those who are intent on spinning lies and cloaks of deception in order to preserve their wealth and power. Please do read my own book that will be published next week and is called 'The Road to Corbyn'. For you and others, here is a link that will speed a copy to your hands.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) highlighting the discrimination that women born in the 1950s have suffered under neoliberalism

And so to the last three promises:

We Pledge:

Democracy in our economy - putting the public back into our economy and services

We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation. We will give people a real say in their local communities. We will rebuild our economy with public investment to deliver wealth for all, across our regions and nations in a genuinely mixed economy. Our public and local council services will be taken back, not outsourced. Access to leisure, arts and sports will be increased. The bus network will be expanded and brought back under our control. The railways will be brought back into public ownership and our energy will come under our control.

This is my kind of vision. Who wouldn't want this? The vested interests of the few who have benefited from privatisation will lead to resistance. But in a democracy ....

We Pledge:

Action to end prejudice and injustice

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. We will defend the Human Rights Act and we will guarantee full rights for EU citizens living and working in Britain.

Again, who wouldn't want this?

We Pledge:

A cut in income and wealth inequality

We will develop a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest tax earners are fairly taxed. We will act against executive pay excess and shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid. The top CEOs are now getting 183 times more income than the wage of the average UK worker. Our country's wages are the most unequal in Europe. We will close the gender pay gap.

Ending as we began - our leader 

Of course, this is what is required if we are to have a happier, saner, and more healthy society. But higher rates of income tax will not alone solve the fundamental problem of inequality as Thomas Piketty has shown. The personal wealth of the very few is now the biggest obstacle in the way of a fairer redistribution of resources in a democratic society. There will be resistance. There will be lies. There will be deception.

But at the end of the day I know the world I want to have played a part in creating.

We all are faced with a question.

What sort of world do we want to have lived in during our lifetime?


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