Monday, 29 June 2015

We need to be able to tell the difference

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

The end of George Orwell's Animal Farm shows pigs and men - previously portrayed as opposite sides of the ideological divide - becoming so similar that it was impossible to tell the difference between them.

A similar criticism has been aimed at the Labour party - that they have moved so far to the right that it is difficult to tell the difference between them and the Tories.

Leadership candidates such as Liz Kendall - seen as a Blairite, and Yvette Cooper - another link to the Blair / Brown years, do little to dispel this view.

Labour needs to offer something different in order to gain electoral success.  
What does the Labour party claim to stand for?  For working people.  For a fair society.

My Labour membership card states that they are a "democratic socialist party".  The party needs to re-discover its socialist roots.  That's why I'm backing Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership contest.

Corbyn is a socialist.  He stands for all the things that Labour claims to stand for.

I believe that many people in this country would vote for socialist policies if they are put across properly.  Take nationalisation of the railways as an example.

Under private ownership, the railways have got progressively worse.  Increased prices, decreased levels of service.  A nationalised railway system would take the profit motive out of the equation, meaning that decisions could be made on what is best for the service, and for the customers, not on what will make shareholders the most profit.  That's not to say that a nationalised service should run at a loss, becoming a bottomless pit into which taxpayers money needs to be poured.  The service could be run efficiently, without wasting money, but not needing to be a slave to profit at all costs.

If we can demonstrate how railways have become worse under private ownership, it's easy to make the argument for taking all private business out of health and education too.

If a train service is unprofitable, it can be cancelled or scaled down.  What would happen if it was unprofitable to provide healthcare - cost too much to cure somebody, or to give care to someone with a terminal illness?

What would happen to children who aren't naturally talented - who need more time spent with them in the classroom to bring out their abilities?  Would they be seen as a drain on the bottom line?

It doesn't bear thinking about.

Privatisation is just one example of why we need something different.

We need a Labour leader who will be the difference between the parties.  Who will offer a genuine choice to the electorate at the next election.

Labour needs Jeremy Corbyn.  Anything else would be a betrayal of everything the Labour movment has fought for for so many years.

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