Nationalisation: a flawed idea, or an economic saving grace?

Nationalisation is often seen as a buzzword. It usually has a weird effect on people that causes them to start rabidly screaming the words “Marxist” at you every time it’s mentioned. With the Labour Manifesto in the public domain, this phenomenon is becoming more and more common. However, if you’re going to make such a comparison, at least give the Communist Manifesto a read first. The Labour party has pledged to re-nationalise industries such as the Royal Mail, British Energy, as well as Broadband services. Whether the policies put forward by Jeremy Corbyn are plausible or not isn’t the point of discussion, I’m more interested in establishing how or if nationalism fits into the modern-day.

Firstly, it must be established that nationalisation is not actually that radical. Corbyn’s manifesto has been called “Radical” by the BBC and even members of the Labour Party, but the actual policy of nationalisation isn’t as extreme at all. America has utilised nationalisation in various industries, and their Government the exact opposite of socialist. Nearly nine out of ten people in the United States receive their water service from a publicly owned utility and in the last 20 years. Since then, nationalisation of the water industry has only expanded. From 2007 to 2014, the portion of people with water from publicly owned water suppliers increased from 83% to 87%. France’s mass nationalisation of its energy industry in the 1980s, Germany’s re-nationalisation of the Print Office in 2008 after it was privatised in 2001, and Iceland’s re-nationalisation of its largest commercial banks in 2008, shows that it isn’t some outlandish or outdated idea. 

This isn’t necessarily a socialist idea, it’s simply economically liberal. What is then done with nationalised industries is what takes it a step further. Even the services stated above are only a partially nationalised industry, as the state does not have a 100% market share and neither does it legally obstruct private companies from entering the industry. The common question asked is, why on earth would the government want to do this? Simple, it’s because we can’t trust the market completely to operate fairly, and when it crashes, the market won’t protect the public.

In some industries – take water for example – it just makes more sense to have fewer entities providing the service because of the infrastructure involved. The economically savvy readers will recognise this as a natural monopoly. It’s even been used to pull banks and other private entities out of trouble. This is done by temporarily buying them to ensure they don’t collapse and cause damage to the economy as a whole. A good example was when the US government took over GM Motors. When the problem is resolved, the government simply sells the company afterwards. In the case of nationalising industry, it allows the consumer to get a cheaper or even free service whilst the government tanks the cost but runs the companies, they are purchased at a profit which can then go back into your pocket.

Some of you will be reading this and think “Why don’t we just do this for everything? Cheap Nationalised Broadband? Sounds great”. Don’t jump the gun. It’s not something to be taken lightly and isn’t always a good idea. When nationalising an industry, the assumption is the government will actually be good at running the businesses in that industry. You can very easily argue that the British Government, in combination with local government, just isn’t good at it.

To paint a picture, I’m going to use the Labour party promise to provide a state-run fibre broadband service across the country. I am a huge PC gamer nerd. I play mostly League of Legends and Counter-Strike, but anyone who plays video games regularly can unite and agree upon a common enemy, bad ping. Lag spikes are actually the worst, and usually, we all have little tricks we use to try and deal with them, but if they don’t work, we are comforted by the fact that we can just switch broadband providers or upgrade our service. If Broadband is nationalised, you might not be able to do that, leaving you with bad ping and poor gaming experience. 

The state wants to purchase broadband relevant parts of BT, but the BT group also owns Plusnet and EE which have their own broadband services. If only the state broadband service is available in the area you live in, and that service just isn’t good enough, you would have to move to get to a different service provider, because currently there are only 5 providers for commercial usage, and 3 of them (BT, Plusnet and EE) could end up under the state service. To make it even worse, Openreach (a BT Subsidiary) maintains the fibre networks that the other broadband services sell, so if a state broadband service was to exist, the government would either need control of that as well or sub-contract it to Openreach. Even with all those complications, it doesn’t even touch on the fact that everyone who currently works for those companies now becomes state employees, and that’s a whole different fiasco.

Although nationalisation isn’t a ‘pipe dream’ like some would call it. The belief that magically buying all these industries will solve itself is certainly naïve. As I have displayed by briefly exploring the result of the nationalisation of just one service, this is not a straightforward process by any means. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the nationalisation plans of the Labour Party as a whole is risky and would require a restructuring of the economy specifically in the area of taxation. This would be a slow and gradual process that would take around 10 years. This doesn’t just apply to the Labour Party’s plan, it applies the nationalisation as an idea. 10 years is two governments, maybe three, governments. Who says our economic situation doesn’t change? Who says halfway through the project it’s no longer economically viable and the whole thing gets put on hold?

Nationalisation isn’t the Marxist evil that many claim it to be, but it isn’t necessarily the undeniable saving grace of the British population that it is being peddled as either.

We must not let Brexit dominate this election’s agenda

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit – the word you hear time and time again. You hear it from the mouths of your family, friends and neighbours; you read it in the newspapers; you see it repeated endlessly as you scroll through social media. It is a cause of anxiety and upset for many on both sides of the debate. Ever since the referendum in 2016, we have seen two early general elections and the departure of two Prime Ministers (and soon, perhaps, a third). While Brexit is a topic which must be addressed, we must not let it push other important issues such as climate change and austerity into the deep, dark corners of our politics.

While it is entirely likely that a Tory-led exit from the E.U will be disastrous for the economy, what will be even more disastrous is global warming. The impact of Brexit may last for generations but the consequences of the excessive heating of our planet will be something we’re stuck with for eternity. The IPCC warns that if governments don’t step up to tackle climate change in the next twelve years, the effects could be irreversible. Rising sea levels could mean more flooding of coastal regions, which will grind businesses to a halt, the Met Office insists. To make matters worse, resulting damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and rails will hinder national trade but also stop many workers from going to their places of employment, which will contribute to a massive drain on the economy.

Environmental policy is not simply an infrastructure issue; it will affect living standards, create climate refugees, and ultimately lead to a spiking death rate – and only the Labour Party seem to be offering a real solution to this issue with their “Green New Deal”, created in consultation with climate scientists. Labour alone must push the issue to the top of the agenda pile; not Jo Swinson, who has taken a lax approach to fracking, and certainly not Boris Johnson, who wrote his party’s climate agenda with the help of the fracking industry.

For the past nine years, the Conservative Party’s brutal austerity programme has crushed the working classes, decimating and privatising our public services. Cuts in police, youth centres and drug treatment services imposed by the Conservatives ever since they got into power in 2010 have led to an increase in crime up and down the UK:

These are issues which have been around longer than Brexit and deserve far more attention from the political parties.

For many of us, Brexit has proven to be a dark cloud which overshadows everything else. The electorate must realise that this general election is not and cannot simply be a “Brexit election”; it’s an election for climate change, it’s an election for our police services, our youth centres, our health facilities, our schools. The future isn’t simply Brexit or no Brexit, it’s our children going to well-funded schools and receiving world class education, our police being funded properly so they can make our country a safer place to live, our NHS, and the state of our climate.

Labour’s re-nationalisation of key infrastructure can put the UK back on the world map

Labour’s recent policy announcement of nationalising part of BT and taxing tech giants in order to provide free fibre broadband to every household in the country has resulted in the usual displeasure from the right wing commentariat, as well as various Tory and Liberal Democrat figures implying it to be some sort of communistic experiment. Considering, though that BT was in public ownership up until 1984, this is a testament to how far the Overton window has shifted rightward as a result of the neoliberal economic orthodoxy.

The good news is that Labour is effectively challenging this at the upcoming election, as it has been doing since 2017. The pledges to nationalise rail, water, Royal Mail and telecommunications will allow for a new era of economic prosperity to be shared by the many, and are necessary to ending the post-Thatcherite consensus that has held so much back.

Firstly, Labour’s policy to bring about free broadband has already been shown to be hugely popular. YouGov’s snap poll has shown that 66% are in favour of this policy and only 22% oppose it. This follows the trend for polling other forms of nationalisation. Having the rail, water, and mail services in public ownership all seem to have more than the majority in favour.

The Tories economic policies of simply more of the status quo are clearly out of touch with a public which is lethargic of more expensive and inefficient services provided by private monopolies and oligopolies. The economic data seems to back up the public’s perceptions. For example, water prices have risen by 40% since privatisation. More than 12,000 jobs have been lost since Royal Mail was sold off by the coalition government, whilst its boss has gained a pay rise of £100,000 to his salary. These issues are inherent to private ownership, especially of natural monopolies such as rail and water, since any sort of competition is highly limited. When profit for the owners and maximisation of shareholder values become the only goals, fairness and a good service for consumers come last. This is evident in the public perception throughout the previous years.

Critics of such policies, and the large scale nationalisation and spending plans that Labour are proposing ignore the widespread need for such investment into our economy. With the case of broadband in particular the UK is in great need of investment and improvement. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistics show that Britain ranks 35th out of 37 countries assessed for the proportion of fibre in its broadband. Furthermore, Britain has fallen from 8th to 10th in the EU for levels of connectivity. Whereas South Korea has 97% of its country covered by broadband (number one on the list by the OECD), with a much more active state involvement in developing the infrastructure needed to roll it out, and indeed with implementing it, compared to only 8-10% for the UK.

Labour’s £20 billion investment goes further than this, it will provide broadband for free, which will save ordinary families hundreds of pounds per year, and bringing the many benefits of fast communication through broadband to every household, which is especially lacking in rural regions. Finally, this policy will be paid for by large tech giants, going some way to address the inadequacy of the tax they pay to the UK exchequer, for example Amazon, which paid only £1.7 million in taxes in 2017, despite profits of £72.3 million. This policy is effective on two fronts. The first, allowing for improvements in fibre broadband coverage in the UK. Second, for its cost burden to fall on those large corporations which are yet to pay their fair share of taxes, as opposed to ordinary workers and consumers. 

Trusting corporate interests to deliver essential services has seemed to be a policy that can no longer be relied upon. Labour’s policy to bring these into public ownership is to be encouraged if we hope to build an economy which serves the public’s interest as opposed to private monopolies who have few incentives to change the current arrangements, catering to their ability to profit off such services as opposed to investing into those services for the good of the public.

Canterbury: the gritty electoral battleground in the Tory heartlands

The resignation of Tim Walker – Canterbury’s Liberal Democrat candidate for the 2019 general election – is just the tip of the iceberg of the complex political battle current raging in this historical city in the heart of the garden of England.

Canterbury voted in favour of remaining in the European Union in 2016. Over 60% of Canterbury’s population voted not to leave the EU and both of it’s Universities, including the University of Kent that boasts the moniker of being the UK’s ‘European university’, openly support remaining in the Union.

While this would appear to be an advantage to Rosie Duffield, who has always vocally supported remaining in the Union, her own party’s neutral position over Brexit could cost her votes. While Tim Walker has stepped down in Canterbury, the Liberal Democrats have told Channel 4 that they still plan to run a candidate in Canterbury, potentially leeching support from the Labour MP. They have  chosen an ex-councilor to run called Claire Malcolmson. Vote shares for Canterbury predict the Liberal Democrats to gain 23% of the City’s vote, giving the Conservatives a comfortable lead of 6% on Labour. However, if just 30% of Canterbury’s remain population voted ‘tactically’ – voting irrespective of party line and focusing on a candidate’s Brexit stance – then the scales could be tipped in favour of a Labour win.

However, understanding the difficult position Rosie Duffield is currently in requires context on Canterbury as a constituency, and what makes Canterbury such a difficult city to predict in the 2019 election.

Before 2017, most election polls predicted a comfortable win for the Conservatives, making Canterbury a certain ‘safe’ seat; one that has been held by a Conservative for almost it’s entire 100-year existence. In 2017, the Tory frontman Sir Julian Brazier was looking to shore up his considerable majority in the city – a majority he had held his entire 25-year career as an MP. In 2015, Sir Brazier won by a 42% majority, beating his nearest competitor by over 9000 votes.  

The Tories were confident, given the constituencies location in the heart of Kent, they were further reassured when Brazier’s opponent was announced: an ex-teaching assistant with no prior Parliamentary experience, Rosie Duffield. Duffield’s prior popularity in the Labour Party was scarce. Her political experience was limited to an unsuccessful run for the council in 2015, as well as her work as a political satire writer.

Labour’s gains in the 2017 election surprised pundits across the political spectrum, and Canterbury was no different. With a majority of just 187 votes, Rosie Duffield beat the incumbent Julien Brazier to become Canterbury’s MP. After conceding defeat, Mr Brazier blamed Canterbury’s invigorated student population for the shock win.

On a national scale, the student vote appeared to factor heavily into Labour’s success, with reports estimating that almost 90% of the student population eligible to vote registered in the election, with a further 55% of students backing Jeremy Corbyn’s Party.

Since 2017, Rosie Duffield has cemented her place in Labour Party politics, becoming the Secretary to the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and serving on several Parliamentary committees. In 2018, Duffield demonstrated her commitment to staying in the European Union by being one of 6 frontbench MPs to resist a Labour whip to abstain from voting to remain in the EU single market after Brexit, precipitating her exit from the shadow cabinet.

In late 2019, she made further headlines after a speech on her experiences surviving and overcoming domestic abuse during a hearing on Theresa May’s domestic violence bill – a speech which moved the Commons to tears.

Duffield also took a very vocal stance on antisemitism in the party, admitting to reporters in 2018 that Labour did have a ‘problem’ with antisemitism, leading to condemnation from Canterbury Council’s Labour chairman. Ms Duffield has shored up her meteoric rise in leftwing politics and in just two years has made herself into one of the Labour Party’s rising stars.

But her competition this year will be difficult.

Sir Brazier’s favourite was elected his successor to become Canterbury’s Conservative candidate – a veteran of local politics, Anna Firth. Firth is an ex-barrister, Councilor, and ran for the European Parliament in 2017. The avowed Brexiteer gained local infamy in October when she shared a video with Boris Johnson, promising a new hospital was being created in Canterbury, a hospital that, it was later revealed, did not even appear in the government’s plans. Firth’s highly pro-Brexit stance has led to a deep affinity with Boris Johnson and other hardline Conservative Brexiteers – an affinity which may resonate with voters in the traditional Tory heartlands.

Canterbury will serve as an important litmus test for the 2019 general election, with all of the major frontrunning parties fielding hopeful MPs. Whether Canterbury remain supporters are willing to put party allegiance aside and vote strategically to stop Firth’s election, however, is beyond prediction.

The blues can never be green: why the pausing of UK fracking is an election ploy

After the calling of a general election for December 12th, British politics has taken yet another unpredictable and exciting turn. Already the major political parties have begun to outline their election strategies; from the repetition of Labour’s 2017 strategy that boasts all the optimism of a Manchester United fan’s opinion on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, to the Europhilic platform of the Liberal democrats that so nearly distracts from their voting record. 

With headlines dominated for so long by the haze of Brexit that it may now be the national sport of the United Kingdom, one might be forgiven for forgetting the very identities and positions of the mainstream parties outside of the European question. Thus, when the Conservative party announced the “suspension” of fracking operations in the United Kingdom, anyone who has taken an interest in the growing environmentalist movement worldwide would be forgiven for assuming this as the actions of a party that cares about the planet.

Fracking – one of the more contentious methods of extracting shale and natural gas – has received a large degree of public scrutiny in recent years. The potential for geological disruption, resulting in the increased chance of earthquakes and threat posed to local communities, is one of many ecological risks associated with the process, implemented at various sites nationwide. Andrea Leadsom, Business Secretary in the Johnson Government, argued that it was the right move for the Conservative government, who were “following the science… until the science changes”.

Leadsom — who infamously questioned on her first day as Theresa May’s Energy Secretary if climate change was real — seems here to justify the suspension of an environmentally damaging practice; until the point that the facts and circumstances change to allow the government to continue it again sans critique. Here we see the government enacting a temporary suspension of a profitable but ecologically destructive practice, until the science or circumstances change that justify them continuing with the destructive business.

Despite the Orwellian doublespeak of Leadsom, the move is nothing short of part of the election campaign launch of Johnson and the Conservative party. Forgetting for the moment the irony of a campaign centred around the idea of Britain deserving better than the brutal imposition of austerity and political buffoonery masterminded by the Conservatives themselves, Johnson’s political ethos focuses on the notion of “getting things done”. Let us get Brexit done, as the Conservatives cry, and we can focus on getting things done for the police force we have cut, the health service we have dogmatically hollowed, and on resolving the environmental crisis. Suspension of fracking, regardless of its motivations, is in the eyes of the Conservatives at least something they have actually got done in the past years of political weakness and ambiguity.

Indeed, one might be forgiven for forgetting what the political parties of the United Kingdom still stand for in these uncertain to-say-the-least times. The Conservatives can certainly be pointed to as the party of action when it comes to environmental considerations; they cannot be pointed to as the party of environmentalism. This is the party that abolished the department of Energy and Climate Change in 2016; the party that removed subsidisation of renewable energy construction and restricted the ability of renewable energy sources to develop in the United Kingdom; the party that ended the programme of sustainable home development due to a lack of profitability for investors. This is to say nothing of the continued support and subsidisation of Nuclear and non-renewable energy sources; many of which are not only unsustainable, but themselves not profitable. The fact that the Johnson Government has acted to temporarily halt fracking operations in the United Kingdom is simply a drop in the polluted ocean that Conservative policies and ideological profit-focus has helped to create.

This is hardly surprising. It is long documented that free market policies such as those championed by the Conservatives are wholly incompatible with ecological considerations; considerations which require the sacrifice of short term and individual self-interest in order to protect the common long-term good. Such profit-focus is integral to the continued dogmatic adherence to Neoliberalism that runs in the very blood of the Conservative party; an ideology that champions the free pursuit of self-interest for all, giving no consideration to considerations outside of capital and profit. Since the days of Thatcher’s gutting of regional communities, to the willing ignorance to the risks of the most profitable course that led to the Grenfell disaster, the Conservative party have long established themselves as the party that cares only for immediate economic success above any and all else. This perhaps explains why, before the enacting of such an election stunt, the party has been such a champion of fracking; almost a perfect metaphor for the extraction of short-term value with no regard for local communities or long-term sustainability.

It may be worth a modicum of congratulations to the Conservative party. Since Johnson took over as leader of the party and the country, the suspension of fracking is perhaps the one true item that the government can, unlike parliamentary votes and PR visits to hospitals, say that it has achieved success in. Make no mistake, however, the suspension of fracking is in no way motivated by a desire to protect the environment or communities affected by fracking. It is nothing short of a rudimentary and basic election tactic and attempted evidence for its “get things done campaign”; a crumb of success that will be weaponised as a counter argument to the myriad of environmentalist criticisms. When the “Science Changes” in the event the Conservatives win majority in the next election, such a suspension will be quickly and quietly repealed, leading to the next inevitable story of a small community ravaged by fracking disaster. 

As far as Environmentalism is concerned, the Conservative party line is evident; that the planet and the people that rely upon it are an afterthought, until the next chance for Johnson, clad in an ill fitting sports top or hopefully at the top of another zip-wire, to weaponise it for his own party’s success.

Corbyn Predicts Election in 2019

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror the Labour Leader predicted a General Election in 2019. He said: ‘The Government is going to struggle. It may well resign. There may well be a general election. And I can’t wait.’

Mr. Corbyn has come under intense criticism from some within his party, after he stressed that if he won an election then he would still pursue Brexit and honour the EU Referendum.

He stressed that he would continue to oppose the current proposals, and if elected would re-open negotiations with the European Union.

He said: ‘I’m determined to hold this government to account, vote the deal down and reopen those negotiations’.

In a private meeting with the Shadow Health Secretary, Mr. Corbyn learned of some of the problems set to face the National Health Service. He said, ‘For example, insulin isn’t made in the UK – it has to be imported from Europe.’

He has not succumbed to pressure to abandon Brexit – as demanded by some within the Labour Party. Mr. Corbyn respects the referendum result and will strive to achieve a deal that protects manufacturing and does not leave people poorer in the United Kingdom.

Concerns have also been voiced by members within the parliamentary party, with Clive Lewis MP posting this on Twitter:

It seems that some loyal campaigners have doubts about actively campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union.

Comment from Thomas Howard, Editor at TPN:

Corbyn has not given into growing pressure to abandon Brexit – he recognises that doing so will cause social upheaval within the UK.

Instead, he wishes to fight for a deal that operates in the interests of the majority of people in the UK. His aim is to appease ‘Leavers’ and ‘Remainers’.

But, is this enough? He has come under intense criticism and has alienated many members within the Labour Party. Yet, the fact remains that it will be a government led by the Conservatives or Labour.

Osborne: Tories Facing ‘prolonged period’ in Opposition

George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, has issued a warning to the Conservative Party.

He claims that the party must become more socially-liberal and pro-business, otherwise will face electoral defeat in a General Election.

He believes that the Government is actively trying to avoid a Snap General Election.

He said: ‘There is a way of course for the government to avoid that [General Election] and they are terrified of an election – they can themselves embrace a referendum’.

He believes that discussions of a referendum have been occurring, but these claims are denied by officials in Downing Street.

Mr. Osborne criticised the path being pursued by Theresa May. ‘I think she should have started where she has tried to end up, which is a more conciliatory partnership with the European Union’, he said on BBC Radio 4.

He further stated: ‘I think that was essentially a massive mistake by the Conservative administration – which it was punished for at the general election – because the Conservative Party decided to embrace the Brexit result in such a way as to essentially dismiss the views of those who had voted remain, treat them as saboteurs or traitors and run against urban Britain.’

His comments come amidst growing pressure on the Government to abandon their current proposals regarding the withdrawal from the European Union.

However, the Government reaffirms that this deal is ‘the only deal’ and will act in the ‘national interest’ – a claim refuted by the Opposition Parties.

Comment from Thomas Howard, Editor at TPN:

George Osborne’s comments are a damning indictment of an inept Government. He claims that his former colleagues are not acting in the national interest, as there are active attempts to avoid a General Election.

He has condemned the treatment of those individuals who voted ‘Remain’ in the Referendum in 2016 – he believes that they have been wrongly criticised by the majority of the Conservative Party.

It is clear that these issues continue to cause societal divisions and that more harm is being made – which is largely the result of the ‘Brexit’ being pursued by the Conservative Party.

With Theresa May teetering on the brink of collapse, its time for Labour to capitalise.

Four weeks ago I gave Theresa May six weeks left as PM. Now it looks like she won’t even get that. With the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis (and the subsequent resignation of the few remaining senior Brexit ministers), and the impending decision of the 1922 Committee to oust the Prime Minister, there is only one option for the country. And sadly for “Brenda from Bristol”, there has to be “another one”. In other words, we need a General Election…

For those who (rightly) thought Cameron was incompetent, Theresa May takes that to a whole new level. She called a General Election which she was confident she’d win by a landslide, lost her majority and has now seen SIX Cabinet resignations in 249 days. To quote the official Labour HQ line, “That’s one every six weeks”. Whether this is the most incompetent government in history is up to you to decide, but the Tories have been lurching from crisis to crisis ever since they were elected in 2010. Universal Credit, the Bedroom tax, Brexit and the reemergence of Tory sleaze are just some of the various scandals and messes that the Tories have managed to create in eight years.

And yet, perhaps its fair to say that the failure of Labour to capitalise on these crises epitomises what is currently wrong with British politics. Sadly for those who don’t like Corbyn or Labour, they are the only option. While you may think they’re a bad option, they’re the only option you’ve got if you want rid of Tory corruption and austerity. It was thought that in the election last year that Brexit would be the most important topic, and yet it was mostly disregarded by voters. But now, in July 2018, it is the Tory-made Brexit that is going to topple their own government.

Before Davis resigned, it was already news that the 1922 Committee already had 40+ letters out of the 48 needed from Tory Backbenchers to trigger a leadership contest. Now it would seem that the ‘Domino Effect’ will occur and see that target being reached. In this event, the Tories will elect a new leader, be it Mrs May once again, or the more likely ‘Brexit candidate’ (Rees-Mogg, Boris and Gove strike me as the most probable options). And once this happens we’ll be back to the summer of 2016, when the Tories had elected an unelected Prime Minister. And as we all know, this led to a General Election less than a year later.

This is what must happen again. As we approach the most crucial stage of the Brexit talks, we need to have an elected leader who has a mandate. Theresa May didn’t have a proper one considering her utter catastrophe of an election. The electorate should be given the choice between a Labour Brexit (whatever that is) and the equally unclear Conservative Brexit. Chances are that Brexit will once again be forgotten about in an election however, with Labour expected to fight an Anti-Austerity campaign once again. This is bound to resonate with the British people more than the Conservatives.

However, Brexit will come into it far more than last year. And this is why Labour MUST sort out its Brexit policy. While the two extremes of the argument (The Lib Dems with their campaign to stop Brexit and UKIP’s Hard Brexit) not expected to win people over, this is Labour’s opportunity to show that not only do they offer a far more “Strong and stable government” than Theresa May’s “Coalition of Chaos”, but that they can offer a compromise. Leaving the EU as an institution to please Brexiteers as much as is possible, and keeping some of the benefits to please Remainers.

But that is an issue for another day. One of the main comments I’ve had while talking to residents in my home town is “I wouldn’t vote for Corbyn” or “I don’t want Corbyn as PM”. That’s all well and good, but think of it this way. Vote for Labour because we want to properly fund the NHS with a feasible spending plan. Vote Labour to end austerity. Vote Labour to help the working class and the poorest in society, not the rich. If you don’t like Corbyn, bare in mind the alternative is the lying Tories. There is no alternative, because we live in what is effectively a two-party state. However there simply is no appetite for a new Centrist party fronted by rich ex-Tories like George Osbourne and Blairites like Blair himself. They would only split the vote and lead to more Tory government. So Labour are the only alternative to the Conservatives.

Perhaps the main issue for Labour other than Brexit and the anti-semitism issue is the fact that the aforementioned “Blairites” subscribe to the “anyone but Corbyn” view. MP’s such as Chukka Umunna and John Woodcock have opposed Jeremy Corbyn at every turn, shouting him down and effectively aiding the Tories. This has led for calls for many Labour MP’s (Woodcock and Kate Hoey in particular) to be deselected. Now, I’m a big believer that Labour is, and should remain, a broad church, with left wingers and centrists. However the key to this would be party unity, and sadly we don’t have that. If the moderates who are vehemently opposed to Corbyn actually backed him, they’d be real assets and we would be doing far better than we are. I agree that they are entitled to their views, but we must all come together as one united party. Because the real enemies here are not each other, but they are the Conservatives. Left wing supporters of the party must stop the abuse of the moderates as well. I’ve seen many examples of left wing trolls attacking our own MP’s and this is appalling. We are a movement. A community. A collective entity of passionate political activists looking to create a better world. We have a duty to this country to stick together and fight the Tories.

What the country does not need now is uncertainty and unelected leaders. The Conservatives have a duty to call an election now. Whether they will or not remains to be seen, but we need to sort out the issue of governance immediately. In Brussels right now, Barnier and co. will be licking their lips at the prospect of continuing negotiating with this awfully weak Tory government. They will be doing the same if its an unelected one should Theresa May be ousted.

Therefore, in order to get the most possible Brexit, being delivered by an elected team of competence, its time for another General election, whether people want one or not. Theresa May is finished, and Corbyn must seize this opportunity to finally rid the country of the Tories and bring about a sensible Brexit and end to Austerity.

And remember the options. Face more years of austerity, chaos and scandals with the Tories, or Vote Labour for a better future, For the Many, Not the Few.

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