JEREMY Corbyn launched the Labour Party’s Manifesto for the upcoming general election yesterday claiming it is ‘a manifesto for hope that will bring real change’ and is ‘full of popular policies’.
The Manifesto, ‘It’s Time for a Real Change’, is in fact long on hope and popular policies but woefully short on recognising the reality of the capitalist crisis.
Instead, it is nothing more than a pre-election reformist wish list that takes for granted that a future Labour government would, in the words of the introduction, be able to ‘rewrite the rules of the economy, so that it works for everyone’.
It promises that Labour ‘will rebuild our public services by taxing those at the top to properly fund the services we all rely on’ and pledges ‘the largest-scale investment programme in modern times to fund the jobs and industries of the future, so that no one is held back and no community left behind. This is a fully costed programme to upgrade our economy and transform our country.’
Central to Labour’s economic policy is the creation of a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ that will create one million jobs, and the creation of a ‘National Investment Bank, backed up by a network of Regional Development Banks, to provide £250 billion of lending for enterprise, infrastructure and innovation over 10 years.’
Along with a Green Industrial Revolution Labour is pledging to build 150,000 council and social homes a year, an increase in the living wage to £10 an hour, free broadband for all, and an end to zero-hour contracts.
The Manifesto commits Labour to the re-nationalisation of the railways, Royal Mail, water and the energy companies.
On public services, Labour has pledged to end the ten years of Tory austerity cuts and ‘make Britain’s public services the best and most extensive in the world’.
This will be paid for by increasing taxation on those earning over £80,000 a year and reversing Tory cuts to corporation tax.
In all, Labour is promising to finance a massive increase in funding through taxing the top 5% of the population.
This sounds all very well, and will certainly be welcomed by workers and the middle class who have had enough of seeing the NHS and every other public service destroyed, but the fact remains that increases in taxation for the wealthy will not produce the massive sums Labour is talking about.
It would necessarily involve running up a huge debt to the world financial sector.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, even before the Manifesto launch, had promised that the £400 billion required to invest on the scale now promised would be found through loans from the world banking system.
McDonnell was keen to stress that Labour would take advantage of the historically low interest rates charged on loans to finance Labour’s infrastructure investment programme.
McDonnell and Corbyn seriously expect the capitalist financial system to bankroll Labour’s ‘radical’ agenda, an agenda that if implemented would threaten the profit of the bankers and speculators, and invest in infrastructure projects that produce no profits for the capitalists.
The banks would immediately declare a strike against any loans or demand eye-watering interest rates.
Capitalism will never peacefully submit to the reformist wishes of Corbyn. Instead, they will organise to bring him down.
This Manifesto, with its pledges to make capitalism work for the benefit of workers, is nothing more than an attempt to convince the working class that there is an alternative to revolution.
Any attempt to reform capitalism while leaving the capitalist class intact is doomed to failure.
The only solution to the capitalist crisis for the working class is to reject this reformist Manifesto and prepare not just for a Labour government but to seize power and go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bankers and main industries placing them under the management of the working class as part of a socialist planned economy.
This is the revolutionary Manifesto on which the WRP is standing in this election.
We call on workers to vote Labour in a class vote to dump the Tories and to vote WRP in the five constituencies we are standing in.