History has come full circle. After the betrayals, wars and gluttony of the Blair-Brown years socialism is well and truly back on the party agenda. The ten pledges drawn up by Corbyn provides an initial expression of the needs and desires of our class – a program to combat the destitution, joblessness and poverty brought upon us by years of Tory austerity and capitalist crisis. This has been a critical step forward for the Labour and trade union movement. However, we must push forward. So far, big business, finance and the City of London have generally held back and waited patiently, rather than attacking our movement in a more direct manner. Instead, they have allowed the press barons to do their work – sowing lies, confusion, hatred in order to sabotage the possibility of a Labour government lead by the left. Faced with a Corbyn government, big business will put up a fight which will make the last two years appear to be a mere skirmish. They will use every weapon in their arsenal to sabotage, derail, delay and destroy every policy of a left labour government. Where they lack the strength for an open boycott of government construction or finance programs, they will bend and corrupt them to serve their own purposes. We must turn to face the dangers in the years ahead and push forward a program for the complete transformation of the UK.
1. Full employment and an economy that works for all: we must fund and organise a national investment bank by nationalising with compensation to shareholders on the basis of proven need all the FT100 UK banks, finance houses, hedge funds and insurance firms. Use this power to organise a democratic plan for production and services to protect jobs, services and the environment.
2. A secure homes guarantee: build 1m new homes in five years by nationalising the big construction firms, and share out the work, with priority for those who have been blacklisted by the gangsters in construction. Introduce strict rent controls and secure tenancies, and re-establish locally accountable rent tribunals with real power to enforce these controls on private landlords.
3. Security at work: the only guarantee for strong workers rights is strong, militant trade unions. We must organise to transform the unions into fighting organisations again. Scrap all anti trade union laws passed since 1979
4. Secure our NHS and social care: end big business profiteering from our health service. Scrap PFI agreements. For a fully funded program of training and recruitment of NHS staff, restoring grants and bursaries. Nationalise the pharmaceutical companies – nobody should profit from ill-health.
5. A national education service: for the immediate restoration of student grants and financial support such as the EMA. All existing student loans must be cancelled and university education made free to all. For a fully funded program of training and recruiting of new teachers, lecturers and support staff for education.
6. Action to secure our environment: immediate steps to make large cuts to carbon emissions and the production of domestic and industrial waste. For a sustainable program to move away from reliance on fossil fuels, toward green energy production, including an international campaign for co-operation and projects to achieve the same.
7. Put the public back into our economy and services: includes renationalising railways and utilities, and bringing private bus, leisure and sports facilities back into local government control. For a major expansion of youth, mental health, physically disabled, women’s and vulnerable people services.
8. End income and wealth inequality: break the stranglehold of the rich and powerful over our society and communities. By taking democratic worker’s control of big business, banking and finance, transport and energy we can plan production and services for the needs of the many, not the few.
9. Action to secure an equal society: includes action to combat violence against women, as well as discrimination based on race, sexuality or disability, and defend the Human Rights Act. For a program of education campaigns in schools and media to combat the toxic effects of decades of hate campaigns and disgusting propaganda in the press.
10. Peace and justice at the heart of a socialist foreign policy: for an end to imperialist wars of conquest and control. For immediate, unilateral nuclear disarmament. For a program of re-training and re-tooling in defence industries to defend jobs and change production to meet the needs of a socialist plan for production.
Down with the Tory-DUP coalition!
Labour to power on a socialist program!