We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation, put the public back into our economy, give people a real say in their local communities, and increase local and regional democracy. We will rebuild our economy with public investment to deliver wealth for all, across our regions and nations in a genuinely mixed economy. We will act to ‘insource’ our public and local council services, increase access to leisure, arts and sports across the country and expand our publicly-controlled bus network. We will bring our railways into public ownership and build democratic social control over our energy.”
Ever get the feeling that things just aren’t working anymore? That long-cherished institutions no longer function the way they once did? People are dying on trolleys, trains are overcrowded and expensive: disabled people are having to struggle to claim what is rightfully theirs.
It is no accident.
The Tories, following their Neo-Liberal agenda, are deliberately trying to shrink the State. While the ‘too big to fail banks’ continually get bailed out from a seemingly bottomless pit of cash, public services are being squeezed until the pips squeak, or sold off. Nothing is sacred: police, prisons, hospitals, schools, everything is up for grabs, including government departments that actually bring in money to the Treasury (the Land Registry being a case in point).
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is determined to reverse this trend by rebuilding and properly funding public services. Our railways, a large chunk of which are currently owned and run by state-owned railway companies in France, Germany and the Netherlands, will be brought back into public ownership as the franchises expire. Profits will be ploughed back into the network for our benefit instead of subsidising public transport in those countries.
With energy, too, Labour will “deliver an energy policy for the 60 million, not the Big 6 energy companies, championing community-owned renewable energy.” Nottingham already has ‘Robin Hood Energy,’ a not-for-profit company launched by their City Council to provide low-cost energy to all households. If elected, Jeremy Corbyn will promote 200 such publicly owned local energy companies to supply towns and cities across the UK, thus ending the rip-off prices currently offered by the ‘Big 6’.
I’ve left the Arts till last as, well, that’s where they usually end up, don’t they? A sort of afterthought, or something that only the rich can afford. Did you know that for every pound invested in the arts, £1.06 is generated for economy?
Yes, they make money, but even more importantly, Jeremy Corbyn believes, quite rightly, that the arts are for everyone, not the privileged few, and that they are central to creating a better society. Starting with the schools, he has promised to introduce an arts pupil premium in every primary school, to give children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, or act on stage. Access to the arts will be widened with a greater proportion of funding being directed to local projects and the creation of more ‘outreach programmes for young people from flagship national projects’. Free access to museums and galleries will also be defended, and local authorities will be under a legal obligation to provide a comprehensive library service.
I could go on, but I’ll let Jeremy have the last word on the subject:
“There is creativity in all of us but we need to give people the opportunities for this creativity to flourish.”