The Leaked Labour Manifesto

The leaked Labour Manifesto is (for me at least) refreshingly radical.

It suggests that they may have taken a leaf out of Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.
This is a book due to be published in November but rumour has it that Labour have help from the same Bernie Sanders’ team.

It is, I think, quoted in the Australian economist’s Bill Mitchell’s Billy blog

‘You Won’t Get a Revolution If You Don’t Ask for One.
What set Bernie Sanders apart from the start of his campaign was his message and his authenticity as a messenger. Then he unleashed the makings of a real political revolution – he asked for one.
He outlined radical solutions our moment calls for, not the tepid instrumentalist compromises that most politicians think of all that is feasible.
Bernie didn’t talk about education tax credits or even debt-free college. He demanded free college tuition.
He didn’t advocate for complicated health insurance schemes, he said healthcare is a human right.’
Bernie called for an end to mass incarceration, not incremental changes in sentencing laws.
He had no 10-point plan to regulate fracking to the point that it wouldn’t be feasible in most places in the United States. He simply said we should ‘ban fracking’.

Perhaps it’s the fracking that is the give-away?

But I have to say I heartily approve – you have to be radical so as not to be constrained by the ‘normal’ narrative.
I think a lot of youth and NHS staff will be supporting Labour.
And it is even more encouraging that Labour won’t do Brexit without a deal.

The manifesto seems to lack radicalism in only one respect:
as both Charles Adams and Richard Murphy  would suggest, it is just a pity that they think the proposals have to be so precisely, yet mistakenly, “fully costed”.


  1. Sean Danaher -

    Indeed. The only advantage I can see of Brexit is that it allows the ditching of narrow neoliberal voodoo economics and allows for a radical modern macroeconomic approach focused on people rather than money and markets. I do worry however in the current UK climate that it may be a difficult sell.

    I expect also the increasingly fascist right wing press will ridicule the manifesto; we will hear moronic and hysterical nonsense about costings as debunked by Charles post yesterday as well as the (completely debunked) arguments that the private sector is always more efficient than the public sector.

    The Maybot is coming to the NE today to indulge in patriotic flag waving; Jonny Foreigner, the spirit of Dunkirk and Agincourt will feature strongly I suspect. I will give it a miss.

  2. Mark Crown -

    I agree with Richard Murphy and others that it is a shame that Labour seem to be wanting to spend more from redistribution in their manifesto than from straight forwardly printing much needed additional money into the economy (they have talked about borrowing – very risky actually – see below).

    Detractors of this idea of a cash injection just need to be told that no-one is saying that this will be done forever and a day. At some stage the economy might actually go into real recovery and then as RM would remind us, the facts would change and then a well ran Government would change its mind and take it’s foot off the financial accelerator.

    Maybe this is because the portrayal of Labour as bankrupting the country is now so ingrained as in public folklore that Labour feel overly cautious? Mentioning borrowing b=now is very brave but they need to tell people why (low interest rates, better tax returns etc.,).

    From what I have read I like their manifesto and I might even vote for them now and not the Greens. But if I feel that Corbyn is not supported by the likes of Umma and others, then they will lose my vote on June 8th.

    But the Labour Party has to pull together now and sell these ideas. That is Labour’s biggest weakness now – themselves. Will they pull together?

    There is a lot of campaigning to do yet. What a shame if Labour don’t pull together. I really do think that in the cold light of day the Tories themselves are really not the best bunch there has ever been and are there for the taking.

    I look at May’s crooked body posture and how she tries hard to look like a genuinely warm human being, the heavy make up, the way her face twitches when she is faced with really difficult questions as the ruthless, hard, controlling streak in her fights to break through the facade – a façade that hides for me the true nature of Tory ambition.

    But only by the Labour party pulling together or the formation of a progressive alliance of some sort will see the end of this. The Tories – if you kicked the door in, the whole party would collapse – it is just as riven as Labour in my view. But whoever kicks that door in needs to do it TOGETHER – united – and for England – a country that has been misruled and beaten down by the Tories since 2010.

    1. Jeni Parsons aka havantaclu -

      Mark – I note your emphasis on England, and would concur. The United Kingdom needs to be dissolved, and England allowed its own identity. In fact, I’d probably go further, and look to break it up into several sub-states – couldn’t we use the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms as a basis, and go from there? Some of the political structure’s already been created, in the shape of regional mayors.

      Where I now live would be close to a border – Sussex and Wessex. We cross the boundary ditch every time we drive to Chichester. I used to live in a very liminal area – west of Offa’s Dyke and east of the Welsh-English border – and remember the old pubs marked First in England on one side of their hanging signs, with Last in England on the other. There was even one pub where the border went through the main bar! But in those days Wales was ‘dry’ on Sundays.

      If we – the inhabitants of all three countries of the island of Great Britain – still desire a union, then let’s look at the old Federal Republic of Germany (set up in part by the British after the Second World War) and go from there. But the desire needs to be demonstrated.

      1. Sean Danaher -

        Hi Jeni
        Its clear Germany works better than the UK in terms of regional spread of wealth and infrastructure. In the UK London and the SE of England are so dominant they seem to hoover up nearly all of the resources and power. Given that it is more probable than not that Scotland will leave the Union new structures need ti be found for England and Wales.

      2. Jeni Parsons aka havantaclu -

        Hi Sean

        I lived in Germany for two years – during the first of which the UK voted to enter the ‘Common Market.’ I remember singing the ‘Ode to Joy’ as I walked to the Strassenbahn with my daughter in her rucksack on my back, and the greetings we received from the local people, who joined in! But then we’d always tried to live in the German community as much as possible, unlike many of my husband’s fellow-squaddies who avoided the locals. Both Julia and I spoke in German whenever the locals would allow us – Julia’s first full sentence was in that language. I was lucky in that my mother had had a German grandmother, and spoke German fluently. I used to get up early in the mornings to study the language before going to school every day.

        I admired the German federal system enormously – I’d studied it a little during my Geography degree (‘Political Geography’ was one of my areas of special study). It seemed to work so well with a President who was more of a figurehead, unifying the Landern which ran most of the day-to-day government, with an overarching Parliament and Chancellor. But I suspect I saw things in a very superficial way, through rose-tinted spectacles! (I’d also lived, after my degree, in both France and Italy, and spoke both those languages.)

        We went on from Germany to a three-year stint in Kenya, before returning to the UK. I would have preferred to return to another European country, but family members thought otherwise, so I’ve been domiciled in England for nearly forty years. I’ve watched it as it has declined from an outgoing senior position in a Commonwealth of nations to an inward-looking, blinkered intolerance that makes me cringe.

      3. Sean Danaher -

        My father was in Germany for two years 1937-1939 (July) doing a PhD and retained a strong attachment and fondness for the country despite being totally opposed to the Nazi regime. It was an extraordinary time. I spent a summer there in ’76 on an undergraduate placement and have returned many times both with work and leisure. Its not perfect but seems much better run than the UK. Brexit is a catastrophe. My big worry is that May has backed herself into a corner and she won’t be able to make a deal with the EU; indeed there are are many on the right of the Tory party who wanted a hard Brexit all along. I find it very sad that “Daily Mail” reading tranche of the population seem to be on the ascendant. At least Labour is dreaming big and hopefully can get the message across.

        Very troubling times

  3. Nick James -

    Off the point of this article, but, I believe, a very good thing, is the fact that real names, rather than aliases, have become the norm on this site.

    It really is stand and up and be counted time and the fact that no-one on here seems to be hiding gives me great heart…..because it only encourage others to behave in the same way.

    My sincere thanks to all who have decided to “out” themselves.

  4. Sean Danaher -

    its time to stand up and be counted I think. The downside of course is that the UK seems to be moving towards a totalitarian one party state; we may have a future together in a Gulag!

    1. Nick James -

      Sean, I feel exactly the same way!

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  6. Andrew Richardson -

    Delighted to have found this site, thanks to Richard Murphy.
    I’m a Brit have just spent 15 years in France, integration into the state systems easy. An excellent example of a Europe that worked.
    Now retired moved to Sweden integration into the state system next to impossible.
    Demands for private health insurance impossible to achieve.
    A burocratic nightmare .
    The world has changed, and not for the better.
    I find it frightening the way that extremes are gaining ground.
    Above all the way the UK is descending and values of freedom and tolerance disappearing harried by a more and more extreme right wing press.
    It is indeed time to stand up and not give up.

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