Manuel Cortes: There is nothing Marxist in this manifesto – so let’s defend Labour’s popular policies from the right-wing media

16th May, 2017 11:00 am

Today, our party has put in front of the British people the most ambitious programme since 1945. Just like then, Labour is promising a new economic settlement which will work in the interests of the many. The only people who should fear a Labour government are billionaires, tax dodgers and unscrupulous bosses. Working people have everything to gain from our offer.

We will set aside more than three decades of market fundamentalism by recognising that the state is not a passive instrument and we will once again mobilise its power to reduce inequality, end the scandal of tax dodging, build homes, channel investment and run natural monopolies in the interests of people rather than profits and to re-industrialise our country.

This is hardly Marxism – just pure and simple Keynesianism within our mixed economy. No more will our party ride the neo-liberal dragon expecting to somehow tame its worse excesses.

Make no mistake, Labour’s programme is transformative in a way not seen since 1945 or, Thatcher’s counter-revolution. We know our policies are overwhelmingly popular. Our challenge between now and June 8, is to turn the debate in our country away from Brexit onto the bread and butter issues which our policies tackle.

The polls tell us this will be a Herculean task but they are also saying that our manifesto commitments, on a raft of issues, have huge majorities in favour.

Churchill, having led our country to victory over the Nazis expected an easy electoral victory in 1945. Unlike May, he could claim – with some foundation – strong and stable leadership. Yet, Labour insurgents pipped him to the post and it was Attlee’s Labour who went on to deliver the strong and stable foundations which made our country more equal and fairer until Thatcher’s counter-revolution started to dismantle our historic project.

It’s 72 years since Herbert Morrison’s manifesto, Let Us Face the Future, laid out the policies that would pave the way for our electoral victory and the transformation of our country. It was vilified by the Beaverbrook press.

Today’s manifesto is as ambitious as Morrison’s. Like his, it will receive vilification from the right-wing media and the establishment. That’s why it’s our job between now and polling day to campaign like hell – from doorsteps to workplaces, family dinners to football terraces – on our strong policy platform and persuade the voters to do the rest to make Britain in 2017 a country governed in the interests of the many not the few. Let’s take the fight to the Tories and give them a bloody nose!

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