Have you had a look at the detail of Labour’s manifesto (click here ) for the 2017 General Election. It’s extremely good. Who knew?
At 122 pages it’s a long read.. maybe that’s why there’s been less coverage of the overall manifesto than there should have been. Here’s my precis of some of the key points:
- A UK wide constitutional convention, to engage the UK in wide consultation about improving the way our democracy works.
- A progressive energy and environmental strategy, targetting 60% energy from renewables by 2030, investment in renewable infrastructure, no fracking, banning neonicotinoid insecticides which threaten the bee population, reductions in one-use plastic waste, clean air strategy … many other positive policies.
- Credible economic investment and taxation polices underpinned by a Fiscal Credibility Rule, policed by the independent scrutiny of the Office for Budget Responsibility
- A £20bn Scottish Investment Bank to invest in infrastructural improvements, part of a similar UK wide investment policy, linked to a restructuring of our financial services based around the Nordic model.
- Respect for socially responsible business and graduated taxation of business, reflecting the needs of small business to reinvest.
- Moderate tax increases for those able to pay to ensure books are balanced and in equality does not rise to levels which threaten social cohesion.
- Changed priorities within the Brexit negotiations to ensure that UK remains in the customs union, has access to the single market, maintains important EU employment and environmental protections and maintains international academic co-operation through University and HE collaborative research and teaching
- Investment in cultural capital (a major earner for the UK) in media, arts and creative industries.
- Commitment to working in partnership internationally, on issues of defence, security and positive international relationships – with a continuing commitment to investment in international development to improve the lives of the poorest and work towards achieving the UN’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.
- All of this alongside all the usual Labour commitments, as you would expect, to improved health care, educational investment, dignity in old age, equalities and so on …..
It’s a surprisingly good package, well presented within an overall umbrella of Labour values – to build a strong sustainable society, based on democratic values of equality (not absolute equality no person to fall below a threshold level), individual freedom and agency, and social and environmental sustainability. It is the most socially progressive of any of the parties (save the Greens) and contains significantly larger environmental commitments than previous Labour manifestos, reflecting a recognition that long-term economic and social justice demands a sustainable approach.
Have a read (here) ! Go on! It’s not what you might expect, given what the media have been saying so far. You might actually like it!