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'If Labour do not offer real change, it will be the radical right that picks up the pieces' – LabourList


The election is in full swing and at Momentum we haven’t been idle. Our key priority at this election is to get socialist and trade unionist Labour candidates elected, candidates who will stand up for our party’s founding values and the transformative change Britain is crying out for.

Our activists are out across the country knocking doors for candidates such as Zarah Sultana and Olivia Blake, and we have numerous campaign days planned for coming weeks.

We welcome policies in the manifesto such as ending tax breaks for private schools, public ownership of rail and the repealing of anti-union laws such as the atrocious Minimum Services Bill as part of a New Deal for Working People.

But we need to be clear: what has broken Britain is not just the Tories’ incompetence, but their ideology, policies, and the interests they have privileged. We cannot restore our NHS to health without funding. We cannot clean up our rivers or meaningfully cut our utility bills without public ownership. We cannot end the housing crisis without abolishing right to buy, implementing rent controls and investing in council house building. We cannot lift children out of poverty without scrapping the two-child benefit cap and rolling out free school meals for all. We cannot tackle the crisis in our higher education system without tackling the root cause of marketisation.

‘Labour needs to make different fiscal choices’

As we explained in a new video with economist Grace Blakeley, Labour needs to make different fiscal choices, instead of parroting the falsehood that ‘there is no money left’. That means implementing new taxes not on working people, but on wealth. Labour’s manifesto completely dodges that question, limiting Labour’s revenue raising and thus committing only to increases in public spending that are ‘tiny, going on trivial’ in the words of the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Likewise, we cannot restore trust in politics without political reform, nor restore a healthy public sphere without repealing the Tories’ authoritarian attacks on our democratic freedoms, from voter ID to attacks on the right to protest to the demonisation of migrants and refugees, which Labour’s leadership has sadly been complicit in.

If we as Labour do not offer real change it will be a radical right that picks up the pieces, whether Farage, Braverman or someone else. The rise of the far right in France and Germany in the European elections tells us exactly that.

‘The party now has to fight battles in seats that should have been easy wins’

Unfortunately, Labour’s campaign has been damaged from the outset by the deselection of Faiza Shaheen and the attempted removal of Diane Abbott. Alongside the anti-democratic blocking of Jeremy Corbyn and the parachuting in of Starmerite loyalists to safe seats including, incredibly, five members of the NEC, these cases embody the destructive and damaging impact of the leadership’s approach to Parliamentary selections. Certainly, the backlash to Labour seen in parts of our urban heartlands in the local elections will not be helped by the gifting of a safe seat to a dedicated lobbyist for Israel with a history of offensive comments and stances, nor by the leadership’s continuing refusal to commit to an arms embargo on Israel.

As a result of these continued attacks on the rights of members to choose their candidates the party now has to fight gruelling battles in seats that should have been easy wins, and division and disaffection has spread across grassroots activists across the Labour Party. It might seem that this doesn’t matter, given Labour’s 20 point lead and the utter implosion of Rishi Sunak’s campaign. But when the going gets tough for Labour in government, a committed base will be key.

That’s why Momentum activists are getting out on the Labour doorstep now, prioritising support for socialist and trade unionist candidates, and will keep fighting after the election for a democratic and socialist Labour Party as the best hope of achieving the transformative change in Britain. So we fight against the Tories now – and then for a Labour government that delivers for working people.


Find out more through our wider  2024 Labour party manifesto coverage so far…

OVERVIEW:

Manifesto launch: Highlights, reaction and analysis as it happened

Full manifesto costs breakdown – and how tax and borrowing fund it

The key manifesto policy priorities in brief

Manifesto NHS and health policies – at a glance

Manifesto housing policy – at a glance

Manifesto Palestine policy – at a glance

Manifesto immigration policies – at a glance

ANALYSIS AND REACTION:

‘The manifesto’s not perfect, but at the launch you could feel change is coming’

 IPPR: ‘Labour’s manifesto is more ambitious than the Ming vase strategy suggests’

‘Victory will be short-lived unless Labour fixes broken services with proper funding and public ownership’

Socialist Health Association warns Labour under-funding risks NHS ‘decline’

 ‘The manifesto shows a new centrism, with the state key driving growth’

 Fabians: ‘This a substantial core offer, not the limit of Labour ambition’

 ‘No surprises, but fear not: Labour manifesto is the start, not the end’

 ‘What GB energy will do and why we desperately need it’

 ‘Labour’s health policies show a little-noticed radicalism’

 GMB calls manifesto ‘vision of hope’ but Unite says ‘not enough’

 IFS: Manifesto doesn’t raise enough cash to fund ‘genuine change’

 Watch as Starmer heckled by protestor with ‘youth deserve better’ banner

POLICY NEWS:

 Labour vows to protect green belt despite housebuilding drive

 Manifesto commits to Brexit and being ‘confident’ outside EU

 Labour to legislate on New Deal within 100 days – key policies breakdown 

 Labour to give 16-year-olds right to vote

 Starmer says ‘manifesto for wealth creation’ will kickstart growth


Read more of our 2024 general election coverage here.

If you have anything to share that we should be looking into or publishing about this or any other topic involving Labour or about the election, on record or strictly anonymously, contact us at [email protected]

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