What the Next Labour Leader Should Say…

by Charlie_East_West on May 18, 2015

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As Labour faces an existential crisis after a disastrous general election, we now have four months of hand wringing as Labour make the important decision of choosing their next Leader and Deputy Leader.

This new appointment is possibly the most important decision of the history of the Labour Party. At present, Labour are in tatters. Scotland has been lost. The North of England are suspicious. The South of England has become a Tory reich. Labour are in real danger of terminal decline.

Already there appears to be turf war within the Labour Party with polarised factions trying to lurch Labour to the centre-right or left. As I previously mentioned, this is a false war. What Labour desperately needs is a group of individuals running the party who develop a new ideological set of principles that remain true to the founding values of Labour, that connect with their core voter and that offer a new progressive direction for the country.

Labour needs to create a rebooted template but also always remembering to articulate their vision in a clear and easy to understand way – something that was tragically way beyond Ed Miliband. Cutting to the chase, Labour needs to be so completely clear in its message that the public completely understands what the hell they stand for. Failure to do so, may result in the slow death of the Labour Party

So what should the new Labour leader’s 2020 vision be?

Andy Burnham is likely to be next Labour leader. He needs to set out a clear vision towards 2020, from day one.

In his first speech as Labour leader at the Party Conference he should say something along the lines of:

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“Thank you conference.

It is an honour and a privilege to be elected as Labour Party leader. It is a position that comes with great responsibility, humility and significance.

It is also a position provides a great opportunity within the most challenging of set of circumstances.

As a party and as your leader, together we must seize the moment. We must be clear right from the start about who we are, what we want to be and most importantly, how we can offer Britain a new and enlightened progressive direction. So rather than wait until tomorrow, today marks the start of our 2020 vision for our party and for the country.

So, today is the day that Britain got its Labour Party back. While I recognise the qualities within our recent leaders – the humility of Ed Miliband, the diligence of Gordon Brown and the dynamism of Tony Blair, it is also time to recognise that what is required in 2020 is very different to what was required in 1997. Britain needs to be connected with these requirements. The Labour Party therefore, has a duty to connect these requirements with the public. This is our core aim between 2015-2020 – to provide the country with a clear understanding of our 2020 vision for Britain.

First of all, we will no longer support the perceived wisdom that austerity is working or indeed, required. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation recently warned that tax rises, swingeing welfare cuts and wage freezes will push over 7 million children below the breadline in the next two years. It is time to expose the lie is that there is no alternative to austerity. There are real, radical, yet sensible alternatives to austerity but very few people articulating them in parliament or in the media – that’s where we come come in.

Our 2020 vision, above all else, aims to end austerity. That will be our number one priority. It is time to end the hardship and unjust brutality of Tory cuts.

In the past five years, austerity has undermined our public services, lowered the living standards of working people, pushed more children into poverty and held back our economic growth. It hasn’t even succeeded in meeting Tory objectives. Over the last parliament, George Osborne has missed all of his own fiscal targets and the national debt has now doubled from £750billion to £1.5trillion since the Tories came into power in 2010.

When a policy is failing, it is time to change it. It is my intention to provide a progressive alternative to austerity between now and 2020.

This is a chance for society to come together and take a stand against the harmful ideology which claims austerity is essential, that public is bad and private is good, and that everything from our health service to education to local authorities is little more than a venture capitalists playground to be exploited for profit over public needs.

– Austerity should not be about punishing the poor because of the mistakes of the banks. Austerity should be about punishing the banks for the mistakes of the banks.

– Austerity should not be about demonising the so-called “benefit scrounger”. Austerity should be about demonstrating that anyone who fails to provide accountability or fair play in their tax revenue provision to the state will be penalised and targeted. It will be a priority of any Labour government to find ways to claw back tbe £70bn in lost annual revenues due to tax evasion.

– Austerity should not be about slashing public services under the auspices of trimming the deficit. Austerity should be about protecting and enhancing our public services by clawing back revenues from corporate tax avoidance, a fair set of financial transaction taxes and misuse of public funds such as Trident.

– Trident should be scrapped. Again, this represents a clear change in direction for the Labour Party, but is one that reflects our ideological heritage against nuclear weapons and reflects a need to stop paying out on expensive imperialistic war games when the money could be better spent on providing public services that reflect the common good.

– We will also ensure that our NHS and state education are funded properly. We aspire to having the best state health service and education system in the world. To achieve this will cost money. If that means raising income tax to pay for it, then so be it.

– We will ensure that our oil revenues are no longer squandered on tax cuts for the rich. Instead, we will look towards our friends in the North – Norway, and set up a sovereign oil wealth fund. This fund will help to provide a shelter against a rainy day.

– I also want to reach out and put our hands across the border. We have lost the trust of the Scottish people. We get that. It will take time to rebuild this trust. I would therefore like to announce that one of the first things a Labour government would do is to give full fiscal autonomy to the Scottish Government.

– On the EU Referendum, it will now be the policy of the Labour Party to agree to an in/out Referendum. This issue needs to be decided upon for once and for all. But, Labour will advocate that Britain says within the EU.

Our new values and principles reflect our heritage, but also reflect our future. It is not about being left-wing or right-wing. It is about being progressive, and in tune with a set of values that the people can relate to in this day and age.

We have a platform of opposition in Parliament. A right to challenge destructive Tory legislation. We will continue to speak up for those with no-one else to represent them. We will hold the government to account. We aim to show that you can be a force for good in politics. The voices of the people rather than the the guilded elite will be heard and always voiced by the Labour Party.

Today marks the start of a new path for Labour. It represents a walk back towards the founding principles of our great party, but it also represents a walk towards a more progressive conversation with the British people – about the aspirations, challenges and need for a new direction for our great country.

Our new vision will be based around four key principles – Freedom. Equality. Community. Democracy. We will challenge and scrutinise any Tory legislation that contravenes any of these four principles.

The Labour Party will stand up for the people’s interests and always fight your corner.

That is my promise.

We will face enormous pressures get our progressive voice heard. We face continued pressures from a predominantly right-wing media who will take every opportunity to undermine us. But, we must not waver.

So to everyone who, like me, wants today to mark the start of the real and positive change that will make life better for ordinary people across the country, I hold out a hand of friendship. But, I also hold out the hand of empowerment.

– We must connect with people across the country to get our message across.

– We must reconnect with disenfranchised individuals and communities.

– We must provide the opportunity for hope rather than fear.

That is why I am announcing the launch of a new Labour Party affiliate organisation called “Labour Progressives” which will enable people across the country to participate and engage in our 2020 vision.

So, today marks the start of our fightback. We are the Labour Party – the progressive party for the people.”

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Stasi May 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm

What the Next Labour Leader Should Say…

only if Comrade Len agrees

Reply

Alx w May 19, 2015 at 6:15 am

Talking about punishing banks is closing the stable door especially if we are looking to 2020. Instead how about: ensuring banks are correctly regulated, with our role in government to work with banks so that they support a strong and stable economy not undermine and wreck it. We will help banks rediscover their civic responsibility and role in helping business grow and if they do not want this, then we shall ensure that through cooperative banks, mutual building societies and if needed and national bank the nation is provided with it.

Reply

Eddie Kaye May 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

True Alx. The Blair administration (much like the Clinton mob over the pond) were totally blinded by the golden egg the banks laid for them. Not to complain – its all OK when times were good. Unfortunately, it precluded any increase in regulation before the inevitable happened.

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