Fuelling the Tank: Corbyn-Economics Explained

Fuelling the Tank: Corbyn-Economics Explained

Are Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies really built around a money-tree manifesto or are his plans for the British economy actually based on sound logic?

In recent weeks, Jez’s campaign to win the 2017 General Election has seemingly broken new ground. In short, this is likely due to the fact that the Corbyn-team’s policy proposals contain more substance than the vapid soundbites of the weak and wobbly Theresa May.

Yet, as they always have been, Labour has been dogged by accusations of economic incompetence throughout the last few months.

The other day, one of my best mates in his mid-twenties told me that he would be voting for the first time in his life because he felt that Corbyn was honest and had good intentions for the country. A few days later, he said: “I’ve seen bits of the manifesto now and think it’s great, but I want to know how Jezza is planning on costing it all.”

What I found most frustrating about this is that my first-time voter friend had found the Labour manifesto appealing but had then dismissed it, using a phrase that I had heard being used by the Beeb earlier that day.

Why, but why, is the ‘costing’ of the Tory manifesto not being scrutinised to the same extent?

This is particularly annoying because I unreservedly think that Labour has put forward a more coherent economic plan than the Tories. And, I will tell you why.

Jez’s Labour has never claimed it’s just going to borrow money, pay to raise living standards and hope it all works out for the best. Firstly, as he keeps reminding us, he has showed where the money will come from every step of the way. Labour’s not only done this, but as I want to argue, come up with a long-term economic growth strategy too.

At the end of the day, in any modern commercial state, it all comes down to tax. A large, growing economy has more wealth, which can be used to pay for the assets that guarantee a basic living standard for all citizens. One of Labour’s most sensible proposals is to start investing in British entrepreneurs and so stimulate economic growth.

If government cash is made available to potential business owners, even just as low-or-no-interest loans, then you’re more likely to have more potential wealth-creators taking risks, starting enterprises and making jobs for the rest of us. Investment makes growth, which in turn raises employment. With more people in work, there’s more people whose income can be taxed to pay for the original government investment and other state initiatives.

Say I want to build and sell a new type of solar-panelled motor that I know how to manufacture, but can’t afford to make. If the government steps in and gives me the cash I need to pay for the parts, I can make it without worrying about high-interest bank repayments and make a profit on the sale. Now, I have got a taste for it. So, I go out and make more. Only this time it’s too much work for one person. What do I do? I hire someone to give me a hand. Eventually: my business is growing, I have paid the government back and I have made five, six, seven, twenty jobs for people living in and around the local community.

My example of solar-panelled cars is purely hypothetical because I’m no scientist. But Jez’s national investment fund would make something like this completely possible.

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Fair do’s, but where does the money come from for a Jezza government to invest in these innovators and small-business-sorts in the first place?

It is a fact that Britain holds the world’s fifth largest economy. It should almost be without question that there is an overabundance of untapped wealth in this country that can be used to make an investment fund like the one I just described. So, we just need to get the ball rolling by taxing the individual billionaires and market-strangling corporations that already exist in the UK.

Inject a bit of fuel into the tank and off it goes.

“Ah,” heckles someone at the back, “higher taxes on the rich just scare away the talented.”

Well, in response, I’d simply state that this idea is a bit of a neoliberal myth with little factual basis.

For one thing, only the very, very stupid would start up a company and then decide to close-shop because of a change in government policy. There’s less capital to be lost by paying your taxes then by turning tail and running away. Who on earth would want to leave home and start-again, when there’s a living to be made locally?

What’s more, those too rich to feel unchallenged clearly enjoy a positon that they shouldn’t. Yeah, it’s undemocratic when one organisation gets to choose who in a community gets a wage and who doesn’t. But do the wealthiest coffee places even produce the best, cheapest coffee or are they just stopping those that do from getting to the top because their riches are so entrenched?

“Ah,” heckles the same fella, “but you’ve forgotten that Corbyn is a socialist that wants to nationalise the railways and bring us back into the past.”

In reality, it’s a little more complicated than that.

We can all agree that there are essential services that we all need in order to live. Water. Gas. Electricity. We could probably include transport in that list. But these same essential services are also needed to allow businesses to flourish.

For argument’s sake, if Britain just put these essential services into public ownership then we would benefit up-and-coming or already-established entrepreneurs just as much as families. Everybody needs electric and everybody needs to get from a-to-b sometimes. Since we know this is true, why not take the fat-cat element out of the equation and stop private companies making huge sums of money without bothering to provide a decent commodity in the first place.

Make, for instance, cheaper, more accessible trains and businesses can jump from London to Manchester more easily. This way, they can grow and spread their profits from community-to-community.

This is what Jezza’s Labour is offering.

Investment. Growth. More jobs. More wealth. And, therefore, more money to spend on making Britain better. More money to pay for the investment in the first place. More money to spend on our kids’ education, grandparents’ care and those that are in need along the way.

What are the Tories offering?

Vote for Conservative and you’re voting for less prosperity. The self-described defenders of free trade and capitalism have failed on their own terms. The Tories have offered nothing but cuts to public services, made tempting by shaky, untrustworthy promises of lower taxation. Cameron and May have taken Britain down the road of austerity for ideological reasons and not because of economic necessities. The Tories fear making elites paying their fair share or collecting unpaid taxes because it would alienate their party bankrollers. It’s only the establishment, like the Tories’ chums in City finance that have gained from them punishing the rest of us with austerity.

The reward of their greed and short-sightedness has been slow growth, the creation of unsteady, unstable jobs and widespread poverty.

If given the opportunity, it’s completely possible that May would walk away from the European leaders around the Brexit negotiating table as she has threatened to do if she doesn’t get whatever it is that she wants from them. Should she be allowed this, Britain could lose vast amounts of trade with its closest neighbours.

If this happens, do you really think the rest of the world will be queuing up outside our door? Isn’t it more likely, that other states would seek to out-compete us and take advantage of our uncertain global position?

Jez’s team understands this. That’s why his Brexit agenda prioritises securing jobs and mutually beneficial trade relations with Europe.

A vote for May is a vote for half-baked economic planning and an uncertain future. A vote for Jezza is a vote for growth in the interest of the many, not the few.

 

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Big up JC and the Psychedelic Brain Monsters!

Big up JC and the Psychedelic Brain Monsters!

It’s time to reap the rewards of all that snowballing momentum behind your electrifying, grassroots social movement, Jezza.

We’re all rooting for you, buddy. I am fully confident that you’re going to save us from another five years of Tory domination. Thatcher royally fucked us up our collective British arsehole in the space of ten years. Give this lot half that time and we may never get over the Brussels-sized haemorrhoid known as Brexit.

Alright, fair, it’s not gonna be easy if your squad don’t get on-side. Admittedly, I can imagine that right now the average Labour conference has an atmosphere about as toxic as the average home game at the Arsenal. Wenger Out! Corbyn In! Right? True, your both as snappy with the press when it comes to awkward questions. But out of the two there’s never been any doubt regarding your management skills during crisis situations, has there Jez?

Either way, I have stuck by you both over the years. Red Army all the way. There was never any doubt about giving you my vote during your leadership elections. Leftie firebrand red head sponsoring a socialist candidate in a country that couldn’t stomach Red Ed, they said.

Confession: I wavered a little bit the second time. I know, I know. Weren’t gonna vote at all after the chicken coup. What’s the point endorsing someone who can’t strategize his way out of a corner let alone shoot to score, I had begun to think. Power’s not the be all and end all, my mates in Sheffield reassured me. Blairite sell-out, they called me. You can have political and ideological impact outside of office, they reminded me. It’s not always about winning all the time so long as you stay in the Premiership. Or something like that.

These encouraging thoughts filled my belly with fire… I mean it could have been the whiskey, but I like to think it was faith in the cause. One way or the other, I got into several drunken rows in Camden over how much of a bell-end any Labour Party member was who opposed you. Could also have been the ten-foot mural describing JC as the people’s champ subliminally seeping into my noggin on the way through town.

Hate to say it, Jez, but I think that mural’s the best bit of campaign literature I have seen come out of Labour for some time now… and I think the guy who graffitied it also painted the psychedelic brain monsters around the corner.

In fact, fella, since we’re being honest with one another… we can both pretty much count on Labour getting obliterated when this election comes up in a few months. Don’t look at me like that mate! I know it’s going to hurt when they spend a decade or two using Labour’s utter defeat to discredit socialism and make any vaguely left-wing notion look completely fucking stupid despite how practical, logical or commonsensical it might actually be.

Yeah, you’re probably right. It’s the media. As a matter of fact, the Left is always gonna be screwed over by parliamentary democracy. It’s all that hegemonic ideological power in the hands of the Establishment.

That’s what it’ll be. That’s the reason you’re not gonna win, m’fraid Jez.

Although. I mean. Lately, I have been having this niggling feeling that the failure of the democratic process is actually down to the fact that, at core, people are horrible, racist, misogynistic, homophobic cunts.

Ha. Guess that makes me part of the metropolitan elite. Enemy of the people, they’ll say. Ah well. In that case, since I am there now, I might as well go and have a cuppa in the house I’ll never afford or a drive in the car I’ll never own all thanks to that decent paying job I’ll never have. There’s nothing like the sweet smell of unsuccessful capitalism to make you forget about silly things like the West’s ever-ballooning refugee crisis and all the bombs that Trump’s about to drop on China or Korea or Mexico or Germany or whichever one it was.

Never mind, hey Jez. Wenger’s been fucking up for years now too and they still keep renewing his contract.

Red Army all the way.

Westminster’s Game of Thrones

Westminster’s Game of Thrones

As media hacks pecked at the bones of Ed Balls’s political carcass on that chilling May morning in 2015, King Cameron emerged triumphantly on to the centre-stage. Through a campaign of fear-mongering and misdirection, he had slayed all of his enemies. Against all expectations and in one fell swoop, the heads of Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage and even Cameron’s erstwhile ally Nick Clegg had all been mounted on pikes outside Whitehall. Despite David Cameron’s slim parliamentary majority, the scale of his victory left many commentators dumbfounded throughout the land. Right up until that bloodcurdling exit poll had been revealed, when in my mind at least the Tory theme tune had started playing eerily in the background, many had expected a hung parliament. Yet, King Cam had simply blasted half of Westminster away. Of course, King Cam was not the only victor that day. Nicola Sturgeon’s brave forces had also helped to carve out her new, would-be independent, Kingdom in the North as well.  Having personally feared but expected this outcome, I reminded all friends via raven that: ‘When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.’ Well, actually, I think it may have been via Twitter – but you get the idea…

With what has seemed like a brutal bloodletting in British politics over the past two years, I think that I can be allowed to indulge in a little bit more unashamed geekery. As I see it, the parallels between HBO’s highly decorated TV series and recent BBC news coverage are too compelling to miss. Admittedly, the sex scenes aren’t as entertaining in the latter. But the betrayals and beheadings have been equally as fun to watch. Though, of course, they can be both soul-destroying or exhilarating dependent on what House you are rooting for.

So far, 2016 has provided political drama aplenty. In true sci-fi or epic fantasy fashion, one character was resurrected from the dead with Nigel Farage leading the charge to bring down Cameron’s cosy castle. Tory traitor BoJo bolstered the Brexit army, leaving King Cam with little wiggle room to defend his territories. In the end, however, King Cam had ensured his own political suicide by calling the EU referendum far too early. I wonder how close he came, once he heard that the Brexiters had won, to jumping out of his own bedroom window at Number 10? Poetic justice? At least he wasn’t drunk and killed by a pig… I mean a boar.

Now, Winter has truly come and not solely due to global warming. We have been set adrift from Europe and Britain has become a colder, lonelier place as a result. Worse still, Jeremy Corbyn the people’s hero has been stabbed outside the Walls of Labour HQ. We will probably have to wait until next season to find out whether he survives or not. Rumour has it that he’s already been seen on set, but these are unconfirmed.

Amidst all the high-speed action sequences, we may almost not have noticed Queen Theresa May ascending to Westminster’s Iron Throne. In scenes of butchery that would have impressed even Queen Cersei Lannister herself, Queen Theresa snatched away George Osborne’s axe in order to use it and cut him down to size. Shame. Now she sits atop her throne, imperiously gazing out across her conquered lands with eyes shrewdly fixed on Nicola of the North. We would be as foolish as Andrea Leadsom or as short-sighted as the Tyrells to assume that, like Cersei, Queen Theresa is not a tyrannical force to be reckoned with. Wily enough to steer clear of the Brexit uprising but free from European restraints or protocol, Queen Theresa is free to wreak havoc with social justice and civil liberties. To my despair, I have seen no dragon-riding Queen set to fly in to our rescue. If there is one certainty, it is that Britain’s current political landscape looks dark and full of terrors.