Corbyn’s coming campaign

Momentum is organising support on the ground to get the Corbyn vote out, and so it should. Jeremy Corbyn’s priority should be different. He should tour the country talking to the public as well as members and supporters, making the case for a politics sharply distinguished from the conventional wisdom of Angela Eagle and the tax-and-spend anti-austerity of Owen. What should be the core of his message? Here is what I think:

[1] Radical reform of capital markets to reverse the trend to financialisation, to restrict the scope for speculation and reward investment (ban share buy-back by companies and other blatantly speculative financial trading that distorts the market, complete separation of retail and investment banking, all major public and private investment projects to meet a new test of social usefulness, measures to prevent companies holding huge cash reserves that feed speculation).

[2] Radical reform of the labour market to ban zero-hour contracts, rigorously enforce minimum wages and good working conditions, with new obligations on employers to provide training and career patterns, and new rights for employees to union representation and representation on company boards.

[3] Radical reform of taxation to simplify the system, close tax havens, introduce wealth taxes, substitute a land tax for council tax, and place an obligation on companies to show how they were meeting their tax liabilities, not rely on the HMRC to catch them out.

[4] A National Investment Bank and joint enterprise to put investment and new regulatory powers behind an industrial strategy to restructure and re-balance industry and services. Nationalise industries that are an effective monopoly and/or provide goods and services essential to life which must necessarily be universal.

In the EU referendum debate people said they wanted to regain control, to regain sovereignty. Many thought they could do it with border controls but they can’t. The things that make many lives difficult or downright intolerable are here already. Democratic control of the means of making a living is where people will find answers.

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