Monday 27 March 2017

Cohen’s Assertion Is Laughable

The Observer did not print my letter, or anyone else’s, in response to Nick Cohen, preferring this. But here it is:

The fact that Jeremy Corbyn is the Leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition is the reason why Theresa May is even talking about workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, shareholders’ control over executive pay, restrictions on pay differentials within companies, an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, greatly increased housebuilding, action against tax avoidance, a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, a cap on energy prices, banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, and banning unpaid internships. 

Two years ago, the only politicians advocating all but one of those were Corbyn and John McDonnell, while the energy price cap, proposed by Ed Miliband, was being screamed down by the people whom Nick Cohen wishes were now running the Labour Party. Those people, including most Labour MPs, are well to the right of the Prime Minister. Cohen’s assertion is laughable that an unnamed Cabinet Minister “and George Osborne used to worry about how Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna would strike back against their austerity programme.” 

Corbyn has won two Leadership Elections as the only candidate to the left of May, opposing the austerity programme while having also opposed every British military intervention of the last 20 years, that period’s privatisation of the NHS and other public services, its persecution of the disabled, its assaults on civil liberties, its prostration to Saudi Arabia, and its demonisation of Russia. All of those have happened continuously since 1997, under the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and New Labour alike.

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