The ferocious beast of so called free market capitalism needs to be put on a leash before it devours all around it, including our planet.
Britain’s Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has now emphatically signalled that they will do just that. Actually, "free market" is a misnomer — a more accurate name would be crony capitalism, where corporate profits are privatised and losses are socialised.
The country now has a choice between two distinct visions. On the one side, we have free-market economics espoused by the Tories, where the market is king and can do no wrong. On the other, we have Labour saying we don’t agree, the market is not working fairly for the majority of our citizens and we will take action to correct that. Whatever one’s political allegiances, this is good for democracy.
The mantra of the Labour Party – “FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW” – is resonating with an increasing number of our citizens in spite of most mainstream media going into overdrive to smear Jeremy Corbyn and frighten the people. The electorate have seen free-market economics acting as a giant vacuum cleaner sucking the wealth of the nation upwards to the top 1% and impoverishing the rest.
Here is Jeremy Corbyn in his excellent Labour Party conference speech of how Labour will transform Britain:
And Ten years after the global financial crash the Tories still believe in the same dogmatic mantra — deregulate, privatise, cut taxes for the wealthy, weaken rights at work, delivering profits for a few, and debt for the many. Nothing has changed. It’s as if we’re stuck in a political and economic time-warp.
As the Financial Times put it last month our “financial system still looks a lot like the pre-crisis one” and the capitalist system still faces a “crisis of legitimacy”, stemming from the crash.
Now is the time that government took a more active role in restructuring our economy. Now is the time that corporate boardrooms were held accountable for their actions, And now is the time that we developed a new model of economic management to replace the failed dogmas of neo-liberalism … That is why Labour is looking not just to repair the damage done by austerity but to transform our economy with a new and dynamic role for the public sector, particularly where the private sector has evidently failed.
Take the water industry. Of the nine water companies in England, six are now owned by private equity or foreign sovereign wealth funds. Their profits are handed out in dividends to shareholders while the infrastructure crumbles the companies pay little or nothing in tax and executive pay has soared as the service deteriorates.
That is why we are committed to taking back our utilities into public ownership to put them at the service of our people and our economy and stop the public being ripped off.
Of course, there is much more that needs to be done. Our National Investment Bank… and the Transformation Fund will be harnessed to mobilise public investment to create wealth and good jobs.
I am a member of the Green Party. I find the direction of travel of Corbyn’s Labour party and its policies music to my ears, though I would have liked to see more emphasis on environmental protection — we need to protect our environment as well as our workers. Greater commitment to renewable energy to combat climate change would also enhance Labour’s progressive policies.
Additionally, Jeremy Corbyn has made the Labour party more democratic. Now he needs to take the next step to make the country’s electoral system more representative of the nation’s views. Our first past the post electoral system is not fit for purpose and its time we moved to some form of proportional representation.
I hope Labour who are considering the issue will endorse some form of proportional representation with the caveat “of maintaining the constituency link” as Jeremy Corbyn puts it.
And until that happens, why not embrace a progressive alliance to ensure that a dogma driven Tory party will not govern Britain in the future.
The country has had enough of the Tories’ free-market economics and it is looking forward to a fairer, more caring Britain led by Corbyn’s Labour Party, supported by the country’s progressives.
Dr Adnan Al-Daini (PhD from Birmingham University, UK) is a retired university engineering lecturer living on the UK. You can follow him on Twitter @respect65. This story was originally published in the Huffington Post and has been republished at the author's request.
Subscribe to IA. It's renewable!