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Austerity – It’s Not Working and it’s Not Popular!

laaa-tall-smallJeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in the Labour leadership election was the clearest sign yet that not only is austerity not working, it’s increasingly not popular.

Before Jeremy’s entrance into the leadership race, on a clear anti-austerity platform that argued for a progressive alternative based on investment rather than cuts, the leadership campaign had begun with a gallop to the right to such a degree that the acid test seemed to have become whether you were willing to denounce New Labour’s spending as being too high!

The backdrop to this remarkable summer was of course Labour’s defeat at the General Election where the dominant media discourse was that the Tories had won a landslide victory and were impregnable. A Tory party which only got 24% of the vote and yet was implementing a viciously rightwing agenda seemed to be getting away with it, and the votes for parties standing on a clear anti-austerity message – the Greens and the remarkable SNP result in Scotland – were widely ignored.

As well as these votes for parties saying clearly they were against austerity, we saw a historic ‘End Austerity Now’ demonstration in June which even police figures suggested had 250,000 people on it.

Support for Jeremy was amazing from the moment he declared and took off further when the other three candidates abstained on the Welfare Bill. Across the labour movement, and across British society, this was a clear representation that more and more people are not prepared to adopt or support measures that would increase poverty.

The 100,000s of people who supported Jeremy and the 100,000s of people who have taken part in activities against austerity were also right to oppose the cuts on economic grounds – George Osborne’s economic agenda is not working. Whilst supporters of austerity have been talking as though it is, the latest data shows that’s clearly not the case. Industrial production is lower than May 2010 when the Tories came in and the current account deficit is also a record. Therefore Corbynomics is absolutely necessary; there’s no sign we’re getting out of this mess without Government investment rather than cuts.

At Labour Conference, not only did the Conference agree policies that started to set out a clear, popular alternative to austerity – including public ownership of the railways and the need for government intervention when markets fail – but also we saw how John McDonnell will be an excellent Shadow Chancellor and lay down the gauntlet to George Osborne on the key issues.

We now need to defend Jeremy’s leadership against distorting media attacks and continue to build the People’s Assembly Against Austerity movement – and its Labour wing, the Labour Assembly Against Austerity – and work for the anti-austerity Labour Government we so desperately need.

Conference: A Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Saturday 14 November, Institute of Education , Bedford Way, London.

A vital event to discuss how Labour can win the argument against austerity and build the anti-cuts movement in the period, with: John McDonnell MP, Diane Abbott MP, Clive Lewis MP, Ann Pettifor, Katy Clark & Steve Turner, co-chairs Labour Assembly Against Austerity plus more – put the date in your diary today!

Information & register at http://labourassemblyagainstausterity.org.uk/

3 Comments

  1. David Pavett says:

    the leadership campaign had begun with a gallop to the right to such a degree that the acid test seemed to have become whether you were willing to denounce New Labour’s spending as being too high!

    I voted for Corbyn and I am glad that I did so but let’s keep the record straight and not just make up stuff. Yvette Cooper specifically rejected the claim that Labour overspent.

    And can we please, please have links to the evidence for substantial claims like “Industrial production is lower than May 2010 when the Tories came in”. I believe it is true but is that supposed to be something that we take on trust, or perhaps something for which everyone knows the evidence already?

    If the left is going to provide Corbyn and his PLP backers with the support they need then this will require high standards of journalism for our published material.

  2. Jim says:

    Austerity is not popular, funny how the 33% of those who didn’t vote in May,didn’t vote SNP or green?

  3. David Ellis says:

    Agree with David. The left have scant regard for truth since the cancer of Stalinism entered the blood stream. They plagiarise and lie as good as any Tory.

    Anyway austerity is working. It is bailing out the super rich and corporations who ploughed all their money into the bankers’ Ponzi Scam. Of course this is at the cost of the real economy but hey this is class war not a fucking picnic. As for Labour’s spending it was within the normal tolerances but at the cost of placing the state and the nation in complete and utter hoc to the crooks in the City of London. Like some foolish Maoist Mandelson said to the bankers `get rich and pay your taxes’ giving their little money printing legalised theft operation the green light and total legitimacy. New Labour fucked this country by failing to take on the rich and in fact empowering them more than they have ever been empowered before.

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