Finally, a Labour manifesto to really get behind | Letters
Nationalising rail and energy, protecting the NHS and education and tighter regulation of big business are exactly what Labour should be focusing on, say readers
The leaked release of the Labour party election manifesto (Report, 11 May) has prompted predicable claims from the right that Jeremy Corbyn wants to take the country back to the 1970s, forgetting to mention that this was a time when corporations and high earners contributed a fairer share to the public purse and we had a functioning welfare state and regulated public utilities providing essential services. The Conservatives are also pushing to return to the 70s, the 1770s, and Adam Smith’s manifesto for market fundamentalism, The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. Smith believed that market transactions were governed by a hidden guiding hand that moderated selfishness and, freed from government restraint, business always operated in the public interest. He was tragically mistaken. As recent experience confirms, without strong regulation, progressive taxation and a vibrant public sector, unscrupulous corporations will take the money and run, avoiding tax, exploiting workers, overcharging customers and demanding savage cuts to welfare and public services to pay for their mistakes. The coming election offers us a stark choice between two histories and two futures.
Professor of culture and economy, Loughborough University
• The Guardian has (Editorial, 10 May) continued its long-running lament of Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of credibility and leadership credentials. But it was, if anything, symptomatic of the Guardian’s own loss of credibility since Corbyn first became leader of the Labour party. Caught between a burgeoning anti-austerity movement and the “sensible” middle ground of neoliberal politics, the paper has opted to remain loyal to the latter – however hopelessly devoid of ideas and solutions to the current crises in health, housing, the environment and economy.
Source: Guardian Transport