John McDonnell and Corbynite allies outlined plan to force socialism on to UK

John McDonnell: 2019 manifesto ‘not radical enough’ for today

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The Labour Party is currently embroiled in an identity crisis following its drubbing at England’s local elections. Hartlepool was the party’s biggest blow, one of the last remaining parts of its once unbreakable Red Wall. Many noted it had already been lost in the 2019 general election, however, with the Brexit Party having split the Conservative Party vote.

Regardless of this, those who rose through the ranks of Labour before Sir Keir Starmer claimed that the loss in Hartlepool – as well as councils across England – proved that the electorate wanted the radical policies of former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Most notably, John McDonnell, former Home Secretary, in the aftermath of the election results demanded Sir Keir reevaluate his centrist position.

He and Richard Burgon, the Leeds MP, along with Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Ian Mearns and Pauline Bryan – all Corbynites – set out a radical “alternative Queen’s Speech” on Labour List, outlining their plans to implement a socialist agenda in Westminster and the country at large.

They spoke of how the coronavirus had exposed “inequality and insecurity” and that a “socialist government will build a fairer, healthier, and greener Britain, and a more just and peaceful world” was needed in order to counter this.

Their declaration went on to promise NHS workers a 15 percent pay rise, as well as “ensuring all public service workers get an increase well-above inflation, after a decade of pay freezes and pay caps”.

A “real living wage bill” would be brought in to “end the indignity of poverty pay in all sectors of the economy” because “for too long there has been abundance for those in the boardroom, but only scraps for the rest”.

Mr McDonnell and Mr Burgon’s plans, they claim, would also eradicate poverty by 2030.

Most controversially given Sir Keir’s opposition to the Government’s corporation tax hike in its March Budget, the group say they will introduce a “finance bill [that] will ensure that those companies that profited during the pandemic pay a windfall tax on any excess profits”.

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They will also take aim at Britain’s highest earners with increases in income tax, as well as working with the US President Joe Biden to push a “global minimum rate of corporation tax and clamp down on tax havens and avoidance more widely”.

Interestingly, they say they will secure reductions in the working week over time and consult on four new bank holidays.

Many other bills concerning society and the economy are floated.

It is unclear how Mr McDonnell and his allies plan on paying for it other than tax hikes.

Emblematic of Mr Corbyn’s years, the group’s vision comes to a close on plans to reinvigorate and empower Britain’s trade unions.


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While Mr McDonnell said Sir Keir should be given a chance, he condemned his move to sack Angela Rayner as party chair.

On this, Diane Abbott, former Shadow Home Secretary, accused the leader of trying to make Ms Rayner “carry for the can” for the results.

Paul Embery, a trade unionist and Labour member, told that the actions of Labour’s Corbynite left amounted to “betrayal”.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, the former Labour Prime Minister, recently told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the party could not return to Mr Corbyn’s policies if it wanted to deal with the “seismic changes” facing society, including widening social inequalities and nationalism.

He said: “Keir Starmer and his leadership have got to deal with all these changes.

“So, the Labour Party has got to change, we can never have the same policies as 1997 – they can’t be the same policies as 2019.

“He has got to be given the space and the power and the leaders working with him to change the Labour Party, so that it can deal with these fundamental challenges that have been aggravated by Covid.”

Yet after this, Mr McDonnell suggested Mr Burgon and the sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey should be promoted to Sir Keir’s frontbench, telling LBC radio: “Becky Long-Bailey was in my team and she was one of the sharpest I’d ever met.”

On Mr Burgon, he added: “If you look at what he did on the justice brief he was excellent. I think he was one of the sharpest shadow cabinet ministers that we had and he was good on his feet on the floor of the house.

“I know there’s been denigration in the media but they’re not necessarily our best friends.

“People underestimate him – a good, young lawyer, knows his stuff. I think held the government to account.”

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