Five ways Labour can win
Unite GS Sharon Graham: Labour must be bolder if they want to win
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Labour’s recent reshuffle has sent a clear message. They want to take us back to the 90s.
The trouble is, times have changed. Tinkering around the edges is not enough. To fix our broken economy we need intervention. Not politicians who are scared stiff of doing anything other than stand on the sidelines as profiteers make hay and people take pay cuts.
It is part of a deluded view of the last 25 years, in which crisis after crisis has been paid for by working people not the wealthy. From the financial crash, to austerity, the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis, it’s workers who have been told to accept less whilst more billionaires appear.
There is no doubt in my mind Labour will be better than the Tories, but we shouldn’t just be grateful for what we are given. Now is the time to call out any backsliding. We should have ambition for our nation and not be content with managed decline.
Here’s five things that could help:
1. Stop greedflation
For too long we have been giving away money without conditions to big firms. But we have tolerated rampant profiteering. The Labour Party must put its stake in the ground and commit to reform instead of cosying up to big business.
2. Take energy into public hands
End the scandal of the energy giants pocketing billions while workers are left in the cold. If energy was run for us rather than shareholders, homes could have saved £1,800 last year.
3. Buy British
UK steel is a perfect example of a sector crying out for simple solutions. We need reform now if communities like Port Talbot are to survive. All projects requiring steel use UK-made products.
4. Make it easier to get a pay rise
Our right to form unions and negotiate pay, terms and conditions is undermined by the hurdles workers have to jump through. Because of this, in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis swathes of our workforce face real-terms pay cuts.
5. Make bargaining easier
In many firms workers get “take it or leave it” pay offers made by bosses funnelling cash to investors. Making it easier to bargain over pay won’t cost a penny and give more workers decent wages. That’s why Labour’s recent backtracking on this issue is so ridiculous. Labour needs to ask itself “whose side are we on”? The side of the business lobby and City bankers, or the working people?
- This column first appeared in the Daily Mirror on Monday (September 11).