Skip to main content

Can a real Labour leader please step forward?

It is all so simple.  You stand for the leadership of the Labour party and say what we want to hear.  Student fees? Scrap them.   Spending on the NHS? No problem.  Social Care?  Increase spending.  The economy? Nationalise the energy companies.  Any questions? And there is the worry.  No questions. Why is the media not asking the questions it would ask if Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour party?  It is almost a conspiracy of silence.

Now I don't really believe there is a 'conspiracy' in the media to give Corbyn an easy time.  But Labour members and supporters should be wary.  Corbyn is not being tested in this election. It is time he was.  Labour needs to know if he can cut the mustard.  What would his answers be on the economy?

Should the improbable happen and Labour won the next election it would only do so if it can persuade voters it is sensible about the economy.  Voters are not without the ability to add up. They can add up the cost of promises.  If you offer the earth, then it will cost the earth.

Jeremy Corbyn has to date been unchallenged in the leadership debate. It is about time he was. He says what many on the left want to hear.  He sounds socialist.  But nationalisation isn't socialism. It didn't provide all the answers in the past and it won't do so now. We do not live in a society where the majority do not have a stake in the 'capitalist system'.  Most of us do, and some would argue, we all do.  Old rhetoric about 'workers' and public ownership won't do.  We need a more realistic approach to the economy.   We need coherent approaches to the cost of social care and the NHS.  We need sensible approaches to economic growth.  We need to address inequalities of opportunity, yes, but we need also a thriving economy to provide opportunities for success. Aspiration isn't a dirty word. We need a society where all can strive and achieve their aspirations: decent education, housing and job opportunities.

This doesn't mean Labour can't or shouldn't be anti-austerity.  On the unit-austerity argument I am with Jeremy Corbyn.  I have argued in this blog against the Tory and Lib Dem narrative on the economy.  But we do need to be realistic about the choices we need to make if we are going to pull the NHS and Social care out of crisis.  It will cost and we need to accept that we will have to demonstrate how it will be funded.  We need also to be realistic about welfare.  There are problems and there is unfairness at the margins of qualification for benefits. There is a poverty trap that needs addressing.  If Labour doesn't address these concerns it fail to reach out to voters who are concerned bout these problems.

Stand up the leadership candidate who will address these issues realistically and who will be capable of presenting a coherent voice for the Labour party.  The country needs you!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Time to ban organophosphate pesticides?

How would you react if your neighbour told you he was going to spray his garden with a neurotoxin used in WW2? "Oh don't worry!" he assures you, "it's only a low dose!"
"A neurotoxin?" you ask incredulously "Are you crazy?"
"It's very effective!" he asserts.
"How does it work?" you ask.
"It stops the pests' brains working" he asserts with a smile.  "Everyone uses it."
"But..."

Campaigners in the USA hope that with Scott Pruitt’s resignation, and with a new administrator Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this presents another chance to apply pressure and achieve a national ban in the United States on the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos once and for all.



Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, have been used widely in agriculture and in household applications as pesticides si…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…