Left Unity welcomes the Labour Manifesto. We welcome its vision of a society which works for the many, not the few. It presents a significant advance in a number of areas over previous Labour policy, attempting to reverse key concessions that Labour has made to neo-liberalism over many years – most notably the privatisation agenda introduced by Thatcher and taken forward by Tony Blair.
We also recognise its limitations, particularly with regard to free movement, defence policy and restoration of workers’ rights removed during the Thatcher period. Nevertheless, an election victory for the Corbyn-led Labour Party would be a significant advance for Britain, and unity to defeat the Tories is crucial. In support of this position, Left Unity is not standing candidates at this general election.
Left Unity Principal Speaker, Joseph Healy, said:
“Labour’s manifesto is a transformative one offering real hope, especially to the young, about a different and fairer Britain. Tackling tax evasion and putting funding into the NHS and desperately needed social housing is a real step forward. An ethical foreign policy is also a real positive development as is the nationalisation of the rail and water services. However, the acceptance of the Brexit agenda in being prepared to jettison free movement, one of the real benefits of EU membership both for students and workers, is a backward step. The failure of a real challenge to the madness of Trident replacement, and strong support for NATO and its 2% GDP demand, is also deeply disappointing. So a very positive manifesto in many respects, but one containing policies which concede too much to the positions of the populist right.”
Left Unity National Secretary, Felicity Dowling, said:
“We welcome the impassioned and brave opposition to the Conservatives’ cruel, destructive and destabilising policies, as shown in Labour’s Manifesto.We welcome the promised end to many vicious welfare cuts and policies which victimise those with disabilities; we welcome promises of better funding for the NHS; we welcome the end of tuition fees.It’s not our Manifesto but it’s a fundamentally different approach from that of the Conservatives or New Labour.Left Unity maintains its commitment to free movement of people and the rights of migrants; to a million council homes; to an end to Trident and the threat of nuclear war.
We maintain internationalist and anti-capitalist policies.
We call for the end to child poverty. We utterly oppose local government austerity policies.
Nevertheless, we have significant common ground with the Corbyn-led Labour Party, and we will work our hardest to turn the tide against the Conservative Party and to secure its defeat.”
17 May 2017