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The Future of Our Children: Jeremy Corbyn’s Speech on Education Policy

from Another Angry Voice

AAV compares the standing ovation Corbyn got for this speech with Theresa May’s lamentable performance on the Andrew Marr show, where she could be seen “evading questions” and offering “robotic repetition of her ridiculous “strong and stable” mantra, refusing to admit that nurses relying on food banks to survive is wrong,” and “trying to whitewash the ongoing Tory electoral fraud investigations”. It’s a reasonable point. May is a blank-eyed automaton with all the charisma of a cornflake. She couldn’t sell water in the desert. The question is, in a country that supports the NHS and needs good schools, why do the polls suggest this ghastly person and her corrupt horde of greedy idiots are going to win hands down?

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[Introductions] …

It is a great honour to address you, leaders of one of the most important professions in our society, those who look after the education, the wellbeing, and the future of our children.

That is why Labour is making our children’s education one of the cornerstones of our General Election campaign.

The choice in this election could not be clearer – and it’s not the re-run of the EU referendum that the Prime Minister wants it to be.

Britain needs a government for the many not the few – one that’s ready to invest in our economy and public services. But the Conservatives have demonstrated that cannot be them, preferring to give the richest and largest corporations tax hand-outs worth tens of billions.

The NHS and social care have been pushed into a state of emergency. Housebuilding has fallen to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s. Schools across the country face real terms cuts in funding per pupil, and class sizes are rising – while those young people who want to go to university face huge debts.

There is no greater responsibility than ensuring our children get the education that they deserve. I know this, you know this, parents up and down this country know this. But it is clear that this Conservative Government has its focus elsewhere.

The NAHT has correctly pointed out that this election is make or break time for our children’s education system.

As all of you will know, the National Audit Office confirms that schools are facing a cut of three billion pounds in real terms by 2020, the first real terms cut in education budgets in a generation.

This is an absolutely staggering figure and shows the need for a complete change of direction in how the government of this country treats our schools.

And we have to ask ourselves: is this how we want to treat the education system of our children? Is this how Britain’s children deserve to be treated?

Do our children deserve to be held back by a chronic shortage of teachers?

Do our children deserve to crammed into schools like sardines?

Do our children deserve to be taught by teachers whose morale is at an all-time low?

Not by any fault of the teachers, they are the people who also bear the burden of government cuts, but the fault of governments who fail to recognise the importance of investing in the lives of children, and those who teach and support them, up and down this country.

That is why we must value teachers, because if we don’t we lose them. And you know better than anyone there is a recruitment crisis and that crisis will be made even worse if we don’t secure the rights of EU nationals.

Last year 5,000 teachers from EU countries qualified to teach here and there are thousands more working to teach our children. So that’s why, as Keir Starmer set out this week, a Labour government will guarantee the rights of EU nationals living here.

And if we lose teachers, we lose subjects, we narrow the horizons of young people. So that’s why I passionately believe in an Arts Pupil Premium so that every primary school child will benefit from a £160 million cash boost to help pupils learn to play instruments, learn drama and dance and have “regular access” to theatres, galleries or museums in their local areas.

And yet, while all this is happening, while funding to our children’s education is cut, multinational corporations have received multi-billion pound tax giveaways

How can it be right that money is being siphoned straight out of our children’s schools and directly into the pockets of the super-rich?

We have to be clear, once and for all, that enough is enough.

Throughout this General Election campaign, we will be making absolutely clear our commitment to build a country for the many, and not just the few.

A vital part of that will be creating an education system that provides for every child regardless of their background, or their parents’ income.

Labour will introduce a National Education Service, ensuring excellent learning opportunities for all from early years to adult education.

What we need now – and what you as teaching professionals need now – are concrete answers and concrete solutions to the problems that our education system is facing.

That is why Labour has set out a plan to help give every young person the best start in life possible, by introducing universal free school meals for pupils at primary schools. It’s a policy that is fully costed, and will be paid for by introducing VAT on private school fees.

There are clear educational benefits to providing universal free school meals. It boosts the attainment and level of education of our children. We know that these early formative years are the most important in a child’s education and we have a duty to provide for our children the best we possibly can throughout that period.

It’s a policy that demonstrates how a Labour government would care for the many, and not just the few.

We will ensure that every single child receives a healthy and nutritious meal which will not only boost children’s productivity in the classroom but also helps to ensure their personal wellbeing, no matter what their background.

Children eating together is a great start in life.

So not only will the policy help children throughout their time in education, it will also help teachers who will see the benefits of improved concentration and improved attainment in the classroom.

And it will help parents who will not only save money but will have the peace of mind in knowing that their child is getting a healthy school meal during the day

Investing in the health of our nation’s children, is investing in our nation’s future.

If we are to truly place value on our children’s education, we must also place value on the teachers, head teachers and other school staff who deliver that education.

We must put an end to the continual attacks on the teaching profession, end the downward pressure on pay and conditions, the constant undermining of morale and the erosion of standards that means we have more unqualified teachers than ever in our classrooms.

That’s why, as part of the comprehensive programme Labour has set out today to strengthen rights at work and end the race to the bottom in the jobs market, we have confirmed a Labour government will lift the cap on public sector pay.

It cannot be right that those who provide our vital public services have their pay squeezed year after year. Britain’s public service employees deserve a pay rise.

And we must give the teaching profession the recognition it deserves, not only in terms of pay, but also in terms of status in our society.

We need to listen to you, the teaching professionals, on how you believe schools can be improved and respect the huge wealth of talent and knowledge that lies in the teaching profession as a whole.

I have always believed that the people who know how to a job best are those who do it day in day out. We must start listening to parents, teachers and head teachers: you are the people who know how schools should be run and you are the people who best understand the needs of our children.

That is why Labour has taken our lead from the NAHT – and from the other teachers’ unions – when we set out in no uncertain terms our opposition to the expansion of grammar schools in this country.

Not only does the mass introduction of segregation in our education system not help the overwhelming majority of this country’s children, it also returns us to what are frankly Victorian notions of education based on a narrow curriculum.

The task is clear: we must build an education system that suits the needs of our children and the opportunities they will have in the jobs market of tomorrow.

And if we are to build an economy worthy of the 21st century, we need a schools system that looks forwards, and not backwards to the failed models of the past.

We must recognise that every single child in this country has talents and every single child deserves the chance to flourish and thrive to their maximum potential in whichever field suits them best.

But our children’s schools do not exist in a vacuum. I am always in awe of the local head teachers I work with. Like thousands of children, I have learned so much from them.

And what I admire most is their commitment – not just to managing their schools and to educating our children – but the multi-faceted demands of the children in their community: their housing issues, immigration problems, their mental health. You are the heart of your communities.

You are part of a wider care system and you need the other parts of that system to work effectively alongside you, youth services, the NHS and social care.

Support for schools by these services is essential to promote pupil wellbeing. The duty to directly address pupils’ mental health needs ultimately rests with the social and care services.

No school should be asked to fund health and social care services from the school budget. That is why Labour has pledged to address the chronic underfunding for social care and the NHS.

As you all know schools are most effective as places of learning when they work together with high quality social care and health services to meet the needs of all students but especially those who are most vulnerable.

One in ten children and young people in this country suffer from a mental health condition and 75 percent of adult mental health problems are found to begin before the age of 18.

We must prioritise the mental wellbeing of our children. This is the least they deserve.

It is vital that we enable early intervention and provide support when problems first emerge but to do this we must build an education system that integrates social and health care.

Improving the way our society deals with mental health is a particular concern of mine because I am passionate to see opportunities for all.

That’s why I have been so impressed by the work so many of you do for children with special needs and how good special needs co-ordinators can liberate children from what has sometimes been a lifetime of exclusion.

That focus on the individual child is what drives our determination to reduce class sizes. We know that half a million children have been landed in super-size classes of 31 pupils or more.

This government is failing on education on its own terms. The Prime Minister herself has said that super-sized classes are proof of a school system in crisis. So then why is it allowed to continue?

Why are our children’s schools, not getting the funding that they deserve? This is a choice. And it is the wrong choice. The cut to schools funding is also a breach of their manifesto the Conservatives’ pledge to protect schools funding.

Labour will ensure schools have the resources they need.

I’m afraid I can’t give you a sneak preview of the full Labour manifesto today but be assured if it’s a choice between a tax giveaway to the largest corporations paying the lowest rates of tax in the developed world or funding for our schools. Labour will make very different choices from the Conservatives.

We have already started to set some of that out not just our free schools meals policy.

And our commitment to reintroduce the Educational Maintenance Allowance for college students from lower incomes.

We are also committed to restoring maintenance grants for university students so that no one is held back from realising their ambitions and so that every schoolchild knows that the options of further and higher Education are available to them.

We must not be ashamed to value education, for education’s own sake.

Schools should exist to get the very best from our children, to give them the best start in life, to enable them to succeed in whichever walk of life they chose.

Whereas Theresa May’s government has repeatedly cut resources and staffing we will invest in our children’s futures because they deserve nothing less.

The excuses from the government come thick and fast. They’ve blamed teachers for not working hard enough, they’ve diverted funds to their vanity projects. £138.5 million wasted on schools that have closed, partially closed or never opened in the first place.

We will not bring back a system that blamed children and parents for not passing the eleven plus and getting into a grammar school.

They blame everybody else, to divert attention from their own damaging failures. They need head teachers to tell them, own up, take responsibility and say sorry.

Labour will give schools the funding that our children deserve, the funding that teachers and headteachers deserve and the investment that our country and our economy deserves.

This election can be the chance for a fresh start, with a Labour government that will invest to create shared prosperity, protect our public services and build a fairer Britain.

A Labour government will work with you, we will give schools the funding the need and we will ensure you and your staff get the respect and resources you need.

We have a duty to our children and we will meet it.

Thank you.

[Standing ovation]


26 Comments

  1. michaelk says

    I just wish that Corbyn was… angrier and reached out and touched people’s heart on an emotional level too. There’s simply too much ‘head’ about Corbyn and not enough heart. It’s not his fault. That’s the kind of guy he is. But surely there must be others in his team that can communicate with people and inspire them to rise up and grab the bastards by their throats and shake them like rag dolls?

    They should hit May hard for being a fake and a coward. He’s scared to even meet Corbyn in a debate. So much for her strength and stability, ha, ha! And her public meetings are rigged to keep the public out and she gets the questions in advance, and the press goes along with this. Labour should make this an issue, the entire fake strength story around May. Attack her personally, cause she’s selling her personality in this election. Go for the fucking jugular and rip it out. Corbyn’s only gonna have one shot at this thing, so he has to throw all those nice principles aside and aim his attacks directly at May for the fake leader she really is.

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  2. John says

    There are a few doom-and-gloom merchants commenting here.
    The simple fact is that only a vote for a Corbyn-led Labour Government will ease many of the current ills.
    Voting for anyone else is simply a waste of time.
    Even worse is not voting at all.
    Let’s stick it to the Tories and their lap-dog media!

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    • BigB says

      Does voting a) bring about lasting and deep seated social change; b) assuage the collective social conscience and transfer power to an unrepresentative superminority of vested interest; c) appease the masses whilst the sovereignty of the electorate and their concomitant civil liberties are asset stripped in silence? If you answered a combination of b) and c); you get a red star!
      This country is moving inexorably to the right, and I am afraid, rather than fight tooth and nail to prevent elitist rule – the Labour party, at PLP level (i.e. not necessarily grassroots or Momentum level) has been a complicit and enabling force. That is undeniable.
      Frankly John, I have been surprised, and not a little disheartened. I have been a party member twice in my life: back in the day when at least 250,000 of us marched with Michael Foot (and Joan Ruddock) to support CND; and more recently, when I rejoined specifically to get Jeremy elected. What surprised me was less was that those on the Left seemed more informed – and I’ve got to say, more radical and revolutionary – back in the day: contrast that with my experience that at constituency level, people are not just less informed – but resistant to truth.
      OK, my limited personal experience may not have much relevance or be universally applicable: and the White Helmets/Syria may be a non-issue to you – but it means something to me. What happened to the international solidarity of the oppressed? Those are my brothers and sisters too. Dare I mention Palestine – because the next time Jeremy does – there are 172 sharpened and whetted knives ready to eviscerate him for the greater good of Israel.
      TPTB mean to invade Syria and Labour is not going to stop that. That is my conviction – I could be fallible and wrong – but what are those vehicles on the Jordanian border massed for? A picnic? I am sure it was for others too – but the Rashideen massacre of innocence was a red line for me. I can’t vote for that to happen again. I am not going to enable another war. The White Helmets mean to though. Even the Jeremy’s Stop the War campaign has been co-opted for regime change. This has to stop.
      I am going to say this then shut up – it is the individuals responsibility to be informed and make a stand for truth. It is no use blaming the lugenpresse or any other form of corporate or political propaganda. While we still have a relatively free internet – all the information is readily available. How can we have an informed democratic choice if we, the electorate, are woefully misinformed? How can a misinformed, or malinformed, electorate be the basis of anything that be said to be truthful or real? JC ain’t the messiah – his radicalism and international solidarity has been tamed and blunted by the very corrupt system he is calling out. His genuine social conscience is ‘kettled’ in by his own party. Granted, he has more integrity in his little finger than Trump has in his slimy entirety – but will we see PM Corbyn on the international stage calling Israel apartheid state or an occupying power? Or supporting BDS? Will we see him defending Syrian democracy and the sovereign right to govern of Bashar al-Assad? Will he condemn the White Helmets as a terrorist organisation and cut our funding of them? Are the National Investment Bank and ‘Peoples QE’ really workable policies in a banker dominated society? Brexit is a none issue – the real agenda is the transference of sovereignty from the people to the state – will the Social Democrats roll this back – or vote in the next, even more egregious emasculation of the electorate?
      Call it doom-and-gloom if you will, but am not voting for any of that. The people need to go armed with the truth, and say NO! If we want our country to be fair and equitable – we are going to have to demand it for ourselves.

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      • John says

        Sorry – I have to go out canvassing.
        Instead of sitting around at home all day, some of us get up off our rear ends and go out and do some work.
        That is how we manage to achieve real change – not pontificating on the internet all day long.
        As Marx might have said, people like you spend all your time interpreting the world.
        The point is to change it!

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        • BigB says

          Marx, didn’t he spend his life pontificating, supported by Engels’ dad’s exploitatative factory? I’m at work and socially engaged too, John. Where did Marx say workers of the world, unite – and vote to validate your oppressors?

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          • John says

            Marx – clearly – has been more influential in world affairs than you – or I – will ever be.
            Don’t let your envy show!
            You admit, then, that you are wasting time at work when you should be doing real work?
            I wonder if your employer realises this?
            Unless your boss is someone like Mark Regev, a professional spin doctor?
            My advice: do the job you are paid to do and leave the social trawling to when you are at home.

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            • BigB says

              Let’s not denigrate Marx further. You misquote his ethos, use him as a cultural icon in your defence, then tell me to act as a good socially conformist Capitalist tool???
              Besides, you answered all my misgivings with a clarity that transcends the written word. As did my local constituency members. Be sure and let me know when voting brings about the end of Capitalist exploitation.

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              • John says

                I am sure a capitalist stooge, flunkie and mindless labourer like you will be fully aware as to when the capitalist system comes to an end – unless, that is, unless your employer realises just how much dead wood you are from the top of your empty head downwards and kicks you out for wasting time when you should be working.
                Either way, you will remain clueless – won’t you?

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  3. michaelk says

    This kind of speech is… okay. He’s addressing a ‘captive audience’ and telling them what they want to hear… then it’s standing ovation time, whilst outside in the real world the Tories head for a crushing victory.

    Social Democracy of the type exemplified by Corbyn, is finished as political force. His cloying nostalgia for a bygone age almost brings a tear to the eye. Keynesian economics is… dead. It ain’t gonna save Capitalism and it sure ain’t gonna save Labour, which, having been complicit in forty years of failure, doesn’t really deserve to be saved. Perhaps with Labour crushed there’s a chance that a new force in UK politics will emerge over time, but that’s not certain.

    Corbyn isn’t the person to lead a political revolution that really challenges the inverted ‘class warfare’ of the last forty years, in fact he never even mentions it, almost like he doesn’t think it happened. He’s a failure because he doesn’t have political vision, a story worth telling and listening to, because he’s a Labour loyalist obsessed with holding the party together at any cost, instead of ruthlessly destroying the enemy within, who he probably doesn’t even recognize at the enemy.

    Corbyn has the abilities and intellect of an average backbench social democrat, which means he’s linked to Keynes, only we’ve gone way, wary, past that kind of ‘cure’ for society’s and capitalism’s problems in a globalized world economy. Corbyn and his team simply don’t think deep enough or imaginatively enough. They’re too conservative in their approach to politics and the ‘solutions’ to multiple overlapping crises which characterizes modern capitalism, which are at the root of so many of our problems. I don’t even think that UK political culture, which has become so perverse, degenerate and tabloid, is capable of addressing the challenges we face as a society, but that’s perhaps another story.

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  4. Alan says

    Will Labour stop for profit education? Will they prevent those attempting to further their education from falling hopelessly into debt? When the fine words clear all we will be left with is more fake austerity, more loss of civil liberty and probably more war. Why be a part of a system that abuses at every opportunity?

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    • John says

      VAT on for-profit education is designed to meet the cost of free school meals for all primary-age children.
      Labour are pledging the reintroduction of the trainee nurses’ bursaries.
      They are also talking about reintroducing maintenance grants for students.
      Instead of posting empty points here, why don’t you make the effort to learn what Labour is actually saying?
      Or are you happiest when staying inside your own self-induced little mental mind prison?

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  5. BigB says

    I can only speak for myself: this is a fine speech about the future of our children – but it rings hollow to me – what about the future of the children of Syria? At the end of last year, JC stood in solidarity with Treason May and asked us to download the MP4 single in support of the Jo Cox Christmas Appeal – part of the proceeds going to the White Helmets. That is quite an error of judgement, all the evidence is available for a man of conscience to choose more wisely.
    What this says to me is that JCs ‘Overton Window ‘ (the ideas that he perceives the public will accept) has been narrowed – by ‘democracy ‘. We’ve supposedly had a thousand years of democracy in the UK, a hundred years of universal suffrage – in the past forty years we have had our own form of Continuity of Government – this has brought us to the verge of an elected dictatorship. It is clear to me that democracy is not about the offering of choice – rather, the narrowing of it.
    After a non-existent consultation period, the Treason May regime intend to pass – through a dissolved Parliament – a draft Statutory Instrument on the Technical Capability of the Investigatory Powers Bill. Without scrutiny: without check or balance. This is lawmaking Totalitarian style – a step toward the surveillance state – the enactment in virtual secrecy of a law voted in by the LabCon con.
    https://www.openrightsgroup.org/ourwork/reports/home-office-consultation:-investigatory-powers-(technical-capability)-regulations-2017
    I can’t in conscience vote Labour – Corbyn is a good man, out of his depth in iniquity – but we need at least 300 of his kind. We’ve got maybe 40? I shall be protesting the vote again (as did some 4 million in France yesterday) rather than endorse the tyranny of an unethical minority. I encourage others to envisage what a post-democratic society could look like. Or we could establish an actual Direct or a truly Representative Democracy – before Big Sister (May) is monitoring our communications in real time.

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    • Seraskier says

      [[ I shall be protesting the vote again (as did some 4 million in France yesterday) rather than endorse the tyranny of an unethical minority ]]

      Why not just vote for Theresa May directly – and cut out the middle man?

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      • BigB says

        Because I know from personal experience a vote for my local Labour candidate is a vote for Syrian intervention, is a vote for the White Helmets, is a vote for another Rashideen, is a vote for another Khan Sheikhoun. There are 400 US/UK military vehicles massed on the Jordanian /Syrian border. If they are still there in a months time – do you think Labour will stop them going in? Bear in mind that Labour started 5 wars in the first 6 years when they were last in power. Jeremy will stop them – will he, does he even control his own party? If Labour were to get in, how long do you give Jeremy as leader? Are you going to vote for the White Helmets / al Qaeda?
        The party system of shamocracy is already neo-totalitarean in nature. Research the power of Facebook, Google, Cambridge Analytica to sway elections. TPTB have invested in getting the leader/party they want by making the people think they’re getting the leader/party they’ve chosen. Look at Macron. Think the UK is immune to mass suggestion? Think that is not going to happen here because it is not cricket?
        Think JC is going to wrest power away from TPTB with 30 or 40 loyal MPs? Dream on. The Parliamentary system is broken. Virtually all Labour MPs voted for the Investigatory Powers Act which is an egregious assault on civil liberties. This is a furtherance of an ongoing transfer of power from the Demos to the vested interest elite. JC isn’t elitist. No, but the bulk of the PLP and NEC are. Are you going to vote away what is left of your civil liberties?

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    • Michael Leigh says

      Well Actually BIGB it was 16 million French voters who abstained or destroyed their voting slips, that is a very significant minority looking for change, and not being able to find it !

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  6. kevin morris says

    As a moderate Labour Party supporter I support Jeremy Corbyn. Sadly, I also know that on the doorstep he is reported by many as an impediment to Labour’s success in this election.

    SOme years ago and listening to Radio Four’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ I remember hearing of a research paper that suggested that as hard times hit a society, many people respond favourbly to views expressed that the poor deserve little because they are scroungers and that a good government is one that makes it more difficult for them to scrounge. What this seems to mean to me is that when times are hard, the right are likely to do well in a way that seems counter intuitive.

    However much I want a Labour Government this time, the sad fact is that the Tories have it all their own way and will probably walk it, for it is Governments that lose elections and rarely oppositions who win them, and with the accepted philosophy being what it is and most of the media supporting the Tories to the hilt, it is unlikely that we will see a Labour government for a while- however deplorable and actually ineffective Teresa May is.

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    • John says

      Kevin,
      At times like this, it is always well to recall the wise words of Harold Wilson: “a week is a long time in politics.”
      That especially applies during a general election campaign.
      Yes, it can go either way during such a time but however much the Tories and their supine media try to fix things, it is always possible that a late-breaking item of news can completely transform the situation.
      No one really believed Trump could win the US presidential election.
      There is – of course – simply no comparison between Trump and Corbyn.
      However, the Trump situation does go to show that even currently believed outcomes can be changed.
      For myself, I shall simply keep my head down and beaver away at getting Corbyn into 10 Downing Street.
      To paraphrase another famous saying, “It is better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all”

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  7. Dead World Walking says

    Corbyn is a breath _ _ _ no, a gale of fresh air.
    The English working class may still have a chance to save themselves from self destruction.
    When trickle down became $$$$$$ucked UP, the world was condemned to a slow death.

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  8. Frank says

    Sorry to have to pour cold water on the article but ….

    Corbyn is a social-democrat, a principled social democrat at that. He believes in and means what he says, but one must wonder whether the social democracy we knew between 1945-1975 based upon the economics of Keynes and the social policies of Beveridge can mount a serious challenge to the New World Order. The neo-liberalist political and stranglehold on the mass electorate combined with the increasing integration of the global economy have made the recrudescence of a social-democratic, to say the least problematic.

    In 1945 the independent nation-state was in control of its economy, there existed a comprehensive welfare system, full-employment, low inflation, high growth rate – a golden age of capitalism, le trente gloriesues as the French called it. In fact the economic recovery was due more to the imperatives of post-war reconstruction than Keynes’ demand management policies.

    However the Reagan-Thatcher revolution of the early 80s put an end to this epoch. They ushered in the present neo-liberal phase of capitalism:

    ”This crucial soci0-economic development marked the emergence of globalization – neo-liberalism writ large. And it coincided … with another epoch making development the collapse of actually existing socialism, i.e., of the USSR and the Soviet bloc. We may well talk about the emergence of a New World Order, which is defined in terms of these two major systemic developments, that is, the rise of Transnational Companies and the collapse of actually existing socialism.” (”The New World Order in Action – Fakis Fotopoulos).

    Thus neo-liberal capitalism enabled the mobility of capital, enshrined in the three freedom of movements: open borders for labour, capital and commodities. This resulted in a downward harmonization of wages, working conditions, the creation of footloose movements of speculative capital flows (hot money) and the abject surrender of independence of nations’ control over their own economies. To imagine we can go back to the golden age of the Keynes-Beveridge consensus is so much wishful thinking. Caring, Keynsianised capitalism is no longer an option in a globalizaed world. Labour is stuck both politically and economically in the earlier period when nations still had control over their own economies.

    ”The ‘new’ Labour leadership replacing the ‘old’ (‘New Labour’, neo-liberal) leadership is pledged to expand public investment in infrastructure, ‘green’ sectors and in housing and transport. This will undoubtedly help to sustain economic activity apart from helping the majority instead of the 1%. But Corbyn and McDonnell’s National Investment Bank will not be enough to deliver sufficiently faster growth as long as the UK economy is still dominated in its strategic sectors by capitalist profit-making companies in the City of London (privatised banking, insurance and pension funds); by large pharma and aerospace companies; telecoms (BT), house-building companies and transport (rail, bus and airlines) etc.

    Along with a National Investment Bank (and fully state-owned banking), what is needed is a National Plan for investment, employment and services based on a predominantly state-owned economy, democratically controlled and operated. But that is the Marxist prescription from the ‘interesting’ Marxist analysis of the capitalist economy. Instead, the new Labour leadership likes the Marxist ‘analysis’ but looks to Keynesian ‘solutions’.

    Capitalism has regular and recurring crises – that’s one unique conclusion from the Marxist economic analysis, something not accepted or recognised by mainstream, Keynesian or Minskyite economic theory. As I argued in a previous post, British capitalism, along with global capital, is likely to enter another slump before the next British general election in 2020. Indeed, McDonnell has also noted that many of the features that led to the last Great Recession: a credit boom, a housing bubble, bank speculation etc, have re-emerged.

    Keynesians did not see the last slump (the Great Recession) coming and did not have the policies to deal with it, at least in the interests of the majority. So relying on Keynesian policies to handle or avoid the next slump, even as a political ploy, may be a hostage to fortune for the new Labour leadership.” (Michael Roberts – 2015)

    At a minimum all progressives must attune themsleves to the changing world conditions. This means an abandonment of outdated and obsolete policies conceived of in a different age. Education, eduction, education!
    First requirement: nations must get control of their own political and economic structures, in a word fight for sovereignty and democracy. The countries of Europe are under globalist occupation. The regimes in Europe are essentially neo-Vichy and the internal political/economic structures cannot be ‘reformed’ out of existence. This much has been made clear. This notwithstanding we have had to bear witness to the grotesque spectacle of the ‘official’ left leading the capitulation – Syriza for example – to the likes of Soros, Goldman Sachs, the IMF and the rest of the insitutions of globalization.

    Nationalism, or neo-nationalism, as it has been called, is not necessarily a bad thing. The nationalism of the FLN in Aligeria, or the Vietnamese in Indo-China was progressive.

    While Europe remains in thrall to the neo-Vichy occupation, nothing will change. Corbyn if and when he gets elected will be unable to push through his programme. That avenue is blocked. It only becoms viable when the people recover their countries independence and sovereignty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John says

      Frank,
      I was largely with your analysis until the final paragraph, where it sort of petered out……
      I think John McDonnell is aware of the fact that former Keynesian approaches no longer work.
      The reason for this is simple: Keynes assumed a largely closed national economy, whereas it is now recognised that most modern national economies “leak” money in and out of their systems.
      This is why Mitterrand’s attempts at economic reflation for France in the 1980s were an utter failure.
      Intriguingly, one possibly positive aspect to Brexit is regaining greater control over the UK economy.
      I cannot speak for McDonnell or Corbyn but – in the event of them forming a national government – I would urge them both to look at and apply the lessons that can be learned from window guidance.
      This approach – involving state availability of credit for selected industries – is what brought Japan back economically from the brink of financial disaster in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and – more recently – accounts for the massive growth that took place in China in recent years.
      The National Investment Bank could be used to compel banks to lift their capital strike and to “encourage” greater investment by the leading companies in Britain in R&D and in deploying new technologies which enhance the productivity of both labour and capital.
      Whether a Labour Government will be formed and whether it will adopt such a strategy remains to be seen but experience in the UK tends to suggest yet more years of “muddling-along”, if our history is anything to go by.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jim Porter says

    The attack on the teaching profession started decades ago, working the hardest workers into the ground before finally leaving. It is not an attractive profession any more, (much like how junior doctors are going) so it is no wonder that there is a problem. For the level of responsibility that there is for the next generation in society, the wages are rubbish (taking into account after-hours marking). Is the role of government really meant to be running everything down under the guise of saving money?

    Liked by 1 person

    • John says

      Jim,
      Where the Tories are concerned, private is good and public is bad.
      Their intention is to shrink the state to the minimum possible.
      In the past, that meant keeping order, defending their assets (not ours) and protecting the currency.
      These electronic days, protecting the currency may no longer be as important to them as it was in the past.
      Defending their assets means defending their schools, colleges and universities for them and their children.
      As for everyone else, well – let’s face it – rolling out mass education only became necessary after people like Lloyd George and Churchill had sight of the Bismarkian welfare reforms in Germany and realised that this produced a superior work force and potentially fitter army recruits compared to the ones the British system produced, as had become shockingly apparent at the time of the Boer War.
      Today, it may be considered somewhat different, with the rise of robotization and artificial intelligence.
      The Tories may well feel that providing mass education is no longer required any more.
      Cutting back on educational expenditures can also have a political benefit with lower taxes.
      Short-term expediency is always attractive to the Tories if it helps them to gain and retain political power.
      Lesser-educated people usually vote less frequently too – yet another political benefit for them.
      From their “Slash, Trash & Privatise” perspective, it makes just as much sense to cut education as it does health.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. rtj1211 says

    What is completely lacking is challenging teachers to ask what school education is expected to achieve.

    There is still this nonsensical belief that it is either grammars and private focussing on the ‘bright/rich’ or ‘education for all our children’, as if all children have the same needs, which they patently do not.

    It is also pertinent to ask what percentage of teachers have actually done anything but studying and teaching. No teacher I was taught by knew anything of the real world, so all the advice was nonsense.

    It is pertinent to ask the value of trotting out facts in exams, solving problems for exams which are irrelevant in the real world.

    It is worth asking how ready middle class 7 year olds are to be adults sacrificing their own needs for working class pupils. They are expected to do that far too often….

    It is worth asking why streaming is not considered sensible, since many will be strong at some things and weak at others. You need to be stretched at what you are good at to succeed in adult life….and accepting your own weaknesses and managing them is a key skill too…

    It is worth asking which languages will be worth learning for the world in 2030: many will be non-European.

    It is also worth having a position of challenging the teaching profession respectfully. The teaching profession are not all knowing about the real world, even if they possess strong technical skills in teaching. Politicians must not appease teachers if by doing so they sell reams of parents short. Nor must they belittle-, ridicule- or smear them.

    This speech was a Labour politician addressing a core constituency.

    One day, a politician will make teachers feel they have been challenged like undergraduate students….

    Like

  11. John says

    Excellent speech.
    As to why fewer people apparently support Corbyn than “Frit” May, just look at the mass media coverage.
    The polls have been narrowing and there is every hope Labour could still win on June 8th.
    We must all get out and vote Labour and vote Corbyn on that key day.
    We must all also try to persuade others to behave similarly.

    Like

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