Labour’s general election manifesto leaked
Nationalised trains and no tuition fees
A draft of the Labour Party’s election manifesto was leaked this morning, revealing plans to re-nationalise parts of British industry, scrap tuition fees and spend more on social care and the NHS.
The manifesto pledges to continue renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent system and stresses that under a Labour government, Britain will not leave the European Union without a deal.
This morning’s leak has sparked criticism from the Conservative Party, claiming that the whole thing was ‘a shambles’, with the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell admitting that the leak was ‘disappointing’.
The premature revealing of the Manifesto could cause severe internal problems for Labour and the main topic of the dubbed ‘clause V’ meeting amongst the Shadow Cabinet this Thursday will probably be on discovering the motivations and reasons for sabotage. Jeremy Corbyn dropped out of a poster launch event today, instead leaving to prepare for such a meeting; it is clear that the manifesto leak is reflective of the ever-present dissension within the Labour Party itself and presents a clear challenge for the leadership as the opening of the ballots looms nearer.
The manifesto proposes a radical change to the current economic consensus; plans to re-nationalise rail, the mail service and parts of the energy sector stand in stark contrast to many Conservative plans to retain, or pursue privatisation. The left-wing vision of the Party’s manifesto has come under fire from the media, with this morning’s Telegraph claiming the plans would be a return ‘to the 1970s’.
John McDonnell, who on the Andrew Marr show claimed that he would be the first socialist Chancellor, justified the proposals, arguing that the policy of re-nationalisation of the railways has ‘been Labour Party policy for a number of years’ and that the proposals on energy are what many ‘modern European states have done over the last for years’.
Moreover, the manifesto promises to build at least 100,000 council houses per year, and to also reserve and provide homes for 4000 homeless. It might also seem surprising that the document states a renewal of Trident, which Corbyn is vocally against, however it does state that leaders should be ”extremely cautious” when using the system.
What would this mean for the Cambridge student? Government control of the railways could potentially lower fares which means would mean cheaper mid-term procrastination trips to London. Furthermore, the plan to abolish tuition fees, revealed by the Shadow Chancellor yesterday will likely be received well among many students.
The promise for an easier life after university will undoubtedly be appealing to those struggling with mounting student debt, and for those who are critical of the moral and logistical reasons for tuition fees. This explains why 55% of university students in the UK claim to support Labour.
The Party’s national campaigns co-ordinator has denied it was the official manifesto, merely a draft of ideas and that point of the meeting of the Shadow Cabinet today will be ‘to go through what will become our manifesto’. It’s unclear whether this is the actual manifesto but it is clear that the Party’s vision for Britain will be expressed along these lines, and that radical change is very much on the table.
A Corbyn win would have a significant impact on the life of the Cantab.