Saturday, 29 March 2014

Letter to Observer:Labour`s need to be bold.

Your editorial rightly advises Miliband to "articulate a much-needed different direction for society", and "take his chance" in the election. (Osbornism holds sway. It needs a bold response,23/03/14) By offering weak challenges to the coalition`s shrinking of the state to 1948 levels, to its  unnecessary education reforms, and to its gradual destruction of the welfare state and privatisation of the NHS, Labour has left itself open to criticism from those who claim there is little to choose between the mainstream parties.
    Is it really a "bold response" when all the changes needed to transform society would meet with almost universal approval? There cannot be many who think obscene pay and bonuses, soaring house prices, tax avoidance and increasing inequality benefit the way we live. Fear of being accused of being "too chummy with the brothers" should not deter the proposal to give unions a greater say, especially as co-determination has worked so well in Germany since the early 1950s. Western leaders intent on change in modern times have all faced right-wing opposition, from political opponents and the media, and anyway what is the alternative? Having to arrange a coalition with the Lib Dems, and spend the next five years repealing laws which were only passed because of support from the duplicitous Clegg and his cronies?
     Policies can be radical without threatening revolution, and have the benefit of attracting support from the young and disenchanted. The TUC`s Fair Pay Fortnight could be followed by proposals relating to a Fair Pay Commission, a Fair Pay Mark and corporate tax concessions to eligible companies. Accepting the "austerity framework" should not mean reform is impossible; passing legislation often necessitates a thick skin more than bulging coffers. Just because the other parties drop principles willy-nilly, does not mean Miliband`s Labour should follow suit!

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