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We’re not voting for Jeremy Corbyn.
18th May 2017 Paul Riley

We’re not voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

Posted in News

We aim to be a non-political organisation, but this election is too important for us to keep quiet. It impacts on everything we are fighting for.

This election has been consistently misrepresented. There has been misleading or downright false reportage across mainstream media outlets including, sadly, our beloved yet beleaguered old BBC. The smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn has had a huge impact on the perceived credibility of the Labour leader, and by extension, the party. However. Don’t believe the hype: almost 80 percent of our press is owned by a few billionaires who do not live in the UK, the vast majority of which are Conservative Party supporters. No doubt they are also not in favour of Labour policies such as the initiative to break up big media groups and to close tax loopholes.

The S*n, that great bastion of journalistic integrity, is the most widely read newspaper in the UK. That is worth repeating. Most. Widely. Read. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch, along with the S*n on Sunday, The Times and the Sunday Times. Mr Murdoch lives in the US, is an alleged tax avoider, and all of his papers supported the Conservatives in 2010. He controls 24.9% of our print and online media and is currently trying to buy the rest of Sky News, another ‘news’ outlet that has been less than impartial in its reportage.

Lord Rothermere lives in France, and is non-domiciled in the UK for tax (evasion) purposes. He owns The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro. He controls 27.3% of print and online media, and yes, he supports the Conservatives. There’s already half of our mainstream media with very vested interests in the outcome of this election.

So you can understand why many people have some sort of belief that Jeremy Corbyn is not a credible leader. They read it in the papers. We regularly hear people saying that they would vote Labour, but they don’t like Jeremy, so they are going to vote Conservative. We are not sure how that makes sense.

Illustration courtesy of Osian Grifford

There seems to be some confusion about the electoral system in the UK. People say that Labour cannot win the General Election. We would like to suggest that if enough people vote for them, then that is exactly what will happen.

Let us put it out there, we’re not voting for Jeremy Corbyn, either. But you know what? We most certainly are voting Labour. A vote in the general election is not for a person, but for a party. Therefore, debates encouraged by the media and the Conservatives which have focused on the Labour leader’s person and appearance are designed to shift attention away from what really matters: the policies.

The Labour Party manifesto came out this week. In the preface, it talks about the fact that Britain is the fifth richest country in the world, and yet increasingly people are being expected to do more with less, particularly those who work in, or rely on, public services.

We have read the manifesto, and we are excited by it. Decent homes for all, a real living wage of £10 per hour and the abolition of tuition fees for further and higher education are just some of the points that are put out in a fully costed list of election pledges. Allow us to do a whistle-stop tour of some of the most powerful points.

We do not have enough quality jobs. Labour want to revitalise our ailing industries, to invest in new skills and a stronger workforce. They want to double the size of the co-operative sector and outlaw unpaid internships and zero-hours contracts.

Water bills have increased 40% since privatisation. Our rail network is one of the most expensive, and unreliable, in the world. Our energy is overpriced and dirty, and Royal Mail is getting more expensive while making a nice profit for its owners, at the expensive of worsening levels of service. Labour will take back our key utilities into public ownership.

Renewable energy and climate change is a big one for Sustainable Liverpool. Since 2010 the Conservatives have scrapped support for onshore wind, abolished solar panel subsidies, killed off the flagship Green Deal, sold off the Green Investment Bank and have given up on a decade-long plan to force all new homes to be zero carbon. They allow fracking, (which is banned in France, Bulgaria, Germany and parts of the US due to its environmental impact), and in 2015 even did a u-turn on a promise not to allow the dangerous practice in our national parks and other sites off special scientific interest (SSSIs).

Labour have pledged to meet the UK’s climate change targets and to transition to low carbon energy while ensuring security of supply and affordability for consumers and businesses. They will regain control of energy supply networks, support the creation of community energy initiatives and offer homeowners interest-free loans for property improvements. Low-carbon economy is not just about climate change, but is actually one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors and one that they will continue to support as a key to economic success as well as sustainable environmental policy.

Under Labour, our NHS will be safe. Under the Conservatives, it has been consistently under attack since 2010 and is undoubtedly on the way to becoming yet another victim of privatisation, and what is more, the most tragic victim of this trend to undermine the social support systems of our country. Our health is not something to make a profit out of. Our health system should be free at the point of use.

Labour will guarantee access to treatment within 18 weeks. They will take 1 million people off NHS waiting lists, reduce ambulance waiting times and deliver new strategies and improved support for those suffering from cancer, or living with mental health issues, autism or learning difficulties. They will improve the working conditions, training and pay for our NHS staff.

Labour will make the majority of the money needed for this from changes in taxation, although there will be no rise in income tax below £80k, and no increase in National Insurance contributions or VAT. Two of the biggest targets in the short term, for finding the money to pay for all of these pledges, are tax loopholes and corporation tax.

Corporation tax in the UK is the lowest of any major economy. Labour plan to raise that tax to 26% by 2020-21. From 28% in 2010 when David Cameron won the General Election, the rate has been repeatedly slashed to its current rate of 18%, and the Conservatives plan to reduce that to 17% by 2020 at a further cost of £7.5bn to the UK economy. Labour’s policy here could raise £19bn a year in the near term, while still remaining competitive with the rest of the G20.

Closing down tax loopholes. The manifesto sets its sights on tax evasion, something that companies such as Amazon, Starbucks, Apple, Google, Lloyds Banking and GSK have been either implicated in or found guilty of in recent years. In 2014, Oil company Shell made £20bn profit. They paid no UK corporation tax whatsoever.

For the sake of brevity, we will have to stop going on about specific policies now, and just urge you to read the manifesto for yourself.

Labour are committed to ensuring that the national debt is lower at the end of the next parliament than it is today. And they show how they will be able to do this while abolishing tuition fees, giving free lunches for pupils, ending the bedroom tax, repealing cuts in support to disabled people and committing to building 100,000 council and housing association homes per year.

That is something to get behind, to speak to people about with passion, and to put your vote to. Don’t vote for or against a personality; vote for the policies that will make the best improvement in quality of life for the greatest number of people.

Don’t get us wrong, having someone like Jeremy Corbyn at the head of the Labour Party certainly helps to win our vote, but it is not because of his personality. It is because he has shown that he has conviction. He sticks to his word. If Theresa May was the head of the Labour Party, we’d still vote for this manifesto, although we’d be less certain that she would deliver on it. After all, we’re voting in a General Election that Mrs May has repeatedly said she would not be calling:


Further reading/Sources:

The Labour Manifesto

Everyone should know who owns the press

Journalistic Representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press

Tax avoidance in big companies

Conservative Fracking U-turn

Nine Green Policies Killed Off By The Tories

Seven times Theresa May said she wouldn’t call a General Election


Comments (10)

  1. Eddy flynn 8 months ago

    This should be written on the side of every bus,taxi And train , or printed and given to every working person in the country.

    1. Author
      Paul Riley 8 months ago

      Hah, Eddy – you’re too kind and we’re glad you agree, but you’d need a very long bus, or very small writing!

  2. Jayne Tilolo 8 months ago

    Absolutely brilliant and thought provoking. You broke the truth down very well. Well done!

    1. Author
      Paul Riley 8 months ago

      Thanks Jayne; we didn’t want to post party political stuff to be honest but given our general ethics and goals, we felt obliged to use what platform we have to try and contribute to the campaign.

  3. Eileene 8 months ago

    That is a very well written article. I agree with Eddy – it should be printed and handed out to as many people as possible. Well done!

    1. Author
      Paul Riley 8 months ago

      Thanks for your support Eileene. Unfortunately we don’t have the ability to get this printed and in everyone’s hands, but if 15 years of being a music promoter has taught me anything, it is that word of mouth is more valuable than anything else. With that in mind, keep sharing, and keep talking about the importance of this election and this manifesto. Fingers crossed 🙂

  4. Ann Bishop 8 months ago

    I am nearly 70 and I am sick of hearing that all people my age will vote for the Tories I won’t and many of my friends, younger and older, won’t ! Sadly some will not vote Labour because they read the gutter press these being the ones that can still afford to buy a “news”paper !! Personally I wouldn’t use any of them to even wrap my chips in !!
    I will vote Labour and by the way I like Mr Corbyn he reminds me of Mr Bevan!
    We didn’t elect Mortitia May!! so why are any of us saying that she holds the key to the future of this country! ? She is selling us all down the river whilst her friends are all hopping on the Ark with Noah and Judas is collecting the dues

    1. Author
      Paul Riley 8 months ago

      Thanks for your comment Ann. We’re already seeing a huge change in the polls after the election coverage rules have kicked in and the coverage of Mr Corbyn has had to be more objective. A week or so ago when we started writing this article, we were despondent. Now, a lot has changed, and there is still over two weeks to go. Keep talking, keep challenging, and keep spreading the word. Fingers crossed.

  5. Phil Bradley 8 months ago

    What a stupid headline. In trying to be clever and make people sit up what you’ve done is create a situation where someone shares this and all we get is that Sustainable Liverpool isn’t supporting Corbyn OR Labour. Because they’ll just go on the headline and won’t read the rest of the article. So well done, you’re achieving the exact opposite of what you want, hope you’re pleased with yourselves.

    1. Author
      Paul Riley 8 months ago

      Hi Phil, thanks for your comments. This article was written for the purpose of catching the eye of those who want to read negative things about Mr Corbyn. On Facebook the article was viewed and shared over 30k times. All shares and comments were from Labour supporters who obviously read the article and thought that the jarring title may be more clickable than the endless We Love Jez articles that take up pro-labour facebook feeds.

      We think that it did a great job of getting through to people, and although it was a risk to have such a title, it was done to engage those who are anti-Corbyn rather than those who are already for him. We understand your concern, but judging by the number of shares and comments from Labour supporters (not a single Tory or anti-Labour share, and we checked out the profile of everyone who shared or commented), we think this article did a good job.

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