Matthew Howard writes about why the Labour Party must take control of the argument on economic policy moving forward.
For far too long, Labour has allowed the Conservatives to control the argument on economic policy in any meaningful way. However, I believe that Labour has the right tools and talent to build an unprecedented policy platform that combines economic prosperity for all with strengthening and simplifying the social security net.
Take for example the 2019 election: voters viewed the Conservatives as untrustworthy on health and public services, but strong on economic prowess. In my opinion, the only way we can win the next election is to change this. That’s an easy statement to make, but the task we face is enormous. Labour will need to put together a manifesto that puts voters at ease while challenging the status quo effectively.
Labour members overwhelmingly back scrapping tuition fees, nationalising key utilities and increasing income tax for the highest earners and these policies are also popular among a wide base of voters. Sure, there is much work to be done, but we don’t have to start from scratch. Instead, we must focus on building credibility in a post-Coronavirus era and show voters that these policies are not just ‘pie in the sky’ ideas, and real solutions.
Keir Starmer was right when he said that factions had to go, they have held down this party for far to long. We must realise that we must find common ground, with a balanced manifesto that builds off radicalism but is also firmly pragmatic.
I view the Fabian Society as a model for this: a member run, broad-church group that accepts views from all sides of the argument and build winning coalitions and shared goals.
Keir Starmer’s first PMQs showed that competence is key and that the Labour party needs to expose the propaganda machine that is the Conservative party. I believe that together we can build a fairer future for all, but we need to fight for it.
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