Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Gary Younge examines how Jeremy Corbyn and an unabashedly progressive campaign platform are making massive gains in a UK general election cynically called to exploit Labour's perceived weakness:
Seeing the response to Labour’s election manifesto last week was a clear illustration of just how powerful the amnesiac qualities of that system can be. For the past two decades, even as inequality grew to obscene levels, the notion that a government could tax the wealthy in order to fund public services had been all but banished from the public square. Similarly, the idea that we could take back into national ownership private companies delivering abysmal but essential public services, such as trains and utilities, was simply not discussed. These arguments were never lost; they were simply marginalised until we just stopped hearing them.
[Corbyn] was never going to succeed on the terms of the mainstream media and significant sections of the parliamentary party. For them, his failure was pre-scripted. Last Monday Corbyn was mobbed by enthusiastic crowds in Leeds while Theresa May was confronted by a woman with learning difficulties in Abingdon over the disability cuts. On Tuesday the Daily Mail front page headline was: “Corbyn’s tax war on the middle classes”. Meanwhile, those who abstained on the Tory welfare bill and ignored a million people marching against a war long ago abdicated the right to accuse anyone of failing to provide opposition.

The problem was that Corbyn was failing on his own terms. As such, the manifesto has had an almost therapeutic effect. Beyond reintroducing basic social democratic policies to the arena, it provides the clearest illustration yet of what the last two traumatic years within the Labour party have been about. This unexpected left turn in the party’s leadership was, it turns out, not about delivering the party to Hamas, but delivering decent public services and a programme for tackling inequality.
- Meanwhile, Abi Wilkinson sees Labour now having a substantial chance of winning an election where pre-election punditry focused on little more than a presumed wipeout. And Matt Zarb-Cousin notes that the requirement for fair coverage during a campaign is likely helping matters significantly.

- Dean Beeby reports on the real-time reaction of Canadians to the most recent federal budget - with higher taxes on the rich ranking as by far the most-appreciated message on offer. And Yves Engler suggests that the benefits of incorporation could be limited to businesses who act based on some recognition of social responsibility.

- Alex Hemingway discusses the social costs of poverty and austerity in British Columbia. Claire McIlveen highlights the social benefits of a $15 minimum wage. And George Crisp comments on the connection between inequality and poor health in Australia.

- Finally, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood studies the gap between promises and actions when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

No comments:

Post a Comment