Open Labour Welcomes John MCDonnell’s Speech on the Future of the Economy under a Labour Government

This was a confident, coherent speech from a Shadow Chancellor ready for government with a radical plan to transform our economy for the many.   It was wonderful to hear a speech that inspired and lit up the Labour conference, giving hope to workers everywhere.

John read the mood of the Conference, the Party and the nation: people are fed up with capitalist greed, unfair taxation and growing inequality between the have and the have nots.   Dismantling eight hard years of austerity isn’t going to be easy, but our end objective to reverse Tory mismanagement of the economy and lifting 4 million children out of poverty and 5000 of our fellow citizens from homeless, is a task we are ready for.

Open Labour supports the banning of zero hours contracts, a revised living wage and getting to grips with the continuing gender pay gap.

We wholeheartedly support the strengthening of trade union sectoral bargaining which is significant in terms of workers’ wages and their terms and conditions of employment and the renationalisation of utilities such as water, energy, Royal Mail and rail are long overdue.

There was a notable emphasis on bringing Water into public ownership and we understand the need to compensate shareholders over bonds but a Welsh model of a direct mutual where customers are the owners is better than a Transport for London style model with Regional Water Authorities. We’re pleased there will be a public ownership consultation exercise in which Open Labour will play a full part.

The inclusive ownership scheme is a superb policy to put before an electorate, facilitating workers to be shareholders in their places of work, a shared ownership of the means of production for the 21st century and beyond and all that a socialist government should be about.      

In conclusion, we agree with the commitment to shift the balance of power from big business to the millions of people who make our economy work.  This was a speech which will resonate with workers everywhere and offer hope to those who thought they had been forgotten about.

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