Labour has to be more radical, here’s how | Owen Jones talks …

Labour has to be more radical, here’s how | Owen Jones talks …

[Music] There’s an exuberant
mood here in Liverpool at
Labour party conference but I want to put
something to you. I think there’s a danger
of people being uncritical. The reason I say
that is this: Labour needs to be more
radical than it currently is. Now, that is not the normal
mainstream media narrative, I appreciate, which is that
the Labour leadership are a bunch of
frothing-at-the-mouth Marxists who are going to
nationalise your mum and all that
kind of stuff. But take Jim O’Neill, he’s a
former Goldman Sachs bod, George Osborne’s a
massive fan of him and he said Labour,
their economic plans are on the right track. Quite the compliment
from a man like him but what I take from
that is, actually, Labour can afford
to be bolder, to be more ambitious
and to be more radical in their plans to transform
the country and to challenge the vested
interests who currently run it. [Music] The Tories have forced
the low paid, disabled people and some of the most
vulnerable people in society to pay for a crisis
caused by the very banks who, just coincidentally,
subsidise the Conservative party. They’ve done that with
billions of pounds worth of cuts to social security.
That has affected people with illnesses, with injuries,
it’s also affected low-paid workers and,
bear in mind, most people in poverty
in Britain are in work and depend on
social security. Now, Labour have
committed to reversing some of those cuts
but that is not good enough. Billions of pounds worth
of Tory cuts to the welfare state
could still remain in place if Labour come to power
and that will mean continued misery and people
struggling as a consequence. So Labour have to commit
to reversing every single last cut. Now, there are some
so-called centrists who say: “Well, that’s because Labour
committed to spending billions of pounds on
tuition fees so that students who are on, you know,
end up on middle incomes and why can’t that money
go to social security instead?” But that’s a false choice. We are one of the
wealthiest countries that has ever existed,
we can afford to cancel tuition fees so young people
aren’t saddled with debt for daring to dream
to a university education but we can also reverse
every last cut to social security and Labour must come
under pressure to do exactly that. [Music] Labour are not ambitious
enough on tax. That, for example, includes
corporation tax. Labour committed to
reversing many of the cuts that the Tories have imposed,
that’s a good thing, but we’d still just go back
to where we were in 2011. Germany would have higher
corporation tax than us and they are a far
wealthier country than us. Take, as well, income tax.
Sweden would have higher levels of income tax
even after Labour introduced its plans to make the top
five percent pay more. The same with wealth taxes.
Labour should be more ambitious in taxing
the wealth concentrated in the hands of so few
and, if we do that and make the rich
pay more money, then we can be more
ambitious in our proposals, not least in reversing cuts
to social security. [Music] Labour aren’t making
a passionate defence of immigration and that’s
been the case ever since the EU referendum.
There have been honourable exceptions:
Diane Abbott has tried to challenge the racism,
the xenophobia, the bigotry. Corbyn and others have
at various moments as well. But not the determined,
passionate defence, for example, of freedom
of movement. It’s a lie that EU migrants
caused our housing problem because of our failure
to build the housing we need, whether it be the
falling living standards caused by austerity in our
rigged economic system or strains in public services,
which migrants prop up, which have been
caused by austerity. But they’ve been scapegoated
for it and Labour’s role should be to fight against that
and that should mean committing, I would say,
to keeping freedom of movement in Europe because I don’t believe
for a second there’s any fact that shows that migrants
are causing these problems. That means Labour needs to
stand up for migrants wherever they’re from with
more passion and determination and courage and they should
come under pressure to do exactly that. [Music] One of the temptations
with Labour being under such determined, constant attack
from the rightwing media, which is virtually the
entire media, is that people feel
under siege, they feel they just have to defend
Labour and nothing else. But, actually, now there
needs to be a movement that drags Labour
to the left, that drags the political
debate further to the left. That’s what, if you like,
a movement should exist to do, a democratic movement. And that means speaking out
on issues where Labour isn’t being ambitious or
radical enough. Now, I want to hear
your thoughts. What could Labour do
to be more radical, to be more transformative?
Some of you will be going: “Err, it’s already too radical
thank you very much, Owen. Are you … Are you
on something?” Err … Fine. Let’s have that out.
Leave your thoughts. Where do you think Labour
needs to be more radical? What’s missing?
What should it be speaking out more about? Always love to hear
your comments. I will be at Conservative
party conference next week, which will be hilarious …
Kind of. So look out for that video,
subscribe, I’ll see you next time. Yes! Yeah!
Woo! That was good.


100 thoughts on “Labour has to be more radical, here’s how | Owen Jones talks …”

  • AndrogyneMichinaga says:

    Well, Jeremy Corbyn has shown that Labour is not committed to tackling climate change and can't be trusted on the environment. Corbyn did not impose a whip on the vote for the third runway for Heathrow airport. now other European airports may well seek to expand and compete to be the premier hub airport with the best connections for flights. At a time when we need to moderate the impact of the air industry on CO2 emmissions, Labour has instead allowed it's MP's to back significant increase in emmissions. Yet, there was Owen Jones recently saying that the Green Party should become part of the Labour party as an affiliate. Labour needs to be much more radical on environmental issues and redistribute wealth, rather than seek unsustainable economic growth on the basis that a tiny bit more wealth will trickle down to ordinary people.

  • Of course, Labour could promise to stop the global money-laundering operation carried out in the City of London and its off-shore affiliates. Labour could also tackle Britain's role as one of the world's biggest arms dealers. Finally, Labour could nationalise the banking industry and ensure that the people and not private financiers control the economy.

    These are very radical steps, which is why no political party that wants to be in power could ever contemplate them. Labour may tinker with social welfare, education, etc., if it wins the next election, but it will never do anything really "radical", because it would not be allowed to.

  • Saying that students are crippled with massive is so misleading. A student loan isn't a normal loan, you don't even have to pay it back until you can afford to and only then you have to pay 10%….I'd be happy to pay for universal university education as long as I weren't paying for courses that aren't important such as women's studies and the likes which have no real job prospects or creating wealth in the economy

  • There is one issue that is too important not to prioritise, which is pollution (including CO2). Climate policy must be CENTRAL to national and international politics.

  • Owen, why don't you go and live in Luton and then you can tell me about immigration. That is providing you have not been thrown off a roof! Btw I joined the Labour Party because of Jeremy Corbyn. I voted for Brexit and I would vote for it again and I had a Jamaican girlfriend for 5 years. I also have an (hons) degree. So I am not rightwing, racist or stupid. I just want controlled immigration.

  • Owen, Diane Abbott is one of the biggest racists in Parliament. Unless your definition of racism does not include white people as victims.

  • Great to see you at the Conference Owen. Completely agree with your comments on Brexit at the Fabian Fringe event.

    Your videos inspired me to create my own channel.

  • 'Down with the vested interests. Also, the vested interests – they say we're doing a good job'

    You represent the vested interests, guys. Ever larger government to buy and utilise – _ –
    It always comes with corruption, because it's the nature of it

    Don't be so arrogant to think you could do this large overreaching government thing better, and also have the next person hold the reigns of that power and not see corruption, ad infinitum. It's not happened yet, it's safe to say it won't

  • I think owen should go and sit in his garage and leave the engine on
    Along with Angela Merkel and the e.u dictatorship before it's to late

  • Hecatonicosachoron says:

    There is one truly radical option, which is also quite general: evidence-based policy making, coupled to an unyielding commitment to human rights.

  • Scarlett Sherriff says:

    Framing identity issues as the economic issues that they are is important. For example reversing benefits cuts as a whole helps disabled people, but it also helps everyone reliant on social security, making the workplace more understanding and able to utilise the unique perspective of those with disabilities helps everyone get a job that suits them in society, and making transport more accessible also helps everyone, imagine the joy on commuters faces if there was more space on the tube! Doing this makes for a radical manifesto about a people's economy, which focuses on what people can put in together, rather than on the corporate greed that always desires what it defines as the finished, polished product (to the detriment of society). It couldn't get more socialist than making a people's economy.

  • It is not just "The economy, stupid.". Immigration from the EU was increasing the UK population by 1M every 3 years. 1 in 5 British mammals are in danger of extinction. That problem is not going to be helped by unrestricted EU immigration. Saving our environment is important and worth an economic sacrifice.

  • At the present moment banks created money and lend it to the government creating the National debt. A Labour government should scrape this system, (that only benefits the banks) and make it a law that only the government can create money. So the government has all the money it needs in which to stimulate the economy and pay for all public services.

  • Embittered Drunk says:

    I'm pretty thick. I'll be listening for the first minute trying to take it in, and then I'll get distracted by something in the background…'oh look an ice cream van'.

  • "…the right wing media, which is virtually the entire media" – PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA jesus christ you people live in la la land

  • Owen Jones, the left's yo-yo. Talk about blowing with the wind – instead of empty headed red-vanchism, how about genuinely evolutionary new ideas and policy?

  • Labour runs the risk of becoming too middle class. The labour movement has always been driven by the working class. We should be careful not to become too bourgeois with niche movements that most people aren't interested in and in any event, won't be effected by and focus on social rights and a social economy and take care not alienate our core base of supporters. Most of all, we need a zero tolerance when it comes to thoughts of remaining the EU. The Labour Party is the next government, not a book club.

  • Immigration laws should be relaxed but evenly for the whole world, not by giving EU citizens preferential treatment.

  • Non cookie cutter says:

    Owen, did you ever wonder why so many of your videos recieve so many dislikes? Its because your viewpoints are ridiculous. The left in modern Britain has strayed so far from the actual message of the Labour Party its an absolute disgrace. Its 2018 and we have champagne socialists advocating for 'modern communism' for crying out loud…

  • Why give Sweden as an example of higher income tax than Labour’s plan? One of the main things it’s known for is high tax.
    Say Belgium, for example. I bet we have higher tax than Labour’s plan.

  • Labour needs to radical by actually be trying to improve the life of working people. Instead of important voters and getting involved in identity politics. Owen Jones needs to go gave to be being a rent boy

  • Good question, Owen. The EU groupings already provided this structure in a hampered form, but frankly I want to see socialist parties in multiple countries coordinate their corporation tax rises and the closing of loopholes.

    Neoliberals have shown through projects like TTIP and mass surveillance that they’re very effective at working across borders. Even Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica on the far right have gotten in touch with their “globalist” impulses. The left need to stop being so atomised and do the same.

  • Hi Owen,
    Labour seems to be focusing on Rail travel, but I think Labour's missing out, because that's 1.7 billion passengers/yr. Labour should be generating bold policy for "buses" which is 4.36 billion passengers/yr. Bus fares, like trains, are also shockers. Shaking up the bus transportation industry would offer Labour many lines of policy that The Public would see as beneficial.
    – Make all buses "free", shifting the costs to business.
    – This would greatly expand bus usage, significantly improve bus networks and service, and create lots of jobs.
    – This would revive high streets and improve British society/culture.
    – This would be a "Green" move, shifting The Public away from personal car usage.
    – British commitment to the increasing industry would drive British innovation and manufacturing involved in improving every aspect of this industry, = jobs.

    …but, strangely, I haven't heard Labour say the word "bus" yet…….

  • Michael Yeovil says:

    Go with the continuation of Freedom of Movement, Owen. In fact everytime you're on TV openly call for it. Demand for it in the next Labour Manifesto and call for Corbyn and Abbott to shout how they want to continue with it at every opportunity!

    Then I can guarantee you'll never see power again!

  • Anyone that promotes the walking car crash that is Dianne Abbott as a shining example of how to conduct oneself will not be getting my vote…

  • Jimmy O'Keeffe says:

    I think that the Labour Party needs to make it clear that climate change is real. So I think that they should come up with ways in which we as a country should invest in green technology, energy and jobs. I also think that Labour needs to also talk not about making this country equal and work for the many not the few but to also put pressure on other governments around the world to recognise LGBTQ+ rights, workers rights and woman’s rights as well. I also agree that the Labour Party needs to keep on fighting back at the Toris and needs to come up with more radical ideas to make this country a more equal, stress free society.

  • I’m what you describe as left but free movement on labour between unequal countries is a great idea but the way it has worked is that it’s has caused low wage employers to keep wages low when there is a limited work force the employers are forced to increase wages it has also let our government decrease spending on educating new doctors, nurse and other public professionals as they are able to get these professionals who a trained elsewhere which also keeps wages low for this section of people the problem we have is that it been happening for so long we can’t just reverse it over night there need to be investment in education ie scrapping tuition fees then forcing low wages employers to pay a living wage and keeping that wage in line with living cost this would reduce the benefit bill claimed by working people

  • Matthew oyston says:

    Just never go near government Owen all we hear is tax top 1% and do everything for bottom 20% there are those inbetween like 79% who don't all fit in those categories. Not everyone is a right or left winger most just want a decent life ! Ignoring and refusing to event debate immigration for a start shows owen you have utter contempt for the very working class people you claim to fighr for….you are a classic middle-class socialist george Orwell wrote in that you dont really like the working class but boy do you hate the rich!

  • Stephen hetterley says:

    Labour should do more to help trade unions for example make it easier for them to gain recognition to collectively bargain on behalf of workers.

  • Thomas Acratopulo says:

    Thanks for the video Owen. Would just like to comment on your statement on "the rich". Surely it isn't fair to say to the people who work hard and contribute to the economy to say give up more of your hard earned money more then 50% in some cases because we want the less fortunate to have more free things that they haven't had to work for in some cases
    Just my opninon and I'm not saying every working class person doesn't work hard I'm just saying you need to understand that the rich don't just sit on piles of gold.
    Thanks again for the video

  • I would not agree with a reversal of all recent changes. We live in a different time and we need innovative solutions. Rewind, for me, is not innovative. Jones does makes a good point; there needs to be pressure from the left to counter the pressure from the right. Jones understands that the 'Overton window' determines what can be politically viable in a democracy (?). I wonder if he is supporting a devils advocate to move the 'window' further left.

  • How will Labour pay for this radical programme of change? There policies all seem based on what ifs and maybes – all it takes is for the 'wealthy' and companies to leave and every single one of Labour's policies goes up in flames. Corbyn earns more than the average NHS Nurse, but does not consider himself to be wealthy and therefore would be exempt whilst the rest of us would be hit with higher and higher taxes to pay for this all.

  • Hmmm just because you can not see evidence does not mean it is not there; it has been great in some areas but terrible in others.

    While a level of immigration is needed for things I am not sure the type of immigrants we are getting is good for the people who are already here; in addition the levels we are getting are unsustainable.

    While I agree the government has not done enough for houses, services etc they would have had to build more and faster than at any time in history to cope with the rate the population is rising… and that is without going in to the social impact and inevitable backlash that we are already seeing.

    It might be morally unacceptable to say it but I don't understand why we can not have better control of it and why the left are unable to understand the difference between dislike of the management of immigration and the dislike of actual immigrants; the latter coming from the very few and not the many. If 1,000,000 economic migrants came to the UK from the EU through FOM over the course of a year would the still be seen it as a good thing?

  • You want labour to be more radical but you won't even be so radical as to even have a chat with Douglas Murray? C'mon Owen, please do an Owen meets with Douglas Murray.

  • Stephen Shipley says:

    Absolutely right in the idea that Labour needs to think further to the left. There are so many pressures pulling to the right that you have to pull very hard to the left to get far enough. Labout
    also needs to start to get it's head round the fundamental problem of the mid-term future which is "Given that an increasing proportion of the population is unemployable, how are we going to share out the money?" Because, sure as eggs are eggs, the Tory answer will be "Mostly to the rich and nothing for the poor". The US Department of Defense already considers about 15% of thepopulation as unemployable and, with automation, that ppercentage will rise and rise.

    One answer is basic income but that brings the problem of who gets it, because if there isn't some kind of birthright attached (screams of "two-tier citizenship!") the country would be an even
    bigger draw to illegal immigration.

  • what happened to labour… all they want is our taxes to pay for people from other countries to have kids here and vote labour..try helping the white over ran white working class

  • hey owen, what could labour do to be more radical? free movement for sure, for me it starts by providing a genuine alternative to brexit. there are some interesting politics in naples and there the local government has appointed a minister of the commons (common space) in the hope of pushing community initiative that does not necessarily have to be profitable. they could adocate for free transport. not sure how realistic that is but even subsidised would have a large impact. the train service in belgium costs 6.20 to travel anywhere in the country, information flows faster when price is not an obstacle. free or subsidised tuition? germany is free. their art schools are in high demand and can afford to take very interesting students and teachers. we could look at systematic racism and take active measures to dismantle prejudice in the beurocratic systems and in the social sphere. become more relateable? do we need suits in court? is it possible to set up community spaces run by mps to brainstorm with locals on development? im not sure but it is a mindset that feels very repressed, 'radical'.

  • Rolfus Adolfus Malthus says:

    Agree about being more radical, but not the household fallacy economics. The govt is not dependent on tax receipts from the rich or anyone else and should not budget as if the economy were a household. Coz it makes folks vote Tory.

  • EU/commonwealth (the WHOLE commonwealth before anyone puts words in my mouth) migration was never an issue. A lot of people were upset with the EU and wanted to leave (sacrificing EU migration/freedom of movement) due to immigration from the middle east. people skipping the queue from a society that doesn't always gel with ours.
    Not that England makes any attempts to integrate these people fully. Seemingly separating communities by race on purpose.
    I could rant on.

  • Jeremy Corbyn is not remotely radical.
    He probably isn't even a Socialist, I wouldn't even say he was left wing.
    Labour needs to start supporting collectivism, syndicalist unions, mass strikes of millions and controversially must purge the Blairite (apologies if I spelt that wrong) elements in the parliamentary membership.

  • I agree but your suggestions also don't go nearly far enough. No economic policy which doesn't commit to a universal basic income is fit to address the issues of the 21st century. I'd also like to see a much stronger commitment to constitutional reform and social freedoms. Borrowing the Lib-Dems policy of marijuana legalization would be a good start. I voted Lib-Dem in 2017 cause I thought they had a broader scope of reforms than Labour did but I'd happily reconsider if Labour actually becomes as radical as it says it is.

  • The more radical you get, the more people will turn against you. By all means, be more radical. When, not if, when people stand up against you and put you down you'll only have yourselves to blame. But I'm sure you'll still try to blame anyone but yourselves. You're too addicted to that victim card of yours.

  • Not very well liked are you soy boy . Labour radical hahaha most far left you can get !…
    Gay boy is a joke and a token so called journalist for the guardian comic

  • Daniel Colonna says:

    I find it impressive how effortlessly you mix arrogance with well meaning, but very out of touch ideas on behalf of the very people you're patronizing on most your videos

  • Excellent. Progressive and forward thinking policies that dont seem draconian support workers health housing and education whilst preserving properly rights and business. Tax reform and a program of training for all youth.

  • The Labour Party need to bring in mandatory reselection for MPs so local constituencies get the candidate they actually want.

  • Mr Jones, I hope that you are enjoying the capitalist revenues from your recent change of book publisher from NON profit to CAPITALIST for profit publishers. I am surprised to see you accept and embrace Capitalist Ideals and take an income from publising (rather than non profit publishing) and take income from in video adverts from commercial and capitalist companies. Great to see you standing shoulder to shoulder with the working man and woman. IRONY OF IRONY, MY COMMENT ON YOUR HYPOCRACY WILL LINE YOUR POCKETS OF INCOME STREAM! THUMBS UP TO THIS COMMENT IF YOU AGREEE WITH ME

  • You don't beleive that migrants cause any problems? You truly are out of touch, Owen, if you believe that. Unregulated immigration has destroyed the community in my town and has led to nationalistic tendencies and opinions within normal people here. This is because of the formation of 'ethnic conclaves', when large groups of foreigners move to an area and create sub communities within larger areas. This leads to an us and them mentality between different ethnic groups because of language and cultural barriers. I have met polish, romanians and others who can not speak a word of english because where they work, shop and live are all of their own culture, this means they are not integrating with the surrounding society's which in turn leads to tension between different groups and the rise of nationalism. I am pro immigration and even pro freedom of movement BUT I am also willing to accept that the system is not perfect and needs regulation to prevent community tension and scenarios where you have many people moving to this country who refuse to integrate and send most of their money back home – making them a dead weight to the economy and society.

  • max's interlude says:

    I trust Mcdonnell/Corbyn are far more radical than the manifesto would have us believe, i think it's about balance and self-preservation for them, the first set of ideas were radical enough when these are ideas the general public hasn't heard in decades and the media could easily misrepresent so it took a lot to win people over, but i think we were quite successful as shown by the GE2017, i think the Overton window was finally shifted closer to the centre or even centre-left when we have become accustomed to right wing ideas. I would want to see Labour possibly test out Universal Basic Income – i think the last manifesto was sorely lacking in engagement with the future of automation and the jobs that will be lost, i think Labour ought to widen there scope and become a bit more tech friendly as the UK is seriously behind when it comes to tech, automated industries could generate huge wealth if they are in the public sector so I would be impressed with a drive to invest in automation and use the revenue for UBI, a free-housing scheme for homeless people, crack down on rent crisis and vacant house. In the same vein as the automation conversation I also would like to see a shorter working week being embraced by labour, possibly a 4-day working week. I think they should really be pushing to abolish private schools all together, and to seriously transform the prison system and handling of young offenders.

  • sujammalover 16 says:

    I dont know how opinion polls are on this in the uk so maybe this isnt a great strategy, but why not make a campaign issue out of abolishing the house of lords. I mean there existance is fundamentally undemocratic and against the many in favor of an elite few.

  • To be fair, Owen, it would be easier if you and your type moved to Venezuela, than to try and install the Venezuelan model in this fine country, bright lad.

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