“With some in the labour movement arguing for a strategy of maintaining the stale neoliberal economic dogma that has been at the heart of British government for over 40 years, it’s crucial we seek to offer an alternative.”
By Logan Williams, NEU activist and Arise Festival volunteer.
Labour activists are urged to consider passing a model motion to send to Labour Conference 2023 calling for the party to adopt a clear commitment of supporting public ownership of key services and utilities including energy, water, railways, buses, social care, the royal mail and the NHS, as well as opposition to further Tory privatisation and outsourcing especially in the Education, Health and, local government sectors.
The motion is copied below and has been drafted by the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, and circulated the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and the Arise Festival volunteers.
Highlighting the impact of privatisation on the contemporary crises facing the British people, the motion importantly argues that, whilst the British working class struggles to make ends meet, private companies are making mega-profits from public services. Instead of seeking to defend these examples of corporate greed, the motion argues that these “vast sums should instead be invested to improve services, to give their workers a pay increase and to lower costs for consumers”.
Alongside this, the motion importantly points out that, contrary the impression often given by much of the media, polling has consistently shown that most voters strongly support public ownership with 66% of British citizens supporting public ownership of Energy (Survation, 2022), 84% supporting public ownership of the NHS (Survation, 2022) and, 82% wanting schools to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020). These levels of public support demonstrate that Labour could win electoral support if it places these policies at the heart of our offer to the British people.
With some in the labour movement arguing for a strategy of maintaining the stale neoliberal economic dogma that has been at the heart of British government for over 40 years, it’s crucial that our movement seeks to offer an alternative. As we know that these policies are the only measure capable of tackling the multi-faceted crisis facing the British public. We need to make sure this argument is put forward in ward and constituency Labour Party meetings across the country – and if possible, on the Conference floor.
MODEL MOTION – PUBLIC OWNERSHIP IS NECESSARY AND POPULAR
That public ownership is popular with voters, with polling indicating these levels of support
- Energy – 66% (Survation, 2022)
- Water – 69% (Survation, 2022)
- Royal Mail – 68% (Survation, 2022)
- Railways – 67% (Survation, 2022)
- Buses – 65% (Survation, 2022)
- Social Care – 64% (Survation, 2020)
- NHS – 84% (YouGov, 2017)
Additionally, 61% of the public think local and central government should try to run services in-house first, before outsourcing (Survation, 2015,) 82% want schools to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020;) and 63% want utilities to mostly be run in the public sector (Survation, 2020.)
The crises caused by soaring energy bills and the scandal of raw sewage being dumped into rivers have highlighted the failures of privatisation in Britain.
Private companies are making mega-profits from public services – these vast sums should instead be invested to improve services, to give their workers a pay increase and to lower costs for consumers.
That the Tory corruption and outsourcing crises during the pandemic further illustrated the need for public ownership and democratic control.
A clear commitment to extending public ownership of key utilities and public services can be a big vote winner for Labour.
To oppose further Tory privatisation and outsourcing, including of the NHS, education and council services. To support public ownership of key services and utilities including energy, water, railways, buses, social care, the royal mail and the NHS.
- The closing date for motions for Labour Party Conference 2023 is 5pm on Thursday 21 September 2023. Motions must be 250 words or fewer, cover one subject only and not cover an organisational matter.
- Logan Williams is a volunteer with Arise – A Festival of Left Ideas. You can follow Arise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; see what events they have coming up here; and listen to the Arise Festival podcast on Spotify.
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