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Left MPs put forward ‘serious alternative’ to pandemic response

by Bethany Rielly

LEFT-WING MPs have proposed a series of solutions to recover from the pandemic that provides a “serious alternative” to the current “Tory-created catastrophe.” 

The new pamphlet, drawn up by the Socialist Campaign Group, puts forward a wide range of radical changes needed to steer society away from the “impending economic, personal and social disaster” exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. 

Titled Winning the Future, the pamphlet includes articles by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Rebecca Long Bailey among others from the left-wing group of Labour MPs.

A green new deal, the introduction of universal basic services and enshrining the right to food in law are among the policies proposed. 

Labour MP Richard Burgon, who wrote the introduction to the pamphlet, said: “When the coronavirus crisis hit earlier this year, as one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, we should have been well placed to limit the fallout. Instead, the government’s response has been catastrophic.

“The priority for the whole labour movement must be to force the government to change track — through proposing bold, practical solutions and building the mass movements needed to win change.”

Mr Burgon said that it is not enough for the party to challenge the incompetence of the government: it must also put alternative policies on the table that “defend people hit hard by this unprecedented public health and jobs crisis.

“This new pamphlet is part of that process of mapping out a serious alternative to this Tory-created catastrophe.”

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s article proposes hiking the minimum wage, repealing anti-trade-union laws and ending the “scourge of insecure work” — measures he argues will “recession-proof workers.” 

Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott pens a piece on how to build a “society of justice and equality” by building on the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“The racism of everyday life has itself become a crisis and radical measures are needed even to begin to correct it,” she writes. 

Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy warns of the potential growth of far-right movements in the post-pandemic world, stressing the need to stand up for migrant rights against attempts to scapegoat them. 

Former labour leader Jeremy Corbyn focuses on promoting peace: “Real security is not from a power to destroy others but of knowing food, health, education and housing will be available for all citizens.”

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