The truly radical elements of Labour’s economic agenda have little to do with tax and spendby Sam Moore / November 30, 2018 / Leave a comment
“For the many, not the few” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But the person for whom it has the clearest meaning is Corbyn himself.
A recent study commissioned by his Shadow Chancellor and political right hand John McDonnell serves as a reminder of where the truly radical elements of Labour’s economic agenda lie: redistributing power, rather than just money.
The latest plan to come from Corbyn’s camp, allowing consumers to vote on executive pay, is another step in this direction. The plan is for consumers—who would be identified through things like loyalty cards—to get a say on how much chief executives make.
So, for instance, anyone with a Tesco Clubcard gets a say on whether or not chief executive Dave Lewis really deserves to bring home £5 million a year. If the increasing discontent over income inequality is anything to go by, the answer to that question is almost certainly “no.”
These plans come off the back of a report by the International Labour Organisation that showed stagnant wage growth in the UK. This follows on from the Labour policy of putting workers onto boards, a direct expansion of the principle of the franchise when it comes to companies, as well as acting as a classically left-wing move when it comes to the power and importance of the worker.
With policies like this, tapping into anger over inequality, and expanding political power through the economy, Corbynism literally gives power to “the many” in a way that they haven’t had in the past; consumers and workers are given a say in arenas where they’ve historically been kept in the dark.
It isn’t just the economy that Corbyn is planning to democratise. The leader of a party that has often been critical of mainstream media—for good or for ill—has big plans on how to democratise that too. In August of this year, Labour proposed that those who pay licence fees should get a vote on who becomes a BBC executive.
The key difference between Corbyn’s plans to democratise the boardroom compared to his grand designs for media reform is that the latter are also informed by an element of tax-and-spend policy. Labour has proposed a “digital licence fee,” taxing…