Tories are ‘dismantling civilised society’, says Corbyn
Labour leader to hail the ‘rebirth of municipal socialism’ at their local government conference in Nottingham.
Jeremy Corbyn will hail the “rebirth of municipal socialism” as Labour councils move to reverse years of town hall outsourcing and take services back in house.
In a speech to Labour’s local government conference in Nottingham, Mr Corbyn will call for an end to Conservative policies of austerity and privatisation which were “dismantling our civilised society”.
He will also defend a call by the party’s ruling national executive committee for Labour-controlled Haringey council in north London to halt plans for a controversial housing development in partnership with the private sector.
The bitter row over the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) saw the resignation last month of the council’s long-standing leader Claire Kober, complaining of “sexism, bullying, undemocratic behaviour and outright personal attacks” by hard left supporters of the Labour leader.
Mr Corbyn will acknowledge that – faced with the urgent need for regeneration – the council believed it got the best deal it could for the borough’s residents.
However he will say the NEC’s decision to step in reflected the deep concerns which the project had caused locally.
“HDV is highly controversial, with local people worried that they could lose their homes and not get a new one in return,” he will say.
“That’s why 40% of Labour councillors opposed the proposals, as did the majority of party members in both CLPs (constituency Labour parties), both Labour MPs and local unions.
“It has been a unique situation, which is why the NEC unanimously asked the council leadership to put their plans on hold and take part in a mediation process – to bring everyone together.”
More broadly, he will say the collapse of the outsourcing giant Carillion and the bail-out of the East Coast Mainline franchise had “brutally exposed” the flaws in the privatisation agenda.
“Austerity and privatisation are dismantling our civilised society and causing misery,” he will say.
“We must urgently move on from Tory austerity and the failed privatisation obsession that has allowed services for the many become cash cows for the few.
“The whole edifice of the ‘private good, public bad’ dogma has crumbled.
“We have seen what privatisation means: services get worse or are lost, jobs get cut, workers’ pension funds are left to wither while the boardroom executives get huge bonuses on top of eye-watering salaries and private shareholders dine off public services.”