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3. Conduct of the election

On top of all that the election campaign was unconvincing. The actual manifesto was a strong document, both in its vision of the future and in the criticisms it made of the Conservative government's record in office. It should be retained as a statement of basic Labour Party policy.

But the campaign itself consisted of a succession of extravagant spending promises, almost playing out the right wing caricature of Labour as a party always promising much more than it can realistically hope to deliver. One of the great disappointments of the Corbyn Labour Party was its failure to work out a coherent economic policy, equivalent to the Keynesian principles that underpinned the original Welfare State. When John McDonnell first became Shadow Chancellor, he announced the formation of a high powered team to address the problem. But it seemed to fall apart very quickly and I have seen no convincing account of what happened. The policy of paying for public services by taxing the obscenely rich is all very well but it implies a commitment to keeping the obscenely rich in existence. The viability of the public services depends on them. When government borrows from the financial markets it becomes dependent on the financial markets. Somehow government has to seize control of the levers of financial power. That was the question that needed to be addressed (for myself I regard Modern Monetary Theory as the most promising overall policy framework but there are others in the general family of post-Keynesian - as opposed to Neo-Keynesian - economists).

But leaving aside that large question, the campaign could with advantage have concentrated on one or two key issues in the Manifesto. The 'Green Industrial Revolution' would have been my choice, with the emphasis placed on the 'industrial revolution' aspect and the opportunities it would provide for the development of new skills and new jobs in manufacturing. A national project that could have engaged the working class patriotism so successfully exploited by the campaigners for Brexit. The working class as an active participant in building the economy and not just a passive receiver of handouts.