Socialist Worker

Dangers in Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Build it in Britain’ speech

Issue No. 2614

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in June this year

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in June this year (Pic: The Pinefox/Flickr)

Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour’s “Build it in Britain” strategy on Tuesday.

There were welcome promises on better pay for workers, action on housing, green production and a commitment to challenge European Union state aid rules.

But it was all wrapped up in economic nationalism—and there’s nothing progressive about British bosses rather than foreign ones.

Corbyn made a point that new ships to supply the Royal Navy battle fleet cost £1 billion.

But the point isn’t that they should be built in Britain, but that they shouldn’t be built at all.

Before the speech Labour briefed that Corbyn would attack the use of “cheap labour from abroad”—a reference to migrant workers in Britain. In fact he spoke of “cheap labour abroad”, a less dangerous formula, although still suggesting that workers should see those in other countries as competitors.

Across the world rulers say they will make their countries “great again” by beating down others.

Labour should have nothing to do with such divisive views.

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