It’s time for the Tories to go

Tory failure to address the most pressing needs of the economy and society makes them unfit for office, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

BEHIND the bad jokes, gimmicks and rather meagre “giveaways” in this week’s Budget, the main story was a substantial downgrading of growth forecasts in a situation where economic growth is already currently the lowest it has been since the Tories came into office and the slowest of the major economies in the G7.
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The empire strikes back

Latin America is under threat from an increasingly aggressive Trump administration, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

FOR decades now, the US has sought to intervene and bring down progressive governments — or indeed just governments that seek to assert their national sovereignty — in Latin America, using a range of methods, from “soft coups” to military coups, from sanctions to blockades, and from international isolation to direct military action.

Any hopes that the US might become less interventionist under Donald Trump have been quickly dashed by his displays of belligerence in all directions and his apparent willingness to use military action to settle scores, as already represented by bombastic language towards Mexico when pressing ahead with his proposal to build a wall on the border, and his recent refusal to rule out military options when it comes to Venezuela.
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Putting public ownership back on the agenda

Labour will slash energy, water and post bills through public ownership, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

THIS week, Labour outlined how through public ownership — and a commitment to putting people rather than rip-off private profits first — it will slash energy, water and post bills.

This could not be more needed, as the privatisation of key public utilities has seen household bills hiked up to pay for dividend and interest payments while the quality of service has often deteriorated.
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Britain can no longer afford the Tories

Recent economic reports were a damning indictment of seven years of Tory austerity, writes Ken Livingstone.

Last week’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast evaluation report says it will have to “significantly” lower its estimates for Britain’s productivity, blowing a large hole in Tory plans for the public finances ahead of the government’s November budget.

In particular, the revised figures point to the average rate of productivity growth of 0.2 per cent over the past five years as a more accurate guide for 2017 than the previous forecast of 1.6 per cent.
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Corbyn’s Labour has the answers

Conference this week showed a rejuvenated party outlining an alternative that can both win for Labour and transform Britain, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

THIS week’s Labour Conference was the best attended, most exciting and most participatory for years. For this alone Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership team deserve great credit.

The highlight of the week for me was Corbyn’s speech. He powerfully explained that neoliberalism and the Tories’ “degraded regime has a tragic monument — the chilling wreckage of Grenfell Tower.
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House the many not the few

The dramatic rise in homelessness under the Tories is a national scandal, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

ACCORDING to the government’s spending watchdog — the National Audit Office (NAO) — homelessness is up by a staggering 134 per cent since the Tories gained power in 2010.

The figures also show that rough sleeping more than doubled since 2010.

The number of households in temporary accommodation rose by 60 per cent, now affecting 73 per cent more youngsters than in March 2011.
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Tory austerity means cost-of-living crisis is set to deepen

Tory-DUP coalition of chaos is presiding over the slowest-growing economy in the G7, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

AS PARLIAMENT returns this week, more evidence has piled up over the summer recess that the Tory-DUP coalition of chaos is failing Britain’s economy with its commitment to never-ending austerity.

Specifically, Office for National Statistics figures released last week show that household spending growth has slowed to its weakest pace for two-and-a-half years, which is yet another reflection of seven years of Tory economic failure, adding to the growing pile of evidence that their ideologically driven austerity is bad for Britain’s economy and society.
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It’s time to retake our NHS from the Tories

Labour is a government in waiting and is ready to properly fund Britain’s health, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

IN THE same week that it was revealed that the Tories are planning more sell-offs of our NHS, new research published by the Labour Party showed that nearly half of England’s maternity units closed to new mothers at some point in 2016.

With these revelations coming months after the winter crisis the Red Cross termed a “humanitarian crisis,” it seems that under Tory austerity, we now have a permanent crisis in the NHS.
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Statement from Ken Livingstone on media misrepresentation regarding comments on Venezuela

I’m very disappointed at the deliberate misreporting of my comments regarding the situation in Venezuela.

I have not said that Hugo Chávez should have killed anyone and nor would I ever advocate it. I even dispel this accusation in the very interview that is being extensively quoted.

The point I was making is that contrary to some misrepresentations, Hugo Chávez didn’t repress the former ruling elite in Venezuela and many members of the former ruling elite have stayed in the country, seeking to overthrow elected Presidents through unconstitutional and violent means (including the coup in 2002) ever since.
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Tory hypocrisy on student debt knows no bounds

Don’t believe the media lies, it is Corbyn’s Labour that cares about obscene levels of student debt, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

DESPITE a media frenzy of misrepresentation fuelled by the Tories, polling this week confirmed that only 17 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds interpreted Jeremy Corbyn’s comments to “deal with” historic student debt as promising a full write-off.

Do the tabloid journalists and Tory MPs who over the last few weeks have been again and again stoking an argument about student debt — and are desperately, even now, trying to keep the row going — care in the slightest about student debt and spiralling tuition fees?
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