Corbyn: a new settlement between work and leisure

UK Escapologists could do worse than support Corbyn’s Labour party. Not only has Corbyn proposed four new bank holidays and begun to investigate UBI, he had this to say about automation in his conference speech this week:

We need urgently to face the challenge of automation, robotics that could make so much of contemporary work redundant. That is a threat in the hands of the greedy, but what an opportunity if it’s managed in the interests of society as a whole.

If planned and managed properly, accelerated technological change can be the gateway for a new settlement between work and leisure, a springboard for expanded creativity and culture, making technology our servant and not our master, at long last.

As far as I know, he’s one of the only political leaders speaking in this way about the inevitable future (and dreary present-day reality) of work.

Here’s the Guardian analysis:

What is fascinating about Mr Corbyn’s speech is its hidden depths, most notably on possible “alternative models” to capitalism. The Labour party sees in the future not just the rise of robots, which might entrench economic feudalism, but also the worry that too many people will remain trapped in drudgery-filled, low-productivity jobs. Although Mr Corbyn did not spell this out, he referenced a little-publicised party report that fleshes out Labour’s view of the new economy. This states that accelerating automation is a key political project. Labour’s goal, the report argued, should be to accelerate into this more automated future “while building new institutions where technological change is shaped by the common good”. Mr Corbyn’s socialism is evidently more intellectually bracing than previously countenanced.

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About

Robert Wringham is a humorist and the editor-in-chief of New Escapologist.

2 Responses to “Corbyn: a new settlement between work and leisure”

  1. Robert Day says:

    It is great to see this sort of thing getting into the mainstream at last. You’ll find if you look that these are all things that The Green Party have been banging on about for years.

  2. Absolutely. The Green Party of the last five years or so (Lucas and Bennett) have drastically shifted the window of political discussion to the progressive left. People are starting to say that Corbyn’s Labour is the new centre ground, ground once squatted upon by Milliband’s Labour (boooo). I think it’s the Green Party we have to thank in large part for this shift.

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