Corbyn’s address to the BCC ‘came across well’: he ‘had more depth to his speech than the business secretary’

Jeremy Corbyn recently addressed the British Chambers of Commerce at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre.

The FT reported that he delivered an ‘earnest’ speech about the importance of trade, skills, infrastructure, the co-operative movement, access to finance, enterprise and investment.

jc BCCMr Corbyn criticised the Tory government’s austerity policies, pointing out that Britain’s debt burden had continued to rise every year since the 2010 general election.

He said that the privatisation programme amounted to “flogging the furniture to pay the rent”. Right: picture from a  straightforward report in London loves Business.

CityAM.com, which covers financial and business news and has a daily readership of more than 399,000 professionals in London and the home counties, gave a more detailed account of the address:

“You may not like everything we say or do, but when it comes to the big decisions on the economy, infrastructure, skills and investment, we are natural allies. Labour is committed to what is needed for business to expand and succeed.”

“Think back. It wasn’t government that was the problem in 2008, when the banking sector drove the economy to the point of collapse. The political consensus of that time was to opt for light-touch regulation of finance and sit back and collect the tax revenues”.

Corbyn said Britain’s big banks have been a “textbook of failure” when lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and called for sweeping reform of the sector – something he called a “new ecology of finance . . .That means encouraging credit unions and small business support. We need a national investment bank at the heart of national economic policy, to target investment on key public and economic priorities, not just for very quick returns.”

He suggested using the public stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to “drive lending and investment and rebuild supply chains” – a controversial suggestion, previously floated by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The Financial Times notes that delegates taking their coffee break afterwards said they admired the sincerity of Mr Corbyn, whether or not they agreed with his politics. “I thought for this first address to a large business conference he came across very well, whether or not you agreed with him,” said Edel Harris, president of the Aberdeen & Grampian chamber of commerce. “I thought he had more depth to his speech than the business secretary [Sajid Javid] who spoke earlier.”

 

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Posted on March 13, 2016, in Democracy, Economy, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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