Keir Starmer. Photo: public domain (uploaded 31/03/2021)
Keir Starmer. Photo: public domain (uploaded 31/03/2021)

Ryan Lyddall, Surrey Socialist Party

Its not just the Tories, famously the party of tax cuts for the rich and big businesses, who are at it. The Labour Party has backtracked on its plans to increase digital service tax from 2% to 10% after receiving nearly £10,000 worth of gifts from Google and YouTube, reported by OpenDemocracy. The Labour Party had previously promised that they would use this tax increase to slash tax rates for small businesses – the value of the ditched policy was estimated to be worth as much as £3 billion.

Once again this policy proved to be nothing more than lip service as the Labour Party has chosen to align itself with the interests of large corporations instead of the working class.

Current leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has received more freebies than the combined total of every other Labour leader since 1997. Starmer has received days at the races, tickets to eleven football matches (normally in exclusive executive suites), tickets to an Adele gig and Coldplay concerts – the combined value of Starmer’s gifts totalling nearly £30,000. Starmer’s predecessor Jeremy Corbyn accepted only one free ticket while Labour leader, and that was to attend Glastonbury, where he famously spoke on the main stage.

Starmer’s willingness to accept all these gifts has made it clear that the Labour Party is susceptible to corporate influence. It might look like Labour’s policy can be sold to the highest bidder. Is this why it doesn’t back the immediate nationalisation of Royal Mail and the railways, or scrapping all the anti-union laws? These are the policies of their trade union financial backers.

Well it is evident now more than ever that if workers and young people want a party that will represent our interests then we will have to build it ourselves. That’s why the Socialist Party is making the case for unions to back workers’ candidates to fight for socialist policies at a general election.