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Nandy calls New Labour continuation of Thatcher consensus – but supports “principle” of Universal Credit

Leadership candidate discussed new speech on Radio 4’s Today programme

Lisa Nandy

Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy appeared on this morning’s Radio 4 Today programme to talk about a speech she will be giving today – and said it is ‘certainly true’ to say that the Blair/Brown ‘New Labour’ government was a continuation of Thatcherite principles of taking a ‘small amount from those at the very very top and handing it with conditions to those at the bottom’.

But she also said that she supports the ‘principle’ of Universal Credit (UC):

Nandy explained that she believed that Universal Credit did not come with enough ‘support network’ to help claimants get to grips with it, in particular with the need to set up bank accounts and apply online.

However, she did not mention the most widely-criticised aspects of UC: that claimants are left for weeks without any payments when they first move onto it, with only access to emergency loans – which have to be repaid from scant resources – to bridge the gap, forcing many into heavy debt; and the fact that the system is designed to leave greater numbers of poor people worse off.

Labour Party policy is that the system is a punitiveunmitigated disaster‘ and must be scrapped altogether.

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76 comments

    1. I agree. I think it must always be remembered that Lisa Nandy participated in the coup and resigned from the job she claims was the honour of her life as part of the plan to oust Jeremy , she then,co chaired Owen Smiths campaign, refused to take a front bench role after Jeremy won by a landslide and is now seeking to replace him, She is ambitious but not as stupid as Jess Phillips who is open in her animosity towards Jeremy and the Socialist members of the party . Instead she is always there in the background undermining us.
      She must not be rewarded for this

      1. Nandy is a cynical , lying, backstabbing, Right Winger – trying, as with all the candidates for the Leadership , NOT to be seen as having no new ideas at all, rather than being in favour of a return to warmed up Blairism. But if that is depressing, just have a read of this codswallop from supposed ‘Left Winger’ , Rebecca Long-Bailey, in the Guardian for equally vacuous sophistry ! https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/22/rebecca-long-bailey-sets-out-vision-of-hope-in-labour-leadership-pitch

        Remember when ALL the Leadership contenders in 2015 except Jeremy were focussing on that neoliberal platitude term , ‘aspiration’, as the big Labour key objective ? By that they meant of course individualist striving , sharp elbows to get ahead of your neighbours and mates – with no thought of solidarity and shared effort – all very aspiring middle class ‘Mondeo man’ Blairite New Labour. Well, in this article, Long-Bailey sounds like Liz Kendall in 2015 – its all apparently about ‘working class aspiration’ – no longer the return to the working class socialist values of collective progress through collective action that Jeremy inspired the hustings audiences with in 2015 and 2017.

        If the shifty Long-Bailey is the best the ‘Corbyn legacy Left’ have to offer, we can wave goodbye to any continuation of the Corbynite Left turn of 2015 to 2019, whoever wins the contest. It’s going to be a return to the corrupt , shadow the Tories – but just a little to their Left, politics of the Blair era from now on. Electorally suicidal of course – as sundry corrupt old nepotistic, cronyist, generations in place, Labour councils , who have steadily discredited themselves since 2010 by becoming the cravenly compliant agents of Tory Austerity cuts, up and down the country, are going to find out in May.

      1. As someone who is a true socialist, and knows how to achieve it, not a romantic and deluded dreamer whingeing about a lack of Marxist purity while effectively ensuring we never get anywhere near power, I think I know what I’m talking about. You avoid any pragmatic steps to gaining a Lab victory because you will have to give up your sentimental, airy fairy waffle and make some tough calls if we did win. Plus I’ve been on UC so I know the system first hand.
        You are the epitome of waffling wine bar socialists, a useful idiot and a boon to the Tories as the ill considered nonsense you spout sets Labours pursuit of power back every time you post. If i wanted one person to design policies and tactics so Labour never form a government again I would choose you.

      2. “I think I know what I’m talking about.”

        I’m sure you *think* you do – but you’ve said nothing to demonstrate the validity of that.

        In fact, on the evidence here, you are ” the epitome of waffling wine bar socialists, a useful idiot and a boon to the Tories as the ill considered nonsense you spout sets Labours pursuit of power back every time you post.”

        Any fool can claim to be a ‘true socialist’ – even the trolls here do, all the time. The trick is to back up such claims, and add something useful to the discussion.

        I’m not saying you can’t. I’m saying you haven’t.

        How are you defining ‘true socialist’? Avid SWP reader? Tony Blair man with fingers crossed behind your back? What? I think we’re entitled to know, if you wave it about like a Badge of Honour.

        To be honest, trolling for Nandy is a pretty poor defining quality.

        Over to you …

      3. rwendland
        I don’t disagree, good and bad in both systems,
        What UC will allow us to deliver quickly is individuals keeping all of their earnings until they fall into line with average income, tax and n.i. think much higher upper limits
        Abolish sanctions and set in concrete the safety net

      4. Can’t say I understand that. “UC will allow us to deliver quickly”? 1) UC has taken about a decade to be (mostly) implemented so very slow for govt 2) the 5 week UC wait is anything but quick for the clients.

        Don’t understand what you mean by “keeping all of their earnings until they fall into line with average income, tax and n.i.”, as that certainly isn’t the way UC currently works.

        And what does “average income” means in this context – UC is tailored to individual circumstances (no of children, housing costs etc) so I don’t really understand, is the proposal to calculate a multitude of averages across a wide range of circumstances so an appropriate one is chosen?

      1. timfrom
        The old system of tax credits destroyed people who dared work more than 16 hours, that was the old benefits trap
        Vast majority agreed we needed simplification, Lisa is right on this one, UC is a good system in principle and under a Labour government will deliver a clear path out of poverty
        Think marginal tax rates, Gregga is the perfect example, how should that £300 bonus be treated under any system
        Think hostile environment over welfare benefits which centrists supported
        Think safety net below which no one ever falls, because it simply does not exist anymore
        Think sanctions, leaving folk with nothing
        FFS just think about what kind of society we are now

      2. Doug> “tax credits destroyed people who dared work more than 16 hours”

        No it didn’t/doesn’t (remember Tax Credits still live for a lot of people), check out the graph of post-benefit/tax income under Tax Credits vs. UC by hours worked at NMW:

        https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Universal_Credit_vs_Tax_Credits_chart,_2019_projected.png

        In fact under Tax Credits there is a “30-hour element” which is an extra £810/year if you work 30+ hours, which is the opposite of your claim. If Tax Credits were to be criticised on hours-worked criteria it would be that it disadvantages single people working *under* 16 hours or couples working *under* 30 hours.

      1. Anyone who saw the photograph of the late Mr Steven Smith who died of complications after prolonged starvation following Benefit Sanctions would have to agree with you Aidey. Mr Smith looked very similar to a Nazi Concentration camp prisoner.
        UC is a cruel in fact barbaric system designed to punish not to help. Anyone who says differently is gravely mistaken.

      1. Aidey/Smartboy
        What would you do with LHA
        Local Housing Allowance
        Methinks you have not a Scooby
        Regards

      2. Well Doug I think I do have a scoobie actually
        Until there is enough low cost social housing we need to subsidise tenants renting the the private sector. This subsidy should be payable separate to any other income whether from earnings or benefits .
        Putting rent restrictions or any type of a cap on the amount of subsidy will simply stop landlords renting to those in need of subsidised housing and of course will lead to more homeless among poorer families and individuals, so no rent cap..
        The subsidy must be kept in line with real market rents. This of course will push the rents up and make renting more profitable for landlords but that’s what happens when you privatise housing ( under Thatchers right to buy).
        People unable to afford to buy should not have to suffer because of her obsession with market forces.,

      3. Smartboy/rwendland/aidey
        No disrespect to any of you
        Its the shortfall in rent/ctax and sanctions that are killing people,
        But due to the race to the bottom by Tories and New Labour its seen as a vote loser by gutless and spineless politicians
        Fuck em all, get them out of the party, tell them we dont want their votes, clear red water
        Nowts going to change until we destroy the neo liberal consensus, the class system and media that feeds it
        In parliament every convention has been broken, in GE the contempt for democracy was crystal clear
        Your a liar and a charlatan and you lead a party that is the most corrupt in western europe
        Would be a start

      4. Reply to Doug
        I agree with you about Tory policies killing people and cited a dreadful example earlier. I also believe we should have a clear out of MPs who are Labour in name only and that once we do that we will be in a position to tackle the Tories who under Johnson have as you say broken every parliamentary convention – and it will get worse believe me – head on.

      5. Smartboy
        The language has to change, when Uncle Festa stands up and ignores the question then blatantly lies through his back teeth, we need to break with convention and say so
        Same for media and equally clear cut for PLP
        The safety net does not exist anymore, people close to the edge are being pushed over and they know it plays to their base,
        They only understand two things ‘greed and fear’ let’s put some fear into them,
        Start with your a bunch of scumbags until there is a consensus on safety net, a level of income below which no one falls, paying market rents would actually work as a punishment for government who created this Eton mess,
        Throw in compulsory purchase when its cheaper to buy the property,
        Put Starmer under pressure to boycott The Sun full stop, media get nowhere near party until they play the game,
        BBC and Channel 4 have to at least pretend to be have standards, put them on notice as well
        Lauren Kuensberg give up your source or find another job
        What’s been done about abuse in GE by scumbags,

      6. The idea that when they go low we go high makes me physically sick,
        By JC standards the Queen is a terrorist sympathiser
        By AS standards good jews tell us bad jews are not real jews
        Period poverty and food banks now make for Tory photo opportunities,
        I shit you not, Tory MP yesterday took credit for the introduction of free sanitary products in schools and colleges
        Fuck em all, until proven otherwise, they are Scumbags

      7. Smartboy says what I think too. Being confined to a wheelchair it would give me the knowledge that my rent is paid. That’s my main worry, and most others in my predicament. The thought of being homeless on wheels is not a great way to start the day.

      8. Aidey Aitchdee
        Highly unlikely,
        No district judge would make that order unless they had confirmation of alternative suitable accommodation
        If anyone is struggling with rent then get specialists on board through Shelter or Citizens Advice Bureau
        This is a good time to apply for additional Housing Benefit payments, if theres anything left in the pot,
        They used to ring us up to encourage claims before the end of the financial year
        Regards

    1. What did we have before it came into being? We had a benefit system that catered for individual means, UC creates an unnecessary 5 week wait, when you have nothing how can anyone expect to live during that time.

      It’s pretty obvious it’s a punitive system designed to drive people into accepting lower paid work and zero hours contracts. Nothing else.

      The last point is, money is not a problem for a sovereign country with its own sovereign currency such as our’s, so we can afford a properly functioning benefit system.

    2. A system of social security that provides a safety net and a job finding service hopefully; something like an employment exchange perhaps? Certainly not a punishing regime like universal credit.

  1. The article seems to be a little unfair in so far as she wasn’t asked about time before receipt etc and I’ve heard her attack the idea. Many people support the basic principle that the Byzantine maze of welfare provisions needed simplifying and that’s all she’s saying.

  2. I would like to see her and the rest of the trough feeders in the PLP on universal starvation.Let them eat cake attitude from such people is disgusting behaviour..We can see now what we are in for with this bunch of candidates.

    1. Joseph, as Smartboy replied to me concerning the pictures of mr Stephen Smith looking like a concentration camp victim, any MP who can honestly say that UC is a good system in principle has been living in a bubble and totally out of touch with the horrors it inflicts on people. They need to have it inflicted on THEM.

  3. I think comparing Nandy to Marie Antoinette is a bit strong. Is Starmer Louis XV1? Don’t you risk running out of villains before you even finish with Labour?

    1. Paul Sir keir starmer you mean….I can see you like history paul and remember what happend to the aristocrats,Cap doffers have no place in socialism and neither do those that support them And villians paul weve got a PLP and Momentum approved candidates for you to vote for comrade.

  4. I remember her primarily for the Question Time (BBC Version) before the last US election, where she, with lemon-sucking solemnity, proclaimed that she “would walk through fire for Hillary Clinton”!

    That ought to disqualify her straight off the bat. That and her mind-blowing personality/integrity vacuum…

    1. But if she was referring to the horror of the alternative that doesn’t sound too bad – at all!

      1. Every comment you have made on this thread has betrayed (to be charitable) a severe lack of judgement,and none more so than the last one.At least with gormless one in the White House it is obvious what is going on.With La Clinton it would have been war with no warning.!

  5. Nandy is one of far too many in the PLP who would have fitted in to the left of the Tory party pre Thatcher.We should be talking about how to get her and the rest of the cuckoos out of the Labour party nest,not debating whether or not she should be leader.

    1. John Thatcher…..The tory trolls feel it’s safe to come out and play now all the good ones have been harassed out of the party.Regards and solidarity.

  6. I think Nandy’s said some decent things today and there’s no need to take potshots at her for that. What does concern me is that she is most likely playing to the gallery for the votes she needs to win, i.e. Corbyn supporters. What she would actually do if elected is quite another matter and if one wanted any further proof of why it’s a bad idea, in the wake of the demise of Jess Phillips, Nandy is being heavily backed by the Guardian, the house rag of the PLP. That says it all.

    1. Labrebgalliose “I think Nandys said some decent things today and theres no need to take pot shots at her”” shes most likely playing to the gallery “….and to finish you say backed by the guardian,the house rag of the PLP says it all.” What she would actually do if elected is another matter, .. “Its a bad idea” .Well you certainly put up a good argument against yourself.Lets just simplify it by saying Do not vote for her.Ok comrade?

    2. Reply to Labreisgalloise
      I think your remark about Jess Phillips leaving Lisa Nandy heavily backed by the Guardian sums up what Phillips campaign was all about. I think she was put forward as a loud nasty right wing candidate to deflect attention from Lisa Nandy who is not loud and not overtly nasty but who is equally right wing . I imagine if Lisa Nandy is elected Jess Phillips will be right up there on the front bench as a reward for sacrificing her credibility in the right wing cause.
      Vote Lisa and I think you’ll get not only Jess but the likes of Rachel Reeves, Wes Streeting, Neil Coyle and Alison McGovern etc as your shadow ministers . – a roll back to the Blair years which doesn’t bear thinking about

  7. Well said John Thatcher. Like many countries that repeatedly allow us to exploit them. Or victims of domestic and other violence. The victims assume somehow things will eventually work out. The fact that Nandy and Starmer got Union endorsement screams deep Deep DEEP problems at the very heart of our Labour Party. Bottom up words …now and then. Top down control all the time.
    That Tom Watson could even be recommended for a peerage by Jeremy, makes my heart sink. Seems lessons have not been learnt. There is no understanding of the word “reflection”. Starmer should never have been allowed on the front bench. Now unions accept the MSM script.

    1. That Tom Watson could even be recommended for a peerage by Jeremy

      You @#☠️👿ing what??? I don’t belieeeeve it! When? If so, the guy’s an idiot, which explains a lot! 😀

  8. Nandy must be so encouraged by the endorsement she got from the ‘retiring’ Jess, that she thinks she can spout any old rubbish and get away with it.

    I have tried to imagine whose votes she hopes to attract with such piffle, and come up empty – Chuka isn’t a member any more.

  9. Sop what *exactly* is Nandy’s sin? (I didn’t hear the interview).

    Is it that she says she is in favour of the *principle* of UC in th basic sense of simplifying delivery of benifits into one coherent package?

    Or is it because she supports elements of the present approach?

    These are two very different things, and it is the consequences of the current use and operation of UC by the Spiv Party that is the issue.

    Just ranting because of opposition to Nandy doesn’t clarify. I’m not going to vote for her either, but screaming like a Victorian grande dame threatened by a mouse isn’t getting very far.

    1. Her sins,are her record since she came into the HoC,and I suspect you know well enough what they are.

    2. The interview is widely reported on the web, why not find out before you make your usual assumptions and look like an idiot.
      As Nandy did.
      If you want to support her, that’s your choice. But don’t rant at people for treating her unfairly before bothering to find out what she said, and whether it was unfair. Or more likely, not.

      1. “If you want to support her”

        Sorry, heenan73, I forgot that you can’t read. I try not to mock the afflicted.

      2. Oh I can read.
        But you aren’t always honest, are you?
        Tories lie. That’s what tories do. They lie.

    3. So the Self-Righteous Cavalry can’t give an answer to a simple question? A bit of teasing unhorses them. FFS!.

      1. “So the Self-Righteous Cavalry can’t give an answer to a simple question?”

        Or maybe they’re just bored with doing your research for you? If you can’t be bothered to find out what’s going on, don’t *always* come sliming in here for updates.

        Use Google like everyone else does.

        There’s recording of Nandy’s interview, and transcripts of every word.

        Is it REALLY so hard?

        Or do you prefer whining from ignorance?
        (Silly question, sorry. Of course you do).

      2. So much for fraternal ‘socialism’.

        I know that even the neoliberal Google is more reliable than certain self-professed ‘socialists’ … but …

        ‘Nuff said.

        Yawn.

  10. Nandy clearly out of depth her depth.
    Labour’s political lightweight is Labour’s Jo Swinson, next PM? Hmmm.

  11. Lisa Nandy has become the second Labour leadership candidate to secure a place on the ballot paper with a nomination from party-affiliated organisation Chinese for Labour. Although this is only a temporary situation we currently have a two horse race, but not quite the one most of us expected.

    1. I wonder if thats the chinese working to destroy Hong whist whilst being kitted out and financed by the CIA….handy nandy does get around bless her.!

      1. It’s certainly an odd time for them to reveal themselves, as I’d wager few, if any, on here or anywhere outside the Chinese community has ever heard of them..

        They must carry soooo much weight!

  12. We must rememer this: we have already had a waffling centrist denounce what he called “trickle down economics” – and then after complaining about the “predators” to one conference, he joked at the following conference “oh that was last year” (referencing the predators again). He then filled his cabinet with the most right wing suits possible. Words mean nothing, it is what you do that counts. Lisa Nandy showed that she is no socialist by joining the coup in 2016, suporting PFizer Smith and refusuing to work with JC. She will as the fool in King Lear said to the King, “be as like a crab is to a crab.” In other words another neoliberal tory lite type.

  13. Political lightweight Nandy exposes herself as having a complete lack of a socialist analysis.
    UC is a particularly cruel arm of the Tories Neo-Liberal strategy for cheap labour (5 week wait, sanctions, work eligibility tests) to force people into dead end, poorly paid jobs whislt acting as a threat to those in work including those working part – time and on UC.
    The Tories deliberately sets neighbour against neighbour re welfare which also acts as a distraction for Tory tax cuts for millionaires (who are distant from most peoples lives) and of course some Right Wing Labour MPs lacked the courage to stand by the poor and the political acumen (like Nandy) to counter the dominant right wing narrative on welfare.
    And of course there are 2 welfare states – ours – meagre, associated with stigma and shame and the upper class one associated with luxury with the rich and better off subsidised to the hilt with tax reliefs and subsidies on practically everything.
    Big Business ‘Corporate Welfare’ gets £79b a year which is the equivalent of £3,500 per household.
    We need to break Neo-Liberalism and have good jobs, good pay and decent welfare which is there to support and help citizens.
    As for Nandy & Starmer much better suited to the Lib Dems.
    RLB and Burgon!

  14. I’ve no interest in watching or hearing anything Nandy has to say.
    She’s no socialist.
    As far as UC goes, I suspect the word “credit” may have been intended to prepare the ground for benefits becoming loans, to be repaid once in paid employment.
    Any system to accommodate people’s diverse needs and minimise cost to ‘taxpayers’ will necessarily be complicated.
    The shortcomings of systems are always attributable to those who wrote the rules.
    UC was a Tory plan to slash the benefits bill and starve people into the near-slavery of low paid work and zero hours contracts, while masquerading as ‘simplification’ and ‘fairness’.

    History will prove UC a failure even in Tory terms.
    Poverty is growing, poverty causes illness and treatment of illness costs more than decent food and housing.
    Any savings UC might make in the cost of benefits will be far outweighed by the increasing cost of the NHS due to poverty.
    The benefits system should be viewed as an investment in the prevention of illness – not pure cost as the idiot Tories see it.
    Their grandfathers learned that lesson when the population were too feeble to fight wars.
    Prevention is not only better than cure – it’s cheaper, you morons.

    1. David a very good assessment on what the Torys plan for the social security system. You have identified that poverty and stress cause illness and I am sure that a privatised NHS will quickly weed out the ones without the mandatory insurance or credit card to cover treatment.I know that seems a bleak assessment,but I think the dogs have been unleashed on the public and change will be rapid.

  15. I feel there is a smoke and mirrors game going on in this post and as possibly looked for, everyone is knee jerking. Labour is committed to universality wherever possible in terms of social security (bin the word “benefits” please) This is not saying we support UC which is far from universal or equal.

    1. David Walsh “(bin the word “benefits” please)”
      Benefits isn’t an inherently pejorative word.
      If we bin words because they’ve been negatively contextualised by the Tories or the Daily Mail we concede the narrative to them and we run out of words.

  16. In trying to avoid a repeat of the Blair years, one thing’s for sure in this wrangling over who’s the purest in the looking glass : if the country is simplistically and meaninglessly divided between ‘socialists’ and ‘non-socialists’, there is absolutely no chance that the ‘socialists’ will get anywhere near power or influence in any forseeable future. Wearing berets in Tooting will be the summit of political achievement – as Clive Lewis recognised.

      1. Such wit and penetrating political analysis – exemplifying one of the problems facing Labour.

  17. The peculiar thing is that, a month after the election, in which ditching UC was a manifesto commitment Nandy and others cheerfully talk as if the party’s policies no longer exist.
    Maybe that is because for the neo-liberals they never were serious. It was always their intention to sabotage them.
    The only basis on which the ‘leadership’ race can be taken seriously is by regarding the office as meaningless, nothing more than a name for the Queen to call on when looking for a new government.
    The Labour Party has degenerated, again, into a forum in which warlords wielding block votes and heading up factions in the PLP arrogate the right to represent the working class and the people.
    That was bad enough when the TUC had 10 million members, the Dockworkers struck in support of the nurses and you could put a red ribbon round the neck of 24 year old PPE grad from Oxbridge and any seat in any of the industrial regions would elect her. But those days are gone- the tragedies of the era of Carron and Arthur Deakin have turned into the farce of Lansman claiming to boss half the membership and the BoD believing him. Its too bad Rebecca did too.

    1. I don’t get it. Many times over the years I’ve heard Labour front benchers, including Jeremy Corbyn agree with the principles behind UC , simplification and flexibility. The complaint has always been about how it’s been implemented. Even Duncan Smith who designed it resigned in protest! So LB is a traitor etc etc to say the same?

      1. Paul, your analysis is correct.
        The major problem is the wait for first payment which everyone agrees is a disgrace. On tv yesterday IDS says he resigned because the budget to support claimants (not benefit payments) was cut by £5 Billion. Labour front bench have agreed with benefits reform but been angered by it’s payment system and underfunding.

      2. Paul – I’m afraid that the important distinction that you’ve highlighted seems to escape some …. ??

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