Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto harks back to 1940s | Larry Elliott

Party leader has taken postwar socialist ideas and added a modern populist twist

Free broadband. Free adult learning. Free dental care. The biggest council house building programme in decade. Abolish student tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. All paid for by squeezing the rich, raising corporation tax, making tech giants pay the exchequer a fair whack, and by borrowing more. As Jeremy Corbyn was proud to state, this was the most radical Labour party manifesto in years.

One of the questions asked at the document’s launch was if Labour wanted to turn the clock back to the 1970s. Actually, the inspiration was more Clement Attlee in 1945 than Tony Benn 30 years later. Labour’s starting point, as at the end of the second world war, was that something has gone fundamentally wrong with free-market capitalism and only a socialist transformation can put things right.

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