10 objectives for Labour for 2015

As the election comes into sight, what should be the 10 pledges that Labour should make to maximize its vote for 7 May 2015?   Here are some proposals which should certainly be included:

1  End austerity because the policy of endless spending cuts is clearly not working – deficit reduction (the ostensible purpose of the whole exercise) has ground to a halt and the deficit may even rise this year.   Adopt the obvious alternative policy, which would cut the deficit far more quickly, by expanding the economy, creating hundreds of thousands of real jobs, raising household incomes, and using the higher tax take to pay down the deficit faster.

2  Make the revival of British manufacturing industry the key objective of domestic economic policy as the only way to pay our way in the world and reverse the disastrous slide to the biggest balance of payments deficits in British history.

3  Make full employment equally a central objective of economic policy when  there are still today 2 million persons jobless and up to a further 5 million in short-term insecure jobs often dependent on zero hours contracts.

4  Make a Living Wage of £9.35 per hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the country a mandatory requirement, to introduced within 6 months of coming into office.

5  End the scandal whereby there are now more working households in poverty (i.e. with incomes below 60% of the median wage) than workless households by restoring in-work benefits like tax credits and council tax allowances and abolishing unjust tax impositions like the bedroom tax.

6  Bring in an annual wealth tax, at progressive rates, on all individual asset ownership in excess of £10 millions, requiring all such persons to make an annual return with criminal penalties for inaccurate or false information.   This should be supplemented by a mansion tax on big houses mainly in central London which are valued at more than £2 million, again at a progressive rate of tax, plus a Financial Transactions Tax aimed at discouraging short-termism in the City.

7 Repeal the whole of the Lansley 2012 Health and Social Care Act, and end and reverse privatisations and outsourcing within the NHS, if necessary seeking a public consultation as to whether the electorate wants a fully public service.

8  End the Govean fetish for so-called ‘free schools’ and return both them and all academies to the supervision of local education authorities, in order to protect the interests of poorer children and left-behind schools.   Appoint a Commission to produce a plan for the full-scale integration within 10 years of the private schools within the national system , as is the case everywhere else in the world, and in order to end or significantly diminish the class-based nature of British society.

9  Require all tax havens to disclose the names of all British citizens holding accounts and the size of their accounts in those havens and then immediately levy the tax due, with the stipulation that failure to comply will lead to a penalty of double the original tax due. Require all multi-national companies to provide full details of their trading activities country-by-country to end the scandal of ‘Luxemburg’ false accounting in order to pay little or no tax.

10  Build at least 250,000 affordable social housing units per year to reduce Council waiting lists of 1.8 million as quickly as possible as well as to deliver a huge increase in jobs.   Impose rent controls on privately rented properties where rents are in excess of 60% of the local average, and lay down decent minimum standards of accommodation and facilities which all private landlords must adhere to, with deterrent penalties for those who fail to do so.

13 thoughts on “10 objectives for Labour for 2015

  1. Wow, still working at Christmas!! I do hope you had an enjoyable day.

    10 very well thought out points.

    I’d just add that the educational system needs to be geared to producing students with a realistic chance of gaining employment. It seems that some don’t have much of a work ethic and some still leave school with poor language/communication skills. We’ve always had a very strong engineering base here but now also need scientists, computer experts and other fields to do with modern technologies, including environmental specialists. There’s also a dire shortage of doctors and nurses, which currently have to be imported.

    Also “affordable housing” is something of a misnomer, as I believe it just means rents 10% lower than private rentals, so many people still can’t afford them. Certainly, bringing back rent controls (as you suggest) should help.

    I’d also like to see Labour go on the attack and expose the Tories for what they are. Apart from their shambolic efforts to get the economy back on track, which is failing miserably, they also want to destroy the Welfare State, the NHS and are practically killing off the poor, sick and disabled! But not everyone realises this, so it needs to be broadcast widely.

    It seems to me that this coming General Election is the most important since 1946, where as then, we have a choice between having a Welfare State or a US style one, that doesn’t work in practice for the majority of the population. I wonder if people realise how important the welfare state really is, to everyone. There seems to be an “I’m alright jack” type attitude, but many people who were previously alright now find themselves in dire straights, through no fault of their own.

    Would emphasising all this win Labour the election?

  2. Micheal its getting there but not quiet will ed take this aboard
    you see you say two milion unemployed but that their figure
    cooked you bet it could be up to five not two its a farce
    let the jcp do the jobs of these yanky company’s who dont
    help but take the money out of the economy to offshore
    account’s nhs abolish all private companies from working
    in this has their only goal is not health but wealth isnt it
    strange that many ministers have their fingers in this pot
    its called swindle but then the law was changed for this are you has
    a party putting this law back were one shouldnt have their sticky
    fingers in other companies when working for the nation funny if a person doing this outside government would be arrested wouldn’t
    they now gove has broken the schools by whot he’s done take it back
    to whot it was even students in uni shouldn’t have a wonga loan around their necks you see the poor paid their taxes for this not for government’s to charge but then its a right mess with the tories lies
    fiddled figures fiddled justice are labour putting right whot greyling took away from the poor help at appeals for they took this justice away from many jobs you see crapita and a4e plenty of these firms taking tax payers monies once again robbing the people of jobs and monies when these jobs they did were government’s jobs funny isnt robbed by the ministers only for them and their erk to fill their pockets labour has you say needs to do many of these things putting jobs easy that one rid us of all these yanky company’s tske back under control these jobs and then the monies will be spent and kept in britain there perhaps we will raise back to whot britain did look after the people

  3. I would add to those 10, getting rid of the bedroom as fast as possible.
    Closing down the DWP it has not been fit for purpose for a long time.
    Separate disability benefits from other benefits to a new department dedicated to them, and also make that department responsible for scrapping the “work capability assessment” changing to a real life test for work or not and bringing it back in house.
    EVERYONE in the new department to be vetted to make sure they have never had ANY connection with Unum.

  4. Hear hear! You talk sense, real sense that is so badly missing this day and age.
    I also agree with Tony Dean and believe he is right on the button about the Welfare State and how is should be run.
    We also need proper Job Centres – name it something else but it should be dedicated to helping people find employment, not just giving out sanctions. People should not be afraid or made to feel bad if they are unemployed as there are certainly no jobs out there at the moment.
    Creating jobs and having our own engineering and building programs, as well as so many other industries that we have lost over the years, would show that the country is able to make our own services, our own finance, our own transport and so many, many other things – after all, the skills that we used to have need to come back to show the world we can do it by ourselves and we don’t need to rely on other countries to supply us with so many things. You can bet your bottom dollar that no other country would come to our aid if we needed help.
    Oh yes, stop that TTIP and fracking as we don’t need them!

  5. 11. Repeal the Welfare Reform Act which has lead to the deaths of thousands of disabled people, caused hunger to spread and put millions under a sanctions regime of utter brutality that is an affront to human rights.

  6. Clear to see why Labour will not have you as part of a government, your 10 points are great.! Your too sensible to be a MP and you use one important thing that most MP’s do not, and that is COMMON SENSE. Your wasted Michael. You should be working with policy makers.

    Your constituents are BLESSED to have you as their MP.

  7. The overriding objective for the Labour party is to become a Labour party. The Labour party is currently a semi-mute, tory light party. Get rid of the hijackers. Red Ed, my foot.

  8. Wanda…..you say the Tories are practically killing off the poor, sick and disabled… that’s an understatement i am afraid. they are not PRACTICALLY killing them off, they ARE killing them off, in their thousands now.a lot we don’t hear about because the DWP and IDS wont or cant release the figures. being so inept they probably never kept them or didn’t in case the figures came back later to bite them. (per-meditated murder in that case)… and Michael, care of the elderly and disabled has taken a beating. that is official care as in employed care workers. that needs sorting but also home carers, people who give up their own lives to look after a relative in their own home… they get around £60 a week to do this but if on income support it is means tested and they get around the £20 of it they are allowed to earn before losing benefit. in other words they do for £20 a week, what others are paid 200/300 even 400 quid a week to do. they save the government a lot of money while their relative gets the care from people they know and trust to look after them properly.in some cases 24/7, not just 15 minutes here and there. i understand that now the cost of nursing home care is about double per week what it costs for paid home carers going into the home…i do not consider that the relatives i mention can be classed as paid… £20 barely covers bus fares these days for around 3 days of the week. i know i subsidise my daughters fares otherwise she just couldn’t do the job and believe me i would end up throwing things at some of the home carers that are paid after hearing how they behave at times.specially with the elderly. please add this to the agenda.(I believe the Tories are even trying to get these carers to take part time jobs now… no matter if needed at home 24 hours a day..so the patient. single mums are also being told to leave their 6/9/10 yr old’s etc at home alone in holidays so they can attend workfare… all this needs stopping before there’s more tragedy.

  9. meant to say SOD the patient there….also if these carers got a living wage for doing a very worthwhile and needed job, keeping the elderly etc out of care homes and hospitals, they wouldn’t need that income support or any other support. .

  10. This is what labour needs, fortune favours the brave!. The public are ready for this reach them with this message and win a landslide victory.

  11. I fully support the ten points and also the comments regarding the need to rectify the damage to the disabled. I would request that consideration be given to the people who care for the disabled. Full time carers are granted £61.00 per week Carers’ Allowance, all for being the cook, nurse,cleaner and support worker for a disabled person they support, but only when they are under retirement age. As soon as they reach retirement age all allowances ceasebut the caring duties don’t!

  12. I believe the electorate in England is confused as to their identity and consequently become alienated by the current confused electoral system. How come, they ask themselves that a small country like N. Ireland has its own First Minister and Parliament, similarly Wales and Scotland yet in England we are seen as fascist if we want to display our flag or celebrate St. George’s Day. We have an archaic first past the post electoral system which deprives us of true representation in order to entrench the advantages to tory and labour candidates. This year I was able to be instrumental in electing a Green member of the European Parliament thanks to PR. I felt liberated and suggest point11 should be ending the Lords and a Parliament for England. I do not believe a fudged partial devolution to cities and regions will do anything to correct the power dynamics and consequentially those of us in seaside towns will continue to see our communities become more impoverished, the improvements in infrastructure, broadband, transport facilities grabbed by the power bases in the cities and regions while our swimming pools, theatres, high streets will continue to deteriorate.

  13. The Meacher Christmas message to the nation, and far more relevant to our present situation than the other one. Where it’s – let’s keep a focus on the events of 100 years ago, so as to avoid engaging with the other sort of war, with increasing casaulties, going on in this country right here and now.

    Of course this quick list of essential policies can’t include everything, but there should be kept there in the mix the importance of taking on the power companies (generally, the private ownership of utilities and necessities), as nobody benefits from any of the above if they’re dying of hypothermia, as are thousands every winter; or those many more becoming ill from a lack of adequate heating.

    I’m here really resenting that nothing extra can be afforded in this household until maybe later in the year, as everything possible will have to go towards us having some winter warmth. I did firmly move away from the crooks of the Big Six, but really prices are kept inflated right across the industry. It seriously and urgently needs tackling.

    With education, it should always be the aim to have the highest standards for everyone, irrespective of sociological and income background; which is not achieved by the central dictation of every minute of teaching method and endless time-wasting tick boxing, which only makes people really good at creative paperwork.

    Neither will excellence ever happen with Ofsted in its present punitive form, where, besides having been successful in the demoralisation of many good teachers, it has become noticable that whenever someone wants to make a school into another garcely academy, then Ofsted go in and suddenly find it’s a failing school, even if it was a successful one the year before.

    Definitely with employment issues should be included the disbanding and starting again with the DWP, which now only exists to harm as many as possible, and does nothing positive, like assisting people with finding employment.

    For the tories, it’s all always only been about their own twisted ideology, and never really about the deficit. That’s just blue noisome noise. Always it’s really been about undermining the ‘lower orders’ as much as possible, in order to get things back the way that they should be, with powerless workers on hire for as little as possible (and preferably free), in servitude to their ‘betters’.

    To which spiteful ends, they don’t care how much its costs, and so it’s declared that austerity is forever.

    Forever to get it and keep it the way they want it. That’s what austerity actually means; and when the Labour leadership promise to continue with austerity, that’s what they are also promising to do – to keep on undermining and taking away the rights and wages of the worker, for always, and those of no economic worth shouldn’t be supported at all – let them die.

    Which policies will continue to make the decreasing of the deficit impossible, and so austerity becomes enshrined.

    As has often been pointed out, at the time that the social-security state was created, the country was economically on its knees, and they did it anyway. However, it was based on the concept of fairly full employment (or at least full male employment). What Thatcher did was pull that away, so the economics of it became unbalanced.

    Our manufacturing base, and everything that gave those workers a sense of their own dignity within society, was intentionally removed or decreased, mainly just to score political points. Many of those persons affected suffered mental and marriage breakdown, and whole communties were wasted.

    When a government leadership doesn’t care about how disastrously their policies effect a section of people, then there is an evilness at the heart of it. But Thatcher was positively beneficial compared to the present government, for I’m not aware that she intentionally set out to cull those not viewed as sufficiently productive, or enforce perpetual unpaid as-good-as slave labour.

    Then beyond all of this, what also needs to end is the concept that all of our precious life in this wonderous world should be only centred on how well we serve some cold economic machine; and better to realise who are the truly valuable members of our society.

    Yes, encourage real jobs and real productivity, but also let us recognise that the sort of society we need is one that nurtures and views success as taking other forms as well; where the carers, and all who work on in poverty, with devotion and dedication, in spite of every obstacle being put in their way, are seen as just as much an example to emulate, and their burdens lightened.

    While the section of society who are held up as an example of what to disparage should include those making riches out of the cheap, free, enforced, unrecognised labour of those they despise for not being strong enough to stop them.

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