Monday, 19 August 2013

A manifesto we can embrace

The suggested manifesto below - cribbed from a letter to the Guardian and aimed at Labour (no chance there then!) - is surely the perfect one for Respect?

The Labour party seems to be in search of an identity and a policy agenda. About time too. Here are some suggestions for a manifesto, all of which look like common sense.

Repeal all the coalition's NHS legislation and start all over again. Impose effective regulation of privatised utilities, capping their profits and prices. Take the railways back into public ownership as the franchises end. Abandon PFI and find ways of terminating the existing contracts. Stop privatising. It is only "efficient" at maximising profit for private vested interests. Cap rents in the private sector and begin a substantial social housing programme. Make the living wage mandatory, thereby transferring costs from the public purse to the firms who are currently subsidised by the taxpayer. Stop persecuting the unemployed and disabled, and sack Atos.

Clean out the Augean stables of HMRC, start collecting taxes from the rich and shift taxation from basic income and everyday consumption towards property. Abandon Trident and new aircraft carriers, and convert shipyards and nuclear weapons facilities to producing green energy technologies. Stop fracking. Invest in home insulation, which will reduce demand for gas and electricity and create jobs. Mount a full investigation into the illicit activities of the police and special branch, especially as directed against innocent activists. Ban lobbying and remove private interests from direct influence on government. Implement Leveson.

These are modest proposals, and should win votes. But it would be good to see a political party proposing policies because they are the right thing to do.

John WaltonLancaster