A manifesto for the election
The main aim is to reverse the idea of private wealth being the main agent of social and economic initiative and replace this with the idea of planned running of the economy. At the same time permit private initiative on a smaller scale – up to the level at which it does not become a private political force.
A socialist country will be overall less wealthy than a capitalist one. We accept this and believe that the values of socialism more than compensate for this.
Economy: Nationalise all the natural monopolies. No need to pay shareholders compensation. Nationalise the banks. A new nationalised bank lends on the basis of social benefit not return on investment.
Health: Massively cut NHS funding. Shift spending to long-term disease prevention via Health Education. Re-orientate NICE away from promoting the interests of US pharma and towards health. (Launch an audit of drug prescriptions to eliminate unnecessary ones).
Education: reduce the number of hours of compulsory schooling. Reduce the reliance on certification. Make education more interesting. Eliminate University fees, but make entrance more selective. Re-introduce Polytechnics.
Welfare: aim to make massive cuts in the welfare budget. Move towards a model of subsidised employment in the state sector. Promote the idea that the family is the primary source of help in times of difficulty.
Defence: fund defence using nationalised domestic suppliers (not US ones).
Foreign Policy: stop imperialist, capitalist, foreign interventions. Use Britain’s influence to promote ‘democracy and human rights’ by argument and example.
Media: regulate the media in such a way as to prevent it being used to promote the interests of large-scale (foreign) capital while at the same time permitting measured criticism of the authorities. (This is a difficult balancing act. It could be that one way is to create a body composed of academics to have an oversight role).
Political engagement: promote the idea and practice of democratic involvement at all levels of society including schools and factories while accepting the reality that most people are willing to take a lead rather than lead. Make state officials more directly accountable to the population. For example; require that they meet with groups of citizens when those groups require. Regulate this so that such groups represent citizens with genuine concerns not private lobby groups.
Political parties and democracy: start a national dialog aimed at producing a consensus model of government. Once this is produced require that all political parties subscribe to it. The aim is to prevent a permanent ‘debate’ about major ideological questions. At the same time this is an ongoing process and ideological questions can continue to be raised. This requires political mechanisms which act as a steadying influence and brake on endless political change while at the same time avoiding a situation of pure dictatorship. A model is the Iranian model of giving significant power in the constitution to a body of clerics. This particular approach would not suit a secular country such as Britain. But a similar role could be played by a panel of academics based in a rationalist and humanist tradition.
Religion. The state actively supports and promotes the Christian Church (all denominations) and Islamic institutions which firmly set their face against political violence.
And the name for this movement? It is called ‘self-help socialism’.
Does this look like Russia? Yes; there are some similarities. We can learn from others and maybe it is time to do so – and stop lecturing them from the position of a decaying and degenerate Western capitalism.