22 June 2011


My thoughts on Labour's policy review.

Stay Keynseian on economic policy
Keep going Ed-Balls-style. Never abandon John Maynard Keynes. We stand for jobs and growth. If we need to tax, we tax the rich  – and if they leave the country, good riddance to parasitic traitorous scum. People first.

Go federal on Europe
Tell it as it is: we need an EU fiscal policy to sort out the Greek mess. Britain should be an enthusiastic supporter of an EU finance ministry and of an EU-wide Keynesian public works programme concentrated on transport and telecommunications infrastructure. Whether we join the euro is another matter, but it shouldn't be ruled out. In the long run, we should be part of a federal Europe. Meanwhile, we need more power for the European Parliament. Its current incumbents are hopeless, but it's the only way to keep the EU bureaucracy under control. People's Europe.

Embrace citizen's income
Abolish pensions and every other benefit – along with income tax allowances – and introduce a flat citizen’s income.Means-testing dies. Everyone gets a basic income every week, then pays tax on everything they earn on top of it – end of story. There would have to be some means-tested supplements for the disabled, and dealing with children and immigrants is an issue … but these are minor details. Everyone deserves a living.

Democratise the state
An elected second chamber is the bare minimum. Add PR for the Commons, elected regional assmblies and a federal consttituion for the UK on the German model and we're moving. Restore local authorities' right to set taxation as they choose. Power to the people.

Axe military spending
Abandon nuclear arms and hi-tech fighter aircraft. They are a monumental waste of money. Spend the cash saved on education and encouraging small businesses. Make peace, not war.

Take it easy on health
Play it by ear. What we’ve got is pretty good and we need to defend it. NHS: keep it free.

Set education free
Abandon the national curriculum and give curriculum control back to local education authorities. Insist they all teach history. Elect local education authorities directly. Set up a libertarian free school in every city. Sack the “quality assurance” bureaucracies in further and higher education and employ more lecturers. Replace student loans with a retrospective graduate tax levied on everyone who has a degree – even those who were at university in the 1950s. Let's learn.

Kick ass on housing
Build council homes and reintroduce rent controls. Set up a private landlord register and nationalise the biggest landlords, then hand over control to democratic housing co-ops. Give mortgage-holders the right to convert their loan into a council tenancy. A home for every household.

Go in hard on transport
Renationalise the railways and introduce serious tax measures to curb the private motor car. Then legislate to make all local bus companies user-controlled co-ops. Move on.

Play it soft on law and order
Keep it under control: there’s no solution. String 'em up, it's the only language they understand.

OK, that’s it. But of course I've been here before.

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