Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Privatisation - Socialisms Misunderstood Little Friend

This is quite possibly the craziest notion I've ever had. I still can't believe I thought it.
The question popped into my mind, "why is our NHS, our social housing and our publicly owned industries so vulnerable to being privatised, and how do we protect them?
Well, we know that they are 'public assets' and as soon as we let the tories anywhere near them, they are broken up and get sold off, or 'asset stripped'. It's been this way for the last 40 years.
But it also occurred to me, that just the act of privatisation is not necessarily going to be damaging for that industry and may, just may provide it with a degree of protection. The real damage begins, by how that industry is managed.
Give the industry to people intent on making profit (conservatives/neo-liberals), and invariably employee terms and conditions are reduced, the customer service experience is diluted and prices go up. We can see this happening today as our hospitals fail to meet demand and the unaffordability of housing, which is displacing so many families. However if managed correctly (non profit) and there is no reason why employees cannot be looked after and customers given 'world class' service at great value for the tax payer.
A similar train of thought I recently explored with housing, suggested that the best way to protect the social housing market could be to achieve 100% home ownership essentially ending the need for social housing, an idea which is not beyond the realms of possibility. People can enjoy the benefits of home ownership and can practically choose the level of repayment starting above a set minimum of 2% or 3%. This would bring the affordability of a decent home within the grasp of even the smallest of budgets. It would be possible to pay as little as £250pcm for a £150,000 home. The finance is supplied by the tax payer who essentially becomes a mortgage provider and shareholder, where all profits are directed back to the tax payer.
People get quality, affordable housing and the next time the tories get into power, they can't touch it because it isn't a state owned asset. The social housing market has been privatised with a little piece of it owned by everybody.
In the same way, we can protect the NHS by privatising it. Instead of handing it over to people who will seek to exploit it, it will be handed to people who will treat the industry no differently than a social government would, by ensuring that every penny is directed back into the services it provides and the people who serve it. And again, it is the tax payer who benefits from a world class service. 
So, it's not privatisation that we need to protect our essential services from, it's capitalism.
Is it possible that the best way to save our NHS might be to privatise it, but under social, not neoliberal conditions?
After all, it is unlikely that the neoliberals new best friend will be to re-nationalise industry.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Housing Strategy - Solving The Housing Problem

I don’t think that there is anyone on the UK who isn’t aware of the seriousness of the housing crisis we are currently experiencing.

There seems to me to be four main areas needing attention being:

1. Social housing
2. Shortage of new affordable homes to buy
3. Getting young people onto the housing ladder
4. Homelessness

I don’t think that there is any reason why we cant tackle all of these issues in one go and with zero cost to the tax payer.
This idea started life as quite a complex solution some 6 months ago but over time, through development has simplified substantially.  
It is now entirely possible to give young people the instant access they need to the housing market with the ability to purchase property in virtually any location they desire. This will inspire the existing house builders to design and build excellent quality, genuinely affordable homes, freeing up valuable land and which returns a substantial profit for the tax payer. A profit so great that it alone could start to address the repayment of the national debt.

The way to achieve this is by truly radical thought and completely change the very basic principals of our housing market functions.
I am a strong believer that tax payers money should be invested to create the finances needed to fund the tax payers needs. And this is where it begins. The tax payer becomes a provider of interest only mortgages, with capital repayment becomming a matter of choice. I had toyed with the idea of long term standard mortgages, but these are not protected from market fluctuation so are inherently unstable. The mortgages provided buy the tax payer are free from market interferrence and as such the interest rate can be secured for the lifetime of the mortgage.

By providing interest only mortgages it enables all people to get onto the housing ladder, this includes the unemployed as the interest they pay on the mortgage will be substantially lower than the rent they pay a private landlord for the same property. This will give the unemployed and employed substantially more disposable income or they could choose to have less disposable income and opt for a better quality home. 
As the tax payer is providing mortgages as opposed to social housing, people will have the freedom to purchase the home they can afford in the area they can afford which will end the existence of council and social housing estates. Virtually every home will be privately owned. People will not be forced to make repayments to their capital which means that a mortgage can last a lifetime. But if they find themselves with a change of circumstance they can make the minimum interest payment meaning that they will never face the prospect of losing gheir home. Christmas and holidays will never be a thing to fear for lack of affordability. And time off to educate oneself is a choice and no longer an obstacle.

Lets say for example a home with a purchase price of £250,000 over a 25 year period at 3% interest. The initial repayments would be in the region of £1458 pcm. However on interest only at 3% this cost reduces to £625 pcm. The property becomes eminently more affordable and as the owners career develops and their salary grows, so the capital repayment increase. In 40 years, £250000 may become a trivial amount, much like the mortgage payments appear of people who purchased their homes 25 years ago.
If no capital is paid off then after say 50 years it will have made the tax payer a return of £375,000 and the tax payer still owns the 100% of the property.

If we invested £500b in mortgage provision, then every 50 years at 3% the tax payer would still own the £500bn investment and will have made £750bn in interest payments and the tax payer still owns the initial investment of £500bn, which quite possibly will have appreciated in value.
Double this investment to 1tn and in 50 years the national debt is paid. Double it again and the debt is paid in 25 years. Taxpayers money is no longer needed to pay the debt.

With a mortgage based on £100,000 the interest at 3% is £250 pcm. At 2% it is £166 pcm. 

With the extra disposable income being spent, new opportunities will naturally present themselves encouraging a growing and prosperous economy. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Poorest Pay The Most - Poem

The Poorest Pay The Most

We started renting in ‘77
Cos the bank wouldn’t give us a loan,
My job, it didn’t pay very much,
But at least, we had our own home.

A lad of 20, that’s all I was,
With a little one, on the way,
It wasn’t a home we would ever own,
Just a place we’d pay, to stay.

The house was only worth twenty grand,
And the rent, it seemed pretty low,
But that money, it went to the landlord,
Not invested in my family, to grow.

As the years passed by, its value went up,
And my rent, well that went up too,
“Market rates” the landlord he said to me,
“Only right that your rent’s based on value”

Ten years later, it's now worth sixty grand,
My rent, well that too has tripled,
It raids my disposable income,
My finances are all but crippled.

If only they’d given me a mortgage,
My outgoings would’ve been less,
Had no choice but to pay my landlord,
In my own family, I couldn’t invest.

Well it’s 40 years later and I’m still paying rent,
On what’s now a two hundred grand home,
Imagine how small my mortgage would be,
Had the bank only given us a loan.

In 20 years hence, I’ll depart this world,
A lifetime with little to show,
And five hundred grand, in rent I’ve paid,
Seems a lot, for my twenty grand home.

“A scrounger” some people once said to me,
When I couldn’t pay my host,
But hundreds of thousands in rent I've paid,
Tis' true, the poor pay the most.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

James O'Brien - Why wasn't immigration discussed during the election? - It Was

I've written this for James O’Brien.
Its a pretty utopian piece but it is an answer to a question he posed on why immigration wasn’t mentioned or debated during the general election.
Personally I think that there is a beautiful end to the immigration situation that is just waiting to burst through with a huge beaming smile on its face where ‘all’ of our well founded, sensible concerns surrounding immigration will evaporate. We’ll keep all of the professional staff supporting our essential services and there will also be a place for our low skilled immigrant workers. And the beauty of it, is that you don’t have to close a single border to achieve it.
The key to creating the perfect immigration policy is not to have an immigration policy but to create a policy that will have a direct affect on immigration.
Sorry, I’m gushing, Ill get to the point.
Ok, the policy to achieve this doesn’t have to be created because, it already exists. And its one of Corbyns. Its the minimum wage policy.
The main reason people want to come here is because there is an abundance of work, unfortunately it is low paid work and its seemingly unregulated. Many employers are all too happy to exploit migrant workers for the obvious profitability and efficiency reasons. As and when Corbyn achieves power he will bring in the £10 minimum wage, but the difference between his and the tory minimum wage is that Labour will enforce it. This will effectively end the ability for UK based companies to exploit migrant workers as cheap labour. Whilst this naturally reduces the need for migrant workers to the UK, the it also ensures that we maintain a free flow of the highly skilled professionals we need. Balance is restored. The low skilled workers that still come to the UK will not be encroaching on the domestic jobs market. They will enjoy decent pay, decent terms and conditions and with Corbyns house building and decent living standards policy, the UK will be a great place to come to, to live, work and play.
Looking towards the future, people are noticing what the left have achieved in the UK, including the Americans I’ve noticed. But its anyone’s guess how far this will go. Hopefully all the way.
So why didn’t they talk about this at the election? Well, it was, there were a few politicians who mentioned it but the public and media didn’t pick up on it. Dianne Abbott came close weeks ago and it wasn’t picked up, even Jeremy Corbyn mentioned it and again, no one picked up on it.
Maybe, for Corbyn to have hailed Labour as the 'Party of Immgrant Reduction' would have been too much for people to take in.
Maybe it's for other people to realise what the 'living wage policy' will mean in its entirety.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration
This seems like a pretty bold statement considering that Jeremy Corbyn barely has an immigration policy to speak of.
But the truth of it, is that whilst not having a direct immigration policy pre se, he does have a policy that will affect the numbers of low paid and low skilled migrant workers, seeking work in the UK.
Those coming to the UK for work are broadly split into two groups, the highly skilled professionals such as doctors and nurses. There is no argument that we need these people and because of their high levels of pay, they contribute significantly to the economy. And then the low skilled, low paid workers who don’t contribute much, if anything to British society.
An immigration policy that is purely based on the numbers of immigrants to the UK would have a negative effect on both groups. So whilst we would reduce the numbers of low skilled immigrants, we would also reduce the numbers of highly skilled professional immigrants that our services depend on. Therefore a broad immigration policy, just won’t do the job. Were stuck, between a rock and a hard place.
What we do need, is a policy that can split the highly skilled professionals from the low skilled workers. And Jeremy Corbyn has achieved just that.
The problem is that we associate Jeremy Corbyn with New Labour who were basically neo-liberals. The tories introduced neo-liberalism with Thatcher, and Tony Blair, to the detriment of us all, carried it on. Neo-liberal economics in part, frees markets with de-regulation. The banks took full advantage of it and persuaded people, to take out mortgages that they couldn't afford and the whole system went tits up when Brown was holding the reins.
Corbyn doesn't believe in neo-liberal economics, he believes in socialism. So instead of taking from the people of this country, he will invest in them. He will invest in our education and invest in infrastructure to create the jobs, so that ordinary people like us, will become richer.
The rise in immigration coincides exactly with the rise in neo-liberalism. Rocketing during the Thatcher and Blair eras and continuing through Cameron and May who have all followed neo-liberal economics. The last socialist government we had, provided decent standards of living, decent wages and decent homes and incidentally had the lowest historical levels of immigration.
Neo-liberal governments under Thatcher and Blair destroyed many well paid industries, coal mining comes to mind. The attacks on our unions has caused the lowering of salaries and degradation of our terms and conditions. Pay so low that it meant that for many of our own people, working became uneconomical. But at the time, we had a decent social welfare system, that we all paid into, to fall back on. But, this left a shortage of people willing to take on low paid work. So this is what opened he floodgates to low paid, low skilled migrant workers and their numbers rocketed. All this under the Thatcher and Blair eras.
In the last socialist labour government who provided decent wages and decent homes in 1975-1979, immigration was at its lowest.
So historically, immigration under a socialist government is low, under a neoliberal government immigration rises high, because it relies on cheap labour.
So how will Labour tackle immigration, well the policy is already in the Labour manifesto. Its the £10 minimum wage. When labour introduce it and enforce it, it will remove the ability for companies to be able to exploit cheap migrant labour from abroad. In fact it will make employing migrant workers more expensive than employing our own native workforce and as a result, the numbers of immigrants seeking work in the UK, will tumble to levels not seen since 1975.

Theresa May’s solution, as far as I can see is to increase the levy on employers who currently recruit from abroad, this currently stands at £1000 but will increase to £2000. This will in the main affect the professional group that we first spoke of and will reduce the number of professional doctors and nurses that we rely on. She will also end free movement which would end access to the European markets and damage local business. So we will effectively close the door on non professional EU migrants and make it much harder for EU professionals to come and support our essential services. In addition to this, she is not enforcing her lower minimum wage for rogue employers which will enable her to keep our wages low.
But what does this matter if all of the immigrants are gone? I hear you say. Well this is important because of what’s coming with Mays Brexit.
May’s team have visited several countries in recent months seeking free trade agreements. But as a condition of these agreements, these countries are insisting on their own peoples ‘freedom of movement’ with the UK. This means that any free trade agreements she gets in the future, will allow immigrants from those countries access to the UK jobs markets.
Theresa May won’t end immigration, she’ll just replace EU migrants with migrants from elsewhere.
So May will close the UK border to EU citizens as promised, but will open them to low paid, low skilled migrants from across the world.
It is little wonder that she is refusing to debate Jeremy Corbyn.
So with a socialist Jeremy Corbyn government, we would see EU immigration numbers tumble, we would keep tariff free access to the single market and we wouldn’t have to open our borders to the rest of the world.
If the numbers of immigrants to the UK concerns you, then Labour is the only party who will reduce it.


Friday, 12 May 2017

Only Labour Will Effectively Tackle UK Immigration

In my opinion....
The number one issue with people have with brexit is to secure the greatest reduction of immigrants entering the UK.
There is a feeling that the person best placed to deliver this is Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn does not have a policy per se in name, but I don't think this means he doesn't have one.
In fact I think that the person most likely to deliver the greatest reduction in migrants is Jeremy Corbyn.
The first thing we have to realise is that migrants come here to work, some in our essential services which we all agree we need and those that come here that are exploited.
These migrants find it easy to find work in 'off the grid' jobs and are happy to accept pay that is far below the British minimum wage. These jobs are supplied in their 100's of thousands by British businesses and undercut the salaries of our native workers.
They haven't taken our jobs, these employers didn't create these jobs with local people in mind.
So the problem isn't directly an immigration problem but a problem with british employers.
So the solution to the immigration problem we have isn't to close the door on immigrants but to shut down the opportunity for unscrupulous employers to exploit their labour.
Jeremy Corbyn had already got this policy embedded into the Labour manifesto.
The £10 minimum wage.
By removing the ability for employers to exploit migrant workers, you also remove their motivation to view the UK as an opportunity for work. Employers will all have to pay enforced minimum salaries, which will force employers away from using cheap, migrant labour and the focus will naturally result in British jobs for British people.
The reduced opportunity for migrant workers can only bring about a massive reduction in the numbers of overseas low skilled workers seeking employment in the UK. This would also apply to refugees who would be welcome here as a place of safety but find that the opportunity to settle is much harder.
So it matters little if we retain 'free movement' because we will have removed the opportunity for migrants to find employment unless they are the high skilled professionals we need.
By not closing our borders we also have a far greater chance of accessing the single market tariff free and get the best Brexit deal with the EU.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Ode to Corbyn

Brexit Under Corbyn

If our next Prime Minister’s Corbyn,
A wise and weathered man,
Unlike the tory party,
Mr Corbyn has a plan.

He’ll build decent social housing,
An end to bad landlords, at last,
The damp we have to suffer,
Will become a thing of the past.

He’ll renationalise our industries,
And our household bills will drop,
Neoliberal profiteering,
Under Corbyn, it will stop.

A million jobs created,
Decent terms and conditions for all,
End of tory zero hours contracts,
We’ll all stand proud and tall.

Our services are in crisis,
But migration isn’t to blame,
It’s tory underfunding,
And that sadly, will never change.

Immigrants will be welcomed here,
To live and work and play,
With the return of the migrant impact fund,
We’ll be happy for them to stay.

Now Corbyn, he’s a brave old soul,
But he doesn’t want a war,
To kill innocent people for money,
That, we should all abhor.

The banks who caused the crisis,
Will be reigned in, just you see,
And those tax avoiding leeches,
Will learn sharing and not greed.

We are a land of true compassion,
We love and care, not hate,
This is what it means to be British,
This is what makes Britain ‘Great’.

So Corbyn is very electable,
Don’t put you belief in the press,
For all they have to offer is,
Their vested interest.

The press is owned by billionaires,
And taxes they don’t pay,
Which is why they denounce Corbyn,
To stop him making change.

This life could be reality,
So lets do ourselves a favour,
When next you visit the ballot box,
Ensure you vote for Labour.

Will We Become A 'Nation Of Shopkeepers?'

One thing that people are great at is surviving. As working terms and conditions are rapidly being eroded by this Tory government, the negative effect isn’t going to be limited to public sector services. Will people change the economy by changing their own futures?

There is already movement of workers to every part of the private sector. So what does this mean for the private sector?
We are already witnessing record numbers of people leaving the public sector to work in the private sector. And as attacks on pay and conditions continue to worsen within the public sector, this trend is only going to continue.

This is inevitably going to have a negative effect on the existing private sector, as competition for available jobs is increased. Increased competition also means cheaper prices, only this time, it’s cheap Labour.
So with diminishing opportunity and people struggling to survive employed within the private and public sectors employee, they will seek out decent standards of living by entering self employment. This is the sector that will see the largest growth in new start-ups, a positive move for people entering the sector, but at the same time, creating greatly increased competition for existing business with diminishing numbers of available staff to run them. New start-ups will enter the sector naturally adapted to the new conditions, but many existing business will be forced to adapt their business model by downsizing in order to survive.

Our essential fire brigade, police and hospital services will still be needed. I don’t think that it is inconceivable that these service professionals could become entirely freelance naming their own price for a days work, the negotiations of which won’t be controlled by staffing agencies but more than likely, the unions, who may become stronger than at any time in history.
I’ve always believed that the public sector is the barometer for the working terms and conditions for the rest of the nation. Destroying the public sector will have the consequence of diluting the private sector. Large business will fail as micro businesses flourish, essentially returning the country back to being a nation of shopkeepers.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Just Isolated The Tories

Has Jeremy Corbyn just pulled off some magnificent political skulduggery?

The last two weeks have been quite remarkable, in that it appears as though Jeremy Corbyn has just isolated the Tories into their right wing, neoliberal pen.
Whilst the Tories and the rest of the political right have been on their holidays or dreaming up their next batch of unfounded slurs or both, to use against Jeremy Corbyn and the labour shadow cabinet, in a game of ‘personality politics’, they were too preoccupied, that they failed to realise that Mr Corbyn and the team, were playing an entirely different game. The game of policy politics.

In one week they have announced the policies to attract the young, the old, workers, remainers, brexiteers and even business. He has covered the entire political spectrum from the very poorest right up to neoliberalism’s front door, effectively sweeping aside the rest of the centre ground by creating policies attractive to them and pinning the tories into a right wing, anti europe, anti single market, anti immigrant, pro tax evasion, anti disabled, poverty creating, child starving corner, that they can’t escape from.

It is time for Parliamentary Labour Party to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn, if only because they have nowhere left to go.

Appropriate that this should happen at Easter, don’t you think?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Open Letter to Scotland

Open letter to Scotland.

Dear Scotland,
I have some fantastic news for you. There is a real movement happening in England right now and personally I’d love you to be a part of it.

There are some great policies emerging from the labour party right now that will be to the benefit of all of us in the United Kingdom. Policies that will benefit all of us whether what we want is improved business, health, transportation, education, local services, jobs, housing or the economy, there is something there for everyone.

As the Tories create an ever widening divide between us and the rest of Europe, labours policies will close those fissures. Even though we may be out of Europe, it will feel to us and our European friends, that we had never left.

Jeremy Corbyn has promised us a new central bank from where we can build a million new homes, that equates to 10,000 homes on average per county. Just think of the jobs that could bring to your area and ours.  An end to zero hours contracts and a rise in the living wage to £10 per hour.

Labours policies would ensure that we can retain tariff free trade with Europe, our closest and best trading partner and also retain free movement of people but under Labour, without the exploitation of our continental brothers and sisters that the Tory government are so willing to exploit to the detriment of our Great British Union.

This is a dream that we all hold but we can’t do it alone. This tory government have divided the UK so badly to ensure that we, as a nation cannot realise this dream alone. We need you Scotland to turn back to Labour to ensure that we can all share in the prosperity that the next Labour government will gift to us all.

We can win over the divisions the tory party has created, between our great nations, but only together, can we make our dreams a reality.

Please Scotland, vote Labour.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Why We Need Len McCluskey

The upcoming Unite General Secretary leadership contest has been described as ‘a battle for the soul of the labour party’.
There have been some spurious claims made in the campaign, allegations of misuse of party funds for Jeremy Corbyns leadership campaign and claims that Len McCluskey has used members money to purchase a plush flat in London.
Politically we live in turbulent and quite extraordinary times and the ride at times hasn’t been pleasant, but now it is all too evident that the political ‘dirty tricks’ campaign is spilling over into our union elections.
These days it is a difficult task trying to find reliable information, the press are very selective indeed when portraying information, as it attempts to sway your vote, to their advantage. So what I have done is to look behind the headlines and try to find the real story.
I have looked at Gerard Coynes election manifest and as a union member, it deeply concerned me, it should concern everyone of us regardless of what union we belong to because Gerald Coyne is advocating the separation of Unite from the Labour Party. In effect, this would sever our links, as union members with those who make our employment laws. Unite, through Len McCluskey is the conduit that our voices, hopes and futures use to reach those in power. For the first time in a very long time, we have a leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and the leader of our greatest union Unite, who truly share our hopes and aspirations. As members, if we severed this relationship, we would sever our voice in parliament and leave ourselves at the mercy of those in power. This is the choice we are faced with and your vote will determine how protected your future prosperity, security and rights will be.   

Severing our link with the Labour Party will silence our voice in parliament.

Those that wish to deprive us of our voice are the same as those trying to discredit both leaders. And its fair to say that they have used some fairly imaginative journalism, otherwise known as a ‘smear campaign’ to swing your vote and further their cause. So, I have taken a look behind the headlines to find the real story behind the smear.


The first story makes claim, that Len McCluskey spent £400k of members money on a flat.
Well the first thing I discovered was that it wasn’t £400k that Len used for his flat, but £417K, slightly more than we thought. However, as Len now works in London, it is not unreasonable for the leader of the largest union in the UK, to have some form of accommodation in the area. But did the Unite executive really ‘gift’ Len £417K to by a luxury London flat? 

Well, the answer is, no.

What Len actually did was enter into a ‘shared equity’ agreement with Unite where the £417K represents 60% of the value of the flat, belongs to the membership. An agreement approved overwhelmingly by the Unite Executive. Conditions were included that meant that the Unite membership, could never be ‘out of pocket’ because of the deal. Incidentally, deals such as this are quite commonplace for union chief executives.

The Unite investment in the property was £417K on a £700k apartment. Len is funding the rest. This same apartment as of June 2016 had increased in value by £24,000 meaning that the value of the unite members investment had also increased to £430,800, making unite members just shy of £14,000. So Len has ‘made’ money for Unite members, not squandered it.


Len has been criticised for donating money to the Labour Party. The reality is that we, as members, gave Len that money specifically to donate to the Labour party. Its an optional political levy made in addition to our membership fees. In 2013, unite members voted overwhelmingly to ‘opt in’ to this political fund, a political fund which is regulated in law.
The political levy is the members only route to influencing our working terms and conditions that are dictated by government to enhance the good and oppose he bad. Severing these links, that have been built on for generations, would only serve to weaken all unions, expedite the erosion of our terms and conditions of employment rendering us compliant or having to resort to the increased prospect of taking industrial action, that no-one wants.
Unite, under Lens leadership, Unite recognized that Labour's new leadership team would be a great asset for the work of Unite. The money used to help secure Jeremy Corbyns successful leadership campaign was an investment for our futures and will serve to keep the strength in all of our unions.
We cannot allow our relationship with our closest political ally to wither.

Voting day is just around the corner, you are voting to protect your rights, your prosperity, your futures but above all, you are voting for you.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

How To Repair an Irrepparably Split Political Party

I wrote this story about 35 years ago on my Commodore64, neither its USB or HDMI connections were functioning but I managed to Bluetooth it directly to my tablet.
Today It seems almost profetic but as you know, having been written so long ago, it couldn't possibly have been based on any recent events.

                                                             Setting The Scene

Imagine if you will, a political party split on whether to go to war or not, a split that runs so deep, that it threatens the very existence of the party. The leader of that party only has a few merry men and women standing firmly behind her, but to her advantage she holds the support, of the majority of the membership. The remainder of the party leadership are pro-war and vastly outnumber the leader, but their membership following is far smaller. Neither side is willing to give any quarter.
So, the pro war faction decide to stage a coup to oust the anti war leader. And to lend weight to their treachery, they devise a plan to assissinate her, not with weapons, no, but with words. They were not brave enough to use weapons, because they thought that they might get into trouble. So they called her names and made shit up.
The pro war side had a terrible weapon in their arsenal, for they held power over the selection process for new candidates and undemocratically, they have selected all of their own candidates for election. Meaning that, even though the vast majority of members support the anti-war agenda, they will never get to see any of their preferred candidates selected, which they felt was very, very unfair.
To make matters worse, every time one of the pro war candidates lost, they tried to put all of the blame on the shoulders of anti-war candidate, but her supporters were having none of it.
Both sides stake claim to having the support of the wider electorate, but neither can prove their claims because they are based on heresay, doorstep gossip. Their refusal to put this question to the electorate meant that the answer to this question will never be discovered.

                               The situation seemed hopeless, stalemate, or was it?

Whilst both sides of the party had reached an impasse, a small group of 500 of the most faithful and loyal members had had enough and decided to do the unthinkable, they resigned their membership of the party and created a new party so they could carry on with their anti-war beliefs without hinderance.

Eventually, the time to start campaigning for the long awaited general election arrived, the pro war faction of the party fielded all of their own candidates and were ready for battle. The anti war majority, predicted to have done well in the elections, had no-one standing. 

On the day of the election the candidates were announced, the 500 loyal anti-war members who resigned from the party, re-emerge as independent candidates. Well funded by a number of wealthy benefactors, foreign governments, we'll never know but they have a clear purpose in mind, to stand against everyone except, the anti-war members from their old party.
The campaigns came went and were surprisingly strong for the independents, no-one expected it.

When election day finally arrived, slowly over the course of the night, the results came in......
1st place 250 seats - The pro war party.
2nd place 180 seats - The anti war party.
3rd place 120 seats - The Independents
Everyone else won 50 seats between them.

The massive loss of seats cost the anti-war party dearly in the election and the pro-war party of division, hate and poverty were duly elected.

                                                                   The Fallout

On day one of the new government there was nervousness in the air, no victory celebration from the pro-war party and the entire country were glued to their TV sets, waiting for the announcement that they had long suspected was coming.

The news reader came on....

"We are hearing reports of mass defections from the independents to the Anti-war party, we will keep you posted with developments".

By early evening, the news anchor came back on the TV, the atmosphere in the country was charged with excitment and anticipation, could it really happen? could it be true? because everyone knew what had just happened, they just wanted it confirmed.

"Well its been an extraordinary day in politics, a day that shall be long remembered. The final counts are in and we understand that all, I shall repeat that, all of the independents who won their seats have now all defected to the anti-war party, We are unclear what this means exactly, but it does appear that the main opposition to the government actually hold more seats in parliament than the elected government itself. Ladies and gentlemen, on their first day in office, the elected government has been rendered a 'lame duck'. Quite extraordinary."

On day one, all of the winning independents defected to the anti-war party who, for the first time in years, are now unified in their anti-war majority, massively strengthening the leaders position. Their resignation wasn't an act of desperation but a calculated act to illicit a specific outcome. Some called it unfair but the fact remained that defections were well within the rules.

The benefactors and the public were well aware and supportive of their agenda but no-one believed it could happen, for they knew that these independents had no intention of remaining as independent. On day one of the new parliament all of those who won, defect back to their old party to rejoin the leader in her anti-war stance. Sadly, because of the unavoidability of this action, the party lost this election by 130 seats and handed the victory to the party of division, hate and poverty. But, 180 of the faithfull 500 won their seats and immediately defected.

This now resulted in the unprecedented, extraordinary situation where the opposition party had lost the election, but had more representatives in parliament than the government, thereby rendering them a lame duck government, with no power to enact any of their dreadful, punishing laws. It was only a matter of time until the government in waiting, the anti-war party, seized power.

The End         

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Death of Neoliberalism - Part 2

One can't help but notice that there has been some political shenanigans going on of late.
Tory, Labour or Ukip? The posturing, the argument, it has all been great fun and yes, maybe a little boisterous. But what is it that is actually at stake here? What battle is really being fought here?

The fight isn’t just between political parties this time, its for a change in the economic model. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher introduced a new kind of economic model to the people of Britain, the economics of neoliberalism. It is this very economic model that ‘leaves people behind’. In 1997, when Tony Blair became prime minister, he rejected socialism and adopted neoliberalism as his favoured economic model. So the labour party were no longer socialists but had become neoliberals. Every election since then, irrespective of a tory or labour win at the ballot box, neo-liberalism in one form or another, always won and for almost 40 years, those left behind have struggled to survive. Forgotten by both the Tories and New Labour, it isn’t difficult to understand the distrust in the political establishment.

There is an easy way to separate neo-liberalism from socialism. Neoliberals want the wealth and power of the people handed over to the private sector, our NHS, railways, utility companies. Its a kind of ‘corporate communism’ which has been evolving for decades where business as opposed to the state own everything, but its still basically communism.
Socialism wants wealth and power handed over to the people so as everyone benefits, not contracted out to the private sector, where profits are kept as personal wealth in private bank accounts, instead of being re-invested into our services.
This is the real battle that is going on, the fight to wrestle the wealth and power once rightfully owned by the British people and taken piece by valuable piece, by successive neoliberal governments, to hand back to the British people so as they alone, not corporations, will be the architects or their own future.

As there are neoliberals and socialists within the Labour party, this also explains why the party is split. This isn’t a battle over a weak leader, but a battle for the very soul of the Labour Party, is the Labour Party neoliberal or socialist? When the Labour Party fielded a true socialist candidate for leader of the Labour Party in 2015, socialists around the country woke up and flocked to the party. Now the membership is made up primarily of true socialists. This is also why the Labour Party cannot depose Corbyn, because he has the overwhelming backing of, the membership. All the neoliberal element of the Labour Party can hope to achieve is to erode the membership support for Corbyn enough to launch yet another leadership challenge. It seems that the job of the socialist Labour members is to stay united, stay strong and stay members. The main danger for the Socialist labour party is that as time goes on, the membership who joined to support Corbyn as leader may feel their job is finished. Lapsing membership is one of the great threats to Corbyns leadership, especially if they are not allowed vote in leadership elections, without being party members for 6 months.

These same splits are evident, within the tory party who have their own internal (but suppressed from public view) battles between capitalism and neoliberalism, but you’d be lucky to find it documented though. Ken Clarke though strikes a lonely figure as one of the last remnants of a true tory conservative.

As for the future, neoliberalism has almost finished draining the last drop of capitalism from the Tory party. With capitalism being a close cousin of neoliberalism, it wasn’t too difficult for capitalism to be overwhelmed and subdued. The return of Socialism to the Labour Party has created a powerful defence against neoliberalism, and over the next 3 years, those defences will be continually tested for weaknesses. The weapons deployed by neoliberals run along the lines of leadership challenges, false accusations (trot infiltrations, unelectable etc) demonising the membership and of course, fake news which is happily delivered by the main stream media in the hope that they can create enough lethargy to divide Corbyns support base.
It seems to me that the battle for the next general election isn’t in 2020, its now. Neoliberalism does not want to face socialism in a fair fight, it would much rather face itself as it has done for he last 38 years. Neoliberal tory, or neoliberal Labour, it matters little. But neoliberal versus Socialism? that is a battle that neoliberalism knows that it can't win and therefore has to kill off socialism before the next general election.   

While neoliberalism has just elected its first president in the States, in the UK neoliberalism is in retreat and fighting for its very survival. If socialism wins in 2020, neoliberalism in the UK will be forced back into obscurity and the Tories will have to create more left leaning policies in order to just survive.
All 'socialism' has to do to win, is stay united, stay strong and retain the membership.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

State Pension Strategy - Giving people the right to retire at a time of their choosing

State Pension Equality Strategy
It is clear that there exists an imbalance of equality with the State Pension.
This suggestion will aim to eradicate the gender inequality inherent within the state pension retirement ages, and also provide the flexibility for people to retire on a state pension at a time of their choosing and not that of the governments.
Another advantage of this policy idea is that, as more people will have the opportunity to take retirement earlier, then presumably, an equal amount to jobs will become available in the jobs markets. This will also be of significant advantage to British business as those retiring have usually reached the top of their pay scales and will be replaced by people entering employment at the bottom, which could make significant savings for businesses, which in turn could be used to invest in workforce education.
The government pension scheme will operate in a similar way to Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) in that, if you are lucky enough to be able to afford to retire earlier, you will take a slightly reduced pension. This would enable those who have saved for retirement to be able to afford to retire earlier, and those that haven’t, may have to work longer, but once arriving at their chosen retirement age, will receive a larger weekly pension.
The scheme would apply to all people equally irrespective of gender.
Here are some numbers based on a life expectancy of 80 years of age and a maximum state pension of £120 per week. These figures are just for illustration.
If we base the pension on a weekly income of £120 per week for someone retiring at 65 and with a 15 year life expectancy, they would have a total pension pot of £93,600 based over a 15 year period. So their weekly pension would be £120pw.
However, someone retiring at 60 with a 20 year life expectancy would receive the same pension pot of £93,600, but their pension is based on being in receipt of it for 5 years longer, they would receive a weekly pension of £90pw. Over a 20 year period or average life expectancy, the pensions would achieve parity whilst giving people the flexibility to retire at a time of their choosing.
The calculations of pension are easily adjusted to compensate for changes in life expectancy and age of retirement. Pension can be calculated to be taken at any time throughout the year providing the opportunity to take retirement on any day of ones choosing between the ages of 60 and the day one chooses to retire.