For the many, not the few

An excerpt from the spring 2017 Labour Party manifesto


So yes, this election is about what sort of country we want to be after Brexit. Is it one where the majority are held back by the sheer struggle of getting by? That isn’t the Britain Labour is determined to create.

So let’s build a fairer Britain where no one is held back. A country where everybody is able to get on in life, to have security at work and at home, to be decently paid for the work they do, and to live their lives with the dignity they deserve.

Let’s build a country where we invest our wealth to give everyone the best chance. That means building the homes we need to rent and buy, keeping our communities safe with more police officers, giving our children’s schools the funding they badly need, and restoring the NHS to its place as the envy of the world.

Don’t let the Conservatives hold Britain back.

Let’s build a Britain that works for the many, not the few.

Creating An Economy That Works For All

Labour’s economic strategy is about delivering a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not just the few.

We will measure our economic success not by the number of billionaires, but by the ability of our people to live richer lives.

Labour understands that the creation of wealth is a collective endeavour between workers, entrepreneurs, investors and government. Each contributes and each must share fairly in the rewards.

This manifesto sets out Labour’s plan to upgrade our economy and rewrite the rules of a rigged system, so that our economy really works for the many, and not only the few. Britain is the only major developed economy where earnings have fallen even as growth has returned after the financial crisis. Most working people in Britain today are earning less, after inflation, than they did ten years ago. Too many of us are in low-paid and insecure work. Too many of us fear our children will not enjoy the same opportunities that we have.

Labour will turn this around. We will upgrade our economy, breaking down the barriers that hold too many of us back, and tackling the gender pay gap. Our National Transformation Fund will deliver the investment that every part of Britain needs to meet its potential, overcoming years of neglect. Our industrial strategy will support businesses to create new, high- skilled, high-paid and secure work across the country, in the sectors of the future such as renewables. We will stop our financial system being rigged for the few, turning the power of finance to work for the public good. And we will put small businesses at the centre of our economic strategy.

The growth created by our national investment plan, underpinned by the responsible economic management embodied in our Fiscal Credibility Rule, will create good jobs, drive up living standards and improve the public finances.

It is a plan that will deliver Labour’s vision of an economy that works for the many, not just the few – a Britain in which no one is held back.

Jeremy-Corbyn

The Bill Humphrey Agenda

What I seek:
For democratic empowerment tools to be brought into existence or revived with an application toward social amelioration, social inclusion, and social justice along overlapping axes.

What I believe:
A. You have a right to housing, a right to food, a right to health, a right to clean water, a right to a clean & safe environment & biosphere, a right to a living wage & a living allowance if unable to work, right to organize the workplace, a right to free & fair elections, a right to free public education from pre-Kindergarten through university, and a right to regional and local public transportation where possible.

B. You have a right to freedom of expression & religion, a right to racial & gender equality, a right to live safely & equally as a gender or sexual minority, a right to reproductive freedom, and a right to participate equally & accessibly with a disability in society. These protections apply regardless of citizenship.

C. Systems of democracy and economics should be harnessed toward and subordinated to the advancement of these 15 social aims and more.

Every person has a part they can play to lift up, liberate, and defend a society that lifts up, liberates, and defends everyone.

This awful Syria escalation

It’s reckless and irresponsible for the United States to launch missiles at a Russian air base in Syria, as we did today on President Trump’s orders. That’s really an understatement, too. And it’s ridiculous that former Secretary of State Clinton endorsed this plan publicly earlier today.

There are three realities, beyond the risks of attacking Russia, that have to be acknowledged regardless of the use of chemical weapons:
1) The US does not have the capacity to lead a successful regime change in Syria and it’s wildly foolish to “Just Do Something” with zero plan and zero capacity to execute it beyond the opening shot.

2) Chemical weapons are repugnant, but it is not a “proportional response” to risk a war on this scale, particularly considering that far more people have been killed already (and will be killed by escalation) by conventional arms, which are also horrible. Dead is dead, as Stephen Walt said.

3) This war would have been over years ago (with far fewer deaths or calamities and without the use of chemical weapons) if the United States (and allies) had not supplied dangerous and deadly major conventional weapons systems and light arms to extremist insurgents, many if not most of whom are not Syrian, thereby keeping the war going but with no one able to prevail definitively.

Getting involved further in the Syrian war than we already are, instead of pulling back and cutting off aid to the insurgents, can only increase the catastrophe.

Wall Street for Trump

Wall Street is so publicly overjoyed, on the record and in the numbers, with the Trump reign of terror so far — and still Democrats are going out of their way to make excuses and defenses of Wall Street and to object to any criticism or push for very deep regulation (let alone dismantling). If they’re not paying you to do it, ask yourself why you want to shield them.

It’s a sector that has long since outgrown its investment money-raising purposes relative to the real economy and has disappeared down a rabbit hole of hypercapitalism divorced from any real function or good practice. That’s not even a socialist perspective or anything. That’s just backed up by decades of data and research. It has become a massive useless casino that distorts our economic and political governance.

It should be shoved back into a little box until it is so small that it can only do what it’s supposed to do: raise private money for real investments in the material economy. Not whatever this monopoly money bullshit is wherein the politicians are purchased, the pensions are purloined, the small-dollar investors are taken advantage of, and the massively wealthy shareholder supermajority in the country diverts loans into profits, instead of into projects.

Zeal

There is a vast gulf between those who think politics is a sporting joust where fair play is an individual (not state) responsibility and those who think winning an election will stop the imagined home invasion of millions, a baby genocide, and the programmatic conversion of the economy to a road to serfdom. The biggest difference is that the latter are not perennial losers. The ferocity of their agenda powers them to repeated electoral wins on the narrowest of coalitions, while the opposing majority opts out of participation in the absence of any motivating zeal. The zealotry of the conservative agenda kills people, but quietly so does the mercilessly grinding and bloodless status quo. Our task now is to mount an opposing social and democratic agenda that would move us forward and to sell it to the populace with an urgent conviction befitting a platform of rescuing millions from the horrors of unchecked and unmitigated market tyranny over their humanity. Our task is not to collaborate with our own undoing nor to offer a helpful hand in the unparalleled rollback of our modern society. Our task is to obstruct, however we can, every step of their inhumane agenda while offering our own worthy program of social improvement that we can rightly be proud to campaign upon with a galvanizing and mobilizing zeal.

Beware the pragmatists who promise power without politics

We are in the political fight of our lives to stop what little we have left from being swept away, and yet we’re still being tone-policed by the centrists who lost us everything on how to win in a political climate they do not recognize, do not understand, and are utterly unprepared to deal with. Every concession to an arbitrary middle instead of towards justice is another constituency that we leave behind, weakening our solidarity, weakening our electoral coalition, and weakening our ability to take and retain power.

Those afraid to Engage in Politics will preside over very little of it.


Further reading from Arsenal For Democracy…
A world without politics (would be bad)

The politics of compromise

No politics without choices

Early thoughts

Horrific outcome tonight. Mass collective action is probably the only path ahead for the next year or two at least. Early thoughts: The number one contingent most responsible for Donald Trump winning is people (not necessarily whom the media expected) who voted for Donald Trump. Don’t blame others first. (This wasn’t third parties and wasn’t about young people.) Second most responsible: All who systematically disenfranchised and suppressed voters over decades or didn’t do much to stop it.

I’ll leave for another time the rest of my reaction but the third most responsible group are the people whose strategy failed tonight as it has failed so many downballot races over the past 22 years. I don’t know what the future direction of the Democratic Party is – but it can’t be more of this. The environment, the economy, and our democracy (including human rights and civil liberties) seem to have gone off a cliff tonight, and I guess we’ll have to assess what the hell happens next to resist that.