40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies


1:30 pm - February 1st 2010

by Newswire    


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From a press release today
In order to mobilise the maximum number of Labour voters in preparation for the next election, we believe that Labour should now focus its campaigning around the following key principles:

A. The recession should be tackled not with cuts in essential public spending, but by massive public investment in house-building, infrastructure and the de-carbonisation of the economy.

B. Banks should be split up with their casino investment arms hived off. Publicly-owned retail banks should be required to meet new social and community objectives and support manufacturing, with lending to businesses and homeowners restored to 2007 levels. Pay and bonuses should be tightly regulated.

C. A clean break must be made with market fundamentalism – deregulation and privatisation. Public provision should be expanded – in health care, education, housing, pensions, energy and transport. Royal Mail must remain wholly in the public sector.

D. In the face of huge and unacceptable growth of inequality, a big redistribution programme must swing resources away from the rich to provide sizeable increases in pensions, the minimum wage, the lowest benefit levels, and to fund job creation and improved public services. Union rights must be restored – it is in economic crisis that workers are most in need of that protection.

E. To achieve the 80% carbon emission reduction target by 2050, renewable sources of energy should be promoted on a far bigger scale, industry (including airlines) should be required to reduce its climate change emissions by at least 3% per year, household carbon allowances should be introduced, and the UK targets should be fully met by domestic action and not by carbon offsetting abroad.

We also believe that if Labour is to revive its membership in numbers and activity, it must fully restore its internal democratic procedures so that the voice of its individual and affiliated members is listened to and taken account of. This process has begun with the adoption of all-member voting rights for the National Policy Forum.

But we believe that several further reforms are needed, in particular to restore to the elected NEC full supervision and control over the party’s operation and finances, to introduce a charter of members’ rights and a Party Ombudsman to enforce them, and to renew for all party employees the core civil service values of impartiality, integrity, honesty and objectivity in the development of party policy and selection of party candidates.

MP Signatories
Diane Abbott
John Austin
Colin Burgon
Ronnie Campbell
Colin Challen
Michael Clapham
Katy Clark
Harry Cohen
Michael Connarty
Frank Cook
Jeremy Corbyn
Jim Cousins
Jon Cruddas
Ann Cryer
Ian Davidson
David Drew
Bill Etherington
Mark Fisher
Paul Flynn
Neil Gerrard
Fabian Hamilton
Dai Havard
David Heyes
Kelvin Hopkins
Lindsay Hoyle
Brian Iddon
Lynne Jones
Andrew Mackinlay
John McDonnell
Michael Meacher
Alan Meale
Austin Mitchell
Chris Mullin
Gordon Prentice
Ken Purchase
Linda Riordan
Alan Simpson
Marsha Singh
Graham Stringer
Paul Truswell
Joan Walley
David Winnick
Mike Wood

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Reader comments


Good that such a broad range of opinion within the parliamentary left has signed this statement. LRC, Compass, Campaign Group and none of the above.

All very lovely, but good luck persuading a hostile media and public that an increase in public spending is what we need!

This list pretty much evidences what a large tent the Labour Party is. Now, whether that fact is a good or a bad thing is another matter all together…

4. Luis Enrique

I would very much like to see supporters of these propositions outline where the risks are … i.e. how these policies could go wrong, and how they propose to avoid that fate.

How could an increase in public expenditure (on infrastructure, housing stock etc.) go wrong?

How could asking banks to hit “social and community objectives” go wrong? What are the costs of such a policy?

(I’d also like to see supporters explain exactly what a “casino investment arm” of a bank is, and in what way it resembles a casino, compared and contrasted to the casino-like activities of retail and commercial lending bank).

A: none of these are shovel ready. Will take years to put in place. So they’ll far from solving the recession stoke the next boom. Keynesian spending is supposed to be counter-cyclical, not pro-cyclical.

B: Split the banks? Why not? Get house lending back to 2007? Umm, aren’t we all agreed that lending led to an unsustainable boom? And publicly owned banks….yeah, right, so you’ve got to fellate your local politician for a loan now do you?

C: Ho hum. 90% of health and 90% of education are public sector. Really, how are you going to increase those? Same old same old: public sector unions want a larger trough.

D: Well, inequality, hmm, everyone on that list is easily in the top 10% of the income distribution (most top 1%). Let’s see you making some voluntary redistribution of your own first shall we?

E: All sectors must reduce emissions? But what we want to find out is which sector’s emissions we value most! Household carbon allowances……well, at least they’re proposing one market solution. But why they propose that and refuse to allow offsetting overseas I’ve no idea. For of course my buying a carbon permit from hte bloke next door is exactly the same as my buying one from Calais…..

What about withdrawing from Afghanistan?

That would get my vote and many others.

#6

If your MP is on this list, ask them what their position is on that. Looking at the list, I imagine most would be in favour of withdrawal. The trouble with shopping lists of this kind is there’s always stuff that could have been included and isn’t.

so you’ve got to fellate your local politician for a loan now do you?

Would make a change having to do my “Dedicated Account Manager”…..

The DTI website states clearly that in offering a business loan under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, banks should not seek to take a charge on the primary residences of the principals of the business.

Yet the line taken by the banks is that this is a matter of how they “interpret the instruction”.

Corrrupt fuckers.

These massive unwieldy institutions badly need to be broken up into smaller regional based banks and be made accountable to someone other than themselves.

“lending to businesses and homeowners restored to 2007 levels.”

Because it worked out so well the first time?

A. This just goes to show that Labour just want to spend. If the economy’s booming, then “great, lots of money to spend”. In recession, “We Need a Keynsian demand boost”.

In reality socialists always want more spending on their client state. They pretend that it never needs to be paid for, of if it does, “the rich” will foot the bill.

They can’t because there aren’t many of the rich. The burden instead falls on the working man. Which is why the economy’s the slowest to come out of recession of the G8 – the fastest rising tax-burden in the world.

I cannot believe a supposedly sentient human could put their name to this Lunacy.

“industry (including airlines) should be required to reduce its climate change emissions by at least 3% per year, household carbon allowances should be introduced, and the UK targets should be fully met by domestic action and not by carbon offsetting abroad.”

Or what? They’ll be shut down? That will do wonders for employment!

This whole plan is practically Mugabenomics. Wouldn’t mind seeing Labour re-elected and seeing this happen though (but only because I am young and mobile).

Or what? They’ll be shut down?

Fines.

This looks like a list of MPs who are standing down at the next election, giving this call as much weight as Victoria Beckham.

I wonder how many of these MPs really mean what this statement says? Some have made comments elsewhere which at least call into question their commitment to parts of this statement. Let’s hope that this statement is more than just posturing from MPs who will fall back into their old ways if they hang on to their seats in May.
At least this statement shows some wish to move from the big tent to a Labour ‘broad church’ social democracy. If the break with market fundamentalism means anything, models of social ownership need to be developed and the public stake in the banks retained.

Might I suggest the MPs add a further principle:

F. Reorganize the list of MP Signatories to be in reverse alphabetical order.

(I find it hard to take any proposal seriously when I see Diane Abbott’s name at the top)

Those desired campaign promises show the intellectual bankrupcy of the old Left.

For every problem the same solution, lots more government spending and more government regulation.

We know those ‘solutions’ don’t work. Time to come up with some fresh thinking.

It’s a start, but doesn’t go nearly far enough.

1. Cut the armed forces by something like 50% – consistent with what’s needed for making a proportionate contribution to European self-defence, while making it impossible for there to be any more neo-imperialist expeditions with the US.

2. A ban on all cars with engine capacity above 1300cc. There is simply no need for gas-guzzlers capable of going at 140mph in a country with a maximum speed limit of 70. All these Mercs and Beamers are just status symbols the rich would ultimately be happier and more well-adjusted without.

3. Quickest means of radical redistribution of wealth: confiscation (wiithout compensation) of all second homes. It is obsecene that middle-class fatcats should have two houses while others sleep rough.

4. Total ban on private education and faith schools.

5. Transaction tax on all credit card transactions.

6. Closure of betting shops and other enterprises predatory upon the poor. Genuine horse racing fans to be re-directed to the Tote.

7. No company to offer share options to directors unless willing to extend share options to all workers meeting performance targets.

8. Increase capital gains tax to 50p in the pound.

9. Lower inheritance tax threshold to £100k and increase rate to 50% for first £500,000, 75%for next £500k and 90% thereafter.

10. Pending closure/public acquisition of private schools, parents of privately-educated students to be required to meet the full costs of university education on same terms as foreign students.

11. Penal Social Responsibility tax to be levied on all companies who pay minimum-wage to a high %age of their workforce or who are responsible for environmental degradation.

12. Massive tax on foreign holidays and all non-essential air travel.

Having seen an advanced copy, some of us on the centre left do think we need a restatement of our values:

You can compare the above with a write through here:

http://petergkenyon.typepad.com/peterkenyon/2010/02/labour-party-radical-policies-the-race-is-on.html

@13 There’s a real issue that a lot of these signatories aren’t actually going to be Labour candidates at the election. I lament that, as my guess is that the new generation of party androids won’t be as wise as some of these oldsters.

Can anybody supply the figure /40 that actually intend to attempt to stand on this platform?

they missed one

F stop the persecution of the sick and disabled.

A couple of discredited second home troughers there – Austin + Cruddas

@ gould:

bless.

My real problem with this is that, as others also lament, it is a) topped by Diane Abbot and b) largely made up of MPs standing down, who feel able to slightly annoy the whip.

The real change needed is not party policy, but reform of parliament, whereby whips’, prime ministerial advice groups’ and kitchen cabinet power is lessened and select committees’ powers increases – there has to be a way to “get ahead” in politics without kissing your leader’s arse.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  2. Ben Folley

    Spending + redistribution should be Labour's message in the recession @libcon 40 Labour MPs call for radical manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  3. Pascal Jacquemain

    RT @libcon: 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF Mostly good stuff. No chance of party implementing them.

  4. Gus Baker

    Change we can believe in. 40 Labour MPs call for a truly progressive manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  5. Kaveh Azarhoosh

    Change we can believe in. 40 Labour MPs call for a truly progressive manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  6. George Allwell

    Liberal Conspiracy » 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  7. Tom Miller

    RT @gusbbaker: Change we can believe in. 40 Labour MPs call for a truly progressive manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  8. Lauren Rae

    Liberal Conspiracy » 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  9. Liat Norris

    Nice 2 see Joan Walley on this list Shame theyll be ignored RT @libcon 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  10. Socket

    RT @libcon: 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  11. matt_heath

    Raise the pinkish banner high http://is.gd/7v4LG Labour MPs for Labour policies shock!

  12. a mansell-green

    Liberal Conspiracy » 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF makes sense to me.

  13. Andrew Tindall

    RT @benfolley: Spending + redistribution should be Labour's message in the recession @libcon 40 Labour MPs call for radical manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  14. sunny hundal

    Exclusive: RT @libcon: 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  15. Kaveh Azarhoosh

    RT @gusbbaker: Change we can believe in. 40 Labour MPs call for a truly progressive manifesto http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  16. Adam White

    this is fantastic http://bit.ly/cilUCl nice to see LRC and Compass MP's all getting behind it.. just what we need to win the election!

  17. micapam

    RT @libcon 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/9f9bts

  18. Forty Labour MPs Call For Radical Party Policies « Norfolk Community Action Group

    […] http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/01/40-labour-mps-call-for-radical-campaign-policies/ […]

  19. Dave Plummer

    RT @libcon: 40 Labour MPs call for radical campaign policies http://bit.ly/ai4kBF

  20. Labour MPs voice dissent « Though Cowards Flinch

    […] February 1, 2010 Dave Semple Leave a comment Go to comments Forty Labour MPs have put their name to a document which lays out five key areas in which the government is deviating from the wishes of most Labour […]

  21. Continuing the electoral reform debate « Though Cowards Flinch

    […] encouraged, however, that some amongst the Parliamentary Labour Party have begun to take an active interest in the problem. It may be too little too late, but the world doesn’t end with a Tory election […]

  22. Liat Norris

    @jachartuk http://bit.ly/ai4kBF





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