The Labour party really couldn’t give a shit about my vote, and my opinion of the Labour party is that it is a lost cause. Left-thinking people of good conscience should not be supporting a party that does not and likely will not represent their views. But it’s an interesting question to ask what sort of Labour party we would like to see. In response to the wholly uninteresting Milburn-Clarke ‘open debate‘ on Labour’s future, Brian Barder has written an interesting 10-point plan for Labour.
To get me to vote Labour, they would have to do at least some of the following (in no particular order, and by no means a comprehensive list):
- Civil liberties: abandon the ID card scheme, detention without trial, etc. More positively: ensure that all government institutions are designed so as to make it as difficult as possible for future less libertarian governments to misuse them.
- Democracy: reverse the control-freakery of the current government, their plans to introduce legislation bypassing parliament, etc. Instead, introduce voting and political funding reform including proportional representation and equal state funding for political parties above a (low) minimum size.
- Immigration: behave in a civilised way, not in a Daily Mail way.
- Economics: favour positive rather than regressive taxes (including flat taxes). Don’t make it axiomatic that the private sector is more efficient. Consider implementing some institutions that are decentralised but not market-based, as in parecon.
- Environment and transport: prioritise the construction and improvement of environmentally friendly forms of transport as a matter of urgency! Tinkering around with marginal incentives won’t do the trick.
- Public sector: reforms should be designed to improve the lives of public sector workers as well as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions.
Yeah my plan’s probably even less electable than Brian’s. Not all of it has to be though. The major obstacles would probably be immigration (because ours is a very xenophobic country) and taxation (something that is very difficult to sell as being positive, and understandably given some of the stupid stuff governments spend money on).
I should probably include something about crime and foreign policy in there too, but it’s late and I’m tired. Now who wants to be the first to tell me that my ideas are idealistic and unworkable?