Following on from the last posting, I touched on the failure of the global capitalist system and the present economic situation and I would like to go back to that subject and expand on some things.
Firstly, the present situation is not going to improve greatly in the near future, basically for the reasons I stated before, that being the failure of the present capitalist model which governments won’t or can’t admit to.
There are many things wrong with the system and these problems go hand in hand with our political structure. The way government is organised is out of date, and the two main parties are still trying to govern with agendas that were relevant to the past but bear no relevance to the world we live in now. We have the Conservatives on one hand who are traditionally (and still) the party of the upper classes and the rich. On the other, we have Labour struggling to re-define itself in light of the New (Tory) Labour legacy of Tony Blair, and weighted with the historical legacy of the welfare state.
Going forward, whoever can really define the middle road between public and private sector, in a way that works for everyone, will have the next election sewn up. This is where the Lib-Dems have failed and it should be where they are leading the way. Government should be the referee between public and private, it should ensure that workers are paid and treated fairly but not to the point where private enterprise is stifled. It’s role should be one of balance.
So, going forward, here a few suggestions to improve and revitalise politics and the economy. Firstly, the whole political system needs reform. The House of Lords has to go, the class system is the biggest obstacle to creating a society that works for everyone, and as long as it is maintained by government, then the division between rich and poor is going to grow wider until it leads to revolution. This might have happened in Britain after WW2 but the creation of better employment practices and the welfare state by Labour, probably stopped it.
Next, I think the day of party politics is over, the two main parties come from perspectives that are out-of-date. The Conservatives want to dismantle the welfare state but historically it is because of how the private sector did business and exploited it’s workers, that lead to the creation of unions and the Labour Party. So the Conservatives are a retrograde party, always trying to turn the clock back and skewing everything in favour of private business, to the detriment of the ordinary working person.
Labour are the creation of the working classes, although you would hard pushed to find many working-class on the Labour front bench these days. They are traditionally the supporters of the public sector and are often portrayed as the enemy of business and the private sector.
Every time we elect a new government, we are changing between these two opposing positions. This constant changing just keeps screwing everything up as they come in and out, every 4 years or so, with their ideas on the best way to run things and set about dismantling the work of the previous incumbents. (The exception to this was the New Labour government who carried on the Tory agenda). This hits the state education system worse than other areas and probably accounts for how badly it performs in relation to the ‘public’ school system whose teaching and results remain consistent and which probably accounts for the upper class dominance in the echelons of power and state. It’s a wonder, now when I think about it, why the Tories have never sought to privatise the government, and they don’t seem to mind being paid out of the public purse!
Come to think of it, maybe we should privatise the government, at least then we would be able to sack those who don’t do the job they’re supposed to do instead of having to wait until the next general election.
Realistically, what do we need to run the country? A good accountant to manage and distribute taxes. Then what??? Why do we need all these government ministers and politicians? Wouldn’t we be better off employing people to run our services. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have someone who has worked in education or health, and spent most of their life working their way up through the system to be the Minister for Health or Education. Someone who actually has years of experience in the field and not some upper class twat who never did a day’s work in their life, and only got the job because they were ‘bessy’ mates with the PM through college.
It would take the politics out of politics, and instead of general elections for political parties, we would have referendums on issues like going to war, or free health care. Imagine if we’d had a referendum on the Iraqi war, do you think it would have happened? There could be televised national debates on the issues, with those for and against putting their arguments, and then we could all go to the polls to decide what to do. It would make us more responsible as citizens and more involved in the real issues that affect our lives.
One of the main problems with politics today is that people outside of London feel cut off from the government, and feel that most politicians are out of touch with the reality of our lives. So in order to remedy this, I think that most of the power should be taken out of Westminster and given to County Councils with each county having an elected Governor. Issues could be brought up through councils (these should also be elected, and you would have to be resident in the county to stand for election). It would be the job of the Governor to liase between the council and the offices of Ministers. The main task would be to let the government know how much money is needed for roads, health, etc. and to ensure that it is distributed properly. I also think that in order to prevent corruption, each county should have an independent Ombudsman to look into complaints and through them people could challenge any perceived unfairness or mismanagement. Maybe we could pay the majority of our taxes to our County Councils instead of to the treasury too, so we have more control as to how our money is spent and it would benefit our own areas more.
All vital services like energy, transport, police, education and health should remain under the control of Government but to allow for private enterprise to maintain and reduce some of the waste, there should be a 51% Government to 49% Private split in their provision. I think all these services too should be managed by county councils with government overseeing from a distance.
Going back to the economy and the global capitalist system, I also think it is time to start putting up a few trade barriers. I really think there should be a ban on global corporations and if we can’t ban them, we should make them return 50% of their profits to the country they trade in, regardless of where they are based.
The big global brands have sucked the life out of our local and small businesses and all their profits go out of the country. I also think that a percentage of business profits should be shared among the people who work in the business. This could be done directly but I think that the best way would be to do it would be with a profit tax which would be specifically for health, education and pensions. Most people don’t mind paying their taxes if they are guaranteed that the money is used productively and they can see the benefits they get for them. In order to be fair about it, it should be capped, so that small businesses don’t get crucified with taxation the moment they start making a profit.
So, what do you think? Comments, as usual, are welcome.