Labour Party Announces Radical ‘Reclamation Manifesto’

RM1

The Labour Party today signalled the end of the neoliberal consensus which has existed since the premiership of the late Margaret Thatcher.  In a speech held on the steps of St Pauls Cathedral in London, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband presented his party’s Reclamation Manifesto in a bid to end what he describes as ‘the bankruptcy of ideas’.  Today we carry the Miliband speech and the manifesto in full.

The Reclamation Speech

 Mr Miliband began his addressed the crowd of several hundred and a television audience in the millions this afternoon. His speech read as follows:

“Seven hundred years ago a group of clergy, merchants and other Anglo Saxons met in the churchyard of this Cathedral to draft the Magna Carta.  This great charter set out to redefine the rights and responsibilities of the Monarchy and the people of the nation at that time.

The Labour Party was itself formed out of a political pressure group seeking equality at the dawn of the 20th century.  Our party was founded on the radical idea that the injustices and inequities of our world were not set in stone.  Far from being natural and inevitable, they were unnatural and manufactured by those with a vested interest in an unjust system.

We gather once again in that same revolutionary spirit today.

Once again, the institutions of politics, media, economics and justice are no longer serving the needs of the majority of our people.  Indeed, it seems with every new day the balance tips yet further in the opposite direction, with the majority of the people serving the needs of a minority of political and corporate interests.

In light of this, the existing distinctions of political division are rendered worthless. What use is it to have a choice between a party working in the interests of the state, and a party working in the interests of corporations – if neither state nor corporation exist to serve any interests but their own?

This is the problem which our electorate has been wrestling with for too long. We have been spending our time wringing our hands over a deficit of finance, when the great travesty of our time is a deficit of ideas.

Some will call this manifesto ‘dangerous’ in order to keep the lid on the box of our collective spirits.  But, in the words of Oscar Wilde ‘An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.’

This manifesto is dangerous.  It is dangerous to every last man and woman in the country who benefits from this unjust order.

The current leadership talks of an Aspiration Nation.  But an Aspiration Nation cannot exist where the fragile sparks of ambition in our children are snuffed out by blanket injustice.

It is time to reclaim our schools and universities, our fields and rivers, our parliament and courts, our privacy and public spaces, our currency and economy.   This is the Reclamation Manifesto.”

There Is Always an Alternative

 RM2

Of course, this rally hasn’t happened yet.  We are still stuck with Neoliberalism.  Whoever we vote for, public services are outsourced and privatised, civil liberties are curtailed and all decisions are based on their ultimate economic value, not their human value. This piece was not a complete flight of fantasy, but what it would look like if a major political party harnessed some of the alternatives already in place in the UK and other societies.  If you like them go and start using them.  The truth is; we cannot simply criticise how things are.  We must create and seek out new and better ways, and transition to them.

You might not agree with these ideas, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a new idea that might be even better.  So, let’s take our upset and channel it into determination and creativity.  One mind at a time, one step at a time, we are already building the alternative.

So, pour yourself a cup of something delightful and prepare to hear some new ideas….

The Reclamation Manifesto – Core Principles

 RM3

“The Reclamation Manifesto presents a real and radical alternative to this depressing, demoralising and defunct system we live under today.  But before we go into the content of Reclamation, we must first look at the context.  We believe the context is decisive.  As a glass shapes the water within it, so the values of a society shape the actions of its institutions and citizens.

Reclamation bases itself on four core principles.

Compassion

Our world today treats compassion as a weakness or an irrelevance.

We will be compassionate human beings. Compassionate in our words, compassionate in our actions, and compassionate in our institutions.

Accountability

Our world today is full of blame and empty of accountability.

We will be accountable for our words and our deeds and for ensuring the two match up. We are accountable for our own behaviour and our collective endeavours.

Respect

Our world today is a respect free zone.

We will respect ourselves, each other and the planet that sustains us – in theory and in practise.

Equality

Our world today does not value people equally.

We will live in an equal world.  There will be no normal in our world. A persons gender, sexuality, race, religious belief (or none), age or physical abilities will be accepted and their needs catered for equally.

These are not just values.  These are commitments.  They are the practical and philosophical foundation of our new idea.  Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Equality – CARE will be the context of our society.  All things will flow from these basic, immovable principles.

The Reclamation Manifesto – Content

 RM4

Reclaiming Currency and Contribution

RM5

 As it Is

Most nations currently use a fiat currency.  Money has ceased to be related to endeavour, production or human and social value.  Money can be made simply by having money, yet far more of it can be had by creating debt.

This has created a grossly unequal society where greed and socially worthless activities are rewarded, whilst compassion and socially useful activities are not.  It is dangerous to create a conflict of interest between the right thing and reward.

The lack of access to money creates barriers to people fulfilling on their ultimate contributions to society.  Most people work in jobs that bear no relation whatsoever to what they are best at or what they truly want to do.

Over two and a half million people in the UK currently have no employment whatsoever, and one million of those are young people.  This is a complete waste of potential.

The system of employment itself is illogical and unnatural.  We have narrowed the breadth of a person’s contributions to their networks, their communities and our world to ‘a job’ (paid) and everything else (unpaid).  This job takes up the majority of their productive time.  A person is not free to create their own timetable and their other possible contributions are limited to the hours outside this job.

As It Could Be

Currency

The key to creating a genuine equality of wealth is to establish a currency which is common to all.  The one common currency we have is time.  In recent years, Time Banks have appeared across the country and indeed the world.  Time Banks will become the financial centre of our new society.

A person’s time becomes a currency.  A person contributes their time in some endeavour, they receive time credits, and the customer account is debited.

At its most basic level, you acquire wealth by contributing more than you consume.

Social Credits can be created for proposed social programmes (see Democracy).

Employment as Contribution

There is no such thing as a job.  A person is free to provide their labour in receipt for Time Bank Credits in one main role or many roles.  A person’s ambitions will be detached from the accumulation of wealth.  The freedom and flexibility will promote entrepreneurship, while strengthening communities, families and friendships.

A person’s skills and capabilities are held within the bank.  Every possible skill and capability will be included, from brain surgery to making a cup of tea or reading someone a story.  These banks can exist in high streets, schools, community centres or online.  Every person will have an account opened at birth and can accumulate credits by trading their time to fulfil someone’s need.

By opening up the range of contributions, many people who are not able to contribute for remuneration in today’s society would be able to in this one.  People with depression, people with anxiety, people with severe disabilities; all would have access to contribute something and thereby feel of equal value.

Every person will receive sufficient credits to meet the cost of living.  This will enable people to provide their labour, skills and capabilities freely.

Citizens will create organisations and recruit Contributors, as they set up enterprises and recruit employees today.

People’s capabilities will be valued equally.

Trade in Goods

This leaves the matter of trading raw materials and products, as the above system would only cover labour and services.

The price of raw materials will be weighted by sustainability.  A product will be given a Time Bank price calculated by its Sustainability and Time value.

Taxation

There will be no taxation as there will no longer be inequalities of wealth or a disconnect between wealth and contribution.

Large social programmes will become campaigns voted for and managed through the political process (see Democracy).

Fiat Currency and International Trade

All current monetary wealth will be unusable in the domestic economy.  It will be sequestered and dispersed to the regional Time Banks. Local governance will choose how best to spend these funds while the outside world continues to operate a capitalist economy.

Reclaiming Democracy and Citizenship

 RM6

As It Is

The current electoral and parliamentary political system centralises power, creates arbitrary dividing lines, and discourages active participation.  The results are political careerism, the conformity of politicians to an unworkable consensus, and declining political engagement in the general population.

As It Could Be

Politics and Governance

Political organisation will be managed by a system of Consensus and General Assembly. All citizens will be required to participate in the political process.

There will be a new non hierarchical model of governance: Community, Local, Regional, National and International.  This will look like a web, rather than a pyramid.

Regional, National and International assemblies will see a selection process for candidates.  These candidates will receive standard Time Bank remuneration.

Representatives cannot function in the same role for longer than one year without a gap of one electoral cycle.

Representatives are not leaders; they simply present the proposals and consensus choices agreed by their assemblies.

Constitution

A new constitution will be drafted in General Assemblies held in communities across the country and online based on the model successfully used by Iceland in 2012.

Legislation

Anyone can raise an idea by submitting a Petition.  All Petitions are Anonymous.  Where a Petition receives 10% Community Support it becomes a Proposal which the owner raises at their Community General Assembly.

If it is a Community Proposal it can be ratified and becomes a Resolution, if not it carries over to the relevant assembly.

Suffrage

All citizens over the age of 16 will we granted full rights to participate in the political system.  But all citizens will have equal voice to speak in General Assemblies and raise proposals.

Retirement

Retirement will become a redundant concept.  There will be no job to retire from, a person might simply change their contributions, or reduce the amount they contribute until they are no longer able to contribute.  People will be free to contribute as much or as little as they can for their entire life.

Reclaiming Education and Learning

RM7

As It Is

The current education system is unsuited to the society we are out to create.  It acts as a career pipeline rather than a centre for critical thinking, creativity and self expression.  Education is also seen as something for young people.

As it Could Be

Curriculum

All citizens will receive a Maths, English, Science and Citizenship education stipulated by a National Curriculum (Citizenship will take in Currency, Politics and Governance, Food Production and Home Economics).  This will ensure standards are agreed and maintained in matters of criticality to social function.  All other lessons will be devolved to Community level to agree upon.  Schools will be under the authority of the Community Assembly.

Any citizen wishing to learn something outside of their school’s curriculum can recruit a contributing teacher using their Time Bank credits.

The School

Communities will be free to set the timetable and the length of the school day and terms.

Communities will be free to determine the teaching format and location – school would cease to refer to a building, but the community of children and teachers.

Citizens are free to attend any school in their Community.

The University

Universities will be managed by the Local assembly with the same rules that apply to schools.

Life Long Learning

Any citizen can attend School or University at any time in their lives.  People will be actively encouraged to return to School and University periodically.  The knowledge and cultural gap between age groups will likely reduce.

Reclaiming the Commons

 RM8

As it Is

The Commons consists of the air, water, land, natural resources, contents of our rivers and lakes, our forests, wooded areas, heath lands and moors.  They are the common resources that are accessible as a resident of earth.  In recent decades these have been privatised and commercialised.  We assert that no human being can own these things.

As it Could Be

Owning the Commons

The Commons is owned by everybody.  The collective will is to be exercised through the Political process.

Expanding the Commons

The Commons will be expanded to take in contemporary Commons such as the internet, software and other items which people Contribute for social utility.

Maintaining the Commons

Maintenance of the Commons will be viewed as a national duty for each individual. There will be a Citizenship Day once a week, during which citizens maintain the Commons.  Relevant training will be captured by Citizenship education and contributions managed through Community Programmes.  A citizen is free to choose which day of the week they make Citizenship Day, and which Community Programmes they contribute to with the following stipulations:

1)      They cannot Contribute to the same programme more than once in a month

2)      They must Contribute to at least one programme a month from each of the three sectors  (Environment, Sanitation, Creative)

Those who choose to Contribute to maintaining The Commons (as a profession), will spend their Citizenship Day reviewing and contributing to proposals for National Commons Resolutions.

Privatised Space

The transition in economics and other areas will render much private space obsolete.  Community Assemblies can choose how to reallocate private spaces in their areas that were purchased through the current system of unequal wealth.

For example, the City of London Community might wish to turn the obsolete financial centre into a residential area and resolve the housing crisis.  Communities might wish to demolish supermarkets and replace them with City Farms and Community Gardens.*

Reclaiming Justice

RM9

As it Is

The Crime and Justice system has become the dustbin for the biggest social issue of our time: poverty.

England and Wales currently jail 147 out of every 100,000 of our citizens.  As of February 2013 84,424 were in prison and the prison population has more than doubled in the last twenty years. More than half these prisoners serve more than six months and just 17,000 are for violent crimes.  The others are serving time for burglary and drug abuse – which are essentially the criminalisation of poverty.

The Law is written in a language which excludes people.

As it Could Be

We assert that by equalising wealth, decriminalising most drug use and rebalancing values and reward, much of what now constitutes criminal activity will simply cease to exist.

Law

Legal terms and language will be redefined, making it more accessible and understandable to those outside the profession. We will retain the legal and judicial system and jurisprudence.

Policing

Policing will be both a profession and a function of Citizenship Day.  Communities will explore crime prevention policies.

Prison

Prisons will be replaced by Rehabilitation Centres.  These centres will focus on teaching, counselling and supportive therapies to encourage the person to address the underlying issues causing their behaviour.

We will maintain one National Prison to retain those who we have been unable to rehabilitate within Communities.  This prison will retain a focus on Rehabilitation, but provide a greater level of security.  Prison records will only exist for those who have attended the National Prison.

___________________________________________________

By taking these steps, we will reclaim our spaces, our institutions and power over our own lives while creating a nation where we care for and count on each other.

Please use the comments section to put forward your own great ideas. If you think the Reclamation Manifesto is awesome….follow on twitter.

42 thoughts on “Labour Party Announces Radical ‘Reclamation Manifesto’

  1. Like Elizabeth I was all set to rush out and join the labour party. Such a pity that this was a spoof, as you say their seems to be a dearth of original and innovative thinking in our political classes at the present moment (perhaps the material priveliges of those in such positions makes it easier to just keep things as they are and nearly always have been). I agree with Franklin in that bringing about such change would prove very difficult as so many people seem to live with their eyes and minds so firmly shut to even the idea that life could be lived differently than it is now. As Ian says top down changes to society do not work (though he missed the end of your post as he hasn’t put forward any alternatives to the present way of thinking that predominates politcally and economically). Maybe we need to take a leaf out of Ghandis book, ‘become the change you want to see’ you have to make the changes in your own life as far as you can, become a living example to others, might be a slow process, but I am sure it works. I really like your idea of a time based economy, it is every persons most valuable possession, as soon as you bring up the eradication of money, it seems as though the blinkers go up. If all the money in the world were to miraculously dissapear, we still have all the resources all the skills and capabilities we now possess, so why couldn’t this be brought about in reality. If the economy was based on time, money would become valueless, so their would be no need to take it from anyone. No doubt the wealthy would leave the country in droves, but we might be better off without them anyway. Don’t know if I’ve added anything to the discussion, something I try to hold in mind when thinking about change Matthew 7:12
    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

  2. Pingback: AnimalFarm.org » Labour Party Announces Radical ‘Reclamation Manifesto http://t.co/KG04CHjLKN @bbcquestiontime #bbcqt #labour #thatcher #occupy #anon #ows

  3. Pingback: AnimalFarm.org » Labour Party Announces Radical ‘Reclamation Manifesto http://t.co/UftkJBf0sy @bbcquestiontime #bbcqt #labour #thatcher #occupy #anon #ows

  4. Sometimes I feel I am just getting too old for this. Trying to ask people to believe that the government and the corporations are mostly against their interests is a challenge. Trying to ask people to consider that their savings in pensions and mortgages might have been a rip off is a challenge. Trying to ask people to realise that in the long run all people around the world are in the same boat is a challenge. Asking people to consider working together as communities is near impossible. So while I have every sympathy with this blog and love its gathering of ideas, I am too old and too weary to take it seriously. I would settle for some reforms that demand that the system we have works and that we are given the freedom to experiment with new ideas to see what works. That seems radical these days.

      • Oh! Just wish any of this was easy. Standing outside and making up stories about what is going on from the shadows we can see moving round the room is one thing, Making up a plan for what goes instead is quite another. Often wonder how history would have panned out if the Levellers had won through. They didn’t and we have what we have. Millions of people all trying to get by and hoping that the bad stuff going on wont come too near and when it does trying to find a way to play the game that at least works for now. There’s hardly anyone up for any big change. What ever little people have got, its what they’ve got. There’s always the young, single and childless willing to play for something better, but when they have to face the need to give stability for children they usually try to look for some security in the world as it is. It doesn’t make anything right and it doesn’t mean there is no room for change. Even when the government isn’t trying to flog it off the NHS is full of institutional failure, misogyny, elitism, narrow mindedness and corruption. Big state always was disempowering, just as the local elites they tried to replace. Money isn’t bad in itself, its just always been rigged. When the unions had power, everyone I knew always had them down as bullies and was just grateful they were our bullies, even when what they were doing was just stupid and greedy. I would love it if change could ride a unicorn of new believing, but most people, and probably myself included, would just stare and shake their heads trying to remember how much they had been drinking because they knew unicorns didn’t exist. So I’ll keep on, dropping a few ideas into the pot of discussion, but when someone looks they are riding a tide of revolution, with untried visions to change the world, I’ll be remembering the tyranny of revolutions past and like so many before will side with the reactionaries for fear of something worse.

        • I take a dramatically different approach but I understand the fear of the new and the different. I also get that disillusion associated with failed efforts past. But I think to deny human capacity to innovate is to deny basic human nature. I’m open to new ideas, I’m open to interrogating and challenging existing ideas. What I cannot tolerate is a) the current deficit of ideas and b) the refutation out of hand of paradigm challenging ideas. Paradigms have always existed and have always moved on. Some for good, some for bad depending on your viewpoint. That’s my approach to science e, technology, education and so in socio economics. It’s our responsibility to think, challenge and build better. Then our children’s responsibility to do the same.

          • Its not the fear of the new and the different. Its fear of the tyranny needed to make it work. Its not that I do not share your aims, I feel I do, I just think that what we need now is not to think that we can take a big leap, but rather to use what we have. People do adapt to new situations and new paradigms – we have seen this through history, but they do so to escape terror and starvation. Money could be made to work. We could make our taxation system work. We could use debt properly. We could have institutions that are not dysfunctional. We could have government that acted in the long term interests of the people and not elites. We could direct investment into creating a sustainable economy. We could have communities that took more responsibility. All these things seem impossible from where we are. Trying to abandon this evolved infrastructure of society in the hope that what is invented from scratch, based on a few experiments that have never quite worked, will somehow turn out better, is to me the retreat to fantasy. It is the reaction of the powerless to a desperate situation.

            • I think the best change happens as a collective step rather than a Big Bang. Revolutionary spirit does not mean a revolution with arms and tyrants. Plus, we’re already living in tyranny. Just far enough from it that it’s abstract. It’s a worthy discussion though, how do we get there? How do we change minds? How do we create the cultural change required to sustain what we build? That’s why, for me, enthusiasm and determination are as critical as caution. If we don’t believe it can or will happen, then what’s the point? Get on with making the best of what we’ve got. Neither approach is wrong. Just based on a different view of what is possible.

            • Lol, and ofcourse it’s a fantasy! It’s a piece of fictional writing! It’s intention was to provoke debate and highlight the lack of new ideas and imagination in our current system. I’d rather live in that system than this for sure!

              • I seriously wish it were not fiction. I am one of a small group of people writing regularly to those in power. I write a post card every day trying to get politicians to change. I sent 31 to Cameron but gave up knowing he would not budge. Now I write to Miliband and I have hope he will bring forth change. Someone linked this Manifesto onto my Facebook page and I did not see the FICTION in big letters. So sad because I came over all enthusiastic, thinking that he was actually hearing us and changing. Alas. I was told it was fiction. *facepalm* But I have sent the link to the LABOUR PARTY and hope that someone there will find it useful as they go forward…

  5. When we left the onenationlabour conference we had made up our mind not to join or vote labour. Got home and read your introduction………………. then started thinking that we would need to reconsider our earlier decision.

    Then had to quickly clear these thoughts.

    Will vote for the “Scriptonite” Party.

    • :) yes I’ve had to pull my vote from Labour.Tempting when things are so bad to think’anyone but tories’…but Labour are voting these things through & only offer slightly modified version of the same. So why vote for that??

      Hope we get nearer this soon!

  6. Do you mean to say that there will be honest politicians in parliament who do what they say they are going to do when looking for votes. Think again. You only have to look at the last election and see the broken promises – David Cameron and the Referendum. Steve Webb and the uprating of all pensions worldwide. Both failures after the total failure of the Labour government during it’s term in office which we are all paying dearly for. Ukip and even the BNP could not do worse.

  7. I went to the OneNationLabour conference at Queen Mary, University of London. Some good presentation and discussion earlier. The last session was a “round table” table discussion that made me and my wife feel as if we were at a Conservative Party conference.
    I am sorry to say that Scriptonite will have to wait for a different Leadership/Party to make “that speech”.

    Sorry to disappoint.

  8. You were asking for inspiration for today’s blog on twitter – then came out with this!
    Time-based currency – YES!
    Lots of good stuff; a radical manifesto; I truly believe these ideas are approaching their time.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Not so much inspiration as direction given the sheer number of news stories this week. I wanted to have an idea of what people were looking for that was missing, and the overwhelming reaction was ‘show us there is something else!’
      The respose has really pleased me :) I reckon this is some shade of the future and just hope I get to help build it and live long enough to enjoy some of it.
      Cheers for coming back and sharing your thoughts!

  9. Wow. just wow Ian. You sound like just the kind of person who is obviously ‘worth’ more than most other people, especially the young. Such free thinking outlined above seems as ‘foreign’ to you as say, Thatherism is to the majority of the British public. Or to be specific, Thatcher’s imported American economic and social policies.

    You talk about ‘resisting to the death’ such people who seek to ‘impose’ their politic ideals; calm down Ian, at least these are home grown ideas being proposed for discussion. Again, the only time a political ideologies has been forced onto the British public against the majorities will, took place in 1980s. If you look up the popular votes cast in the 1983, 1988 UK elections, you’ll see that both times there were more votes cast in opposition to Conservatives, yet they still won massive majority in seats due to undemocratic boundary changes.

    I would argue that that proposals and ideas included for discussion in this manifesto are essential to the progress of human societies and necessary to the evolution of the human race. That such creative, free-thinking, is what raised humans to the top of the food chain. And anyone who tries to stamp-out opposing ideas, burns books, or eradicate opposition to their own philophical or political opinion, is a dictator who limits and dehumanises their own society.

    With regards to you dieing for the idea that you’re worth more money than some people in society – which is essentially your position, in opposition to the main thrust of the proposals outlined in the manifesto – I would hope that with your last breath you’d finally learn that you shouldn’t put a fiscal price on the value of your talents, opinions, beliefs, skills, abilities, perceptions, personality, in order for you to be seen as a successful or worthwhile human being.

    Here’s some quotes in support of my argument for such free-thinking, by far wiser and greater minds from our shared history:

    “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” ― Prophet Jesus

    “Two hungry wolves do not do so much havoc to a flock of sheep as greed and desire.” ― Prophet Mohammed

    “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    In summary, greed is not a virtue, ambition is. Arrogance is not confidence – which is hy we have different words for these human characteristics Ian. Creative thinking is not a crime against humaity, as dehumanisation – the act of degrading people – most certainly is. Please re-read the manifesto without prejudice and comment on something other than you being of more worth than others :)

    • Pathetic, John, Pathetic.

      You extrapolate an accurate statement – that my *TIME* as a served craftsman is worth more than that of an apprentice into a straw man attack – that this somehow represents a value judgement of the worth of an individual… which is neither what I said, nor what I believe to be the case. But then, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good demonisation, eh?

      That you think the above is “free thinking” shows a terrible ignorance of history. There is nothing free about this sort of thinking, given that it’s essentially a restatement of 1920s marxist values. It gave birth to the horrors of soviet russia and the eastern european communist states – which is inevitable when people propose this sort of system. Some of us will not agree, and if this thinking became dominant, sooner or later everyone who sees value in improving themselves would be rounded up to be rehabilitated… and if we refused to be rehabilitated, not to worry. Those organic fields of the people will need fertilised somehow, eh?

  10. Pingback: AnimalFarm.org » @chunkymark Labour Party Announces Radical ‘Reclamation’ Manifesto http://t.co/UftkJBf0sy < imagine #labour #occupy #anon #ows #cispa

  11. i’d like to get excited by labours ideas but over the years i’ve seen trades reduced to ridicule by nvq’s and the like … the will to earn reduced to nothing by the minimum wage that allows people without any aspiration to earn as much as a trade.. politicians greed … banker left immune to the law… a labour leader who without doubt was guilty of treason an war crimes…. the distancing of the elite politician from the roots that put them in power .. the blurring of political colours and the abandonment of the English society for political correctness and a multi racial society …. all against what the English voter wants ,,,, Scotland can make our law but we have no say over them …. all of the above is labour legacy … why would I believe that any political party could change their spots …. same old rubbish wrapped in newly purchased spin paper..

  12. It’s often said you cannot get radical improvement without radical change. Well, this is probably radical enough to provide major improvements. The problem is, of course, that the people who SHOULD read this won’t, or will dismiss it as an idealistic flight of fancy. Therein lies the excuse to ignore all the good stuff contained in the narrative. Perhaps we could rate these proposals by practicability and develop the detail to make one or more of them demonstrably workable. Good stuff here.

    • Thanks Roger. I agree that nothing will change unless we just get people thinking and creating again. Such a lamentable lack of imagination right now that it’s no wonder we’re in a mess.

  13. Wow. just wow.

    At first, I had a wee chortle at the hilarity of suggesting Ed Miliband could be an agent of change when frankly, I am sure he struggles to change the TV channel without his brother around.

    and then I read your manifesto. It would never work, which I am very glad of.

    Because you have made some incredible statements, starting from some incredible positions. Not everyone’s time is equal. I have studied hard, and work hard to perfect my craft. and my craft allows me to earn more from my job than many others.

    To suggest that my time, spent in my craft which has been honed and improved over decades is equal in value to someone who has just left education with little or no experience of the world is patently ridiculous… and that’s before we actually get to motivation, dedication and the willingness to work hard – which I can assure you I have considerably more of than a great many of the people I share office space with.

    in the interests of free speech, I support your right to talk complete pap, of course, but in reality, I would reject your dystopia with every fibre of my being – and I would resist to the point of death… which I am sure would come, as it always does when people like you try to enforce your own utopia on others.

    So thankfully, it will never work. which will save considerable unpleasantness.

    • Ian,
      Your view is elitist and sort of the problem with our society. Everyone’s time is equal, as while you were learning your craft (which you no doubt enjoy and take great solace in achieving mastery of) those others would be out there working their craft too. The world didn’t stop while you learned your trade, it kept turning and everyone else was busy too. You don’t deserve additional wealth for doing what you are good at, and what you enjoy, and neither does anyone else. You can earn respect. You could also learn to respect other people’s contributions in a way you might not today.

      • I’m sorry, but you are completely wrong. “while I was learning my craft, those others would be out working their craft too”. Can you explain to me how one hour of labour from someone who has been practicing joinery for thirty years and can build a kitchen by hand in a day is of the same value as an hour of labour from the apprentice who picked up a hammer yesterday, and can’t complete the same task in trade in a week, if at all?

        Your hypothetical places zero value on skill, ability, mastery – so where is the place in a world like that for the author? the artist? the musician? those things which take hundreds, if not thousands of hours of practice to excel in? how are they supposed to EAT, when an hour of their time is worth exactly the same as an hour of someone who has never practiced a skill?

        • The time is of equal value, but consumers would be free to choose their source of Labour so it would be in a person’s interest to master their craft and deliver. You seem to have an issue with a free market based on capability.

        • Please see other comment. You might also want to re-read the article. I also asert that it is our current world system which sees people unable to eat while others who contribute nothing of human value live in abundance. If someone’s services are not taken up, they will have less wealth than others. But every thing people delivers of value will be rewarded equally.

          • I did re-read the article. Glad I did, I had somehow missed this gem “All current monetary wealth will be unusable in the domestic economy. It will be sequestered and dispersed to the regional Time Banks”.

            So, what you are going to do is forcibly remove “wealth” from everyone.

            Magic! so, will you be forcibly removing all gold wedding rings and diamond engagement rings before we are marched off to concentration camps, or do you collect them from the corpses once they have been “rehabilitated”?

            You really should read the history of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia – They espoused the same model of government. funny it didn’t work out to be quite as pleasant by the end.

    • There would have to be a market of people’s time meaning someone who’s more efficient and respected in his trade (has built a stronger reputation) would be a preferred pick over the recently graduated student you caricatured. (no reputation).

      • Exactly. in other words, the hour of labour from the person with experience and skill would be more in demand than the labour of the person just becoming established… so how can this possibly be seen as not be a measure of relative value?

  14. Was this all in Ed’s speech? Is this Labour’s policy? If it is, then it is the most courageous thing I have read, ever, and they will have my vote. Or, is this a spoof … am I being naive in falling for it?

Leave a Reply