Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Labour needs to be bolder

“At our best when at our boldest” the words of one Tony Blair to Labour's annual conference in 2002. Labour is - despite the cynics who argue otherwise - a centre-left party, not a centre-right one. Its centre-left credentials from its last term of office were impressive: the introduction of the minimum wage, the abolition of the assisted places scheme and the hereditary principle in the Lords, huge investment in public services, debt cancellation for the poorest countries, civil partnerships etc, etc. The problem is that many of its most radical and socially progressive initiatives were carried out during its first term. In the latter years of government, circa 2003 -2010 Labour was, on the whole, competent but not radical, managerial but not inspirational. So what might a 'bolder' agenda look like in 2015? How about the following as a start:- 1. Give all cancer patients access to the drugs they need regardless of where they live. 2. Create a 'People's Bank' in every High St and village and call it ... The Post Office. 3. Cap rents in the private sector. 4. Introduce a mandatory living wage. 5. Stop the renewal of Trident. 6. Legislate for a wholly-elected House of Lords 7. End selection by ability at age 11 8. Lower the voting age to 16 9. Repeal the ‘bedroom tax’ 10. Implement Leveson in full. 11. Abolish hospital car parking charges in England.

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