Monday, June 08, 2015

How Labour can be bolder

'At our best when at our boldest' - the words of one Tony Blair to Labour's annual conference in 2002. Labour remains - despite the cynics who argue otherwise - a centre-left party, not a centre-right one. Let's not forget that the party's recent centre-left credentials are 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 today is that the party has become 'more of a machine than a movement'  to quote Stella Creasy, it has been fixated on being competent but not radical, managerial but not inspirational.
So to help us start thinking about what might a 'bolder' agenda look like I have come up with the following:
  1. Lower the voting age to 16
  2. Add 1% to all NI contributions and call it NHS +1
  3. Introduce PR (AVS) for all parliamentary and council elections
  4. Abolish the House of Lords, create a new, second chamber and move it to Manchester
  5. Create a 'People's Bank' with branches on every High St and in every village and call it…The Post Office!

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