The labour movement needs a New Charter if it is to overcome the dead hand of New Labour and the danger of right wing populism.
It is more than possible that Labour will be wiped out in England just as it has been in Scotland for its failure to support a radical alternative. In England however waiting in the wings is not some woolly, non-commital, vaguely left wing populism such as that offered by the SNP but the altogether more sinister demagoguery of the crypto-fascist UKIPerrs.
So, here it is:
The New Charter
1. A regime of full-employment – We must have a regime of full-employment by which every school and college leaver and unemployed worker who cannot find their own job is bought into the local workforce to share in the available productive work on the minimum of a trades union living wage. This is not work-for-your-dole or some Keynesian inflationary policy or a vague wish or a method of handing public money to bottom-feeding private companies to force young people into zero-hour contracts. Young people should have nothing to do with any politician who does not pledge full-employment and explain how it can be achieved.
2. A People’s Bank – We must end the bail out of the bankrupt banks and let them go under. The bail out is destroying the real economy and along with austerity and monopoly profits contributing to the greatest redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich since the Highalnd Clearances and the Enclosure of the Commons. The estates, deposits and staff of the bankrupts must be taken into administration to form a new People’s Bank with a monopoly of credit so that the private financiers can never again rip off the entire nation with their Ponzi Schemes and counterfeit claims on wealth. This bank is to ensure sound money, lend at base rate to small business and facilitate social investment in accordance with a democratic and sustainable plan.
3. Workers democracy and socialist property – Democracy shouldn’t end at the factory gate or the office turnstyle. We must replace the Old School Tie Network and absentee shareholder-imposed fat cat executives with leaders and managers elected by all-grades of workers. There is no need to wait for some government to enact this. Workers should establish All-Grade Committees that can challenge the current management and argue for social ownership where appropriate.
4. Defence of public spending and of the labour movement – We must defend all necessary and desirable public spending and it must be paid for by the collection of sufficient taxation through a fair and just taxation system. We must also defend our movement against those who would attack it both politically and with violence. We must build local defence forces based in the trades unions and community groups to defrend demonstrations, occupations, picket lines, meetings and individuals from the fascist and police scourge.
5. Federal Britain and a Socialist EU – We need a federation of sovereign British nations to replace the Westminister Union. Labour have been wiped out in Scotland for failing to support this radical demand. They same thing could happen in England but they will be usurped not by the woolly, vaguely left, populism of the SNP but the right wing demagogues of UKIP. At the same time the founding treaties of the European Union should be renegotiated in accordance with socialist principles as opposed to the neo-liberal ones that are currently tearing it apart. Principles such as EU-wide full-employment and an EU-wide Living Wage should replace the dog eat dog mentality that has workers chasing each others’ tails all over the continent in search of worse and worse wages, welfare and working conditions.
End the tyranny of capital. Replace the bourgeois welfare state with a democatic workers’ state. The rule of a tiny elite and their bought and paid for politicians with the rule of the multi-millioned working class and popular masses. Long live socialism.