I liked Corbyn’s vision for Britain, so I thought I’d have a go at creating my own progressive, political manifesto, it’s suitable for any modern country which values state funded health care, freedom of the individual, justice and equal opportunities for all. My party is called, ‘The Progressive Humanist Party’.
Looking to the future : This progressive party will aim to eradicate Conservative politics and its desire to take the country back to the 19th century, with its hatred of the working class and the aim to keep the privileged, born rich, as masters of us all. A new age of technological, government funded excellence will be born. There will be a government funded National Works Programme to build new houses and public services and maintain and upgrade failing infrastructure.
One of the by-words of a future Progressive Humanist government will be positivism, for too long successive Conservative governments have sought to do nothing but govern negatively and deliberately destroy by under-funding public services. Privatisation follows and what were Public Utilities and services for the benefit of all become money making schemes for a few rich share holders, many of whom are Conservative politicians. We will end this never ending cycle of austerity and asset stripping and embrace the future with bold positive programmes to create a fair and just society for all, with equal opportunity for all, funded by a graduated tax system, with no tax avoidance schemes.
The focus of this party will be excellence in health care and education and the rebuilding of an equitable society based on Humanist principles.
A Bill of Rights and Responsibilities : This would be a Secular Humanist Bill outlining the need for respect between all the various groups in society and we would include in the education system a class to emphasise the importance of humanism and empathy. Once written into law, the bill would further protect minorities, especially disabled people, where the laws are particularly weak. Sentencing on hate would be reviewed and penalties increased where necessary. This party believes that empathy through education, is a better way forward and a truly integrated, caring society is an achievable goal.
Defence : We need to press for the global elimination of weapons of mass destruction. Countries developing nuclear weapons, need to be turned away from this path, all options are on the table. The programme Trident, should be run down and hi-tech technologies developed under the guise of defence, should be available for the public benefit.
Hi – Tech Research : A new Future Industry Agency will be funded and aim to attract the most brilliant minds to further our understanding of the sciences and hi – tech industries. Inside this new industry will be a space exploration programme to further our understanding of the cosmos and eventually explore it via inter-stellar travel, we particularly need advances in the field of alternative propulsion.
Health: Without a publicly funded National Health Service, I don’t believe a Nation State can ever realise its creative potential. Good health for all is a given. The N.H.S would include the funding of hi-tech research and the education of Doctors, Nurses and auxiliary staff. There is no place for private profit within the N.H.S. A public works programme would include the building of new hospitals, teaching and research facilities.
Education: Education is fundamental to the growth of a modern caring, healthy society. The aim would be to create the highest standard of education at all levels, with higher education funded via the former ‘grants system’. A fresh look will be taken at the so called ‘academies’ and exactly what they have done to improve the education of the young. Schools will be re-funded where necessary and more money will be available to increase teacher numbers, teacher training, build new hi-tech school with a better understanding of the value of vocational occupations, as well as academic careers. ‘Knowledge for knowledge sake’, is not an outmoded phrase for this party, where eduction is concerned. The ‘dumbing down’ of society is directly attributable to poor education and this matter will be addressed urgently.
Current student debt will be re-assessed and reduced. A public works programme would include the building of new hi-tech schools, including new schools to help those most physically or mentally challenged. Class sizes would be reduced to no more than 20 and there would be a move to improve the status and pay of teachers. Faith schools would be discouraged and no public money would be available to fund them. All schools private, public or faith will adhere to a state curriculum. A new class, teaching empathy, humanism, philosophy rights and responsibilities, politics and why they are important. It would come under the subject heading of ‘Contemporary Ethics’ or similar. It is never too early to start this class. World religions from a historical perspective would be included in this class but there would be no inclusion of religion in the day to day running of schools.
Defence : Trident will be phased out as part of a plan to prohibit nuclear weapons globally. Current spending on the armed forces will be maintained and further strident efforts will be made to ensure that all veterans get the homes and treatment they need. A special effort will be made to deal with the awful effects of war on the mind. Current plans to build air craft carriers will be honoured but the whole future of the military will be reviewed in the light of rapidly advancing A.I. technologies and robotics.
Terrorism : Terrorism is a real and constant problem, all measures necessary to protect the population will be taken. At the moment the most dangerous threat comes from the countries invaded and bombed by the West, the policies of regime change, particularly where oil is involved will be turned away from and a new path of dialogue taken. But make no mistake, at home steps will be taken to outlaw the funding of schools, where the real damage is done by fundamentalist religious groups, hell-bent on imposing their form of religion in the West. The ideology that a God requires human sacrifice is abhorrent and measure will be taken to outlaw such teaching. To this end, hard line sects like Wahhabism, preached in some schools, will be outlawed. Individuals from abroad wishing to lecture and teach in the U.K. will submit themselves to back-ground checks and may be refused entry to Britain if perceived as a risk.
Energy : Oil has many uses besides powering industries, vehicles and homes. We need oils for the manufacture of plastics etc but this Party believes that the day of oil based propulsion is over. We will as technology and finance allows rapidly phase out diesel and petrol engines. To this end the newly formed ‘Future Industry Agency’ will work urgently to develop wave, hydro, solar power and other clean fuel technologies. The issue of how a national power grid will deal with supplying all needs in the future will be scrutinised and up-dated.
Clearly there is a need for oil based fuels to power historic and classic vehicles and this will be catered for in planning the relevant bills.
The Arts : The arts will be part of the school curriculum and it is this party’s intention to put art right back at the centre of society. Art informs everything we are and do, one quick look at history shows us that what often remains of a long gone civilisation is its art and culture. The learning of a musical instrument amongst the young has been shown to benefit learning in other fields due the the brain’s neural pathways functioning in a more beneficial way. Therefore music will play a much bigger role in our schools as will all the arts. Art academies will be government funded The lottery will be used to fund projects throughout all the arts and will no longer play an ‘either or roll’ with sport. The two disciplines are different and there is no need to mistakenly confluence the two.
Sport : Sport is not just entertainment, it should play a role in maintaining the health of the nation. As education is at the centre of any steps forward this party will take as a society, local projects in sport will be funded via loans or grants. With the plans for the dismantling of the monarchy will come access to some great buildings which could function as centres of learning for sport, the arts and entertainment.
Public Utilities : Since the 80s governments have sought to steal what belongs to the nation and sell it for profit. By ‘nation’ we mean the people. This corporate attitude will be ended and all Utilities will be re-nationalised and in public ownership. In the interest of competition private companies can set up rival utilities but access to the grids come with conditions.
The Banks and Tax : The money that was paid into the banking system to bale them out after the financial crisis will be paid back with interest. A Banking Commission will investigate and report on the bank’s activities and act as appropriate. New rules on tax avoidance will outlaw it, the tax codes will become much more graduated with the emphasis on fairness for all and major corporation will pay back tax for the preceding ten years of avoidance.
A National Bank will be created with optimal rates for customer satisfaction, if this is to the detriment of private banks, too bad, learn to compete.
Insurance companies will be investigated particularly the racket of charging young drivers astronomical premiums to drive.
The Police : The training of police will be updated to include current terrorist threats. Pay and standards will be reviewed. The idea of re-opening smaller more local police stations will be re-visited and reported on.
Rights : The hard fought for rights gained after struggles by workers with management throughout the 19th and 20th centuries will be revised in favour of safety and fairness in the workplace and where necessary re-instated. The right to strike will be looked at again and a solution found that favours a worker’s right to withdraw their labour. A lower hour/higher waged working week will be legislated for.
The right to access in society by disabled people will be reinforced and there will be a concerted effort through education and enforcement of the law to improve the status of disabled people in society. The punishments for offences against disabled people will be dramatically increased, there is no place for disability hate crime and ignorance of the law in the workplace and on the high st.
All minorities will receive better protection under the law and tariffs for all forms of hate crime will be increased. The new ‘contemporary ethics’ class in schools will be a priority to institute, it will address how we integrate with each other at a much higher level than previously.
Animal Welfare : A move will be made through education to help people make the connection between the sanitised meat product they buy in the supermarket and the sacrifice of the animal’s life that provided it. If we are to continue to be a meat eating society then we must achieve the highest standards in the treatment of animals reared for food. Halal slaughtered food will be outlawed unless the current methods of slaughter are brought inline with meat production for the secular market.
As to domestic pets, there will be a ban on all species considered even slightly endangered, this will include the trade in removing fish from tropical reefs. Puppy farms will be outlawed and the restrictions on certain breeds of dogs will be revisited and further bans and increases in the fines for owning them will be revised upwards.
The remaining trade in ivory will be eliminated.
Parliament and the Monarchy : The House of Lords will be reformed but continue to fulfil its role as a necessary check on the activities in the Main House. Hereditary peerages will end immediately and the seats given to religious representatives will be ended with immediate effect. The Honours system will be completely revised and the practice of giving honours to public servants who really have done nothing special except their job will end. There is no place for privilege and sycophancy in modern Britain.
The Monarchy will have a touristic and ceremonial role to play but nothing more. Homes and contents owned by ‘the crown’, will be taken back, current owners will be audited and their personal wealth evaluated with a view to taking back for the country what has been stolen from them over many centuries. Asset stripping or the hiding of wealth and valuable art and artefacts will result in serious criminal charges. Estates and homes currently owned by ‘Royalty’ will be used, where suitable, as public buildings and maintained for the pleasure of all. The process of disbanding the monarchy is difficult and detailed, it is certainly possible to find a way forward, which will acknowledge the long and complex history of Britain and at the same time restore to the people what is rightfully theirs.
The Countryside, Flora, Fauna and the Waterways : The hunting of foxes or any other animals with dogs and horses will continue to be banned and we will aim to ban this disgusting spectacle permanently. Laws concerning dog-fighting, cock fighting, badger baiting, hare-coursing and the like will be reinforced.
Fracking will be permanently outlawed and there will be a big push to trap, solar, hydro and wave energy. Wind farms will be only be built, out of sight of land, at sea. Current land based wind farms will be demolished.
The re-introduction of apex predators like otters will be micro-managed as the current efforts to re-introduce them have resulted in the catastrophic decimation of fish stocks. The E.A. will be revised and some of its powers mainly concerning the management of waterways will be stripped from it and passed to a new body dealing exclusively with the management of Britain’s water courses. The new agency will improve water quality and manage, pollution, flooding, the environment close to water courses and the management of fishing licences.
Very little of Britain’s riverside is currently available to the population and this is going to change. Land owners, where feasible, will be required to open up previously, privately owned bank-sides to a distance of fifty yards and allow for the building of access roads. The continuing clean up and opening of rivers and canals for navigation will continue with further funding and increased staffing. Clearly this is a project for many years but it is feasible with the weight of the law behind it.
The Internet : The internet is regarded by this party as one of the greatest achievements of mankind, both in terms of its possibilities for education and as a means to connect people of all cultures and thus promote harmony. Where internet connections are currently poor, as part of the National Works Programme we will upgrade where necessary and install connections where they currently don’t exist – where physically possible. There will be no further restrictions placed on I.S.P s by this party of the sort proposed by the dullards in the Tory Party. It will remain uncensored, censorship being the responsibility of parents and guardians.