Let me introduce you to ...

It’s a pity that the debates during an election campaign miss out the most important things. Of course the next five years are important - we have to get them right. But what then? We tend to leave that for the next election campaign, but sometimes, quite often in fact, that isn’t enough.

Look at the June 2017 campaign. I agree with about 95% of the Labour manifesto - which is a record. But I agree with 99% of the Green manifesto. Quite extraordinary! So why haven’t I campaigned for the Greens? The simple fact is that they haven’t got the slightest chance of forming a government - and even if a miracle happened their MPs wouldn’t even produce enough quality ministers for an inner, inner cabinet - never mind a whole government. Let’s be honest it’s unlikely they would have enough MPs to claim a place in a coalition even though Caroline Lucas would be a great asset for any progressive government. So that - regretfully - is a non-starter.

So why don’t I push for the Green policies to be taken up by Labour? In fact I do encourage discussion of them but there is a problem and it’s the reason why we need to do more than settle the next four or five years in an election campaign. There are excellent policies - essential policies - in the Green manifesto that could not sensibly be put to the electorate now. I say that even though I am convinced that they are exactly the policies that are needed. Now. The problem is that the electorate could not accept them because they wouldn’t understand them. They need debating, and a debate in a campaign simply isn’t enough. What we are missing in our election decisions is the choice of policies that we will debate over the period of the next government. The discussions that will point the way to our long-term future.

To try to introduce Basic Income into a short election campaign is a sure-fire loser, but how are we going to share out the wealth of the country when half our present jobs go to intelligent computers and robots? So far no better contender than Basic Income has surfaced, we are clearly making a total mess of what little of the problem has surfaced so far, and unless we start the debate now (this week?) how are we going to be able to include it in the next general election debate - for include it by then at the very latest, we must.

There are other policies. Neoliberalism is a zombie economics policy. It died in February 2008 when Matt Ridley’s Northern Rock had to be taken over by the government. In its place needs to be a new way of looking at economics which doesn’t deal with a failed system by handing billions of pounds to those responsible for the failure and expecting them to pass on that money to small businesses and people who would get the money circulating to boost our economy. Guess what? They put the money in their back pockets on its way to secure (and economically useless) off-shore accounts.

New economics - most people don’t even know about the failed economics we’ve had from 1979 to date - needs debating. Some aspects can be cherry-picked from Keynsian economics because they need to be  implemented immediately, but others need a proper public introduction - and possibly trial: Basic Income, land tax, reform of company law, the concept of doughnut economics, and the inclusion of environmental costs in all processes and production - all need implementation in themselves or require adequate alternative answers after debate.

Can we agree to start that debate now because we HAVE to be able to make an informed decision at the next election? Minor problems: we also need a progressive government now, a willingness to discuss and trial new ideas, the Press to butt out of government - except with honest criticism of government, an end to Brexit, and massive concentration on dealing with global warming.

Now go and consider your vote for the next parliament with the thought of what they really need to do in order to save this country…

…so where did I put the manifesto for the LabLibGreen(SNP)Dem Party?

© John Cartmell 2013