A vision for a better Britain
In my post yesterday I explored how we might build a strong, attractive view of a progressive future – one that a large number of people might want to get behind.
As promised, below is a first go at how to present the vision and what to include in it. No doubt it needs more work and more time to flesh out the detail. But, whilst the General Election campaigning is underway and the main parties are regurgitating the familiar soundbites, I wanted to present a different way of talking about the future and the things that matter to people. If you want the background on why it’s been constructed in this way, read my previous post – ‘What a new progressive movement should look like‘.
A vision for a future we can be proud of
We love this country, its history and what it stands for. But we’ve had enough of an economy where the 1% win and everyone else loses, where public services and transport are squeezed and getting worse, where the public bail out corrupt bankers, where we don’t get a proper say in our politics and where no-one seems to be doing anything about the disaster we’re facing with climate change.
There’s lots to feel good about in Britain, but we want to feel truly proud of it, not just for its history, but as a fantastic place to live and the values it stands for. So, we want to build a Britain we can be proud of – and we want you to be part of it.
The Movement for a better Britain aims to bring together millions of people who want to see a country where everyone has better jobs, better lives and better public services, and where there are strict rules for playing fair – whether you are a one of the richest or someone who wants to make their home here. We want to think big – anything’s possible (just look how Trump got elected!).
Below, we have set out a vision of the future containing 5 simple principles we want to see.
What we want
1. Jobs and better lives for everyone
We want everyone – not just the rich – to have a standard of living they can be proud of. We want to help everyone get jobs, earn a living and feel the sense of pride and self respect that comes from doing this and providing for their families.
The current way of running the economy isn’t working for 99% of people. So, we will make the economic system work for people, not the other way round. And, as we are a close-knit island community, we will get people to contribute their fair share to ensure everyone has opportunities.
We want to build the houses people need but we must also take steps to ease the pressure on the housing market. Housing is a basic need, not something to exploit through financial speculation, so we want to clamp down on this, including things like second homes. We also want a properly regulated rental sector, so that rental becomes a more attractive, stable and affordable option for people, as it is in countries like Germany.
Surrounding all of this, we want a country that lives within its environmental limits. We see this as a non-negotiable.
2. Public services we can be proud of
Our public services are vital, but if we want them to run properly, we have to give them the funding they need. So, we want the investment needed to make our NHS, education, transport and other public services the best they can be – for everyone.
If we’re going to spend more, we want to hold the government accountable and see how the money is being spent. So we want to see the government establish a simple way of reporting back to every member of the public on how their taxes have been spent.
3. Clear rules of fair play
We want a tight-knit country where people feel that everyone is contributing and ‘doing their bit’, no matter who they are – from bankers to companies to people who want to make their home here.
To make this happen we want clear rules to ensure people contribute fairly, and that these are enforced, including ending tax avoidance for individuals and tightening up tax rules for companies. No-one should have special treatment.
To ensure we can afford to give people the best possible lives and build a sense of tight-knit community, we also need to place clear, fair limits on the number of people who can come to live here.
4. A kinder country
We want a kind, tolerant and civilised society – one with values we can be proud of.
We should use kindness as a barometer for the policies and political debate we want. For example, evidence suggests that a more equal society is a happier one, so we should seek greater equality – in every sense.
We also want a society that sees value in how we conduct ourselves as individuals. Our children should learn about compassion, civility and other key values as part of their education. Politicians should be made to set the standards for this and act as examples for other people – so we need to clean up the tone, honesty and transparency of politics too.
We want our country to be respectful, tolerant, welcoming and outward-looking. We want people to feel a sense of community and of looking after each other. We also want a country that does its bit in the world (including providing aid to other countries) and offers generous refuge and support when people urgently need it.
5. A country we can be proud of
Our country has an amazing, proud history. We want to get back this sense of pride – but for all the right reasons.