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Politics

The Labour Party and the People: A Proposed Contract

lablogo1). A Labour Government will provide a cradle to grave integrated National Health and Care Service, free at the point of use and delivered solely by publicly funded and controlled service providers. The only criteria for service provision will be need, never cost. A Labour Government will provide healthcare “in the round” including physical, mental, emotional and preventative services with in a spirit of mutual cooperation between the service providers and their users.
In return service users will be expected to enter into the NHCS with a commitment to working as equal partners with providers, and commit to treating fellow partners in the system with respect and with every effort being made by all to further the best outcome no matter how challenging the circumstances.

2). Labour believes in providing free education for all for as long as they want it provided by the Government. The concept of expecting our young people to pay for a chance to contribute to Society as future workers will be ended. The Educational Maintenance Allowance will be restored and be universal. Grants at the living wage standard will available to all, regardless of parental income. Teachers and support staff will be well paid and held in high regard as they are the key to unlocking the latent potential that exists in all our young people. We will provide any necessary support for learners with specific needs including extra time, support and hardware.
In return, those availing these opportunities must commit to trying to be the best that they can be by attending classes whenever possible, and completing their course with due care and attention to detail. The EMA and grants must be allocated on a strict basis of evidence and good faith being shown.

3). An incoming Labour Government is welded to the aim of full employment and will seek to provide a secure and well paid jobs for all. In return we expect every person to take reasonable employment when it is offered. Job Seekers Allowance will eventually be abolished as an anachronism from times past. Instead workers will be expected to be either in employment or education unless they have medical exemption. Workers with medical needs will be supported to work for as long as they can via flexible workplace and hours arrangements. Too many workers are written off too soon. Medical exemption grants will be paid at the average salary rate.

4). Labour believes in world class housing for all. We commit to end the the boom and bust housing market. Houses are homes, not investment opportunities. As a quick response to the current crisis we will allow Councils to borrow against their assets but with a long term aim of providing the Cooperative Movement with the necessary start up funds to produce a stock high quality, carbon neutral homes for rent, part rent or buy.
We expect residents to reciprocate this intervention by central Government by forming local democratic groups caring for their environment and taking the time to ensure an environment conducive to a high standard of living for all.

5). Ethical business practice in the private sector must include a robust Living Wage, full trade union recognition and rigorous accounting.The more a company contributes to its local economy, the more tax breaks and investment will result. The Government will trust small business employers to deploy their own resources as they see fit. Labour will not rig the market in favour of anyone, no matter what their size. The market, where appropriate has a huge roll to play in the re booting of our economy.

6). Our democratic institutions are broken. Labour will begin the long process of fixing this by giving democracy to whom it belongs; the people. We call for an end to corrupt politics but reject the Marxist concept of democratic centralism. Our people will be trusted with the power, and engagement will evolve. Simple measures such as weekend voting are a beginning.

7). Full State pensions will be available from the age of 55 (50 in manual or physically demanding work). In return Labour proposes a contract until 65 which, (according to health needs) will liberate the experience and wisdom of older citizens via mentoring and community contribution. This massive commitment will be set up after a Royal Commission into older people, their skills and needs reports in the second half of the next Parliament. This will be subject to a referendum.

8). Our utilities, and transport system will be taken into public ownership but with full workplace democracy built on the Co Operative model of mutualisation. Vast behemoths such as the NHS will be broken up and liberated under local control. This will see the end to a Stalinist bureaucracy where daily routines are “done” to workers and service users alike. There will be an end to the One Size Fits all approach which has blighted our public services of late, and saw nationalised industry fail so badly in the 1970’s.

9). Labour promises to protect all of us in the UK without fear or favour via democratically controlled policing and a military which is fit for purpose as we enter the middle of this century. We expect our residents to respect the law and expect to face the full weight of it if they fail, but in a spirit where rehabilitation and punishment are on an equal footing.

10). The rights of all to live a full and enriched life will actually mean something under a Labour Government. We commit to full participation for women in society. In addition we will work tirelessly to redress the historic wrongs done to minority groups such as the LGBT community. There will be a narrowing of the wealth equality gap which does so much damage to social cohesion.

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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