Sunday, September 30, 2001

The Manifesto - Sept. 2001


Education must be accepted as a right for all. It is not and must never be used as a privilege for any section of society. If we start with the premise that every child has the right to primary and secondary education of the highest calibre that the state can provide. When it comes to tertiary education this should take the form of Universities, Technical Colleges and Vocational Training Centres. The crucial point is to reject the previous bias in favour of academic achievement and see all forms of education and from that every vocation as equally important in the forming of a benevolent and just society. Tertiary education should be the domain of all. Should it be necessary to limit in any way the number of participants on a particular course at an institution it should be done so based on the acceptance of those with the greatest aptitude for the course in question. An applicant’s background, elements such as financial status, geographical location, parents etc. should not be taken into account.


The fundamental basis of an equal and just society is its education. Students must be taught that everyone can succeed by working together and that this is the natural scheme of things. Many of the teachings of religions have similar philosophy at their cores and this is a head start in that many people already know these teachings literarily speaking, it is often the interpretation that has bastardised the principles. Society must be based on mutual respect, understanding, interest and tolerance. These rights must be for all people in the state and should extend to any living creatures where possible, it is an anathema to have protective rights for humans and yet treat animals with a different set of rules. Animal cruelty should be no more acceptable than violence against humans in a civilised society. Offenders must be severely punished for who can definitively state with impunity that it is one mind set to harm an animal but takes another to harm a human. Certain acts of animal cruelty are so incomprehensible that one thinks they cannot be carried out by the sane. The cause is more deeply rooted in a lack of community and civilisation, other people are aware of these crimes and those who commit them but there silence is a tacit acceptance of what they have done. Often in the case of animals the cruelty is carried out by the young and these is deemed by some to be high spirits or exuberance. This is however to miss the point that these youths are potential dangers and need to be stopped. An example must be set otherwise subconsciously they believe these actions are acceptable. The State must take a stand and lay down the guidelines of what constitutes acceptable conduct and those who will not conform will be removed until they are willing or able to do so.


All cultures are to be studied and welcomed as they promote the idea that humans are all different, these differences should be presented as interesting and what makes up the facets of humans as a species. Bigotry must be eradicated and no one type of culture or section of society should be promoted above another.


All industries which provide services essential to daily life need to be nationalised so as to be under the control of the state. These industries include transport (railways, buses, planes, shipping), telecom, power and fuel(electricity, gas and oil and renewable sources) council services such as refuse collection and disposal, the post office and the Media (Press, Television, Radio). In addition to this, any industry which is used by the public and where safety is a factor also needs to be under the control of the state. There are fundamental reasons that these industries need to be controlled by a state rather than a corporate body or an individual the main one is the obvious failure of a corporate body to think ethically. If a company is beholden to its shareholders who in turn are beholden only to greed then profit becomes the be all and end all of production, worker exploitation becomes necessary to cut costs and siphon more profit to stop investors from defecting to other more lucrative enterprises. Profit and safety do not mix as an organisation will never take a safety measure if there is a cheaper option. Thus we can see with the privatisation of the railways what happens when a public service is put into the open market and left to rot. Companies are not interested in rail links being a vital service from A to B, they are interested in getting as few people as possible paying as large an amount as possible. Since the railways were privatised in Britain, the number of passengers has dropped, as have safety standards but the fares have risen as have company profits as have the number of fatal accidents. Critics may say that the system before privatisation was not much better and this is partially true, but mainly attributable to a sustained lack of investment and proper management by a disinterested government. In Britain the Clapham Rail disaster under British Rail was the worst that most could remember and should have told us that there were some serious problems that needed addressing, flogging off the system to avoid having to pay into it and make it somebody else’s problem was a catastrophically short-sighted and ill-advised action and it has directly led to 3 major rail tragedies within 5 years. As a consequence of this the state no longer has control of one of the potentially most environmentally friendly and safest methods of travel. This must be addressed. Private transportation is to be discouraged excepting necessary journeys. Public transportation such as trams, trolley-buses and gas buses which are good for keeping those nonessential private vehicles off the road need to be given priority funding. Essential road users, the emergency services, parents transporting children where public transport may not be applicable, and disabled people should be given permits to travel, the rest of road users who cannot justify the private vehicle over public transport should pay high prices for fuel and road tax, and this money should be directly subsidising increasing development in public transport. The use of large lorries and transporters should be superseded by rail transportation and any large vehicles which cannot justify their existence should pay prohibitive levies so as to be priced out of the market. 
As an interim provision, the state must set up incentives for companies to use rail for distribution and transportation, this must be seen as the only viable alternative.


Ultimately the same theories need to be applied to business as to society as a whole. Reinvestment should be the key objective rather than profit and greed. Workers are not subordinate to managers they simply perform a different function. Middle Managers will be where possible elected by the workers having already done the job for a period. Upper management should be chosen for their managerial capabilities but must in every case enter the firm at the working level and perform the same function as the workers for a minimum specified period, so that they may best understand the potential problems that the workforce may encounter. Should the ‘Manager-in-waiting’ be unable to carry out the task competently a minder should be assigned, as this period should make the manager respect the skills of the workforce. A financial discrepancy should not be between manager and worker. Salaries should be set based on experience in doing the job and also necessity of financial aid such as domestic circumstances. Those with dependants should be helped 


Sport should be seen by society and participants as an excellent leisure activity and way to improve the morale of those around you. Sports personalities should have salaries based on the same criteria as other industrial workers. Sports events should be available to all those who wish to spectate and any goods that are sold as accessories should be kept to a minimum and prices should be affordable. The idea that sports personalities are icons or should be paid more should be actively discouraged. Sports clubs and associations should be given budgets by the state. The larger clubs should be given a larger budget on the proviso that they are responsible for smaller clubs and youth organisations in their areas. Should they fail to do so their budgets will be cut to the level of other clubs in the area. All sports clubs are to be given equal weighting no one sport is to be considered more or less worthy than another and likewise participants will treat each other with equal respect. Areas should be given the facilities of as many differing sports as resources and interests allow.


It should be everybody’s right to expect the state to provide healthcare from birth until death. Private hospitals and staff should be re-nationalised in order to stop the inequality and the current two-tier health service. The money to sustain the health service must be provided from taxes. There should be no geographical discrepancy in healthcare and all persons regardless of status have the right to be treated for their ailments as quickly and efficiently as possible. Obviously there is a medical hierarchy of disease in the sense of seriousness and this must be considered. Should there be a need to prioritise the most serious ailments must be dealt with first. Surgery such as cosmetic surgery for nonessential reasons, vanity etc. is to be actively discouraged. It is the responsibility of doctors and health professionals to err on the side of caution and ensure that diagnosis and treatment is of the highest order. 


The family is the closest knit group of humans and the emotional bonds it builds up cannot be broken by the state. Likewise there is no way to artificially manufacture these emotions in humans. Families, if nurtured can provide an excellent home for the new generation and it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that not only is the family adequately supported but that this support is flexible enough to adapt based on the needs of both children and parents. Some parents want to stay at home to look after their children and this should be encouraged by the state, for both mothers and fathers. The job of looking after a child and house whether by a father or mother should be given equal weighting with other forms of work. The state should keep a watchful eye on progress but should not intervene unless absolutely necessary and the welfare of the child is at stake. Should both parents wish to go back to work after the birth of their child, this should also be considered an acceptable option and the state should have a network of facilities to allow parents to do this such as approved childcare and job-share schemes. Companies should be encouraged by the state to take a flexible line with parents and job sharing schemes, state certified crèches, work experience programs should be given state backing.


In a society where the state is promoting equality it is vital that the state ensures that this is translated into all strata of society, discrimination intolerance and bigotry are to be stamped out and those that continue to discriminate will be treated the same way as those committing violent crimes against the person. There should be no differentiation between the handling of physical or psychological damage against an individual.


This is always a tricky one how can one have a government in a state where everyone is supposed to be equal? This of course depends on how one envisages those doing the governing. If one perceives those who are involved in the government as no different from those doing other forms of work then it removes the view that there is an unequal relationship. Other options are for example to have a 2nd chamber which consists of people who are given time out from their jobs to serve. These positions should be like jury service, but optional, and tenure should be short-term such as 1 year. This would enable a wide cross-section of people to become involved in government on a day to day basis and should enable people to be interested in and empowered by government. 


Advertising should serve one specific purpose, to inform about products available. This should take the form of providing product specifications, addressing who may need the product, and where it is available. Brand names should not be mentioned unless the product is to be the only one in its field. It would be nice if advertising could be made within these parameters and yet avoid being simply dour and bland, the difficulty is that if adverts become glossy or funny the product gets remembered, not for its usage or quality but its marketing. This gives an unfair slant to large wealthy companies advertising their products, whilst the smaller producer is unable to compete. Claims that are made in adverts must be substantiated before the advert is aired and a State advertising regulator must decide whether the content of the advert proposed is relevant, in the public interest and factually based. 

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate should be artificially set so as to stop currency speculation and also to allow ‘taxation’ of ‘hostile’ countries by raising of the value of the currency. Currency should only be sold/exchanged within the home country.


Redistribution of wealth must be the long-term goal on a global scale until some form of parity exists to empower those in the former 3rd world. This can be achieved by a percentage of income taxation, say 1% for sake of argument, being spent on balancing the status of the population. When the redistribution has been achieved internally this 1% of tax can be used for overseas aid. If this were to be done by a large proportion of countries, it would greatly speed up the process of ‘harmonisation’. Overseas aid should be to set up the necessary infrastructure for basic facilities, utilities, public services etc. A good example must be set by the affluent countries on how to manage these facilities so that these are not simply set up to be exploited by non sympathetic parties. Charging for utilities such as water consumption and sewerage, electricity supply etc. is to be discontinued as soon as these utilities are re-nationalised. The upkeep of these utilities is to be the jurisdiction of the state and therefore to be paid for through taxation. This way those most able to pay will be doing so at an acceptable rate. Income tax should encompass all the basic necessities, utilities and public services that the state needs to fund. Other forms of taxation are to be discouraged and only used where absolutely necessary. This will mean that income tax will pay for what people as a collective need and take home pay will be purely the jurisdiction of the individual or family to pay for their requirements based on taste such as food, toys, decoration. Take home pay as it currently stands is deceptive as there are a multitude of bills which then need to be paid. The key point with regard to taxation is that it must be administered fairly and openly. Government spending, in all areas other than those involving national security should be published openly and where possible workers pay slips should include the percentages of income tax used for whichever purpose. People must be informed in detail about changes in taxation and rises must be openly justified. 


Housing should be under the control of the state, the right to be a private landlord will be abolished as will the right to home ownership. This must be brought across via education that if the state manages housing it should not be necessary to own a home and this will eliminate many of the inflated costs involved with moving into a home. Homes will be provided as needed by the occupants. All citizens have the right to a comfortable home, that definition being a living room, kitchen bathroom and bedroom per individual resident, this is to include couples so that if a child is born, accommodation is already on hand in terms of an extra bedroom and thus the necessity for immediate rehousing is negated.

Human Nature

Ambition is not a bad thing per sé, if citizens succeed in their personal or professional endeavours the whole of society benefits provided this success is not based on exploitation of others or purely at the expense of others. Actions which involve the furthering of the individual at the expense of the collective are to be discouraged and through education eliminated.

The Media

The media cannot be independent, it is an anathema and this pretence should be dropped. The media must be controlled by the state for the purposes of the people. It must provide factual news reporting as well as consequential actions of events. Comment is to be encouraged from all sections of society but must be clearly labelled and, unless in a specialist publication, an alternative view should be provided. All sections of the media from paper, ink and news supply to reporters, distribution and the means to access must be controlled by the state. The State is to allow extensive criticism of its actions and is to justify its policies and plans accordingly. Investigative journalism is to be encouraged and interrogation of ministers will help hold the State to proper account. Journalists in this case are the representatives of the people, this is a responsible position and must be acknowledged as such. This criticism must be constructive ie part of a genuine effort to reform for the better. There should not be censorship as such, in that if something is not worthy of merit it can be easily refuted and should be done so in public. News selection is inevitable but emphasis must be placed on events which will affect the population first and foremost. 

Law and Order

Crimes against persons are not to be tolerated and those guilty of violent offences are to be placed in custody for mandatory sentences based on the severity of the crime. Wilful murderers will serve a lifetimes imprisonment in either penal or mental institution, the latter’s cases should only be reviewed if a cure for a medical condition can be categorically proven. Crimes against property are to be dealt with by the state but these are not as severe as those against the person. The State must decide why an individual has perpetrated a crime against property, wilful damage against amenities is to be punished by a temporary removal of the perpetrators right to certain leisure activities. These will be substituted by a period of community service based on the severity of the misdemeanour.

National Service

A period of national service is to be introduced for all persons following the end of their secondary education, regardless of gender. Suitable community work will be provided in their area, be it manual, clerical or such depending on the individual’s aptitudes where possible. Hospitals, transport systems, renovation work of public facilities are areas which could benefit from this injection of workers. All work will be paid the same amount and it is important that the education system stress how vital this period of work is both for the state and the individual. Should individuals have a preference for certain work, this should be accommodated where possible. Military service can be offered as an option should a standing army be in situ.


Defence is another grey area as a national army often leads to ambition of territorial gains acquired from ones neighbours. Should all states be agreed all national armies should be abolished and be replaced by a large UN force. Bases with these soldiers should be in every continent enough to keep the peace should it be necessary. Soldiers should be from other continents so as to have no vested interest in regional issues. The UN must be an empowered force and not an organisation that carries out the bidding of the larger nations. UN edicts should be binding and be enforced if necessary by force. However in the transitional phase where some states will remain in a capitalist structure whilst others transform it may be necessary to have an army to defend the country against the ambition of these capitalist countries. It is clear that decisions taken that displease the U.S. can lead to sanctions and military intervention and therefore any reforming state must first make the contingency plans to weather this storm until either they are able to gain complete self-sufficiency or there are enough like-minded states to order the reactionary nations, preferably within the framework of the U.N., to back-off.


Progressive humanism
Modernist socialism
Socio-economic communism