One rare piece of good news from the Tory-led government was Nick Clegg's decision to block the so-called 'Snoopers Charter', a draft piece of fundamentally illiberal legislation which would have allowed the security services to monitor emails, text messages and internet browsing.
One rare piece of good news from the Tory-led government was Nick Clegg’s decision to block the so-called ‘Snoopers Charter’, a draft piece of fundamentally illiberal legislation which would have allowed the security services to monitor emails, text messages and internet browsing.
However, despite reaching the fourth Queen’s Speech of this parliament, there remains much more that this increasingly discredited government should be looking to do to promote economic, social and individual freedom, with their April scrapping of the 50p income tax rate only likely to make matters worse.
Against this backdrop is the first revolutionise.it pamphlet, called ‘One Nation, One World’, which launched today (Tuesday 7 May). The pamphlet, which includes a contribution from Pamela Nash MP, seeks to address some of the ongoing systemic problems which consequently make the UK and wider world more unjust.
In their article, Juliet Michaelson of the nef and Sorcha Mahony, discuss the importance of measuring the well-being of a society, rather than simply analysing GDP. They establish that well-being is key for long-term policy formulation, but also importantly note that ‘the strongest impacts of income on well-being are for those people with least income’.
In this context is the contribution from Daniel Blythe, who argues that the best way to improve social mobility is to pay disadvantaged parents the minimum wage to stay at home to ensure their children receive a good upbringing.
My contribution to the pamphlet argues that empowering workers and providing people with a share in society can enhance economic freedom. This can be achieved by vastly increasing the number of cooperatives and mutuals, particularly in the private sector.
The pamphlet also discusses two issues where there is a substantial crossover between individual freedom and harm reduction – drugs and prostitution.
Steve Rolles of Transform Drug Policy Foundation explains why the current illiberal system of drug prohibition is creating more harm than it is solving. Similarly, Alex Bryce of the National Ugly Mugs scheme, discusses why policy formulation should be focused on the safety of those choosing to engage in sex work.
Perhaps the most revolutionary policy in the pamphlet is from John Slinger of Pragmatic Radicalism, who proposes to introduce ‘Citizen Senators’ to the House of Lords, selected from the wider population in the same way in which a jury would be. Such a proposal would empower each and every individual, regardless of background or circumstance, to change the way the country is run.
In total the pamphlet contains 14 contributions, including on introducing a fairer system to replace Council Tax; reassessing Britain’s role in the world; and cutting reoffending rates by introducing ‘prisoner-led cooperatives’.
Please see www.revolutionise.it for more details.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.