We need a new vision that is worthy of our people and our past

Published on Labour List, by Emma Burnell, June 19, 2014.

How does social democracy work when there isn’t any money? That is the question that has been taxing those at the top of the Labour Party for some time.

Our immediate, Keynesian response to the crisis staunched the wound and arguably stopped a recession becoming a depression. But the crisis itself showed up the weaknesses of the late 20th century model of social democracy – that of relying on the redistribution of the proceeds of growth, not of changing how that growth affected people early and for the better.  

We did not end boom and bust. Economic cycles still happen and our over reliance on the proceeds of finance capital made and still make us deeply vulnerable to shocks to the system. They also made and still make us a deeply unequal country. Not just in terms of how much money people earn, but in terms of how powerful they feel and are.

Today the IPPR is launching a report that will do a great deal of the serious thinking required to set out a new story of social democracy. One that is based around principles that speak to the values the Labour movement has always stood for: The importance of good quality work, the value of contributing to society and fairness in the way society is organised.

Labour needs to spend every second between now and the next election contesting our national story. We need to offer a vision that people recognise as matching the best of our Labour past and speaks to the shared values that has meant they elected us for those values before, but also offers them hope. Hope that we can take the best of Labour values – hard work for fair reward, a society built on solidarity, the empowerment of the many – and rebuild society around them for the long term … //

… The Tories are selling us a vision of managed decline. Of the need for austerity to hit services but not for changes to protect the work that services are there to deliver.

But unlike the wreckers in this government, this cannot be an unbalanced and untrammelled attack only on the power of the state to defend its citizens against the ravages of unchecked market Capitalism. If social democrats are to take up the fight for a more devolved, agile state it cannot be simply to further shift the power away from the people. This is why the rebalancing of the economy towards an equal relationship between finance, producers, consumers and workers (and these are not – of course – mutually exclusive labels) must be an essential part of the story Labour tells of the future of our nation.
(full text, links to related articles and comments).


A Glimpse of A World Without Money, on HubPages, by Dave Arley, June 19, 2013;

Philip Pilkington, Money for nothing, on Basic Income Earth Network BIEN.org, June 18, 2014;

Gordon Brown backs written constitution to establish Britain as federal state, on Labour List, June 18, 2014;

Shane Greenup: Surviving as an entrepreneur, on Basic Income Earth Newtwork BIEN, June 17, 2014;

UNITED STATES: Former Secretary of Labor endorses introducing a carbon tax and using the revenue to support BIG, on BIEN, June 17, 2014;

What is the Basic Income Guarantee BIG?

70,000 to apply for GMI aid, Cyprus minimum set at €480, on Financial Mirror, 17 June, 2014;

Why We Need To Put An End To The Monetary System Immediately, on HubPages, by Dave Earley, January 17, 2011;

How Nature Can Fix Our Broken Monetary System, on HubPages, by Terry27, October 22, 2013;

(unconditional) basic income for all on en.wikipedia … is a proposed system[2] of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere …;


Basic Income Earth Network BIEN.org; /Links;

Basic Income UK;

Basic Income on Google News-search;

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