Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Case for the Social Democratic Party, by Peter Johnson

Our country is in decline, feeble men are its nominal leaders.”

Thus declared Desmond Donnelly, the first ever Labour MP for Pembrokeshire, when launching his Democratic Party after having lost the Labour Whip along with Woodrow Wyatt for not voting in support of  Harold Wilson’s bill to nationalise the steel industry.

Here we are some 47 years later, and little has changed. The country is still in decline, and feeble men and women are still our nominal leaders.

The British electorate is stuck with a government which has delegated the responsibility of governance of the British Isles to an undemocratic unelected third party, the appointed Commissioners of the European Union.

Our Parliament is no longer representative of the majority of the population.

Instead of a broad cross section of the British working community, it is now filled with bright, academically qualified career politicians who have never really worked as most of us would understand work, and who seem incapable of applying common sense solutions as the answer to the problems of the day.

Our Parliament’s members should be elected from across the spectrum of British commercial, academic and industrial life. Amongst the academics, there should be the electricians, the motor mechanics, the steel workers, and so on, to bring that all-important balance to the major debates on issues of the day which affect the lives of us all.

The British political system is in a mess.

The Labour Party is past its use-by date, and no longer appears to be able to govern in accordance with the wishes of the working population.

It now selects few working people as its candidates, preferring to have university-educated members as its parliamentarians. That is part of their problem.

Whilst university degrees indicate higher levels of education, I am not aware of any university offering a degree in common sense, which is a prime requisite that seems to be sadly lacking in some representatives of the people.

Similarly, the Conservative Party continues in much the same old way, represented in Parliament by members who are from privileged, or at least comfortable, backgrounds, and who do not seem able to understand the needs of the majority of the working British people.

There are those who describe themselves as Liberal Democrats. In truth, they are neither Liberals nor Social Democrats, since both of those parties continue separately.

Then there is a myriad of numerous political parties, many of them single issue parties

And there is the Social Democratic Party.

The Social Democratic Party has almost been forgotten by some, and never heard of by younger members of the population.

D is the central letter of the SDP logo. It represents the word democracy. Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

In a real democracy, the government is expected to carry out the will of the people who elected it into office. I doubt that that has happened since the post war Labour government of Clement Atlee was defeated.

Principle political parties have produced their election manifestos, and upon being elected to power have failed to deliver, simply because the two principal parties do not put the interest of the electorate to the fore. They are obliged instead to serve, as a first priority, their respective paymasters.

The Social Democratic Party is an independent party currently financed by its members’ contributions and fundraising activities.

As an independent party, we are not beholden to any interest group, and would be able to govern according to the wishes of the electorate, not the financiers.

To have a truly representative and democratically elected SDP government, we take care in selecting our candidates, who have to convince us that their principal reason to seek election is to represent their fellow-constituents in addition to the country at large.

We would wish to have elections based on a proportional representation electoral system, which Social Democrats have always advocated, and which is only to be expected from a democratic party such as ours.

With a proportional representation system, we would anticipate higher turnouts on polling days, as electors would understand that their votes would count.

Is the SDP left-wing, right-wing, middle of the road?

Members have debated this, the conclusion being neither.

We believe that we are a party of social justice and would govern accordingly. We consider that all but the bone idle, the selfish and the greedy could live comfortably with a Social Democratic administration.

Furthering the promotion of democracy, it would be the intention of the SDP to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.

We are committed democrats, and passionately believe that these islands of Britain should be governed by no others than those whom the British people have elected to our national Parliament. We are not necessarily anti-Europe, but do oppose monetary and political union.

The SDP has always supported the concept of a mixed economy with contributions from State, Private and Cooperative enterprises, where there would be adequate investment opportunities for those with capital to invest.

We consider that energy, water, transport and health should be operated on a service to the consumer basis and should be taken into public ownership. Surpluses should be generated but for reinvestment only, and not to provide incomes to investors. 

The SDP has always advocated that income tax and National Insurance contributions should be unified into a single collection. We would wish to extend that into developing a national pension fund to be invested in British business.

An English parliament would be established. VAT would be removed from utility bills. Export of live animals for slaughter would be stopped. Utility prices to be universal for everyone, whatever payment method  was employed. Matrons would be reinstated to all hospital wards.

The high cost of housing would be tackled by building more affordable homes for rent and capping the price of bought properties. Solar panels would be included in the design specifications for all new residential and commercial buildings.

We are continually developing a range of policies, which we are confident will satisfy the political requirements of the people.

There needs to be a radical change in the way that Britain is to be governed in this twenty-first century, and we consider that, as a party whose membership is comprised of educated and common sense working people, we are the party to do it.

No comments:

Post a comment