Socialism is part of the 21st century's zeitgeist!
Only Labour can bring in a new Utopia?
Communism failed, neoliberalism, with the crash of the financial sector in 2008 failed. Capitalism in its present form will also fail, due to the fast rate of technical advancement.
In 1926 Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motor Company) became the first to implement a five-day work week. He discovered that a shorter working week increased productivity, and workers with more leisure time were more likely to buy cars.
In the 1960 s Henry Ford’s grandson gave union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the companies automated factory, he jokingly asked, “Walter how are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues.?” He quickly replies “Henry how are you going to get them to buy your cars?”
How things have moved on since then, we now have driverless cars and chess legend Garry Kasparov was beaten by a computer in 1997, it was the size of a tennis court. Sixteen years later a new computer came on the market, play station 4, a fraction of the price and twice as powerful. The new generation of robots are proxies not only for our muscle power but for our mental capacity, too.
It’s already happening in our high streets, with shops closing because more people are buying on line. Banks are closing on our high streets, due to on line banking and those remaining have fewer staff. In supermarkets more people are checking their own goods out, thus less staff will be needed.
Capitalism, in its effort to reduce labour costs by the use of technology, in order to increase profits, is killing its own markets. Henry Ford discovered that for capitalism to survive it requires people with money in their pockets and enough leisure time to spend it.
It is estimated that 54% of all jobs in Europe will be replaced by machines in the next 20 years.
Although employees have been worrying for the past 200 years, new jobs materialised to take their place. But now in the new century robots have suddenly picked up pace.
Today the new jobs are at supermarkets, fast-food chains, and nursing homes, but for how long will they be safe?
As a French economist put it; that if we continue down our current path we will soon find ourselves back in the rentier society of the Gilded Age. A minority of people who owned capital (stocks, houses, machines) enjoyed a much higher standard of living.
More people will be forced into today's version of the Victorian slums, HMOs ( homes of multiple occupancy), with many living in small ensuite rooms, with shared kitchens.
Unless there is a resurgence of strong inclusive growth, high taxation on capital, or World War III, if nothing is done, inequality could reach frightening proportions.
An idea that is gaining traction is for a universal basic income for everyone, a shorter working week, and the eradication of poverty. Finland and Canada have announced large experiments, In the Netherlands twenty municipalities are putting basic income into action. The organization Give Directly is launching a major basic income study in Kenya. It is also catching on in a big way in Silicon Valley, and even the American Democrats are slowly voicing socialist policies.
Only the Labour Party, has the right credentials to make it happen here, and the proposed four day week by Labour is a move in the right direction. It wont happen overnight, but a Utopia where all benefit from technological advancement, and not suffer from it, is urgently needed.
Nick Clegg 'told
The above article does not necessarily express the view of the Labour Party.
Informed and Inspired by, Utopia For Realists by: Rutiger Bregman.
Brown to quit
2010, left of Labour, “no tuition fees” Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told Gordon Brown he had to leave office as the price of any coalition deal with Labour. Gordon brown offered.
Clegg then went on to join a coalition with the Tories instead, under Cameron.
Remember Cameron? “No ifs no buts no third runway at Heathrow” and “immigration down to the tens of thousands.”
Gordon Brown then stood down and Ed Miliband became Labour’s new leader.
During the coalition the Liberal Democrats then voted with the Tories to raise tuition fees, introduced bedroom tax and to cut legal aid. Jo Swinson as employment minister, reversed workers’ rights by introducing charges of up to £1,200 to attend an employment tribunal. She even considered cutting the minimum wage.
Now we have a new Tory leader Boris Johnson, and a new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, who rules out a pact with Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. Doesn’t that sound familiar!
In any case, a pact with the Lib Dems would stop the badly needed social reforms that a Corbyn government would introduce
Now that both Liberal Democrats and Tories have changed their leaders, let us hope we have the courage to stick with ours, and work together to return a Labour government.
LABOUR'S PLEDGES 2019
Is it the green light for on
street parking meters?
In the recent borough elections Spelthorne labour Party warned that the Tory run council could be planning to install on street parking meters, with the possibility increasing if the Tories did well in the local elections.
Although they suffered a loss of 7 council seats, they still have a substantial majority, and as they are safe for the next 4 years, could feel confident enough to press ahead.
Church Street Ashford could be one of the first places to be metered, forcing more cars to park in the already over parked back streets. Residents will then complain, and “residents only permits” could then be introduced, creating frustration, hardship and extra cost to locals to park outside of their own homes, and nowhere for their visitors to park.
Let’s hope that the newly elected opposition councillors work together, to try to stop this from happening.
Spelthorne’s Tory Council
invests £1.5 billion on
That’s a liability of about £37,000 per household, but is hesitant to back a scheme to stop flooding.
In a recent newspaper article the leader of Spelthorne Borough Council would not confirm his 100% support for the £588 million River Thames Scheme — a flood defence initiative that would reduce the risk to 15,000 homes. Spelthorne’s contribution would be £25 million.
The floods of 2014 are still in our memories. The devastation caused in our borough resulting in the death of Zane Gbangbola aged 7, and injuries to his father Kye who remains paralysed from the waist down. The family is still fighting for justice!
‘For further information please go to www.TruthAboutZane.com’.
Labour would support the River Thames Scheme, providing it adequately protects Spelthorne
in the long term
Under the Tories, close to 1000 Sure Start centres have been closed nationwide.
Nationally, Labour will ensure guaranteed adequate funding for schools, teachers and rescources, to create a world class service. Labour supports ‘Life Long Learning’
“Labour will lobby the council to reopen the Sure Start Centres closed since 2010,ensuring that children are given the best start in life thereby reducing inequalities when they start school” Between 2010 and 2018, overall school funding per pupil has been cut by 8%.
Locally, Spelthorne Labour Party will push for access to
more 6th form provision within the borough.
It will be alright in
50 years time
Spelthorne Council's propertyinvestment loans may exceed £1.5 billion, that’s a liability
of about £37,500 per household.
Auditors call council's billion pound property "roulette" into question
The purpose of this massive investment is to deal with the “financial burden” due to central government cuts.
This kind of speculative investment is beginning to dwarf the main job of running our council, and probably requires more staff to do so!
The purchases include the BP campus in Sunbury for £380 million, and others in Stockley Park, Hammersmith, Reading and Uxbridge.
The Council has taken out loans from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). These loans are of low interest and can be paid back over a period of 50 years.
This could mean that in 50 years time Spelthorne would be rich in real-estate. On the other hand will the buildings survive?
The reason given by the Council for wanting to knock down the Knowle Green leisure centre was that it’s not worth repairing and is “50 years old.”
In 50 years time, even if the property investments survive the vagaries of the markets and we don’t end up with negative equity; most of us will be long gone and those just in adulthood will be drawing their pensions!
The luxury flats being built in Spelthorne are very nice, but with a starting price around £350.000 for a one bedroom apartment, even with the government “Help to Buy” scheme they are far too expensive for most local people looking to get onto the housing ladder.
On the front page of the Villager, Spelthorne Council announced the completion of three “affordable” two- bedroom homes. Of course all homes are affordable to those earning enough, but not to those on zero hours contracts and low incomes.
Spelthorne has become over developed with the highest population density in Surrey. Little thought has been given to our over stretched services, ever increasing congestion on our roads and fewer available spaces for street parking.
Publicly owned available property, such as the Knowle Green council offices which the Council plan to turn the west wing into 24 flats, should be considered for renting to local people on low incomes at 20% below going rate — with a PWLB loan for the conversions!