Surrey Labour Party has welcomed the election of ‘one of their own’ as Keir Starmer was chosen as the new Labour leader last weekend.
Starmer grew up in Oxted, Surrey and went to school at nearby Reigate Grammar school followed by Oxford University before becoming a barrister specialising in human rights cases.
Knighted for his time as Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir was one of five children. His late parents were both Labour supporters in Oxted, Rod was a toolmaker and his mother Josephine, a nurse.
WELL DONE LABOUR!
Council estate built
by Labour run Norwich council, wins Riba
Stirling prize for
Norwich's £17m scheme of 105 homes - a mix of 45 one-bedroom flats, 40 two-bedroom houses, three two-bedroom flats and five four-bedroom flats, is the first development of its sort ever to claim the prize.
The innovative £17m project was awarded the highest honour of the Royal Institute of British of Architects, becoming the first development of its sort ever to claim the prize. The homes, owned and managed by Norwich City Council, are rented out to people with a housing need.
Ever since the Tory government of the 1980s prevented councils from reinvesting funds from the sale of their council flats into building new housing, it had lacked the resources to do so. But, like a number of local authorities, Norwich found a way, using a mix of borrowing, funds from its housing revenue account.
They are not homes that fit into the murky class of “affordable”, or the multitude of “intermediate” tenures. This is proper social housing, rented from the council with secure tenancies at fixed rents. Not only that, it is some of the most energy-efficient housing ever built in the UK, meeting the exacting German passivhaus standards – which translates into a 70% reduction in fuel bills for tenants.
By contrast, compare Spelthorne’s Tory run councils feeble attempt to fulfil its “statutory obligations” to house the homeless, by planning to build a 27 bed hostel at the cost of around £6 million, and then handing it over to the Salvation Army to run!
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.
The above article does not necessarily express the view of the Labour Party.
Informed and Inspired by, Utopia For Realists by: Rutiger Bregman.
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.