Key messages for a Manifesto “Narrative”
Economic vigour with social justice. Investing for future prosperity.
We must create a different form of capitalism.
Radical change is essential to a broken economic system which fails to invest for our futures. We must rebuild the real economy, creating employment in technology and knowledge industries; focussing on our strengths and harnessing savings and finance for the national good. The rewards of skill and enterprise must be more fairly shared.
Economic regeneration: Rebuilding the real economy.
Britain is a great nation. It has world class university science and technology which can support a new industrial revolution, built on what we are good at -science and engineering; supported by a whole range of creative and service industries.
But right now we are at severe risk of continuing economic decline and irrelevance in international growth markets. We are becoming poorer because the global investment banks have taken our money and speculated with it, losing billions for us all but paying themselves vast fortunes and sheltering these abroad. We don't want Britain to become an impoverished country cut out of export markets and manipulated by a super rich class who put their money elsewhere.
Over the last twenty years, the City has invested less in science and technology industries than any other developed country. We have therefore lagged disastrously in advanced modern industry. The London-based finance industries must be harnessed for the national interest; not fawned and kow-towed to. We are all for economically and socially useful finance; but have seen far too much of the damaging and speculative kind. Trillions of pounds are traded in the financial markets, but little is put to work to regenerate the economy.
If our country is to become prosperous again, it has to rely on our natural advantages. The engines of a renewed Britain should be science, technology, creative arts, energy and food industries where we have real advantages and skills.
Harnessing savings and finance for the national interest
We must revolutionise finance and create massive national investment programmes focussing on benefiting the country and future generations. These must be led by national investment banks, which should be guided not by politicians, but by leaders from science, technology and creative arts who know the best avenues for long term investment. We must encourage savings into long-term projects offering incentives and secure returns underpinned by national insurance schemes.
Only then can we provide satisfying work for our talented young people, growing exports and renewing optimism about our place in the world. We have to follow the examples of successful countries like Germany, India, Sweden, South Korea and China by harnessing finance for the national interest. Economic regeneration must be accompanied by a massive skills development programme. One without the other is futile and increases alienation.
The “hard” message is not about austerity - it is that we must consume less in order to invest for the future.
Actively fostering fairness and a proper distribution of rewards
Alongside economic regeneration, we will act to create greater justice in how the rewards of enterprise and skill are shared out. We cannot expect the nation to pull together in a common cause when s a small minority cream off the lion's share of the reward.
We need to pull together rather than be driven apart by unfairness and gross inequality. Government's role is to enable and support, not to punish the majority whilst protecting the rich. Active steps must be initiated to ensure that all make a fair contribution to the wellbeing of society, and that privilege in education and employment is seriously curtailed.
Rebalancing regional strength; re-creating community spirit
We believe in a Britain where everywhere benefits, not just London; where once great manufacturing regions are regenerated by new industries. Then people can have rewarding work in communities where they and their families grew up and not be forced to migrate to the overcrowded South East.
Deprived communities must be helped to help themselves by encouraging and supporting regeneration from the inside. Simply showering money from a distance does not work.
Strengthening international partnerships and ties
Europe and America, India and China do not owe Britain a living, but millions of skilled, well paid jobs are dependent on our trading relations with them. We must create and offer what they want - high tech and advanced products and systems. Already we are far behind other European countries in our exports to China, a key growth market. Our biggest trading partner is the European Union and we are increasingly severing our ties with it. Europe is moving away from market fundamentalism and towards a social market stance. We must confirm our position as an active and committed partner to those countries with similar values to our own.
Equally important, the global financial markets will only be harnessed by co-ordinated international action by governments and implemented by institutions acting in the interests of people, not banks. Britain, by itself and through the European Union, needs to play a leading role in controlling the financial markets. The current government is not doing this.