Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Country Matters

The radio reports that some committee or other thinks we need even more supermarkets. Who pays for these committees? Who pays their members once this particular work is done?

The supermarkets should be made to fund investment in agriculture and small business (investment to be determined in close consultation with the National Farmers’ Union and the Federation of Small Businesses) by means of a windfall tax, to be followed if necessary by a permanently higher flat rate of corporation tax. In either case, strict regulation must ensure that the costs of this are not passed on to suppliers, workers, consumers, communities or the environment.

Real agriculture is the mainstay of strong communities, environmental responsibility and animal welfare (leading to safe, healthy and inexpensive food), as against American-style ‘factory farming’. It is closely connected to the defence of the remaining field sports, and it calls for a free vote in government time on repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs.

Overarching all of this is the need to defend rural services, and in particular for the systematic reversal of bus route and (where possible) rail line closures going back to the 1950s, as well as of the erosion of local schools, medical facilities, Post Offices, and so on. A national network of public transport, free at the point of use, is required.

As is a new and powerful second chamber elected on the basis of the English ceremonial counties, Scottish lieutenancy areas, Welsh preserved counties, and Northern Irish counties, with each of those 99 units having equal representation.

There is now a party advocating all of this. Be part of it.


  1. How's the new party doing?

  2. We should have some fairly big news at the weekend or early next week.

    And plenty of people seem to think that we are so far beneath contempt that they have to go to the trouble of saying so all over the Internet, not least whenever and wherever I post a comment about anything at all.

    If you agree with us, then come on board -

  3. No, I don't agree with you - I was just asking.

  4. Well, there's no answer to that, I suppose.

  5. What's your party's policymaking process?

  6. A work in progress. Everything at present was circulated in draft among the people involved (a wonderful thing, this electricity), over and over and over again until were were agreed.

    But there will of course be all the usual organs once we are up and running. None of that New Labour National Blathering Shop rubbish - real participation.

    And we intend, in the next Parliament, to begin what we will then do in the course of every Parliament, putting out the top 10 policies nominated by our branches to a ballot of the whole electorate, with each voter entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top seven guaranteed inclusion in the subsequent General Election manifesto.

    This will mirror how we are going to select our parliamentary candidates and elect our Leader once we are fully-fledged: the two candidates nominated by the most branches will be put to a ballot of the whole electorate, whether at constituency or at national level as appropriate.

    But it will all cost money, of course.

  7. Are any of the other people involved prepared to support you publicly? When will they do this?

  8. Well, the obvious way to do that will be by standing for Parliament. One of them certainly will, others probably will, others yet probably won't because of other commitments but will be out delivering leaflets and what have yuou as part of this return of a mass-membership party enmeshed in civil society at every level of both.

    Anyway, a work in progress: how to make policy with sufficient speed without being subject to the whim of think tanks, or newspaper editors and columnists, or the BBC. It will take some doing, but it must be done.

  9. Fascinating. When is your launch? Are you going to have various candidates standing up on the platform with you? Will you be inviting the media? And (most importantly) can supporters come and cheer you on?

  10. We are working on an event after Christmas. The media will of course be informed. Everyone will be there. And, of course, supporters will be welcome. But why not be a candidate, Ron? Let us know about you -