A BETTER POLITICS FOR THE UK There can be no improvement in political debate in the UK until austerity is rejected.

Austerity is an ideology which has its roots in the 1974 Labour Government of Harold Wilson but has been further exemplified by the global collapse of the banking system in 2010 and the subsequent 'rescue' of financial institutions. The idea is that supporting the financial and private sector while reducing expenditure in the public sector will eventually lead to growth. This idea is invalid as an economic argument as it assumes national economic and fiscal budgets are similar to household budgets when they are clearly not the same. An exemplary exposition of why this does not work is presented in the video 'Austerity' by Mark Blyth (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go2bVGi0ReE&feature=youtu.be&a&safe=active). Recent documents produced by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Austerity Illusions and Debt Delusions)and the Public and Commercial Services Union (Austerity isn't Working: There is an Alternative) also support the view that austerity is not an economic measure to resolve economic problems: it is an ideology designed by neoliberal thinkers to enrich the already rich and further impoverish the ever-increasing number of people in poverty. The ideology of austerity has a direct correlation with the decline in popular support for Labour. Neo-liberal economics has dominated UK politics since the late 1970s and successive Labour and Conservative governments have continually supported stringent cuts in public spending while promoting private sector growth and arguing that wealth will 'trickle-down' into the economy. Wealth has continually gravitated to the minority while the majority have been disenfranchised in political, social and economic terms. Social mobility is no longer a reality for many. Young people face a very bleak future unless the ideology of austerity is tackled. An attack on austerity will be supported by the disenfranchised as it provides a real alternative to an economic system that promotes injustice and inequality. The UK debt is actually lower than other major economies. There is a £120 billion tax gap of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax. The UK holds £850 billion in banking assets from the bailout – more than the national debt. We could also free up billions by not renewing Trident. There is no need for further cuts to public services or further privatisations as there are sufficient funds in the economy to subsidise growth. We should nationalise transport, mail, energy and water. Creating jobs, especially in social housing, will boost the economy and cut the deficit. We should invest in areas such as renewable energy and public transport. If we are truly open to exploring innovation in the political system, the market socialist idea, put forward by David Lane in 2013 and supported by CLASS, is worth exploration as an alternative to austerity: "The key idea is that market socialism retains the market mechanism while socializing the ownership of capital. ‘Social ownership’ can take many forms. Cooperative ownership is highly favoured. Each enterprise has a democratic form, and employees’ control is one of them. Hence the widely held value of democracy is extended. A consequence of a market socialist policy is that companies which fail the public and are clearly lacking in public responsibility would be socialized. Currently, the banking, energy industries and rail transport would be prime candidates. Economic policies could be carried out within the capitalist framework to restore growth and employment. It would allow forms of indicative planning to be introduced which would further enhance public control."

Dr. Geoffrey A. Walker ‘A Better Politics for the UK’ Monday, 07 April 2014