Demands from the Grassroots

By Lucy Lightman, Hitchin and Harpenden CLP

Sitting together in our local CLP myself and some other party members were talking about issues that affected us the most. As you might expect there were a range of issues/concerns that arose and also some things we would like to see a Labour government take action on.

We’re a small group of activists who have been inspired by Jeremy Corbyn to work for radical change in the way that the country is run. We have all been victims of the capitalist measures imposed by the traditional elite in society and are passionate about the opportunities Labour now offers the people of our country to enact change.

The things we wish to see don’t appear ‘radical’ in our eyes but the changes outlined below have been presented by the mainstream media as such. Ultimately what we wish to see is the fairer society being offered by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and a host of Labour politicians who have fought their way into the mainstream from what was once considered the fringe of the party.

We’re excited by the times we are living in and it was our passion which got us talking about what we’d like to see.

I have put down here in no particular order the issues we were discussing and what we think are solutions the Labour Party could, even should, adopt to deal with them.

They may seem like an eclectic list of concerns but our group includes those who work in London offices, agriculture, veterans and one journalist.

I thought I’d write them all down and see what comrades in other CLPs make of them.

  1. We think that the government’s first job is to make sure every citizen able to work has a job.
  2. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties.
  3. Every citizen should have a job. Their work should not be selfish, but help everyone.
  4. No one should live off money from rents or other income unless they have worked for that money.
  5. So many people die or lose their property in a war, it is wrong for other people to make money from war. Anyone who makes money from war should by taxed heavily by the state for use on public services.
  6. We want all big public utilities to be owned by the government.
  7. Big industrial companies should share their profits with the workers.
  8. Old age pensions need to be increased.
  9. We want to make both national and local government buy from small traders where possible to improve the life the lives of the workers.
  10. We want to change the way land is owned. We also want
    • a law to take over land if the country needs it, without the government having to pay for it;
    • to abolish ground rent
    • to prohibit land speculation (buying land just to sell to someone else for more money).
  11. We want to change the system of schools and education, so that every hard-working Briton can have the chance of higher education.
    • What is taught should concentrate on practical things
    • Schools should teach civic affairs, so that children can become good citizens
    • If poor parent cannot afford to pay the government should pay for education.
  12. The State must tackle the nation’s growing health problems by;
    • Giving priority to protecting mothers and infants
    • Stamping out child labour (which does still happen in the UK and is rarely reported)
    • making gymnastics and sports a mandatory part of the curriculum,
    • supporting sports clubs for young men and women.
  13. We want to get rid of the current set-up of the armed forces, including the nuclear deterrent, and replace it with a people’s army that would look after the ordinary people, not just the rich officer-class.

Do these demands belong in the next Labour manifesto?  Let us know what you think.