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MSF Draft Programme

The draft programme of the MSF is under constant change and amendment. Your feedback is important so that we can develop policies which strike a chord with the growing numbers of people who hate the system and the rule of the multinationals. We have to show our policies are both practical and necessary as the basis for a new kind of society.

Introduction

A handful of multinational corporations have a stranglehold over the vast majority of the world's population.

Fifty-one of the largest 100 economies in the world are, in fact, corporations. They create economic and financial crisis, destroy diversity and have taken the planet to the edge of an environmental catastrophe.

These corporate monsters have carved up the planet between them and also dominate social, cultural and political life.

In Britain, for example, New Labour puts the interests and profits of the multinationals first and lies when it says there is no alternative.

The Movement for a Socialist Future is working for a world where the major corporations are in the hands of the majority and for a society based on meeting need and not profit.

At the end of the last century, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Seattle against global capitalism. This is the beginning of a movement which must sweep away the rule of the multinationals in the 21st century

In their lust for profits, these corporations have created a world where there is:

  • The threat of environmental calamity through global warming
  • The destruction of vital natural resources
    mounting inequality within countries like Britain
  • Intense exploitation in the workplace
    the constant threat of unemployment
  • Rampant commercialisation of all forms of culture
  • An ever-growing gap between richer and poorer nations
  • Slave-labour wages in poor countries making goods for the major companies
  • An abuse of science in the name of profit, especially in genetic engineering
  • A disregard for public safety in terms of food, transport and working conditions
  • The merging of parties like New Labour with the interests of big business

Yet the revolution in technology and scientific breakthroughs mean that the potential to meet human needs is greater than ever before in history.

We could increase production of goods, food, medicine and spend more on education, housing and health. The working week could be cut drastically with no loss of pay.

A future based on co-operation would give young people especially and opportunity to develop their creative skills. Students could study free from the massive debts they now face for studying.

As the capitalist system spins out of control, the way forward is through liberation of the technology, production facilities and financial resources from the grip of profit-crazy multinationals.

Let us create a new dawn for society by replacing control of the economy by a few with mass, democratic social ownership and control.

If you want to help shape the future of the 21st century, read what we have to say and join the Movement for a Socialist Future.

The Economy

All the key areas of the economy are under the control and a ownership of the multinational corporations, who run everything solely for profit. Some like Bill Gates have enough wealth to feed, clothe, house and educate the poorest people in developing countries and still have something left over. Parallel to this is a financial system based on speculation - often with other people's cash, like the money contributed to pension funds.

The intense globalisation of the capitalist economy creates conditions where under social ownership and control we could create a far fairer and more progressive society. In a society based on co-operation we would use the new technology to promote social needs not private profit.

The MSF alternative:

  • Transfer of ownership, control and management of companies to those who work in them
  • Workers and consumers to plan what goods are produced while protecting the environment at the same time
  • Groups of producers and consumers to formulate local, regional and national plans for the economy, using the latest technology to measure demand
  • Abolition of financial speculation
  • Banks, building societies and pension funds to come under social control and management

The world of work

No-one's job is secure as employers drive down costs by getting rid of workers. Meanwhile, those in work suffer intense exploitation and pressure, whatever their status. Wages and salaries are held down and people expected to work longer and longer hours. Welfare-to-work is New Labour's answer to unemployment, pushing people into any low-paid job by threatening to take away their benefits.

The MSF alternative:

  • All workplaces under the control of the workforce
  • The use of technology to cut the working week with no loss of pay
  • Training and retraining available with no loss of pay
  • Wage levels set by those who work in each sector as part of a national plan

Education

Under New Labour, education is becoming a conveyor-belt for producing a compliant workforce. That is because Tony Blair only sees education only in relation to the needs of multinational corporations. Schools have had to abandon creative education in order to meet government targets on spend more time organising tests than teaching.

No wonder the schools are finding it harder to get new recruits. Art and music are eradicated from the curriculum, and playing fields sold off for development. Very young children are forced into formal learning, and creative play dismissed as a waste of time.

Mind and body are neglected - repetition and learning by rote are promoted. Education no longer has anything to do with the human spirit, creativity or culture.

Thanks to New Labour, university students now have to pay for their fees and living costs and face debts running into thousands when they finish. The universities are now dominated by commercial considerations in order to win funding from private companies.

The MSF alternative:

  • All fees and charges abolished
  • Close fee-paying schools
  • An emphasis on creative learning at all levels
  • End mass exclusion of "difficult" pupils and support those with learning problems
  • Class sizes decided by teachers and students
  • Education opportunities available free to everybody throughout their lives
  • Full living grant for post-16 students
  • Massive investment in public libraries as local learning centres
  • Free sports facilities and access to physical education

The environment

Global warming and deforestation are already creating environmental disasters in many developing countries like Bangladesh. Many animal and plant species are becoming extinct, threatening natural diversity.

For the global corporations, profiteering comes before the protection of the environment we depend upon. The threat to the polar ice caps means that time is running out for planet Earth unless we stop the corporate polluters now.

Corporations like Monsanto are a step away from the control of the food chain through genetically modified (GM) food. New Labour wants us to love GM food, even though the risks to health are enormous.

Public transport is now in the hands of profiteering companies who place safety second and put fares out of the reach of most people, forcing them to use cars.

The MSF alternative:

  • Put the food industry under the control of consumers and producers
  • Phase out intensive farming and produce organic food at a price everyone can afford
  • Act to reduce chemicals in food and water
  • End cruel treatment of animals and ban blood sports
  • No application of new scientific techniques without full testing under public scrutiny
  • An integrated, cheap and safe public transport system
  • Planned reduction of car use in towns and cities
  • Research into alternative, non-polluting energy forms
  • Countryside conservation alongside public recreational access

Arts and culture

No area of human activity is safe from commercialisation. Culture is increasingly forced into corporate global uniformity. Creative talent is swamped by cable TV, tabloid pulp, and the demands of corporate sponsors and the lottery. The tacky Dome and sponsored 'zones' is what New Labour thinks people should have while the Royal Opera House takes public money and excludes access to those on average incomes.

The MSF alternative:

  • Co-operative facilities and resources for use by those in music, film, writing, art and drama
  • Free entrance to all galleries, museums and national monuments
  • Access to entertainment at prices people can afford
  • The right to free expression without censorship
  • Scrap the lottery and fund the arts from public money

Sport and recreation

Sport has been seized by the multinationals in a coup which the corrupt boardroom bosses and the sports governing bodies have made no attempt to resist.
They have cashed in at the expense of ordinary fans who now can't afford to see their teams either live or on TV. At the same time amateur sport is starved of resources.

The MSF alternative:

  • Football and other clubs to be taken out of the hands of big business and global TV companies
  • Sport to be run by committees of players, fans and administrators
  • Admission to events to be at prices available to all
  • An end to the buying and selling of players
  • A rapid expansion of playing fields, swimming pools and other facilities with free access for local people

Health, housing and care

Under New Labour, public services are starved of investment and broken up for sale. New homes or hospitals are only built if private companies can profit - the so-called Private Finance Initiative, which puts the whole of society in debt to the most rapacious capitalist companies.

The NHS is breaking down while drug companies make massive profits out of the service and deny access to new discoveries through the patents system. Meanwhile, people are forced to pay for glasses, dental care and private treatment. Those who can't pay, must do without.

Homelessness is growing in all the major cities because affordable social housing is a thing of the past and property prices are soaring. Most young people cannot afford to live independently from their parents.

The government disguises the effect on communities of poverty and unemployment behind catchphrases like "social exclusion". Their answer is not better housing, health and benefits, but more coercion, evictions, tagging, CCTV, parenting orders and attacks on lone parents.

A whole generation of retired people live on miserly pensions, and when they need more care, their savings are seized to pay for it. Those on state benefits are given an insulting 75p a week increase by the government.

The MSF alternative:

  • Hospitals and health centres under the control of staff and patient representatives
  • No more rationing of treatment
  • Social control of the drug companies and an end to the patents systems
  • Minimum pensions to be set at the average wage
  • Social ownership of pension funds
  • Wages for those bringing up children
  • Free childcare up to school leaving age
  • All benefits to be paid at average wage levels
  • All land to be owned and controlled by elected local bodies
  • Housing for all at affordable rents and the requisition of empty homes/offices
  • An urgent programme of house construction and repair using building society funds

The state

Democracy in Britain is a fiction. The state is not there to serve the people, but to uphold privilege, profit and exploitation. New Labour's Big Brother state is bringing in compulsory DNA testing, abolition of the right to jury trials, the interception of e-mails and is jailing more people. Legal aid is severely restricted and the police remain a law unto themselves, with thousands of innocent people in prison for offences they did not commit.

The trade unions have few legal rights and the newspapers are in the hands of a handful of millionaires. Real decisions are taken in the boardrooms and banks, not in Parliament which is just a talking shop. New Labour will not tolerate dissent and uses the secret state against its opponents.

The MSF alternative:

  • Replace Parliament with local, regional and national assemblies with executive powers
  • Delegates to represent workplaces, young people, ethnic minorities, the retired, community, social and cultural groups
  • National resources devolved to local bodies
  • Constitutional rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and to form political organisations
  • Trade unions free from state interference and restrictions
  • The police to be replaced with local bodies which are answerable to the community
  • An end to the barbaric prison system, replacing it with rehabilitation of offenders
  • Abolition of the monarchy and hereditary privilege
  • End immigration controls; offer asylum to the oppressed

International policy

The interests of the multinationals dominate Blair's foreign policy and British troops are used to back them up with force. Asylum seekers are sent back to face jail and torture, and New Labour's "ethical" foreign policy is based on selling arms to ruthless regimes and training military personnel and police.

The MSF alternative:

  • Cancel the debts of developing countries without conditions
  • Actively support the right of nations and peoples to self-determination
  • Provide technological and other support to developing countries
  • Publish all secret treaties between imperialists
  • Replace the capitalist, bureaucratic European Union with a united socialist states of Europe

 

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Introduction
The Economy
The world of work
Education
The Environment
Arts & Culture
Sport & Recreation
Health, Housing & Care
The State
International Policy

 
       
       
     
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