Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jim Jay's Political Power Act

In response to my earlier request Neil asks "You've been elected as Prime Minister with a landslide majority. What's the first bill that you bring into law?"

Well obviously I have a raft of proposals including; ending the deportation of asylum seekers, and the barriers to immigration, improving workers rights, abortion legislation, prostitution, drugs laws, and gender equality, I'd be seeking the abolition of Tesco and other monster chains killing our society, I'd ban GM crops, take on aviation, kick private enterprise out of schools and the health service, and of course bring in proposals to tackle climate change with the utmost urgency and try to develop a truly ethical foreign policy.

But what to do first?

The first acts of new governments are extremely significant, sending out a message about what kind of regime they are going to be. Blair's first act was to give financial independence to the Bank of England - I think that was an honest signal about what New Labour were about.

I think for me then my first act would be about decentralising political power. It's the clearest way to say we want a democratic society, not one governed by a political class that we elect and an economic class that we don't. My political power act would contain a number of sections (I hope that isn't cheating);

a) shifting the balance of power back towards local councils, reversing the trend that Thatcher began and stripping away intervening layers of quangos and plans for regional assemblies.

b) giving firmer legal protection to trade union members and entrenching the rights of workers to have a say over their workplace. This would be the start of a process towards a democratically run, decentralised economy.

c) abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with a new, directly elected, Second Chamber, using a fairer election method that first past the post. Sadly, this would also involve Britain becoming a republic.

d) devolution referendums for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

e) withdrawing our troops from their missions of occupation to allow the peoples of the world to determine their own fate.

So now it's your turn (meme style, I suppose) what would your first piece of legislation be?


Anonymous said...


Point c, what would be sad about that.

My own would be:

Referendum on Europe

Institute ILO conventions for trade union rights

Withdraw from NATO

Tobin Tax

Proper freedom of information act so we can see what has been done in our name bt those in power.

Don Fraser

Jim Jay said...

Nothing woould be sad about it really - I was being flip.

I like your suggestionbs Don - although I'm not sure the EU would be top of my list as we could work to push it left and build better foreign relationships based on peace and justice rather than war and trade.

neil h said...

My first act would be simple and symbolic - disestablish the Church of England. It would send the message that whilst people are free to believe whatever they like in private, public life in Britain is strictly secular.