Socialism is a word that is rarely uttered in the world of politics. That’s why I’m going to mention what Socialism means to me and hopefully others.
Being a socialist is about having a balanced society. Where people are first ; community is important. Where we work together for the common good.The good society is about creating opportunity, inspiration, aspiration for all, striving for equality. No one is left behind.
This is why I do not think the market should be in Health or Education. People before profit, always.
Over the last thirty years there has been a shift from the collective endeavour to an individualism. Which included an agenda in Govt in the UK to transfer public assets into private ownership. There were many privatisations which included utilities & transport. The consequences of this change in society resulted in the financial global crisis. Where the free market was allowed to dominate. Under regulation combined with incompetent decisions by some in the financial sector crippled the world which has resulted in a severe austerity programme in which the public sector has had to pick up the pieces. This means services that people need have been cut. The fabric of our society is being dismantled.
Combined with austerity there has been wage stagnation, increase in zero- hour contracts, increase in part-time work & self employment. In- work poverty is increasing. Food bank usage has increased dramatically.
It feels as if we have gone back in time. The progression of Society , where we work together for the common good. Where has that gone ? It feels more like the 1930’s than 2014.
And that’s where we need a renaissance of socialism for the 21st Century.
The collective endeavour needs to be discovered.
This will need the inspiration, bravery & courage that my grandparents generation had.
Do I think we can regain that spirit of my grandparents generation. Yes we can.
It will take courage and being vocal about our values.
Values where we believe that railways should be in public ownership. East Coast has proved that this can be successful and possible.
Values where there should be a Living Wage – wages need to be increased to improved standard of living.
Values where we strengthen the NHS as a world leader showing that a public universal healthcare system is what the world should aspire to.
Values where we restore the Universal principles – restore Child Benefit to universal, protect the universal benefits for elderly people, who we should treasure.
Values where there are no tuition fees in Higher Education – as Germany & other European countries have shown this is also possible.
Values where we strive for a fully Comprehensive Education system – like in Finland.
Values where we always put people first. This is just some of what a socialist spirit can achieve. Let’s fight for a balanced society. Let’s believe in a better world where we achieve more together than we can ever achieve alone.