The People’s Charter for Change provides the Left with an opportunity to rally to a set of demands that smash the current all-party and media consensus on what needs to be done to tackle the economic crisis.
Politicians and media commentators demand savage post-election cuts in public services and public sector wages and pensions, but conveniently ignore the fact that our money has already been used to bail out the rotten and corrupt banks and financial institutions that are directly responsible for the worst economic collapse in 80 years. To add insult to injury, it’s our £6 billion being handed over as bankers’ bonuses.
The People’s Charter for Change presents an alternative set of demands that are popular, realistic and have tested appeal for working – and increasingly non-working – people.
It was launched in the spring on the back of a commissioned survey asking the standard cross-section of the population whether they supported the Charter principles and policies:
- the democratic public ownership of banks, with insurance and mortgage industries run for public benefit
- a fairer tax system with big business and the wealthy paying more
- reducing working hours not pay to create more jobs, with investment in green technology
- 3 million new homes, underpinned by the creation of council homes on an unprecedented scale; investment not cuts in public services; scrapping Trident
- the public ownership of energy, transport, water and telecommunications
- the cancellation of international debt.
The People’s Charter, which aims to collect a million signatures in the run-up to the General Election, has the support of 33 MPs in an Early Day Motion and was adopted as official TUC policy at the recent Congress, should not be seen as simply a petition.
Its mission is to create a huge swathe of trade union and community activists united by a demand for progressive change and progressive policies. Charter supporters will be urged to support candidates who sign up to the Charter’s principles.
The first national Charter event, a convention, takes place on Saturday 21 November and is open to all Charter supporters. It will include contributions from General Secretaries, key community activists and activists from recent and ongoing disputes.