United Change Policy Ideas
Written to the Labour Party, early September 2015.
This Proposal is designed to present to you real, credible, viable alternatives to public policies, nationally and internationally. This different type of Proposal aims to depart from the current, restrictive mind-set of short-term and short-gain policies (as championed by the Conservatives). This Paper also aims to strike up a dialogue with you on clear and realistic alternatives, some on which are novel and unique. It is my own work, in line with my organization, United Change.
I know this is going to be your biggest current challenge. I believe accepting the refugees is only the start BUT what we must remember is that these are humans. They are people above all else, who just like us, had social, business and possibly even political lives in their countries. In their respective nations they would have had skills, abilities and knowledge we may not even have here, in the U.K. We must fully understand that most of the British public are worried that they will be a ‘drain’ not ‘gain’ on society. Whilst this is very assumptive, the proof will be in the pudding. We must seek to determine from the outset whether this will be true, or not, with each individual refugee, when crossing into our borders. Whether they will integrate and ameliorate British life and society. So I offer this Policy scenario. A conditional, 7-year, Return Ticket. Rather than a one-way Ticket in. What I am stating is simple. You allow them to stay for 7 years and in that time they must demonstrate that they have given back to British society through business, education, employment, etc. If they have been a gain on society, then there should be no reason why not to extend the stay or offer permanent residence. If they have been a drain, then we must by that time seek to ‘deal’ with them in a relevant manner. But we can stipulate what this may be, later in time. (One idea maybe to relocate them to ‘safe areas’ back home).
We must also ask the refugees if they can subscribe to a national effort, and funding organization, to help rebuild their war-torn cities, towns and nations. For instance by giving to a fund, to send money back home, to relatives. Or even food and clothing. I do think this strategy will surprise the British public. In a multicultural society, where we seek to accept, we will be surprised at how migration may combat the austerity regime of Cameron, in the future. BUT — We need to collate information and data about the refugees and their specialities, abilities, and knowledge at the point of entry and use this to create a stronger, heathier economy and British society.
Why is it that Corporations and businesses are taxed by HMRC and then Westminster simply decides on what to do with the money solely? Why not economically ring-fence the rate of tax and levy in by substituting for other positive measures… For instance, less tax paid, if they help the regeneration of local housing projects, specifically for their workers and employees. Just like University Housing and Accommodation. Other areas may include sports funding, culture and arts funding, etc…but mainly housing for their employees. This helps tackle the current housing crisis. Smaller companies may even be allowed to create a scheme where they help rent payments of their workers. Then they can group them together in a specific part of a town or city. Imagine living near you work colleagues in a town, when you used to travel hundreds of miles? How much will this increase the average marginal/collective productivity and efficiency of labour? It can only serve to help the British economy.
This is quite short. Basically I believe in a Real-Time National Curriculum. I think we should be incorporating a National Strategy to design questions for the National A-Level and GCSES syllabi every week, co-ordinated by Westminster. For instance, we could have devised a curriculum question on the Labour Leadership election, this week. This could have been rolled out to all schools, via a digital web portal and the essays submitted back to this portal. We could have then used the best essays and implemented these into our strategy for the future. With such a National co-ordinated effort, we will find gems of answers from many of the British student-base. Some will even be better than current employed Politicians, Scientists, Artists, etc.
Engagement (Labour Party)
We must have more Digital Policy engagement. We must expand and extend the Labour Website to incorporate a Personalized Profile for every member and allow them to have access to all our policy proposals, papers, agenda, etc. and allow our members to vote on, feedback/comment on and even improve upon in real-time. This should be kept in their profile and it clearly demonstrate the members’ political preferences and pattern of behaviour, so at least we have a clearer indication of what our voters want. I also think that we need to canvass and door-knock more often, such as twice a year, rather than ‘false’ canvassing just at election time. This is what frustrates the electorate. We need to actively engage with them continuously.
So for now, these are my ideas, from United Change.
By Vinny Munbodh
Founder of United Change