Beach Party Politics
Lets build a better tomorrow
DEMOCRACY IS BROKEN.
You can be forgiven for thinking that we live in a DEMOCRACY here in the UK, because thats what we are told, but if you critically analyse the fundamental aspects of our political systems, you will see we operate in something more akin to a PLUTOCRACY. Democracy has been bent out of shape to protect the current status quo. Actual democracy would give people the power to change things. So arbitrary boundaries have been put in place to prevent a majority of people attaining significant positions of power.
We wanted to run in the 2015 General Election with The Beach Party. If we lived in a democracy we would have been given that freedom. But because we don’t, we couldn’t. I was too poor to pay the fees required to enter the election race.
You might argue that it costs less than a thousand pounds to register a new party and run for a seat in Parliament, so in theory anyone can do it. Yet this simple measure makes it quite impossible to do if you don’t have access to that amount of money. This isn’t Democracy. If we could afford to run in the Vauxhall Constituency during the next election, there is also the simple fact that not one of my friends or family would be legally allowed to vote for me. People are only allowed to vote for your local constituency and my family live more than 2 miles away from my house. Meaning in the current system, we would have to pay the Electoral Commission £325,000 just to enter the election race and allow everyone in the UK the legal right to vote for The Beach Party.
These financial measures ensure you have to be independently wealthy, or represent the interests of other wealthy people that fund your political party if you want become Prime Minister. And the average wealth of a politician working in Parliament, is not representative of the average wealth owned by ordinary people in society. Basically the people with money have all the power.
We also saw that in 2015 about 5 million people voted for the Greens and UKIP, but they both only won 1 seat each in Parliament. Yet the average number of votes per Tory seat was less than 30,000. This isn’t democracy. We support proportional representation and are campaigning to improve the Democratic process.
LETS LEGALISE ALL DRUGS AND HAVE A PARTY
Seriously though, for too long policy makers have avoided addressing the social and economic factors that lead people to use drugs. Or the actual real detrimental effects caused by current drug laws on society. Poverty and despair are a big cause of most problematic drug abuse, and it is only by addressing these underlying factors that we can hope to significantly decrease the number of problematic users. Making the production, supply and use of drugs legal, creates a billion pound industry that only criminals have been able to profit from under prohibition. Legalisation reduces organised crime from the drugs trade, and enables us to regulate and control the markets.
Using illegal drugs can be very expensive. This means that some dependent users resort to stealing so they can fund their habit, accounting for 50% of UK property crime which is estimated at about £2 billion a year. Most of the violence associated with illegal drug dealing is caused by its illegality. If a dependant user could get a prescription from the doctor, there would be no need to steal and they would be less likely to suffer a serious overdose.
Some people may argue that weed can trigger psychotic and mental issues so it should not be legalised. I understand this issue all too well, after being a heavy weed smoker myself for many years and suffering a mental breakdown as a direct result of smoking too much skunk. Thankfully I have managed to quit this habit and made a full recovery, but I also understand how legalisation would help reduce this issue for other people.
Imagine if alcohol was made illegal and the criminal gangs who started producing and selling alcohol faced no standards or regulations. Any drinks they sold might be 5% or could be 50%, It might contain anti freeze, or bleach. Illegal hooch under prohibition has made people go blind, but arguing that ALL alcohol sends people blind because some poorly produced bathtub gin can do this, would be a flawed argument. And all the profits in illegal production go to the criminals running the industry. Illegal weed doesn’t come with a label stating how strong it is, or what chemicals compounds there are in that specific strain. With legalisation comes taxation and regulation, which makes it possible to get hold of less potent strains, possibly with a lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD which are less likely to cause psychotic issues. Because it’s legal, there is also no violence associated with the tobacco trade, so lets do the same with all drugs. The extra tax revenue generated by the legal sale of recreational drugs would more than cover the costs associated with providing free drugs services on the NHS, and helping people with addiction problems. Our legal system would be freed up and our prison population dramatically reduced, saving billions if they didn’t have to deal with people involved with drugs.
We think it's time for a change in our antiquated drugs policy and the biggest problem would then be what should we do with all the extra billions generated in tax revenue.
SORT OUT HOMELESSNESS AND THE HOUSING CRISIS
More than a million households living in private rented accommodation are at risk of becoming homeless by 2020 because of rising rents, benefit freezes and a lack of social housing. These figures are from a devastating new report into the UK’s escalating housing crisis by the homelessness charity Shelter. There are over a quarter of a million people homeless in the country today and that number is set to grow. So whats going on?
With the current trend for low wages and the ever increasing cost of living, there is a shortage of affordable housing for people with low income, and the problem is getting worst. The government currently spends £22bn a year on housing benefits, which is more than we spend on police, and this is set to triple by 2050 if something doesn’t change. So what can be done?
The problem is simple and we don’t quite understand why more people don’t talk about this. There is more empty properties than homeless people, right? So why don’t we simply introduce a tax on empty properties? This solution would create a chain of events that more than solve this problem.
Firstly, people and organisations who own empty properties would be incentivised to find someone to live in their building, thus allowing them to avoid paying this “Empty Property Tax”. Then the demand for privately rented accommodation goes down, and private landlords have to reduce the amount of rent they can charge to find new tenants. Any incentive to use the UK property market as a laundry for foreign dirty money will be reduced and perhaps property prices will fall, eventually reducing morgage payments and allowing more young people to finially get onto the property ladder. The only draw back to this solution would be some wealthy people who want to keep their empty properties empty, will have to pay more tax. Yet some people we have spoken to, seem to think this too is also a good thing.
The amount of government spending for housing benefits will go from costing £22bn a year, to zero. The government also makes more money on the extra taxation for the mega wealthy. We could actually end the homelessness epidemic and the living costs for low income people would go down. So why hasn’t this happened already?
Well, our current government tends to make its decisions based on what is better for the wealthiest people in society, as they have the most influence in political decision making today. And these mega wealthy people would be earning slightly less if this becomes a national policy.
Also, many of our politicians are themselves private landlords. They own portfolios of properties which can generate huge amounts of passive income for them through private rental. We think the current Housing Benefit System is almost like a racket, to help artificially increase the amount of money private landlords can charge in rent. It’s a huge drain on public funding, allowing almost half a billion pounds every week, to pass through the hands of low income families, and straight into the pockets and off shore bank accounts of private landlords. It’s a profitable scam for the super rich, and helps push up the market level of rent, but perhaps it’s time we changed this rigged system for one which benefits the majority in society and not just the upper classes.
OUR WAR ON TERROR IS ACTUALLY MAKING MORE TERRORISTS
You may be aware that it's a long established western tradition to invade foreign countries. America has been at war 224 years out of 241 since it was first established. And by established we mean stolen by European invaders from the native population. 100 years ago the British Empire was the largest empire in recorded history and held sway over about one-quarter of the world's population and total land mass. And you didn’t get to rule than amount of global real estate without bloodshed. The motivation for this conquest was not to fight terrorism or spread humanitarian aid to the world. It was simply a proven and effective way to plunder more wealth and acquire more power.
The same rules still apply today but the game has changed slightly. The British Empire has been succeeded by an empire of corporate control, fighting for the most profitable industries and resources. A hand full of corporations now have more power than many governments. But as the general population can now communicate and organise in ways not possible in the past, while holding an overall distain for war, our corrupt plutocratic leaders are forced to lie about their intentions. If they were honest, they would face massive civil unrest. So Tony Blair was given the title “Middle Eastern Peace Envoy”. Which made him sound like an ambassador of peace, yet the reality was he helped start illegal wars for corporate profit. As a direct result of shamelessly inflicting death on thousands of innocent Iraqi people, Tony has made a lot of money from his “advisory” work to the oil industry. We don’t think this sort of behaviour should be rewarded. It’ll only encourage them.
Today Theresa May’s husband Philip, who is a Senior Executive at a £1,400,000,000,000 (£1.4trillion) investment firm, also has a lot of financial investment in the worlds biggest Defence Firm, Lockheed Martin. It is obvious that weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin stand to benefit financially from sales and the use of their weaponry in war. The dramatic increase in share price of defence contractors since the so-called ‘War on Terror’ started almost 20 years ago are a testament to this horrific fact. Should the woman who decided to take this country into war with Syria, be allowed to make that decision? Especially when a conflict of interest is so clearly evident? We think not.
The UK will spend £50,000,000,000 (£50billion) on war in 2019. A large amount of that will go into the pockets and offshore bank accounts of a tiny fraction of people who own and run our defence industries. As a bonus, any of the survivors who witnessed their innocent loved ones get killed by our “Freedom Bombs” may well start fighting back. If you fight for us, you are a soldier. If you fight for the enemy, you are a terrorist. And the more terrorists there are, the more excuses we have to spend more money on war.
It would be better if we spend this money on improving our own infrastructure instead of using it to destroy other peoples.
WE SHOULD INVEST IN OUR FUTURE WITH MORE SCIENTIFIC FUNDING
We would like the UK to invest an extra £20bn pounds in Science R&D funding. We aim to make Britain the best place in the world for science and engineering. Well we could that, but why should we?
We see it as a simple case of providing an excellent return on investment as well as pushing the betterment of humanity in the pursuit of knowledge. Curiosity driven research is the most valuable of human pursuits and there is hardly any example of modern innovation which is not indebted to basic scientific thought. So let’s put more funding into this area. It’s that simple.
We could debate that any investment in Science could produce a 7:1 return on the investment, or provide a return on investment as high as 14:1. Or even go as far as stating every £1 invested in scientific research delivers a return equivalent to around 25p every year, for ever. But realistically it’s hard to accurately predict the future, it could be more, so we have to look backwards and see what was possible with Scientific Funding to give you some facts:
Alexander Fleming said, “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionise all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic. But I guess that’s exactly what I did.” And this would not have happened without Scientific Investment.
You may be aware of the importance of Alexander Fleming’s discoveries from Science class at school, but did you know around 25% of the world’s top 100 prescription medicines were discovered and developed in the UK? We currently spend about 2% of our GDP on R&D Funding, but this falls behind the funding provided by countries like Germany at 2.9% and Korea at 4.25%. And there are lessons to be learnt from other nations. Not least the tremendous speed with which economies can transform. Look at the innovations in Korea; with their commitment to research and development and hows it’s grown in just a few decades. Lets not fall behind.
Or if we look at CERN, which is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, where they operates the largest Particle Physics laboratory ever built, we see a phenomenal contribution to the global economy thanks to huge investment in Scientific Research. Tim Berners-Lee, is a British scientist who invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989, while working at CERN. He said a place like CERN, where enthusiastic experts congregate from all over the world, creates a unique, innovative atmosphere in which the boundaries of technology are pushed as a matter of course. CERNS existence was critical to the start of the web. What has the invention of the internet contributed to the global economy? How many trillions? If we compare the profit to the initial cost it seems crazy that we don’t already invest more right now.
If we increase the budget for Science and Engineering R&D then not even the sky is the limit to where it may eventually take us.
EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE SHOULD ALWAYS BE FREE ATHE THE POINT OF USE
We think Education and health care are two essential fundamental rights all people should have. Regardless of how much money is in their families bank account. It should be the responsibility of the government to ensure quality education and health services are available to all its citizens that require them, and they should be for free at the point of use.
If anyone was in the situation that their family couldn't afford private medical treatment, and they were dying because of this, you can bet they would definitely want healthcare to be available for free. Well, sadly there is a few rich people who will probably never unstandardised what it feels like to be that poor, and they are trying very hard to privatise our NHS because they see it as a money making opportunity. They don’t seem to care that If they actually succeed in doing this, then very soon many people will die simply because they can not afford to pay for medical insurance. We really hope this doesn’t happen.
Richard Branson's company has become one of the UK's leading healthcare providers by taking on almost £2bn worth of NHS contracts over the past five years. And this isn’t because he wants his company to provide a free or better service to the county. He simply wants to make money from it and and it looks like he is deliberately trying to destroy the NHS. His healthcare firm has pocketed £2million of public money by suing the NHS after losing out on an £82million contract to provide children’s medical services in Surrey. Some of this money had to be diverted from frontline NHS services to cover these legal fees. Richard Branson is a ruthless man and the way he is doing business will help bring about the destruction of the NHS very soon, but we are not going to simply stand by and let them do this.
We will also scrap university tuition fees and offer higher education to people of all income for free.
The government’s privatisation of schools, colleges, and universities is making it impossible to achieve a good standard of education for poor people in the UK. We think the is very wrong and aim to reverse this process. Any country that offers free tuition is one that emphasises the public good created by higher education. It recognises that individuals educated to university level bring benefits to an entire society. Such benefits include, but are not restricted to, economic growth, higher productivity and happier communities.
Placing financial barriers on higher education creates profound inequities within societies. It’s our goal to try and help reduce the inequality people currently face. Doing these things will cost money, but it can be easily covered if we legalise and tax recreational drugs, and stop participating in unethical warfare around the world. What is more important at the end of the day? Making a few very rich uncompassionate people even richer, or building a healthy, well educated society while making significant progress towards world peace? There is only one obvious answer to us.
PUT THE AUTOMATED MEANS OF PRODUCTIONGIVE INTO PUBLIC OWNERSHIP TO FUND OUR UBI
Perhaps one of the more serious implications the technological revolution will bring, along with other immense benefits and wonderful possibilities is the fact that robotics will soon be putting large amounts of working people out of a job. And how should we deal with this issue?
It is a scary thought that the majority of working people could soon be replaced by AI systems once it learns how to do their job. Driverless cars sound brilliant, but what happens to all the people who rely on driving to earn a living? A labour saving solution could soon turn into a real nightmare for billions of people, if unemployment means they can no longer pay for food or keep a roof over their head. Shelf stacking robots in a super market will work 24 hours a day, without needing an hourly wage or cigarette break. Brilliant. Unless you need the money from working in that supermarket and find out you are being replaced. Human factory workers will become redundant. Bin men, brick layers, plumbers and architects all face the real possibility that they can be replaced by technologies with smart learning software. Even if I didn’t mention your job, it doesn’t mean you will be safe. It’s not a case of if these people will start losing their jobs, but a question of when, and how many people will be effected.
Our solution is a simple one. We will give everyone a living wage so they don’t have to fear the possibility of future unemployment or end up living in poverty. And it can be funded by giving the public legal ownership in perpetuity to the automated means of production and its profits.
This is a complicated idea and it does require you to accept a paradigm shift in the way we operate as a society, but it does beat the alternative. Unless of course you are in the 0.0001% of people that would profit from some stateless corporate entity ruling the world through logistical and technological dominance. But as we are fighting for democracy, we’ll try to do the things to benefit the masses, not the corporate elite.
Anyway, given that the majority of production will soon be automated, and this will possibly threaten the livelihood of currently productive members of our society, we propose handing the means of production directly to the people. And not in a state controlled communist way, which is open to corruption, and also isn't particularly efficient, and possibly open to the dangers we saw in the 20th century. What if we handed the power of automated production directly to the people? Decentralised at an individual level, family level, community level, some at state level because we want this system to work universally, and we directly democratised the economy, so that people can reap the benefits of automation themselves. That way the profit from this system will feed back into the community that is built around it.
Imagine it’s the year 2029 and perhaps you have lost your only spoon or maybe your vacuum cleaner is broken. So you email the local production office with your new genius phone, to tell them what you need. The genius phone is like a smart phone only betterer, and built with 100% open source technologies. The Automated Production Office then 3D prints you a new spoon or vacuum cleaner. They can print assemble anything in the open source catalogue, from fake finger nails to formula one cars. And all you have to pay twice whatever the material costs, plus tips. That afternoon drone cycles pick up your old vacuum cleaner to have its parts recycled. Guess what was lodged inside the vacuum motor. They found a spoon, you idiot. Everyone on your social media has a good laugh at you but you get a few new followers so it's all good. Who hoovers up a spoon? Future you is a bit pissed off with themselves for being an idiot, but also happy that their contribution of £20 for the hoover or 20p for the spoon is covering the cost of materials AND providing enough profit to the automated means of production offices, that will get redistributed as free monthly wages to the whole community.
This is how the Universal Basic Income model is funded.
And we all live happily ever after.