LabourList is currently seeking "New ideas for a renewed movement"
And after looking at some of the ideas, I've decided to roundup a few of the best and worst of them, and the reasons why.
"Much tighter regulation of international credit rating agencies to curb their undue influence on UK government economic policy. Will need to work towards international agreement on same but someone's got to start. Dull, but necessary if sensible (Keynesian) economic policy is to be pursued to take us through/beyond recession."- Paul Cotterill
"A referendum on AV+ to be held on the same day as the General Election"- Marcus Roberts (I would prefer AV)
Link a commitment to ending domestic flights in Britain by 2015 with further electrification and substantial fare decreases on long-distance trunk routes.- James Stafford (I think the aim should be reducing not scrapping them)
Align the minimum wage and personal allowance tax threshold - and give the Low Pay Commission the statutory authority to set both figures. Just as giving Bank of England operational independence in 1997 was welcomed as devolving power, so should this be. The guidance for the figure should be based on the Rowntree foundation's minimum income standard (ie a basic but acceptable standard of living, currently set at £13,900) In a nation as rich as ours, people should be able to afford to live in basic levels of comfort, and we shouldn't take money away from people under that figure. I believe that raising the threshold to around £12,000 would cost approximately £20bn, less the cost of tax credits not paid and the like. Our debt interest is projected to rise from around £20bn to £50bn as a result of the increase in borrowing, so it's not the craziest idea to say that as that figure drops back down to 40% of GDP we channel a large part of that relief into the proposal. As a manifesto committment it would be possible to plan a staged increase in the later years of an administration. You'd look to build support on the left and the right (the right wing critique of the tax credit money-go-round and people on benefits being worse off in work currently could be to some extent addressed by the proposal).- Gavin Shuker (Although he could have written it more concisely!)
Well that was disappointing, so far very few suggestions that I think are worth repeating. There are plenty of "do more for this" but simply saying that isn't going to help anything.
"Straighten out financial services, and I mean straighten out, using legislation if necessary so that the events of the last two or more years can never happen again on these shores. Banks and other hangers-on will squeal that “London will lose its competitive edge.” Well, maybe, but taxpayers won’t lose their shirts and tell the banks etc they can take their CDOs, CDOs (squared), CDSs and all the other ridiculous ‘instruments’ invented by the ‘rocket scientists’ far away from these shores, never to return. If other governments want to allow dangerous games to be played on their patch, well, that’s their business."- Peter Barnard
I don't think he's realised just how vital the financial sector is to the UK. While the regulations certainly should be sorted out, their purpose shouldn't be to harm the financial sector. Its bad enough that the French and Germans are trying to bring in EU legislation to do this as they've been jealous of London for years.
"Reduce tax on fuel and make sure that the likes of BP don't just absorb it. And don't tell us it's to help the environment as we all know that's c**p the same way that road tax is not spent on the roads.- Gordon Brown-Nose (So both reduce AND increase fuel tax?! Although I do agree that scrapping road tax in favour of an increase in fuel tax)
Scrap road tax and add it on fuel. That way everyone pays and it encourages them to buy more efficient cars. How much does the current system cost and what does it make?"
"More referenda"- J Doran
A bold move towards more democracy by increasing the number of referenda particularly on matters affecting our political systems- George Woodhouse
Referenda on changes to the political system, OK. But more referenda in general is a truly terrible idea. See California for details.
I'll update with more after the LabourList page updates.