These are just a few useful reads. While the first is specifically directed at a Labour audience, the arguments for electoral reform presented by Owen Winter are fairly general.
Why should a Labour government introduce PR?
I was at a Labour event in Truro on Monday to discuss the urgent need for electoral reform. Basically we all very quickly came to the conclusion that the Labour Party must replace our failing First Past The Post system with Proportional Representation in which all votes count equally and seats match votes.
One of the Labour members there, Owen Winter, is also a founding member of Make Votes Matter and has recently written this blog on Labourlist The Left stands for the Many so we must embrace Proportional Representation. Here is an extract that exposes Labour assumptions that our present system is still good for Labour:
Some will say, from a self-interested perspective, that FPTP is good for Labour. It has, they will say, given us majority governments in the past. This is deeply flawed. Just look at the most recent election: Labour received 40 per cent of the vote, more than it has had in any election since 2001, but won only four more seats than 2010, when we received 29 per cent of the vote. The electoral maths of FPTP has shifted in the Conservatives’ favour.
a date for your diary: 20th September 6.30pm first meeting of Cornish branch of Make Votes Matter, Old Bakery Studios, Victoria Wharf, Malpas Rd, Truro TR1 1QH, United Kingdom
What does your tax actually pay for
Prepare to be shocked! Or not, if you are familiar with similar arguments put forward by Richard Murphy. This Huffington Post article gives a one-word answer and then expands on it with a clear, step by step explanation that completely undermines the myth of Austerity Politics. Like me, your immediate response will likely be incredulity: ‘but if this is true, why aren’t more people saying it?’. Part of the answer lies in the fact that the Neoliberal market model of minimal state backed finance has been so successfully hammered home over three decades, that it is ingrained in our common sense view of the world. Even those on the Left are obliged to rehearse arguments of ‘responsible government’ ‘fiscal rectitude’ and the ‘good housekeeping analogy’ . It closes down any opportunity for imaginative thinking and different ways of seeing the world – a mark of its success.
Another financial crash is coming…
Talk of another crash dominates internet chatter by economists and market experts and has done so over the past year. This short article by influential economist Richard Murphy argues that we must prepare for that moment by a Green Quantitative Easing programme: money creation along the lines set out in the Huffington Post article above. What is interesting is his reference to Bank of England’s Mark Carney and Carney’s implicit assent that money creation along these lines is workable – anathema to a Conservative government of course! Makes you wonder how he’s managed to keep his job.