Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Privatisation - Socialisms Misunderstood Little Friend

This is quite possibly the craziest notion I've ever had. I still can't believe I thought it.
The question popped into my mind, "why is our NHS, our social housing and our publicly owned industries so vulnerable to being privatised, and how do we protect them?
Well, we know that they are 'public assets' and as soon as we let the tories anywhere near them, they are broken up and get sold off, or 'asset stripped'. It's been this way for the last 40 years.
But it also occurred to me, that just the act of privatisation is not necessarily going to be damaging for that industry and may, just may provide it with a degree of protection. The real damage begins, by how that industry is managed.
Give the industry to people intent on making profit (conservatives/neo-liberals), and invariably employee terms and conditions are reduced, the customer service experience is diluted and prices go up. We can see this happening today as our hospitals fail to meet demand and the unaffordability of housing, which is displacing so many families. However if managed correctly (non profit) and there is no reason why employees cannot be looked after and customers given 'world class' service at great value for the tax payer.
A similar train of thought I recently explored with housing, suggested that the best way to protect the social housing market could be to achieve 100% home ownership essentially ending the need for social housing, an idea which is not beyond the realms of possibility. People can enjoy the benefits of home ownership and can practically choose the level of repayment starting above a set minimum of 2% or 3%. This would bring the affordability of a decent home within the grasp of even the smallest of budgets. It would be possible to pay as little as £250pcm for a £150,000 home. The finance is supplied by the tax payer who essentially becomes a mortgage provider and shareholder, where all profits are directed back to the tax payer.
People get quality, affordable housing and the next time the tories get into power, they can't touch it because it isn't a state owned asset. The social housing market has been privatised with a little piece of it owned by everybody.
In the same way, we can protect the NHS by privatising it. Instead of handing it over to people who will seek to exploit it, it will be handed to people who will treat the industry no differently than a social government would, by ensuring that every penny is directed back into the services it provides and the people who serve it. And again, it is the tax payer who benefits from a world class service. 
So, it's not privatisation that we need to protect our essential services from, it's capitalism.
Is it possible that the best way to save our NHS might be to privatise it, but under social, not neoliberal conditions?
After all, it is unlikely that the neoliberals new best friend will be to re-nationalise industry.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Housing Strategy - Solving The Housing Problem

I don’t think that there is anyone on the UK who isn’t aware of the seriousness of the housing crisis we are currently experiencing.

There seems to me to be four main areas needing attention being:

1. Social housing
2. Shortage of new affordable homes to buy
3. Getting young people onto the housing ladder
4. Homelessness

I don’t think that there is any reason why we cant tackle all of these issues in one go and with zero cost to the tax payer.
This idea started life as quite a complex solution some 6 months ago but over time, through development has simplified substantially.  
It is now entirely possible to give young people the instant access they need to the housing market with the ability to purchase property in virtually any location they desire. This will inspire the existing house builders to design and build excellent quality, genuinely affordable homes, freeing up valuable land and which returns a substantial profit for the tax payer. A profit so great that it alone could start to address the repayment of the national debt.

The way to achieve this is by truly radical thought and completely change the very basic principals of our housing market functions.
I am a strong believer that tax payers money should be invested to create the finances needed to fund the tax payers needs. And this is where it begins. The tax payer becomes a provider of interest only mortgages, with capital repayment becomming a matter of choice. I had toyed with the idea of long term standard mortgages, but these are not protected from market fluctuation so are inherently unstable. The mortgages provided buy the tax payer are free from market interferrence and as such the interest rate can be secured for the lifetime of the mortgage.

By providing interest only mortgages it enables all people to get onto the housing ladder, this includes the unemployed as the interest they pay on the mortgage will be substantially lower than the rent they pay a private landlord for the same property. This will give the unemployed and employed substantially more disposable income or they could choose to have less disposable income and opt for a better quality home. 
As the tax payer is providing mortgages as opposed to social housing, people will have the freedom to purchase the home they can afford in the area they can afford which will end the existence of council and social housing estates. Virtually every home will be privately owned. People will not be forced to make repayments to their capital which means that a mortgage can last a lifetime. But if they find themselves with a change of circumstance they can make the minimum interest payment meaning that they will never face the prospect of losing gheir home. Christmas and holidays will never be a thing to fear for lack of affordability. And time off to educate oneself is a choice and no longer an obstacle.

Lets say for example a home with a purchase price of £250,000 over a 25 year period at 3% interest. The initial repayments would be in the region of £1458 pcm. However on interest only at 3% this cost reduces to £625 pcm. The property becomes eminently more affordable and as the owners career develops and their salary grows, so the capital repayment increase. In 40 years, £250000 may become a trivial amount, much like the mortgage payments appear of people who purchased their homes 25 years ago.
If no capital is paid off then after say 50 years it will have made the tax payer a return of £375,000 and the tax payer still owns the 100% of the property.

If we invested £500b in mortgage provision, then every 50 years at 3% the tax payer would still own the £500bn investment and will have made £750bn in interest payments and the tax payer still owns the initial investment of £500bn, which quite possibly will have appreciated in value.
Double this investment to 1tn and in 50 years the national debt is paid. Double it again and the debt is paid in 25 years. Taxpayers money is no longer needed to pay the debt.

With a mortgage based on £100,000 the interest at 3% is £250 pcm. At 2% it is £166 pcm. 

With the extra disposable income being spent, new opportunities will naturally present themselves encouraging a growing and prosperous economy. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Poorest Pay The Most - Poem

The Poorest Pay The Most

We started renting in ‘77
Cos the bank wouldn’t give us a loan,
My job, it didn’t pay very much,
But at least, we had our own home.

A lad of 20, that’s all I was,
With a little one, on the way,
It wasn’t a home we would ever own,
Just a place we’d pay, to stay.

The house was only worth twenty grand,
And the rent, it seemed pretty low,
But that money, it went to the landlord,
Not invested in my family, to grow.

As the years passed by, its value went up,
And my rent, well that went up too,
“Market rates” the landlord he said to me,
“Only right that your rent’s based on value”

Ten years later, it's now worth sixty grand,
My rent, well that too has tripled,
It raids my disposable income,
My finances are all but crippled.

If only they’d given me a mortgage,
My outgoings would’ve been less,
Had no choice but to pay my landlord,
In my own family, I couldn’t invest.

Well it’s 40 years later and I’m still paying rent,
On what’s now a two hundred grand home,
Imagine how small my mortgage would be,
Had the bank only given us a loan.

In 20 years hence, I’ll depart this world,
A lifetime with little to show,
And five hundred grand, in rent I’ve paid,
Seems a lot, for my twenty grand home.

“A scrounger” some people once said to me,
When I couldn’t pay my host,
But hundreds of thousands in rent I've paid,
Tis' true, the poor pay the most.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

James O'Brien - Why wasn't immigration discussed during the election? - It Was

I've written this for James O’Brien.
Its a pretty utopian piece but it is an answer to a question he posed on why immigration wasn’t mentioned or debated during the general election.
Personally I think that there is a beautiful end to the immigration situation that is just waiting to burst through with a huge beaming smile on its face where ‘all’ of our well founded, sensible concerns surrounding immigration will evaporate. We’ll keep all of the professional staff supporting our essential services and there will also be a place for our low skilled immigrant workers. And the beauty of it, is that you don’t have to close a single border to achieve it.
The key to creating the perfect immigration policy is not to have an immigration policy but to create a policy that will have a direct affect on immigration.
Sorry, I’m gushing, Ill get to the point.
Ok, the policy to achieve this doesn’t have to be created because, it already exists. And its one of Corbyns. Its the minimum wage policy.
The main reason people want to come here is because there is an abundance of work, unfortunately it is low paid work and its seemingly unregulated. Many employers are all too happy to exploit migrant workers for the obvious profitability and efficiency reasons. As and when Corbyn achieves power he will bring in the £10 minimum wage, but the difference between his and the tory minimum wage is that Labour will enforce it. This will effectively end the ability for UK based companies to exploit migrant workers as cheap labour. Whilst this naturally reduces the need for migrant workers to the UK, the it also ensures that we maintain a free flow of the highly skilled professionals we need. Balance is restored. The low skilled workers that still come to the UK will not be encroaching on the domestic jobs market. They will enjoy decent pay, decent terms and conditions and with Corbyns house building and decent living standards policy, the UK will be a great place to come to, to live, work and play.
Looking towards the future, people are noticing what the left have achieved in the UK, including the Americans I’ve noticed. But its anyone’s guess how far this will go. Hopefully all the way.
So why didn’t they talk about this at the election? Well, it was, there were a few politicians who mentioned it but the public and media didn’t pick up on it. Dianne Abbott came close weeks ago and it wasn’t picked up, even Jeremy Corbyn mentioned it and again, no one picked up on it.
Maybe, for Corbyn to have hailed Labour as the 'Party of Immgrant Reduction' would have been too much for people to take in.
Maybe it's for other people to realise what the 'living wage policy' will mean in its entirety.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration
This seems like a pretty bold statement considering that Jeremy Corbyn barely has an immigration policy to speak of.
But the truth of it, is that whilst not having a direct immigration policy pre se, he does have a policy that will affect the numbers of low paid and low skilled migrant workers, seeking work in the UK.
Those coming to the UK for work are broadly split into two groups, the highly skilled professionals such as doctors and nurses. There is no argument that we need these people and because of their high levels of pay, they contribute significantly to the economy. And then the low skilled, low paid workers who don’t contribute much, if anything to British society.
An immigration policy that is purely based on the numbers of immigrants to the UK would have a negative effect on both groups. So whilst we would reduce the numbers of low skilled immigrants, we would also reduce the numbers of highly skilled professional immigrants that our services depend on. Therefore a broad immigration policy, just won’t do the job. Were stuck, between a rock and a hard place.
What we do need, is a policy that can split the highly skilled professionals from the low skilled workers. And Jeremy Corbyn has achieved just that.
The problem is that we associate Jeremy Corbyn with New Labour who were basically neo-liberals. The tories introduced neo-liberalism with Thatcher, and Tony Blair, to the detriment of us all, carried it on. Neo-liberal economics in part, frees markets with de-regulation. The banks took full advantage of it and persuaded people, to take out mortgages that they couldn't afford and the whole system went tits up when Brown was holding the reins.
Corbyn doesn't believe in neo-liberal economics, he believes in socialism. So instead of taking from the people of this country, he will invest in them. He will invest in our education and invest in infrastructure to create the jobs, so that ordinary people like us, will become richer.
The rise in immigration coincides exactly with the rise in neo-liberalism. Rocketing during the Thatcher and Blair eras and continuing through Cameron and May who have all followed neo-liberal economics. The last socialist government we had, provided decent standards of living, decent wages and decent homes and incidentally had the lowest historical levels of immigration.
Neo-liberal governments under Thatcher and Blair destroyed many well paid industries, coal mining comes to mind. The attacks on our unions has caused the lowering of salaries and degradation of our terms and conditions. Pay so low that it meant that for many of our own people, working became uneconomical. But at the time, we had a decent social welfare system, that we all paid into, to fall back on. But, this left a shortage of people willing to take on low paid work. So this is what opened he floodgates to low paid, low skilled migrant workers and their numbers rocketed. All this under the Thatcher and Blair eras.
In the last socialist labour government who provided decent wages and decent homes in 1975-1979, immigration was at its lowest.
So historically, immigration under a socialist government is low, under a neoliberal government immigration rises high, because it relies on cheap labour.
So how will Labour tackle immigration, well the policy is already in the Labour manifesto. Its the £10 minimum wage. When labour introduce it and enforce it, it will remove the ability for companies to be able to exploit cheap migrant labour from abroad. In fact it will make employing migrant workers more expensive than employing our own native workforce and as a result, the numbers of immigrants seeking work in the UK, will tumble to levels not seen since 1975.

Theresa May’s solution, as far as I can see is to increase the levy on employers who currently recruit from abroad, this currently stands at £1000 but will increase to £2000. This will in the main affect the professional group that we first spoke of and will reduce the number of professional doctors and nurses that we rely on. She will also end free movement which would end access to the European markets and damage local business. So we will effectively close the door on non professional EU migrants and make it much harder for EU professionals to come and support our essential services. In addition to this, she is not enforcing her lower minimum wage for rogue employers which will enable her to keep our wages low.
But what does this matter if all of the immigrants are gone? I hear you say. Well this is important because of what’s coming with Mays Brexit.
May’s team have visited several countries in recent months seeking free trade agreements. But as a condition of these agreements, these countries are insisting on their own peoples ‘freedom of movement’ with the UK. This means that any free trade agreements she gets in the future, will allow immigrants from those countries access to the UK jobs markets.
Theresa May won’t end immigration, she’ll just replace EU migrants with migrants from elsewhere.
So May will close the UK border to EU citizens as promised, but will open them to low paid, low skilled migrants from across the world.
It is little wonder that she is refusing to debate Jeremy Corbyn.
So with a socialist Jeremy Corbyn government, we would see EU immigration numbers tumble, we would keep tariff free access to the single market and we wouldn’t have to open our borders to the rest of the world.
If the numbers of immigrants to the UK concerns you, then Labour is the only party who will reduce it.


Friday, 12 May 2017

Only Labour Will Effectively Tackle UK Immigration

In my opinion....
The number one issue with people have with brexit is to secure the greatest reduction of immigrants entering the UK.
There is a feeling that the person best placed to deliver this is Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn does not have a policy per se in name, but I don't think this means he doesn't have one.
In fact I think that the person most likely to deliver the greatest reduction in migrants is Jeremy Corbyn.
The first thing we have to realise is that migrants come here to work, some in our essential services which we all agree we need and those that come here that are exploited.
These migrants find it easy to find work in 'off the grid' jobs and are happy to accept pay that is far below the British minimum wage. These jobs are supplied in their 100's of thousands by British businesses and undercut the salaries of our native workers.
They haven't taken our jobs, these employers didn't create these jobs with local people in mind.
So the problem isn't directly an immigration problem but a problem with british employers.
So the solution to the immigration problem we have isn't to close the door on immigrants but to shut down the opportunity for unscrupulous employers to exploit their labour.
Jeremy Corbyn had already got this policy embedded into the Labour manifesto.
The £10 minimum wage.
By removing the ability for employers to exploit migrant workers, you also remove their motivation to view the UK as an opportunity for work. Employers will all have to pay enforced minimum salaries, which will force employers away from using cheap, migrant labour and the focus will naturally result in British jobs for British people.
The reduced opportunity for migrant workers can only bring about a massive reduction in the numbers of overseas low skilled workers seeking employment in the UK. This would also apply to refugees who would be welcome here as a place of safety but find that the opportunity to settle is much harder.
So it matters little if we retain 'free movement' because we will have removed the opportunity for migrants to find employment unless they are the high skilled professionals we need.
By not closing our borders we also have a far greater chance of accessing the single market tariff free and get the best Brexit deal with the EU.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Ode to Corbyn

Brexit Under Corbyn

If our next Prime Minister’s Corbyn,
A wise and weathered man,
Unlike the tory party,
Mr Corbyn has a plan.

He’ll build decent social housing,
An end to bad landlords, at last,
The damp we have to suffer,
Will become a thing of the past.

He’ll renationalise our industries,
And our household bills will drop,
Neoliberal profiteering,
Under Corbyn, it will stop.

A million jobs created,
Decent terms and conditions for all,
End of tory zero hours contracts,
We’ll all stand proud and tall.

Our services are in crisis,
But migration isn’t to blame,
It’s tory underfunding,
And that sadly, will never change.

Immigrants will be welcomed here,
To live and work and play,
With the return of the migrant impact fund,
We’ll be happy for them to stay.

Now Corbyn, he’s a brave old soul,
But he doesn’t want a war,
To kill innocent people for money,
That, we should all abhor.

The banks who caused the crisis,
Will be reigned in, just you see,
And those tax avoiding leeches,
Will learn sharing and not greed.

We are a land of true compassion,
We love and care, not hate,
This is what it means to be British,
This is what makes Britain ‘Great’.

So Corbyn is very electable,
Don’t put you belief in the press,
For all they have to offer is,
Their vested interest.

The press is owned by billionaires,
And taxes they don’t pay,
Which is why they denounce Corbyn,
To stop him making change.

This life could be reality,
So lets do ourselves a favour,
When next you visit the ballot box,
Ensure you vote for Labour.