Why start the LIFE party? Does the UK need a new political party?
YES! We all know about the problems we face, and their magnitude: we are living beyond our means, barely getting by as it is, and facing waves of change in the coming decade that will challenge every human society on Earth.
To address these problems honestly, we have to really change. We will have to change the way we live, the way our economy works for us, the way we make decisions, and how we take care of each other. And we must arrive at this new destination soon: a place where we are happy to live, where we are safe, and where we are in balance with the natural world that sustains us.
Not one of the existing political parties in the UK has a plan to get us to the destination we need to reach.
They were born in the past, and they are trying to build solutions using old and worn out tools that simply don’t work any more.
They would need to make such a fundamental shift in their understanding, to develop policies that would actually solve our problems, that we cannot wait for them.
These “emperors” are naked!
Their policies will not solve the issues, and they are so stuck on their orthodoxy that it will take a great deal of upheaval and painful re-orientation for them to come to terms with the reality.
Here are the major policy proposals that all of the existing political parties espouse, in one form or another:
- Return to Growth
- Living Wage
- Private Enterprise will save us
Let’s review these and test them against what we already know.
Heads in the sand: the return of growth
The premise is that we resume the 2%-4% GDP growth that we experienced for much of the 20th Century. That ‘growth’ will get people back to work, increase tax receipts and pay off our debts.
But we cannot return to our old model of growth!
We have exhausted the resources on which it was built, and we have exhausted our capacity to consume. We cannot burn the fossil fuels we have found, we cannot further pollute our water, land and air, and we cannot take on any more debt to fund that cycle again. Pumping up the old balloon of fossil-fuel industrial production to meet debt-fuelled consumption is not going to work.
The future of proper growth is the development of our quality of life, not our standard of living.
The golden calf: a “living wage”
This idea is that we can distribute money, and that will rebalance our society.
Our economy, and the money which symbolises it, is a child of our society; it will simply never be big enough to parent us. Making ourselves more expensive may feed our egos, but it is not a solution to the problem. We have reached the limits of trying to replace caring with cash, and neither an inflated wage nor a guaranteed basic income will do anything to solve this.
A future of joy must be our goal, not one of gold.
Read the LIFE submission to the Living Wage Commission.
The solitary myth: private enterprise will save us
The idea is that the best brains and skills on our society work for banks and corporations – because we all know that they are not working as politicians! So if we just hand our lives over to those people, they will figure out all the hard stuff and get it right.
Firstly, our problems are not business problems, our problems are social and ecological problems. If business strategy was going to solve or problems, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in! Corporations have had the run of the land for some time now, and here is where we are.
Secondly, humans are first and foremost a group species. Our individual skills and strengths are what make us such successful groups, but only within the context of the group, and we are is dependent on our group is our group is on us. Collective responsibility of our common future is unavoidable for success. We will not be saved by messiahs, and any further deepening of inequality and divisions is very unhelpful.
The future belongs to all of us, and we will all make individual contributions to get there, but no one else will do it for us.
Only LIFE can lead us to a future worth living
The simple solutions proposed in the LIFE manifesto will lead us to a joyful and sustainable destination, and they will do so in time to avoid the worst possible consequences.
So, YES, we need LIFE. We need a fresh movement, unencumbered by old thinking, that can lead us to a 21st Century destination with the best ideas available today.
- Pro Joy
- Pro Green
- Pro Business
- Pro Tax
Only the LIFE Party!