Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Meacher for leader?

Would Michael Meacher make a good leader of the UK labour Party, in place of Blair?


In the Guardian, 18 May 2005, Meacher explains what a Labour government should be doing.

Meacher wants:

1. greater democratic control over the top people;

2. improved quality in government schools and hospitals;

3. the fostering rather than the undermining of human and civil rights;

4. more capacity to hold political leaders to account;

5. a lessening of the gap between rich and poor.

Meacher points out that:

1. 22% of the UK population are still living below the poverty line;

2. 125 directors are now paid over £1m a year.

According to Meacher, these excesses should be dealt with by:

1. taxing all benefits in kind at their full monetary value,
2. blocking the more flagrant tax avoidance devices such as the super-rich non-domicile loophole,
3. giving shareholders a binding vote on remuneration policies.
4. raising the minimum wage to £6.31 per hour - the Council of Europe decency threshold - lifting 6.5 million out of poverty.

Meacher wants a reduction in the power of the big corporations:

1. Industrial legislation should not be heavily tilted to the advantage of big business.
2. Key national decisions should not regularly favour corporate interests over the environment, social rights and sustainable development.
3. The media should not be controlled by a small number of very rich tycoons without any accountability.

Meacher believes that schools and hospitals should not be about making profits.

Meacher wants Britain to be less dominated by the USA.

Michael Meacher is Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton; he was environment minister from 1997-2003.

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