Workers Party of Britain
The Workers Party Congress in 2023 began the process of developing a Manifesto for 2024. Below is the first draft to be discussed by the National Members Council on 20 January 2024. The Workers Party welcomes comments and feedback from all friends and readers. If members wish to submit private submissions:
The Workers Party campaigns to:
- immediately increase the personal tax threshold for the poorest paid, removing tax entirely from the first £21,200 of wages for two million low-paid workers, and at the same time we commit to a one-off wealth tax on all estates valued fairly at over £10 million to raise more than £17bn for the Exchequer.
- support Britain’s children by committing to the extension of the free public travel arrangements for children from London to the rest of the country; and furthermore, we will support the provision of free good quality and nutritious breakfast and lunch meals during term time to all children in school without means testing.
- commit to a review of policing priorities to support a refocus on street safety and organised crime as an antidote to policing by twitter and criminalising speech and thought.
- make no apology for its support for Palestine and the people of Gaza during the current brutal onslaught which has been enabled by Labour and Tories alike. We call for a single state in which all those born in Palestine-Israel can live in peace with equal rights.
- fully renationalise the NHS and commit to significant spending on social and economic infrastructure through fair taxation and major efficiency savings.
- commit to offer a long term and well organised socialist alternative to the corrupt Labour Party, which is now nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
… and we offer so much more than this …
The Workers Party of Britain is a socialist party but we are not utopian, nor are we bound by abstruse theory. We have a common-sense analysis and a practical mission.
Our analysis recognises that the era of modern capitalism and the international system of capitalist imperialism is not going to be replaced overnight, and that the growth and development of a socialist system of economy is intertwined with the growth and development of working class political power. It may take many years to transform the Britain into a secure democratic socialist state. But it is possible. It is necessary. Some things we can do immediately.
We will, for example, increase the personal tax threshold for the poorest paid workers to remove tax entirely from the first £21,200 of wages for two million low paid workers. This alone would increase take-home pay for a worker on the threshold rate by £1,700 per annum.
Inflation hurts working people the most. Our policies are based on doing what is required to cut the cost of living and drive sustainable growth. We will re-industrialise the country based on new technology investment, effective and efficient public spending directed at building infrastructures to provide future wealth and an active redistribution of assets to the benefit of the people.
We are not afraid of selective nationalisation especially of dysfunctional utilities and for strategic assets. We will end the dangerous practices of public-private partnership and ensure best value for the public whilst recognising the rights of private producers, manufacturer’s and productive businesses.
The Bank of England should be influenced by working class economic priorities as part of an integrated national economic system but there is no point in handing our central bank to control of politicians in Parliament who still speak for business interests. We will campaign for the remit of the Bank to meet working class priorities.
There is no conflict between the struggle for socialism as a system of social ownership and the immediate need for effective infrastructural planning for Britain. With enhanced worker’s control and industrial participation going hand-in-hand with an entrepreneurial culture centred on working class creativity and its aspiration to create a better world for families and the community.
National Investment in Infrastructure
National Investment in Infrastructure
Decades of under-investment in social and economic infrastructure have resulted in a series of systemic breakdowns that must be reversed. We see potholes in every road, water pipes bursting, streets losing power, a thousand small problems that tell us something is going very wrong with the administration of our country.
Social and economic investment are two sides of the same coin. Without adequate education or social care or mental health provision, we have a population that is not at peak effectiveness. If mobile coverage is poor, roads constantly being closed or businesses flooded, there is waste of potential capacity.
The Workers Party of Britain will make it a priority to reverse this rot. Our nationalisation policy is based on a simple proposition that anything that is a monopoly or essential to the functioning of the country, especially those businesses in crisis, should be considered for re-nationalisation or nationalisation.
We say ‘considered’ because full nationalisation may not be necessary in every case, such as national logistics, if the industry concerned is prepared to operate constructively in line with national planning guidelines and places the nation before investors. If we have to legislate to give the national interest priority over the market, we will not hesitate to do so.
Our first task will be to end private-public partnership initiatives in the public sector and build the capacity for a national contracting agency integrated with the national economic plan. From there we will review all candidates for nationalisation with priority given to monopoly and public service entities such as Railtrack, the electricity grid and the water companies. Other candidates for ‘consideration’ may include the military-industrial complex, national food logistics, ports and airports. The ‘de minimis’ requirement can be expected to be worker participation on Boards of Directors as well as worker-directors with specific veto and report-back powers.
The Tories and Labour have left our economy in a mess with massive debt in an international capitalist context and an economy over-dependent on the City of London. Because we are not utopian, we know that this cannot be reversed overnight but we will reverse it. The stupidity of the brief Truss Government indicates what may be at stake in getting it wrong. We will not get it wrong.
Commitment to Trades Unionism and Opposition to the Labour Party
Commitment to Trades Unionism and Opposition to the Labour Party
The Workers Party of Britain is committed to the trades union movement as the best means of maintaining independent working class resistance to the interests of capital. However, it is deeply dissatisfied with the conduct of trades union bureaucracies and the insistence of many in maintaining support for the corrupted Labour Party, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
We endorse the continued struggle by workers within trade unions to disaffiliate from the Labour party. We will continue to support workers struggling for their immediate interests, better wages and conditions. Our track record on this speaks for itself.
We have always been first in line to back lawful strike action including those by ambulance workers and transport workers while Labour has equivocated. When workers strike, they never do so lightly.
For these reasons and others, we do not want to see disenchanted workers walking away from their trades union. The best way to achieve this is for trade unions to put their members interests over those of the political fortunes of Labour. We encourage members to remain in, or indeed join, trade unions to agitate for working class interests and, in particular, for the movement to break the link with the Labour Party. In the present moment, the political independence of the trade union movement, if that is taken to mean their independence from the Labour party, is a step in the right direction, the final act of which is trade unions committed to socialism as a part of a socialist working-class political movement.
We do not hide our belief that the greatest block to working class aspirations is not the Conservative Party but the Labour Party itself. We support Jeremy Corbyn insofar as he is able to advance the struggle, but believe there was a naivety about the determination of Capital, through its agents in the Labour Party, to destroy any challenge to the established order. Failure was inevitable once compromises were made on key issues like membership of the European Union and the handling of false accusations of antisemitism.
Today, the Labour Party is an integrated part of the imperialist State machinery. Its very existence is to control opposition to attacks on wages at home and war abroad. Labour mutes popular demands for an end to exploitation, for redistribution and for control of State mechanisms that serve foreign powers such as the United States of America and, more indirectly, the European Commission. We will continue to expose the nature and crimes of the Labour party both past and present. If elected into office, we will not make compromises to maintain weak coalitions dominated by politicians whose links are to the State and not to the People.
Industrial Strategy and Workers Control
Germany has a version of workers control where workers sit on the board of big firms, have voting rights and compose half of the supervisory boards of large companies, France also has a weaker version of this. In Britain there is nothing.
At a time when the trade unions were strong, a government report (Bullock Report 1977) was produced that would have put workers on the board of big firms, with voting rights; this was rejected by most of the trade unions.
They preferred to defend workers’ rights from the outside and let managers manage. Groups like the Communist Party influential at the time also rejected it because they thought this was an accommodation with capitalism, while right wing trade unionists also insisted on ‘management’s right to manage’.
It can be argued that workers on the board would have put up a stronger fight against the closures of British industry started by Thatcher. This trade union attitude of not wanting to be in charge has not changed today, although we note approvingly the 2013 GMB motion on UK Industrial Policy submitted by NW B84 and the publications initiated by the TUC such as Workers on Board by Janet Williamson.
The Workers Party of Britain is fully committed to exploring and co-ordinating various and innovative demands for workers control as part of the struggle for working-class power in tandem with the ongoing struggles for better pay and conditions.
In power, we would take the system that is most effective in ensuring increased workers control and most effective in maintaining the entrepreneurial innovation necessary to solve social and community problems and legislate for its implementation.
This commitment to worker participation may not apply to small or most medium-sized businesses (unless they are subsidiaries of larger firms) but medium-sized businesses can expect to see existing workers’ rights not merely maintained but, in many cases, extended.
The public sector represents a different case but the Workers Party of Britain will be developing a strategy for ensuring a greater voice for democratised trades unions in ensuring the maintenance of public services and making public services more effective.
The Green New Deal
Global Net Zero – Forced Savings on the Working Class!
Climate change is constantly taking place. It has done so for thousands of years. We follow the science when it is clear but we understand just how much science can be socially constructed in a society dominated by the interests of Profit and not People. We keep an open mind but place the really existing conditions of the working class now and in the future top of mind. That is why we exist as a political party.
The next industrial revolution is going to be far more than just the Green Agenda. It involves the increased use of artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, possibly nanotechnology and many other emergent new technologies. It is a total process. In every preceding industrial revolution, the wealthy capitalist has seized opportunities by forced savings on the general population and then justified terrible effects on working people as ultimate progress. We cannot let this happen again.
We too are for progress and technological innovation but not in ways left to the market alone. We need to manage the next industrial revolution so that we can predict bad effects, put measures in to correct them and still go forward in a planned and rational way.
In this context, we do not oppose the process of creating a greener national economy but we see no necessity to be rushed into it by business-directed media propaganda. This will result in unplanned policies at the expense of the population in terms of taxation and social disruption. We should move towards the next stage of our social evolution as one inclusive society based on fairness and equality in both the sharing of the costs and the benefits of change.
Above all, it is for the people to decide, after informed debate, whether they want the costs of Net Zero, essentially a redistribution of wealth from themselves to investors and businesses, and so we support the call for a Net Zero Referendum as soon as possible. We will also continue to oppose ULEZ initiatives because of the costs they impose on households and small businesses and to ensure that the transition to a Green economy should be at a pace that matches the ability of our population to afford it. We will not be seduced by apocalyptic Green hysteria.
The New Plan for Housing & Healthcare
Investment in Social Infrastructures
The state of the British economy is a disgrace. It has been on the high road to post-imperial collapse since the Tory Government of John Major drove it into the unsustainable ERM.
The Workers Party of Britain is an optimistic party. We think this situation can be reversed but we are running out of time. We need to act vigorously as one nation within the next two decades or all may be lost.
Only common-sense socialism can now rebuild a country where social infrastructure is as important as transport, logistics, communications and energy infrastructures. You cannot separate national health and welfare, education and housing stock from the provision of the structures required to grow the economy. We are pro-growth but growth can only come from investment for the future in society today.
This means re-allocating resources from debt servicing, grandstanding on the world stage and corporate subsidies and tax breaks, all on the dubious theory of ‘trickle down’, through fair and comprehensive tax reform including our commitment to a one off 5% wealth tax on all estates valued fairly at over £10 million. These funds will be used to kick-start a national economic and social investment strategy with a £17bn windfall.
Our priorities lie not in increasing current expenditures in an inflationary way to patch up the mistakes of the inept political class but in ensuring a fair distribution of resources that protect the most vulnerable, encouraging community-directed initiative and entrepreneurialism in the working class itself and building the social infrastructure. This latter means full access to the NHS, benefits and pensions that wipe out poverty (especially child poverty and poverty for the elderly), life-long educational opportunity and guaranteed housing for every citizen of the country.
We are not afraid to say that people should work where they are able but receive the support of the community where they are not. We want an historic renewal of the relationship between the State and the trades unions which reached its greatest success in the Second World War and led directly to the welfare state.
Housing for the People
The scandal of young people not being able to afford their own homes or at the least having automatic access to fair rent social housing expresses the utter failure of neo-liberal capitalism. Even the children of the well-off upper middle classes now pay exorbitant rents to wealthy buy-to-let ‘pensioners’. In many cases, with the collapse of the welfare state and numerous pension fund robberies, investment in property became the safest place to plan for your retirement. This situation is not sustainable. Our birth rate is falling because families start later and with less resources. This then encourages business interests to clamour for more migrants who put even greater pressure on limited and deteriorating housing stock.
The Workers Party of Britain will end this catastrophe for young people and families. We will begin a programme of social housing that will over-ride all unnecessary planning constraints. We will be prepared for the compulsory expropriation of all unused land banks and the fast-tracking of permits. We will end the scandal of sub-standard buy-to-let as the default policy of a failed political class by ensuring right to buy or transfer of such assets to local authorities. We will also support and protect the rights of those many thousands who have invested in property as a result of a lack of productive avenues of investment in industry, or as a result of the lack of faith in pension providers. We will make sure that it is safer and more profitable to invest money in Britain and her industry which will free up land and property, and we will provide opportunities for workers and trade unions to acquire land and property in the countryside and at the seaside for the rest and relaxation of the working class.
We will tighten up further on any eviction action that is not based on anti-social behaviour towards neighbours and the community. We will also get tough on noise pollution, anti-social behaviour in general and use of property for criminal purposes. We will continue to democratise the ownership and responsibilities of multi-ownership dwellings.
A flagship policy is our support for increased tenant control of council housing (the Tenant Managed Housing Co-op model) to empower communities and develop the will and capacity, supported by local authorities, social care and police, to turn our remaining and new estates into havens instead of abandoned territories prey to exploitation. We will ensure financial support to assist the vulnerable to participate in the community and for tenants to have the tools to maintain and develop their communities.
We will, however, guarantee the right to independent home ownership and social mobility that can release social housing stock for those starting out on the housing ladder.
Healthcare for the People
The Workers Party of Britain’s commitment to the National Health Service is absolute. The NHS is now made up of 42 public-private partnerships called Integrated Care Systems which are dominated by private businesses outside democratic control. What has been done to the water industry has been done to national healthcare. The likely outcome is the abandonment of equitable care free at the point of use through service denial. We will end this system immediately and fully re-nationalise the NHS.
PFI instituted by the New Labour Government has been a disaster, The debt burden is draining vital funds from patient care. We will undertake an investigation into these contracts not only in the health service but in other sectors and legislate if necessary to change the terms and conditions.
The Government is also deskilling and the workforce as a fake solution to a workforce crisis engineered by the very people claiming to resolve it. The aim is to reduce staff wages. This deskilling is a material threat to the safety of patients. We will restore decent pay levels to help retain and recruit the most qualified staff.
NHS capacity is inadequate for demand. The results include the notorious waiting lists but of equal importance is the knock-on effect of the collapse in social care provision. It will be a main aim of ours to increase health service capacity and integrate this with increased social care provision. The cost of this will be covered not only by our growth-orientated economic strategy and wealth tax but with a massive reduction in the scale of the administrative and management structure of the NHS which has increased from 4% of budget to 14% of budget over the last seventeen years and is heading higher.
Prevention will be central to our national health strategy which will be directed to the five key drivers of health outcomes – nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and loneliness. We will declare war on ultra-processed food, improve the standard of school meals and invest in health education. Big Food and Big Pharma will be regulated to ensure positive outcomes at every level of national health.
The evidence is clear that we seeing a growing crisis of mental health. Our analysis suggests that a great deal of this is down to three factors – the collapse of community, the insecurities created by neo-liberalism and the hysteria of university-based cultural engineering. A malign alliance has emerged between increasingly unhinged identity politics and the neo-liberal elite where Frankenstein’s monster (identity politics) now partially controls its former master (capitalism).
The Workers Party of Britain believes that the mental health crisis in our part of the West is as important as a subject for policy as anything else in this Manifesto. Primarily we will deal with it through material means – redistribution of resources to give security to working households and particularly the low paid and vulnerable, investment in the integrated health and social care system to help support the mentally ill, decent housing provision, greater mental health awareness and a drive to improve the nutritional, exercise, sleep and other health aspects of the mind.
However, there is a cultural aspect which we will not neglect. There will be no support for identity politics or non-jobs for middle class graduates to support the NGO-industrial complex. Everyone will be encouraged throughout the educational system to ‘be their own person’ and to be personally proud of their lifestyle choices instead of depending for their worth on the weird theories of university theoreticians and the neuroses of American progressivism. Arts spending will be on national and working-class culture and public money will not be wasted on sectional interests. We will be one nation where class or interest is the key factor in politics.
The rebuilding of community goes alongside a commitment to find ways to alleviate loneliness while leaving those who want solitude to have their silences. Governments cannot legislate human relationships. Our ethos is one of respect and tolerance for individual lifestyle choices. However, Government can create the conditions by which local arts and culture can flourish, people have access to help when they need it and no one has a sleepless night because they lack money.
Protecting the Vulnerable
Protecting vulnerable workers, the disabled, pensioner rights and our retired workforce
Socialism has a moral purpose. This moral purpose sits alongside our primary concern for working class outcomes and opposition to imperialism as the ethical base of the Workers Party of Britain. Socialism is not only about economic planning for the benefit of all, it is also about a belief in the value and worth of every one of us on equal terms no matter our personality, gender, lifestyle choices, intellectual capacity or disability. Those who are disadvantaged do not need identity activism to establish their worth. They need practical support to be free to make their own choices in life.
Disabled workers are a part of the working class
We will concentrate on actively improving the material situation of all those who are disadvantaged starting with the condition of the poorest in society, the mentally disadvantaged and the physically disabled. We do not accept the dog-eat-dog aspects of liberal individualism. We are one class and one nation. While we do not and will not countenance able-bodied slackers living off the workers, we do think the good society requires all of us to contribute to helping the least well off and disadvantaged so that they can take their full place in society and demonstrate their capacity and talents.
We will do this through ensuring a minimum decent income both for those who can work and those who provenly cannot. Where someone cannot work, we will expend resources sensitively to bring them into society as fellow workers where we can. We will continue to uphold access provisions for the disabled and invest in technology to enhance their capacity.
Pensioners are retired workers
We will commit to the triple lock or similar arrangements designed to maintain pensioner purchasing power and increase it as growth strategies start to bear fruit.
A Return to Municipal Socialism
Local government in Britain is in crisis. On the one hand, it is the first to suffer as the British economy is driven on to the rocks by inept neo-liberal politicians of both main parties. On the other, the central State dumps increasing burdens on it without calculating the costs and leading to absurdities like a Labour administration in Birmingham bankrupting its own city.
Fiddling around with process such as elected mayors makes no fundamental difference if there is a failure to ensure that the costs of service to the people can be covered by the funds required and if local people cannot set priorities. Local councillors are now mere cyphers, a political Potemkin village. We support elected mayors but they must be given the tools of the job and get better quality support from executives and elected officials and access to funding.
The decentralisation of power to our towns and cities, the ability of men and women from working households to participate in local government and lose no income or family life by it, adequate authority over executive officers and a return to the ethos of municipal socialism represent the Workers Party of Britain’s policy for local government.
Specific proposals include putting senior council executives on five year rolling performance-related contracts, a fixed 6:1 pay level ratio between the lowest and highest paid staff member, whistleblower hotlines to report bullying, corruption and mismanagement to a level above middle management and increased control of the terms of local taxation including the implementation of tourist taxes for re-investment in city and town centres.
We also advocate increased selective regional delivery of services with neighbouring authorities to reduce administrative costs in favour of front-line services especially in education, transport and economic development.
Making Managers Accountable
To have policies for worker empowerment implies a policy for dealing with administrators and managers. The Workers Party of Britain is not opposed to management but only to management that answers to a special interest that is not the interests of the people. The running of the country requires good managers who act in the interests of the workers and the country and not those of profit-takers or their political lackeys.
Managers have nothing to fear from the Workers Party of Britain since we will be liberating them to manage without looking over their shoulder at the internal thought police or the accountants meeting shareholder targets. One of our aims is to help workers become managers through education and training while stopping them from pulling the ladder up behind them.
There are four departments in our sights – finance, marketing, public affairs and human resources. The engineers, innovators and producers remain the valuable core of any society. Finance has its duty to shareholders but this must never be at the expense of the community or workers. Marketing must be restrained from using half-truths and false narratives to sell what people neither want nor need. Public affairs are often the excuse for political manipulation and the lobbying of government and it must be restrained.
It is the human resources function that, under ‘bad’ managers, can be most dangerous to the common good as it seeks to de-politicise and atomise workers, actively discourage collective trades unionism and impose identity politics, lifestyle imperatives and anxiety on workers. The Workers Party of Britain will put in place legislation to offer free speech and lifestyle protections for workers and stop corporate interference in private lives.
We will end the old war between workers and managers and replace it with a socialist commitment to management in the interests of the working class with accountability to the working class both through legislation or regulation and the trades union movement. We see ourselves as liberators of managers, civil servants and local government executives who can work for the common good with a clear conscience and not be creatures of anonymous shareholders or political opportunists.
The usual suspects of late liberal capitalism are frightened. Be in no doubt of this. They are, even now, tearing off the worn velvet glove of liberal values to show their rusty iron fist but they dare not act as brutally as they would like (except through proxies like Netanyahu or Zelensky). The neoliberals and their type are forced into stealth oppression and stealth totalitarianism – a buro-fascism, the fascism of legislation, regulation, lawfare, cultural engineering and attempting to ‘chill’ dissent through police action. Has the futile attempt to suppress protest over the evil assault on Gaza not demonstrated this?
The Workers Party of Britain is a free speech party supportive of the new social media despite its flaws because its very existence smashes the control of neo-liberals who own the corrupted legacy media.
We will undertake a review of all legislation and regulation to define only what is strictly harmful speech (intimidation and bullying rather than robust opinion) as well as all the emergency powers and related regulation that the State has provided itself with in order to repress any attempt at a fundamental change in the capitalist system. We will make it a criminal offence to deny a political organisation or individual a platform.
We are so confident of our position that we encourage debate with our opponents on equal grounds – whether of the lacklustre centre or the right. We will undertake a review of media ownership with a view to banning foreign ownership of the means of communication and information where it is clear that owners are interfering directly or through algorithms in free debate.
We will also be watching the emergence of artificial intelligence with great attention. It is too early to have a specific policy on what may be the next major technological revolution but we can institute a national debate on risks and benefits and develop policies that ensure that AI products and services and block-chain based cryptocurrencies and contract systems operate wholly in the interests of the working classes.
Britain and its Society
Education and the Working Class
The material conditions of working-class children are critical to their success although, of course, education is more than this. Nevertheless, adequate housing and social protection are key to meeting working class educational aspirations.
We will ensure that no working class child is disadvantaged because of their background or locality and that those that want to get on are actively encouraged at any time in their lives to learn and apply their skills. Education is a key social infrastructure and this means small class sizes, teachers being trusted to teach without administrative nonsense, investment in extra-curricular subjects like the arts and music as well as sports, an atmosphere of equitable encouragement of all according to their abilities, increased safe online learning and zero tolerance towards bullying and abuse.
Two of our flagship policies are focused on children’s key material needs: first, we are committed to the extension of the free public travel arrangements for children from London to the rest of the country extending the current age restrictions from 11 to 16; second, we support the provision of free good quality and nutritious breakfast and lunch meals during term time to all children in school without means testing and the introduction of access to low cost but nutritious meals out of term time in targeted deprived areas.
To the Workers Party of Britain, education is a life-long process. We deplore the way that a Labour Government became complicit in turning it into a global capitalist business churning huge numbers of young people at home and overseas with worsening standards under increasingly stressed academics.
We would change the model for education entirely. First, by guaranteeing a right to a free tuition first degree that could be taken at any time during one’s life so as to end the pressure for young people to take on debt before they have an idea what they want to do with their lives. Tuition fees will be a thing of the past and the debt for low income graduates increasingly remitted.
We would financially support vocational education, apprenticeships and trades education that met the aspiration of any worker to get employment that could allow them to live a better standard of living in an economy that may require frequent changes in skills.
Recognising Working Class Culture
One of the techniques of international liberalism is to encourage divisive culture wars. From the top down, it seeks to impose its values on populations at home and overseas without informed consent through the educational system, the public relations, marketing and human resources departments of major corporations, through the ‘chilling effect’ of regulation and legislation and through arts and cultural patronage which has create a class of intellectuals which has declared war on its own cultural traditions.
The British working class is known for its easy-going tolerance and welcoming stance towards new ideas and cultures. It challenged the racism imported by American troops in the Second World War and it has adapted to a succession of migration challenges over centuries, absorbing and appropriating anything from Chinese takeaways to Bhangra. Tolerance and open-mindedness are central to WPB cultural policy.
However, this tolerance is very different from top-down ideologically-driven progressivism, imported from the very different conditions in the US. Progressivism fails to allow communities to live and learn alongside one another but imposes alien values through incentives and threats from above. It is manipulative. We particularly oppose all attempts to impose identity politics and division in our communities. We are one nation with many lifestyles.
The WPB’s cultural policy will start with a radical overhaul of the funding of the arts, the charitable sector and the educational system to re-emphasise critical thinking, free debate, free speech and mutual respect. Life-long learning (see our policy on education) will be central to our mission.
We will enshrine the right to dissent and enjoy a private life and lifestyles that harm no other in employment law and we will restrict the ability of private wealth to engage in cultural engineering. We will ban foreign interests from interfering in British culture untowardly while encouraging the free flow of foreign creativity into the country. We want the best of non-British culture to reach the working class and British working class culture to find its place in the world.
Restoring Football to the Community
Football, with its roots firmly in working class Britain, should become the “people’s game” once again. In recent years external predatory capitalist forces have stolen the game from the people. We see ever-increasing commercialisation and exploitative merchandising.
Financial institutions, particularly from overseas, leach billions out of our proud football clubs and exploit the traditions that uphold this beautiful game to make ever increasing profits. In addition to pricing working class fans out of the game profit driven owners are exploiting football clubs in a fashion that is unsustainable in the long term, often leaving our clubs burdened with debt backed by the land assets that really interest foreign investors.
We believe that a fan owned model would provide the best safeguard to prevent a situation where parasitical entities suck the blood out of the game. A model of club ownership that is more in tune with the fanbase would tend to be more successful and sustainable than one that runs counter to it.
The success of the club would be prioritised by fan-owned clubs rather than emphasis given to predatory profiteers lining their own pockets. The aim of fan owned clubs would be to make the club sustainable and re-invest money for its further development. This would have an additional benefit of creating a more democratic, transparent and accountable structure that would deliver greater social value for the local communities in which they operate.
We already have numerous successful examples of fan owned clubs throughout the world. In Germany, under current licensing arrangements operated by the Deutsche Fussball Liga, football clubs are obliged under law to be at least 51% fan owned. Memorably, the 2012/13 Champions League was contested by FC Bayern (which is 75% fan owned) and Borussia Dortmund, two clubs owned by their members.
We already have 17 clubs in the English pyramid that are wholly owned by supporters – including Telford United, Wycombe Wanderers, and FC United of Manchester and these need our protection. We will also encourage local community engagement to discover new sports talent (and not only in football) and restore playing fields to local communities.
Policing and the Working Class
The Workers Party of Britain is very much concerned with the causes of crime, especially deprivation in our inner cities and the desperation that causes so many to rely on the black economy, get into debt or use drugs to get through the day. However, we are also determined not to be soft on crime itself. Criminal behaviour may inconvenience the upper middle classes but it largely preys on the poor and most vulnerable in our society.
We are not soft-hearted liberals who believe that everyone is capable of redemption. Most people are with the right change of conditions but we have to face the fact that society has a proportion of antisocial sociopaths within it and that sociopaths create networks of organised crime that accumulate significant amounts of capital on the backs of the vulnerable both as their ‘soldiers’ and as their victims.
A police force that acts as the cultural engineering arm of the middle-class state is not serving the people. It is indulging the fantasies of the few at huge expense. The Workers Party of Britain, while determined to weed out organised crime infiltration, corruption and incompetence in our police service, also recognises the frustration of many police officers that bureaucratic systems and political decisions are weakening their ability to function and their relationship with working class communities.
The police must be accountable and transparent in their operations but police officers are workers too, tasked with protecting the poor and the vulnerable, and they deserve our support if they prove they do deserve it.
We will overhaul liberal laws that weaken the ability of the police to protect the most vulnerable, increase police capacity in high crime areas, increase funding and capacity for operations targeting organised crime (including human trafficking and fraud gangs and witness protection arrangements) and seek to shift sentencing guidelines to target organised crime leaders and rehabilitate ‘soldiers’ trapped in their system.
We will work to expand the social care system and integrate it with national policing (as well as with the NHS and educational system) precisely in order to relieve police officers of having to become social workers in default of sufficient resources. We will also give the police greater statutory independence from political interference and the security services in their lawful enforcement operations.
Supporting the Family
Supporting the Family
Profit-seeking business provides often unstable jobs and consumer products and services but it free rides social infrastructure. It treats labour as just another input. We see the results in the degradation of community and the way that individuals are atomised. They are easier to manage and control in that way. This becomes of critical importance when we look at the bed rock of society which is the working class family. Presenting work as liberation and appealing to the very reasonable desire of women to have an equal and independent existence, liberal society and business have forced us into a very unequal situation where parents sometimes to work not only twice over but with multiple jobs just to keep children housed, fed and clothed.
While the Workers Party of Britain is absolutely committed to equal participation of men and women in the work place, it must not be under exploitative conditions or at the expense of children or family life. Child-rearing is not a side issue. It is one of immense social importance. It is a job in its own right. Stable, happy children contribute to a stable, happy society with less social costs such as crime and poor productivity. Well heeled middle class children often do better at school not because they are ‘brighter’ (we reject that absolutely) but because working class children often never get the chance to ‘shine’ in households constantly struggling to make ends meet. This must change.
Our policy is one of social investment integrated with our cradle-to-the-grave welfare commitment. We will make it much easier for families to be able to afford to have children in safe, supportive and secure conditions and to care for elderly relatives in their own households through our redistributive economics, our housing policies and through material incentives. We will extend the period in which at least one parent in a household can spend free time caring for children under seven without material loss. We reject that anti-human negative stance towards children of radical Greens and many liberals. We will support not only families with children but young people wanting to start a family earlier.
We will undertake a review of the tax system to stop the penalisation of single earner households which drives parents into two low wage jobs simply to keep the labour force cheap for business. The tax system as it is currently constructed deliberately discourages working class commitment to taking on social burdens and build a healthy society and it deters working class aspiration. At the same time, the Workers Party of Britain will invest in the continued education and training of mothers or fathers or other carers during the vital early years of family life and while caring for elderly relatives;. We will bring back workers into the economy without them being disadvantaged in their careers by their absence from the work force.
We remain committed to private choice of lifestyle and religion but with the proviso that social services be properly funded to be able to deal with those cases where families are truly dysfunctional. We see the state educational system as vital in encouraging the personal and individual development of children and adolescents. For that reason we will be removing the charitable status of all private educational establishments and redirecting the tax earned to early stage educational childcare which has to be more than ‘child minding’.
Rural Affairs and Small Towns
The working class is mistakenly seen as just an urban or industrial phenomenon but agricultural workers were once at the very forefront of social change in our country. Workers in the service sectors are just as vital as workers in the industrial sector. We have to accept that the UK has become a largely service economy and this is not reversible. We are nevertheless committed to the strengthening of all socially responsible industrial development and we will support techno-innovation of all types to help rebuild our industrial base. However, we will support the services sector along exactly the same lines. Above all, we will encourage the further unionisation of the services economy and the regulation of the gig economy to ensure increased worker choice and security.
Our approach to the countryside is one of respect and wider public access. Land-holding in the United Kingdom is rarely investigated as a problem in its own right. We will require demonstrable proof that all land held in the UK is being used for socially productive purposes – agricultural production, housing or infrastructural development, natural wilderness or parkland with easy access for workers and their families and so forth. We commit to the preservation of national parks and woodlands as well as meadows and other ecological treasures on this basis of full public access. Closed lands in excess of reasonable family requirement will come under review for directed use if they are left idle or cannot be demonstrated to have cultural value.
Every proposal in this Manifesto will apply equally to rural workers and to service workers in our small towns. The character of the small town community and the distinctive ‘village’ neighbourhoods in our urban areas will be preserved under the Workers Party of Britain but there will be no place for NIMBYs when it comes to the need for more social housing and social infrastructure. Grandstanding projects of dubious value to meet liberal political needs will come to an end and be replaced by investment in clean water, efficient sewage, working roads, safe access for women and the disadvantaged and local specialist retail. There will be no neglect of small town or rural infrastructural needs. The import of identity politics into our small towns will no longer be financed by rates.
Special attention will be given to the rights and working conditions of farm, forestry, fishing and related workers including migrant workers employed on a seasonal basis. We will encourage more local and national food production through tax incentives and will consider a negative VAT rate on unprocessed natural foods and their priority supply to our schools, care homes and hospitals. We will support our fishing fleets. We will also crack down on the cruelty of factory farming and the import of foodstuffs that do not meet our ethical standards in regard to processing. We will encourage the farming community to conserve renewable natural resources and participate in educational projects for urban workers.
Revolutionary democratic change
The issue of the Crown
The Workers Party of Britain is socialist but it is also radically democratic. We seek to persuade through our words and our actions. We will take as long as is necessary to break through the matrix of half-truths and downright lies that hold the current system together and offer an alternative Left vision for this country.
We uphold the right to peaceful protest, free speech and resistance to attempts by authority to ‘chill’ legitimate opposition through surveillance, fear and misuse of the law.
For us, the Crown is a problem. It is the heir to feudalism and is used as cover for maintaining the capitalist structures that exploit and manipulate the population. But we also recognise that the identity of many British workers, including many who see it as guarantor of an ethos of service to the community, is bound up with tradition and that this tradition includes allegiance to the Crown. This may be wrong-headed but it is sincere and to be respected.
Our demand is that the British people be given a say in the future of the monarchy, and that a referendum be held to decide this. We do not seek to set down the precise question, nor propose an ideal form of change to the existing constitution, let that be informed by rational public debate. Our commitment is to supporting a referendum on this important question.
We will widen and deepen democracy and transfer as much of the royal prerogative back to the representatives of the people as is possible. We reject the State’s misuse of the Crown to give itself excessive powers at our expense.
We will ask those questions once asked by Tony Benn of every person with power at hand: What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you use it? To whom are you accountable? How do we get rid of you? These are questions we want everyone to ask about their situation and the WPB exists to ask those questions on behalf of the working class.
The Workers Party of Britain is not a liberal party obsessed with constitutional tinkering and process. What matters most to us are an end to labour exploitation, adequate social infrastructure, social ownership and wealth redistribution.
However, there is a democratic deficit in our country and not only in ours – nearly all the capitalist democracies of the West are a con job in which populations get one chance every few years to choose between professional politicians who have more in common with each other than they do with us. Some reform is necessary.
First, we will back proportional representation but only if it can be structured to ensure that political parties cannot ‘fix’ their lists under the control of their own elites.
Second, as a necessary corollary of PR, we will introduce a new Act regulating political parties to ensure no foreign influence, internal democracy, higher penalties for corruption and easier recall arrangements.
Third, we will reform the House of Lords to exclude professional politicians who have made a career in the Commons and we will introduce more regional, trades union and technical expert voices able to scrutinise legislation swiftly and knowledgeably who are wholly unconnected to the Executive.
Fourth, we will explore measures to increase working class representation not only through the Workers Party of Britain but through increased political education initiatives directed at working class communities encouraging wider community participation enabled by social incentives such as adequate child care and earnings support.
We are committed to an independent judiciary and to the democratisation of access to justice through a fully funded and independent national legal support service for working households in their disputes with service providers and in dealing with anti-social behaviour.
Every measure we propose, support or enact will be directed at increasing the democratic participation and consent of the working class but we are mindful that most people are too busy to involve themselves in politics and that there is nothing wrong with putting family and working life first. The emphasis must be on responsive and accountable representatives who are capable, committed and not opportunists or careerists.
Amity not enmity with the rest of the world
Foreign Policy for the People
The Workers Party of Britain will reverse British foreign policy which has been dynastic and then capitalist for centuries. This is not a matter of simplistic slogans about an ‘ethical’ foreign policy that invariably ends up with us either bombing or supporting the bombing of the innocent in defence of so-called liberal and democratic values that act as cover for the profits of bankers and arms dealers. It is about doing the right thing in the interests of ordinary British people and their counterparts across the world.
We are anti-imperialist. We are a friend to all and an enemy to none who do not threaten us. We are not pacifist but we oppose all war that is not defensive in purpose.
We will re-orient Britain away from Washington where we are in constant confrontation with the enemies of US corporate interests. We will become independent trading partners developing friendly relations with the BRICS, the rising powers of the world who are building a new multipolar world. Only the Workers Party of Britain understand what it means to be Global Britain.
We will also continue to support liberation movements. We will maintain friendly relations with all nations knowing that they must create their own path towards democratic socialism without foreign interference. We will seek radical reform of the United Nations to empower it as genuine representative of the global community and help it resist the domination of Washington which only undermines its prestige and influence.
We make absolutely no apologies for our support for Palestine and the people of Gaza during the brutal onslaught carried out by Israel with full support from the US and Britain, politically backed by Labour and Tories alike. Our position on Ukraine centres on a condemnation of the expansionary provocation of NATO in alliance with another ethno-nationalist government that throws its own people into a perpetual meat grinder.
Why Palestine is Important
The Workers Party of Britain is the only significant British political party to have pointed out the position of the Palestinians as victims of ethnic cleansing and brutal treatment from the very start of the recent conflict (and long before). It is a reflection of our humanity. Thousands of children have been killed and hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced.
There can be no justification for the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians in Gaza. The complicity and lack of moral compass of the Labour Party has shocked many naïve activists who have been in denial about what their Party has become.
The pain will haunt human hearts for generations. Powerful forces, chiefly the US and Britain, have brought about, sustained and nourished the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the denial of Palestinian statehood despite every international plan and UN resolution.
The United States is the chief beneficiary of the current chaos engulfing the Middle East, as it was also the chief beneficiary of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Workers Party believes that the future is now One State: Israël – Palestine or Palestine-Israël or the Holy Land, the details cannot be worked out by us, but the picture is becoming clearer by the day.
However horrific this storm is, it will not last. It is a part of wider and longer struggle against imperialism and war. The old world is dying, but the new world is not yet ready to be born.
Palestine is a symbol for us of a much deeper problem. That a network of neo-conservatives and neo-liberals has seized control of Western states and, wholly unaccountable to their peoples because they have inherited dynastic modes of thinking, they have adopted an aggressive militarism exemplified by NATO and maintained by a sinister arms industry.
Our criticisms in this case are not antisemitic nor supportive of terrorism. Our analysis can be said to be very courageous in the current climate. Our stand against Israel is a stand for the Jewish people. We welcome Jews into our Party and we will remain steadfast opponents of antisemitism.
Defence of the Nation
Achieving fair exchange of goods and services and providing global security of energy and food supplies will remove some of the potential precursors for conflict and would prevent the unnecessary loss of life that hostilities bring.
The Workers Party of Britain will endeavour to have open diplomatic relations with all countries regardless of their traditions or values. Whilst we are not pacifists, we are peaceable. Diplomacy and negotiation will be the first resort on every occasion that the potential for conflict arises.
We will avoid war but we will also ensure that we are prepared for it. Our armed forces will be highly trained and equipped with modern, reliable weaponry and equipment. Any threat to our country or our interests will be met with a highly effective military response.
It cannot be right that the Royal Navy has more Admirals, Vice Admirals and Rear Admirals than operational ships. The Workers Party of Great Britain will carry out a top-down review of the Royal Navy, Army, and Air Force to ensure that their structures are lean and efficient. Any savings made from restructuring the leadership and administration of our armed forces will be spent on delivering weaponry and equipment for personnel on the front line.
At this point in time, we recognise NATO as an aggressive military alliance not a defensive one. We will undertake a review of our membership of NATO. This may lead to a national referendum on membership. We will consider future alliances with countries where we have social, political, and economic ties but only where they share common values and only in order to ensure mutual defence.
The Workers Party of Great Britain supports multilateral disarmament and will lead the world in the call for the eradication of nuclear weapons. However, we will ensure the provision of a UK nuclear deterrent so long as there are other countries who also have nuclear weapons. This retention of nuclear weapons is a matter of sincere regret on our part but it is necessary in order to protect our own population. However, we will commit to a ‘no first use’ policy.
The Rights of Soldiers
The Workers Party of Britain is proud of our armed forces and its traditions. We recognise their willingness to give their lives for our country. Service personnel will be held in high regard for their service both in government and society, and this will be reflected in the pay, pension, and benefits they will receive.
The way that our armed forces procure weapons, equipment and uniform will undergo a comprehensive review, putting an end to the ripping off of taxpayers’ money. Legislation will be passed to allow procurement from UK manufacturers as a priority. The process will be made open and transparent and allow for our armed forces to get the best equipment whilst delivering the best value for money to the UK taxpayer.
We will make sure that our service personnel have the most up-to-date equipment and uniform. Our troops should not have to buy their own clothing and equipment to ensure their own comfort and safety.
All military personnel who are employed by the UK government will receive the same pay, pension, and benefits for their rank regardless of their country of origin or the regiment or service they are in. These same personnel will have the right to reside in the UK if it is their wish to do so.
Our military should be reflective of the general population and be primarily made up of citizens who are attracted by the prospect of serving their country and not because they feel that it is their only option for a better life.
Our armed forces currently enjoy full free medical treatment whilst in service but we recognise our country’s failures when comes to caring for those who have been discharged from the service. Veterans should not have to rely on charities to provide them support following medical discharge.
Service personnel who have been injured through fighting for our country should and will receive free care for the time that it is needed. Injured service personnel will have priority access to NHS services when discharged. Our service personnel will not be forgotten. If a new fully-funded Veterans Administration is required, we will create it.
The Roots of Mass Migration
The Workers Party of Britain offers a migration policy that reflects the anxiety felt among the working class about an influx of migrants which appears to be out of control. While some of this anxiety is stoked by the racist Right, people are not wrong to worry about undue burdens being placed on local services, about disproportionate herding of migrants into poorer parts of the country, and about the cost of hosting escalating numbers of asylum seekers.
A distinction needs to be made between refugees and migrants. Migrant workers fill gaps in the labour market e.g. inadequate numbers of trained nurses. There is an issue over immigrants depressing wages but this can be addressed by long term labour reforms in the interest of all, not by immigration quotas.
Refugees, however, that is those claiming asylum, while representing only about 10% of inflow, pose greater immediate challenges in terms of publicly funded absorption. Nothing has worked for long, if at all. The flow of poor people into our country represses wage rates, but British imperialism has shown it is incapable of reforming itself, and unable to deal with the consequences of its warmongering.
We need to turn the telescope around and look at how our own actions as a relatively powerful Western country are creating the flow of asylum seekers. A glance at the countries of origin of many if not most of the asylum seekers shows that those countries have been subjected to deliberate attempts by the US, EU and Britain to impoverish them with sanctions, often following Western military action against them or use of proxy militias to destabilise them.
Countries like Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran are haemorrhaging many of their best young people because of our own imperialist actions. Refugees from Central Africa are often fleeing countries impoverished by French exploitation backed up by military interference designed to keep pro-French cliques in power.
A proper policy for a socialist party will focus on removing the spurs to desperate emigration caused by our own actions. This means – no more wars of aggression – lifting all sanctions on developing countries – no more funding of proxy militias – removing unfair trading practices which hamper economic development in poorer countries. It is surprisingly simple when you think about it.
Seven Policies for a Humane and Sustainable Migration Policy
We will undertake a massive diversion of resources from the military-industrial complex and from NATO to domestic defence and security structures, national social infrastructure and targeted international development
We will undertake investment in border security and in fair and equitable visa and citizenship arrangements that discourage organized crime and help the most vulnerable to a new life as well as ensuring that migrations flows are matched to the ability of local communities to absorb new entrants
We will make a regular calculation of the sustainable levels of migration with entry directed primarily at the protection of those most placed at harm by the operations of foreign state terrorism and war
We will rebuild social infrastructures to match the requirements not just of migrants but of the working class as a whole – housing, schools, healthcare, social care. This will mean a commitment to the full funding of local authorities in their efforts to provide a wide range of high-quality services for everyone in the community, including refugees as soon as their status is accepted with follow up fast tracking to citizenship that screens out criminals.
We will invest in training for migrants to fill gaps in the provision of services to the wider population as respected members of the working class and in technical skills to support the use of new technologies for all workers rather than be complicit in driving down wage rates.
We will divert a significant portion of the funds saved from the excessive scale of the military-industrial and oppressive security structures to development projects that target the most vulnerable populations in the rest of the world.
We will challenge global neo-liberalism and global debt and free trade agreements that impoverish overseas working populations while building local middle classes at their expense – for the first time in its history, the UK under the WPB will cease exploiting the world and work with the BRICS to share resources and skills for the betterment of humanity.
We are not utopians. Open mass migration strategies without these measures will break society into identity wars and tribalism no matter how much we would like it to be otherwise. We will resist them on behalf of British workers.
How The WPB Will Gain and Hold Power for Working People
If you have read this far, what we want most from you is trust in our determination to go the distance and change this country for the better. Where we stand a political candidate, we want you to vote for that candidate. Where we do not stand a candidate, we want you to vote for anyone who is not one the dreadful five upholders of a broken system: the genuine (Blue) Tories, the Red Tories (Labour), the Orange Tories (Liberal Democrats), the Green Tories or, in Scotland, the Yellow Tories.
A system made up of capitalists or hangers on to capital sits secure because it thinks that whenever we get fed up with one bunch of Tories, you will have no other choice than to vote for another. That is the mould we want to break. We know that this will take a lot of organisation, time, patience, determination, some luck and our ability to persuade you, the reader, to take the risk of abandoning the usual suspects.
So, what is the alternative? The populist Right has emerged in force in the US and across Europe. It represents a genuine revolt against the ineptitude and failures of the current ruling order. But it is no friend to the working class. It is angry and opportunist, driven often by people who are frustrated without any serious analysis of their situation. The liberal-Left has offered no alternative – just waves of enthusiasm that are easily appropriated by the neo-liberals or destroyed with falsehoods (as happened to Jeremy Corbyn in 2019).
We are invulnerable to falsehoods because we just don’t care about them. We have our own story to tell. We are doggedly going down our path towards redistribution of power and resources to the working class, for anti-imperialism and for socialism. It is a long game and we are prepared to play it, nurturing our own future leadership from our younger members. If you want to be part of this and you like our Manifesto, do not wait for a chance to vote for us, join us, participate, contribute to policy in ways Labour members can only dream of and perhaps be a candidate and hold office one day in your own right.