I just posted this as a thread on Twitter:
Gary Neville suggested we need a peaceful revolution yesterday. It’s not the usual call for an ex Manchester United player who is now a football commentator. But was he right to do so? A short thread….
I am not by inclination revolutionary. But we need to change our head of state.
And we need to be rid of the House of Lords.
We need electoral reform - because first past the post is nothing like democracy now.
We need to respect the right of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to choose their own futures.
And we need to revive local decision making, and democracy.
Education needs to be back under state control, and not that of private academies.
The NHS has to be locked into the state.
And so does economic policy: the undemocratic farce of claiming that we have an independent Bank of England because politicians can’t be trusted with the economy has to end.
The House of Commons must be able to hold the government to account, which it can’t now.
It must be able to say ministers lie when they do.
Ministers who lie must suffer penalties for doing so.
Politicians who cause unnecessary deaths must be liable for them.
The ‘Treasury view’ which means that whenever someone proposes something for the good of society we apparently can’t afford it has to be shattered.
The police must not be used for the oppression of opinion.
We must have statutory rights that courts must uphold. The right to be who we are is essential.
These rights must include the right to free speech and assembly, albeit with a legally imposed duty not to cause offence.
The legal system must be respected and the rule of law upheld.
Media ownership must be transformed.
People must have the right to a trade union, and employers must have the legal obligation to recognise that union.
The right to private property must be upheld. The demand that it be accountable when held in legal structures - whether companies or trusts - must be enforced.
It should be a constitutional requirement that we have overall progressive taxation and the required taxes to deliver it.
The right to support from the state should be enshrined in law.
The state should have a legal obligation to ensure that those who need help get it.
There should be legal restrictions on the delay in the supply of government services, from healthcare, to housing, to justice.
There should be a legal obligation to fund key services like our tax authority, education and social care.
The environment must be protected.
We need a written constitution.
It must reflect the country we are, not the country we once were.
We need a peaceful revolution in other words.
The system of government we have is not fit for purpose.
Almost everything needs to change.
Gary Neville was right to make his call.