The Green Party will feature a fully costed universal basic income in its next election manifesto. This is a major, if long overdue step forward, but it does need tweaking.
This manifesto was presented in draft form to Green Party members only at last week’s conference in Newport. I shall be happy to use it on doorsteps, and for it to be used in the media.
However, it concentrates on social justice. As such it is excellent, but here is what I wish to see added:
Whilst the Basic Income (UBI) can be justified purely on social justice grounds alone, these pale into insignificance alongside its potential for offering whole populations a mind-set change from growth as the norm, to living within what the ecosphere – a thin shell round a small globe – can provide.
When the problem of indiscriminate perpetual growth was set out in 1972 by Donella Meadows of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Limits to Growth, the answers such as the Green New Deal, now being advanced as urgent, were already available. One of the reasons the threat is still with us is that the overwhelming majority cannot be expected to contemplate downsizing without a guarantee of basic needs as a catalyst for the more obvious measures.
A possible further addition is less crucial:
Oddly enough, the UBI is dangerous. If associated with the Silicon Valley agenda, it would promote continued growth, the opposite of what is essential. It must be tied firmly to ecological realities by fiscal measures (mainly taxation). But that aspect does make it urgent.
But there is another problem. Latterly Extinction Rebellion (XR) have taken over the ecosphere saving task I originally hoped the Green Party would fulfil. Its world-wide success is stupendous, but unfortunately, just like the Green Party, most XR members have normal minds.
Like Greta, I do not have a normal mind. At school latin grammar seemed obvious to me, where the rest of the class struggled. Then, I had the objective evidence of exam results. My conviction now feels exactly the same: to unlock all the ‘obvious’ solutions to the now urgent threat to the ecosphere, something is needed to give every individual security, so that they have an identity of interest when dealing with ecological problems. XR has been amazingly successful so far without any such lubrication.
Once upon a time my blog posts occasionally got re-blogged or re-tweeted, but not recently.
Have you all got normal minds?