Developing the Local

Elijah Pryor

I’m writing this article in the hope that it will inspire people of all creeds to think about the alternatives to mainstream politics, in the hope that one day a new party will rise up and challenge the stale political system. Although I have been influenced by many sociological, environmental and political thinkers and hold no ownership over thought, this article serves as an understanding of my beliefs and ideas in the hope that one day I can apply them to a political movement.

Mainstream Politics and Centralisation

Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats; Westminster’s big three parties all appear to have their differences. Labour traditionally wave the ‘red’ flag; the Conservatives wave the ‘blue’; and the Liberal Democrats the ‘blue, red and yellow’. However, it seems that the only real difference between the parties is the colour of their logo, with all three supporting the advancement of extremely similar economic agendas; privatisation, cuts to frontline services (NHS, Education, Transport etc.), all whilst blaming the poor, disabled, hard working men and women, black, white, Asian etc. In fact, there’s only one exception to this trend that’s left untouched and that is the globalised corporations. The Left, the Right and the Centre are obsolete; they are no longer of any use to the people living in this country. Political wings and factions make for loyalty to party manifestos as opposed to loyalty to local voters; non-alignment allows a party to change to suit the conditions of the locality without blindly following age old texts word for word.

There has been a decline in the development of council housing, small-markets are being pushed aside for super-markets and town and district councils are losing funding and the right to make key decisions on their local people. Local councillors are stripped of their deserved power and instead the decisions are made in a city that is far from relatable to most rural areas in the UK, yet those in London have large influence on key decisions regarding your health, your income, your transport, your education, your work, your entertainment, your housing, your food and more. Further decentralised power to local councils and districts would allow those who live in the area to make empathetic decisions on the people they represent. Politics needs to become more personal.

Local Business and Economic Principles

Food
Everybody deserves to eat local healthy food. Through subsidies, food card schemes and tax alterations the cost can be reduced to a rate that challenges supermarket prices.

Providing resources from local sources and making them affordable can be a challenge, but through subsidies, food card schemes and tax alterations the cost can be reduced to a rate that challenges supermarket prices and provides local business with greater income. Encouraging local businesses to sell their produce at lower prices can be achieved through tax reduction for smaller businesses with an increase in corporation tax for the larger businesses in the area; see-saw economics. Everyone deserves to eat local healthy food, use local tradesmen and local resources, so let’s have it that way! The art of preserving local business lies in protectionism on a Localist scale; local businesses will enjoy tax breaks for providing products and trade for the community; competition from incoming industry (especially chain business) will be diluted through an increase in tax for the businesses attempting to undermine the originally established local commerce. Additionally, the allowance of local businesses to be involved in community development can be tailored to support the development of public goods but also maintain a profit. Local businesses are still able to maintain a profit and reduce their tax rates through the development of their communities; therefore, in order for companies to increase their profit they must help develop wealth creation (increase spending power of consumers) within their locality and the more they contribute, the greater the tax reduction. Local businesses will endeavour to improve their environmental sustainability and social responsibility as it would mean tax breaks and the potential for community enhancement.

Changes to how people are employed will also assist with the development of local business and their communities. Many rural areas have been under the strain of unemployment, agricultural and factory work is scarce, and most wages do not cover adequate living standards. As such, we need to be committed to supporting and promoting the 4 Day Working week. The 4 Day working week works through these means: the worker spends up to 9 working hours a day for 4 days; the worker is paid the same amount of money as a 5 day working week but has an extra day in the week to spend as s/he wishes. Local councils will subsidise the worker for the extra wages he is owed for the 5th day and local business will be able to make gains and be able to offer customers better deals on trade.

Local governments must seek to re-establish a connection between the people living in communities through a hybridisation of local governmental and local business cooperation. Profits of companies can steadily increase at the same time that local development increases; it just requires the communication and linking up of the two. The preservation of the locality is important to a healthy environment and maintaining development towards a greener, happier and efficient society.

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