Chair of Cotswolds Constituency Labour Party, Terry Perryman from Chedworth is determined to see Labour both lead and harness its goals to an ever-changing world, Terry writes that the key to achieving our aims is Party unity:
“As a recently-returned member I have been very much welcomed, and now elected as Chair. From my earlier position ‘outside’ it very much looked as though something new was emerging from inside the Party. Rather like a chrysalis, you weren’t quite sure what it would be – butterfly or praying mantis? There was a lot of ‘banging about’ – but now it looks very much like a butterfly. We know about butterflies in the Cotswolds – so let’s all get together and help it take wing!
It is clear that there are unexpected political upheavals which seem to have roots in ‘rustbelts’ everywhere – areas subject to globalisation and de-industrialisation, where people ‘rust’ and decline as jobs move to cheaper climes or are automated. Labour must have a clear, new dynamic economic policy to respond to this.
I would hope in 2017 we hear “Economics, Economics Economics” so voters believe Labour has a good, workable and – yes – ‘radical’ plan to address it in these key areas:
– Breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence – especially ‘deep learning’ – mean mental labour is increasingly replaceable: this means accountants, solicitors, and many other professionals. It’s being called the fourth industrial revolution – but this time there is little sign of the creation of different ranges of jobs: little indication of replacement of ‘peasants’ by a vast ‘industrial proletariat’.
– We can cure the housing crisis. An Australian company has designed a construction robot which can build a house in two days. But how many construction workers will go? There are about 313,000 in London alone.
– Let’s nationalise the railways – by the time we do, the trains are likely to be self-driving. So how about train driver jobs?
I’d like to see in 2017 a plan for this – and the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one possible response. Let’s say Hi to that too!”