Statement of values and philosophy

If you share this site you are implicitly supporting the statement below, but it would be nice if you could do this explicitly too, by commenting below! 🙂

What we are against:

  • We reject our labelling and treatment as mereconsumers‘, a disempowering and demeaning term that seeks to strip us of our dignity and value, and which has been shown to promote greed, selfishness and lack of empathy. No longer shall we shut up and eat our cereal.

    patronising BT lady

    In a notorious video, the Better Together campiagn effectively urged the people of Scotland not to trouble their pretty little heads with politics, but just to shut up and eat their cereal.

    Rats in a materialistic maze.

    We reject the label of ‘consumer’, manipulated, passive and complicit in ‘free-market’ capitalism’s destruction of wellbeing and the environment on which we all depend.

  • We reject so-called ‘free-market’ capitalism (neoliberalism, hypercapitalism…), in which the markets are rigged by and for the super-rich, and which has seen economic inequality widen considerably in recent decades, with the soaraway rich appropriating an ever-increasing proportion of material wealth.

    hoard of pizza boxes

    Those who hoard pizza boxes are described as mad, but the hoarding of wealth, far worse for society, is praised!

    Those who hoard pizza boxes are described as mad, while those who accumulate vast sums of money are lauded as role models. Because extreme wealth damages empathy, and economic inequality causes multiple societal ills, such wealth-accumulation must be considered pathological.

  • We reject torture, a practice long condoned by UK governments.
  • We reject the quest for endless economic growth (as measured by GDP), a chase that bears no relation to societal wellbeing in developed countries but which, on a finite planet, amounts to environmental lunacy.
  • We reject the privatisation of profit and public goods and the nationalisation of risk.
  • We reject the present monetary system, whereby bankers are allowed to create money-as-debt, yet bear no personal risk for the consequences. This is not just a licence to print money, but a licence to inject debt into society while accumulating wealth themselves. It widens inequality and destabilises the economy.
  • We reject the demonisation and scapegoating of the least powerful in society, such as those on benefits, immigrants, asylum-seekers, minority racial and religious groups, the disabled and single parents.
  • We reject the centralisation of power.
  • We reject all the mainstream political parties and media that subscribe to the destructive philosophy of ‘free-market’ capitalism and serve the short-term interests of tax-avoiding multinational corporations and the super-rich.
  • Entrepreneur Nick Hanauer says that rich people don't create jobs and they should be taxed.

    Entrepreneur Nick Hanauer says that rich people don’t create jobs and that they should be taxed.

    We reject the myth that the wealthy create jobs. They don’t, and the largest corporations destroy more jobs than they create when they outcompete and displace small businesses.

  • We reject the subsidy and promotion of the fossil-fuel industry, the arms industry and industrial agriculture (also known as ‘agro-industry’).
  • We reject nuclear weapons.
  • We reject TTIP, a treaty designed to undermine democracy and give multinational companies the power to sue governments for actions they may deem to be harming their ability to make profit.
  • We reject ‘austerity’, which amounts to the poor and disempowered paying for the mistakes of the rich, and which we believe is a pretence for the further erosion and pillage of public assets and services for the benefit of the rich.
  • We reject councils’ call for citizens to ‘participate’ in budgeting their straitened funds, effectively tricking us into becoming complicit in imposing cuts, the rationale for which we reject.

What we are for:

  • We, empowered and informed citizens of the world, pledge to support only those politicians and political parties who explicitly make the elimination of local, national and global socio-economic inequality their major goal, while respecting the intrinsic worth and rights of each and every human being and those of the natural world upon which we ultimately depend.
  • We support the concepts of a citizen’s income.and a living wage.
  • We pledge to support and promote writers and thinkers, projects and media who seek to create and promote global solidarity and alternatives to neoliberalism, to educate and inform people about these and to expose the lies and misinformation spread by the present establishment. Examples include Bella Caledonia, Resurgence and Ecologist, the Jimmy Reid Foundation, the Common Weal Project, the Equality Trust, Media Lens, the World Development Movement (soon to become Global Justice Now), Positive Money, Bruce K. Alexander, Ha-Joon Chang, Noam Chomsky, David Erdal, Naomi Klein, Abby MartinJohn Pilger, Lesley Riddoch, Vandana Shiva, Joseph Stiglitz and Andy Wightman.
  • We pledge to support, and set up where necessary, alternatives to agro-industry such as local food-growing initiatives, small-scale organic farming, analog forestry and associated organisations, such as Nourish Scotland and its members (e.g. The Fife Diet) and La Via Campesina movement.
  • Whenever possible, we pledge to support small and local businesses rather than large and multinational ones, and to reduce our patronage of large supermarkets and financial institutions whose ethics do not accord with ours.
  • We pledge to set up and/or support local democracy movements, and call for Scotland’s enormous local authorities to be broken up into many smaller ones.
  • In addition, we pledge to reduce our individual impacts on the environment by such measures as reducing food waste, flying less often, reducing our energy consumption and shifting to alternative suppliers such as Ecotricity and Good Energy.
  • As an illustrative local action, in Edinburgh we pledge not to collaborate with Edinburgh Council’s consultation exercise relating to where the budget cuts should fall.
  • We consider that if we participated we would become complicit in imposing further hardship on the poorest and most vulnerable in society who most rely on council services.
  • Instead, we call on our elected representatives to present us with alternative ways of raising funds from the wealthiest in society – those who have benefited greatly from neoliberal policies in recent decades. Examples would include raising council tax for properties in the highest ratings band, imposing a land-value tax, raising income tax on the wealthiest and imposing a tourism tax.
Owen Jones on tax avoidance

The wealthiest typically contribute proportionally less than others to the common good. This must cease.

  • Where powers to make such changes do not lie with the local authority, councillors should demand that the Scottish Government enact the necessary legislation.
  • Where the Scottish Government lacks the necessary power, it should demand that Westminster enact the appropriate legislation.
  • We maintain that simply to accept the necessity of cuts at any level is to be complicit in them, and therefore we call on our political representatives to resign rather than participate in making the poor pay, yet again, for the policies of the rich.
  • The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is entirely unacceptable to attack the poorest rather than ask the wealthiest to make a fair and entirely affordable contribution to the society from which they benefit.
  • Why not contact your councilor to make these points?  Search for your council website and then look for the facility to contact the councillors who represent you.  You should be able to enter your postcode.  Here, for example, is the relevant page on Edinburgh Council’s site.

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