It’s time for your views…!

The brand shiny new Simpol website is soon to arrive! Obviously we have a very good idea already of the policies that matter to you, the people. But now, it’s time for a little prioritising. We’re going to forming and expanding on existing links with other NGOs, groups and individuals to get things going. But there are so many areas, so I think it seems like a good idea to get your views on which policy areas – and therefore which NGOs – are of greatest importance.

So I’m going to ask that you come up with a list ordered 1-5 of your policy priorities (1 being most important) and stick them in a comment on this post.

I look forward to reading your responses. 🙂

Mark

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11 thoughts on “It’s time for your views…!

  1. Hi, do you have an online system for ordering, debating and evaluating different policy ideas? If not I suggest you work with the Democratic Reform Movement in their development of the Online Parliament. It’s planned to be completed by January; but I’m sure that if you were to offer some help you would be able to utilise the same system as well. Contact Ian Pugh if you’re interested: ian.pugh@democraticreform.co.uk

    As for those 5 policy priorities this is simply off the top of my head:
    1: Tackling Extreme Poverty – this would have to involve a range of policies
    2: Countering Global Warming and the Harming of Biodiversity – every country has a stake in this. For instance some people say China presents a stumbling block. Yet if the world’s temperature rises by just 2 degrees then the number of rice harvests than China can collect will fall, meaning they won’t be able to support their population (even with it being forecast to fall). And if everyone has a stake everyone should be able to agree.
    3: Countering the “Race to the Bottom” by specifying a minimum level of Corporate Tax, tackling tax loopholes, and tackling corruption
    4. Limiting Wars: Set a maximum cap on the amount of money that can be spent on defence, such that the money has to be spent instead on other things such as healthcare and education. And require that the UN is democratised, and drastically reformed, and then require that future foreign interventions have to be approved by the UN.
    5. Making all trade fair, sustainable and as local as possible – this would most likely have to happen through the WTO. But each WTO round of talks takes longer than the last, and has less chance of success. SIMPOL could act as the necessary boost.

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your response. The new Simpol website will contain the means for users to propose and create policies, as well as forums and mechanisms to debate and rank them. That said I’m sure there will be significant benefit in collaborating with the Democratic Reform Movement on this and other areas.

      Thank you also for your list. Some very interesting ideas there. Be good to see how they compare with other peoples’ answers. 🙂

  2. Hi Mark,
    I would need to spend a bit of time whittling it down to 5, but I feel quite strongly that some sort of campaign to put pressure on the media to report properly, truthfully and accurately all the news is essential to all campaigns.

    One of the goals surely of Simpol and many other campaigns is to inform and influence people, the more the better. With a media that is so biased and controlled by it’s proprietors that doesn’t happen. Worse than that in this country is our public service broadcaster, The BBC is failing us. It does not report many important campaigns going on in the UK and the World, just take the Occupy movement as an example or 38 Degrees. When it does report, it is often highly inaccurate and negative, and lets face it a majority of people do not even think to question or challenge what they hear. So public opinion is all too often negatively influenced against campaigns that challenge the government and more importantly the corporations, the majority of our news is skewed in favour of both.

    I think it essential that a concerted campaign, maybe coordinated between other campaigning groups, is launched, initially in this country directed at the BBC. The government and the corporations know the power of the media and information, they actively use it and manipulate it, information is power, we need to take that power back.

    I fear without this many campaigns will simply fade away, particularly when things start to pick up in the economy and the financial pressures on individuals ease up and improve. Now is a golden opportunity.

    I know this might not be a natural campaign for Simpol, but it, in my opinion needs to happen, and maybe it could be a side campaign.

    Once the voice for change in the media is loud enough it will be hard to ignore.

    • Hi Rob,

      Your right that it’s not a natural campaign area for Simpol, but your also right that it is vital. I think we are going to see more and more coalitions of NGOs/campaign groups across a broad spectrum of campaign areas. The problems we face are all interconnected – for example, how to campaign for fairness when the media coverage itself is not fair and balanced. So must the solutions and the people working to implement them be interconnected. This is the essence of cooperation, which has in recent years been overwhelmed by unrestrained competition. Already such coalitions are springing up all over – Stop climate chaos coalition, occupy, Democratic Reform Movement… the list goes on.

      The only other thing I would add is that increasingly, the mainstream media are no longer trusted by many to provide impartial and factual coverage. I think the internet is pivotal here in that it provides free and (mostly) unlimited access to information, news sources and opinion pieces. It has also been pointed out that factual standards on the internet are often much higher than in professional journalism and broadcasting these days. Everything is referenced because anyone failing to adequately do so is not taken seriously. Then of course the internet also gives us the means to share opinions and views honestly (i.e not claiming them as fact) and widely.

      Man this turned out to be a long reply. Perhaps I should have made this a blog itself eh?! 😀

  3. I have to agree with Rob in the main my most important issues for reform are
    1 – closing tax loopholes
    2 – implimenting a robin hood tax
    3 – ensuring busnesses pay fair wages so that benefits are for the most needy who are unable to work not paid to ensure those in employment can survive because wages don’t cut it in modern inflation
    4 – capping top rate saleries and raising minimum levels so taht the wealth is didtributed more fairly throughout society
    5 – ensuring a fast, effective and mulit-disiplinary manover to renewable energies without all the focus on wind or solar or hydro we are an island we can use all three some other countries may find one more benefical than the other so should be allowed to choose which they use more freely
    6 – havign an upper rate of tax that is fair in finacial transactions for mortgages, loans, credit cards etc to make it harder for peole to get into the levels of debt seen recently
    7 – ensuring that if countries get into debt and have to be bailed out the money used can only go into the essential public servises such as education, health, social care and small businessess etc not to the businessess/banks that caused the problems to begin with

    In the words of – Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court justice from 1916-1939 – “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

    • Hi Jean,

      Thank you for sharing your views. All of those seem like good ideas to me. Your top two and most especially the robin hood tax have been consistently well supported amongst simpol supporters. Certainly much to consider there.

  4. I only have 1 policy but it spans across all issues mentioned. Education, environment, media, salary and tax reform, poverty and it even pushes into health being a policy based on self empowerment.

    1. National enlistment 🙂 but not the type we’re used to. What this world needs is a paradigm shift.

    Our national enlistment scheme borrows some ideas from the outdated, war mungering one but incorporates them into a force for good.

    The force for good would be a highly sofisticated company of earth guards. A network of people spanning the globe employed into positions of their choice (most importantly). Safe guarding the sustainability of our earthly systems. Including the man made ones with required modifications.

    This network would obviously have departments focusing on specific areas of concern that would enitially work locally but ultimately cross borders and think and act globally.

    I’m not going to go into too much detail because for , I’m typing with 1 finger on my iPhone. Which I have recently learnt was build under a veil of false marketing. And two because it would be s large document. But thankyou for this service and I wish you all the best.

    Tim

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for your post. 🙂

      That’s a very interesting approach to things. It also raises many questions. Most specific of these questions is this: Would this be a compulsory thing? If so then I’m afraid I would have to disagree. I do not think that programs of this sort should ever be compulsory.

  5. Also, I think that if every country were to implement it then a maximum wage would be a good idea. It doesn’t matter whether a country does this through capping what companies can pay or by putting a 100% tax on all earnings above a certain limit (the second is beneficial for tax reasons and can be a status boost, which explains why the choice is necessary). I realise this sounds a bit extreme. But think about it. People often compain about the super rich. But a huge percentage of those people are philanthropists. And why? It’s like the story of Scrooge. Once you have more than a certain amount of money there’s really nothing you can do with it but give it away.To my mind this is a systemic fault, that only a global, simultaneous policy of implementing a maximum wage can fix.

    Robert Battison

    • That’s an interesting idea. I guess, in the end and the extreme cases, it comes down to an evaluation of whether the government or the philanthropist is best at redistributing that money – and how you set about defining ‘best’.

      What do others think on this?

  6. As for those 5 policy priorities this is simply off the top of my head:
    1: Tackling Extreme Poverty – this would have to involve a range of policies
    2: Countering Global Warming and the Harming of Biodiversity – every country has a stake in this. For instance some people say China presents a stumbling block. Yet if the world’s temperature rises by just 2 degrees then the number of rice harvests than China can collect will fall, meaning they won’t be able to support their population (even with it being forecast to fall). And if everyone has a stake everyone should be able to agree.
    3: Countering the “Race to the Bottom” by specifying a minimum level of Corporate Tax, tackling tax loopholes, and tackling corruption
    4. Limiting Wars: Set a maximum cap on the amount of money that can be spent on defence, such that the money has to be spent instead on other things such as healthcare and education. And require that the UN is democratised, and drastically reformed, and then require that future foreign interventions have to be approved by the UN.
    5. Making all trade fair, sustainable and as local as possible – this would most likely have to happen through the WTO. But each WTO round of talks takes longer than the last, and has less chance of success. SIMPOL could act as the necessary boost.

    +1

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