The Reform Party
Social and economic management
It is the belief of the undersigned that the existing political status quo has failed to respond effectively to many of the challenges faced by this country over the last 10-15 years. The failure of leadership shown by successive governments has led this country to the edge of a precipice from which we must recoil before it is too late. It is now clear that a majority of British people have lost faith in politics and feel excluded from the political process. This is not only unhealthy for democracy but it is damaging to the social fabric and welfare of the nation.
During the course of the last two or three decades, there has been massive under investment and mismanagement of public services by consecutive governments. As a result, healthcare, public transport systems, social services and the police force/law and order, are all in a state of varying degrees of disarray.
Britain's economic diversity has been destroyed and is now critically dependent on the services sector industries. Manufacturing and agriculture have been degraded to the point that the nation is now a massive importer of the vast majority of products, it once exported to the rest of the world. Our superficially healthy economy has been fuelled by high consumer spending encouraged by higher personal borrowing and record debt. Savings have been seriously eroded by low interest rates and the collapse of pension schemes, despite the longest economic boom in equities in our history. The future now looks bleak for millions of people in this country.
The political process now dominated by spin, half truths and political correctness gone mad, has lost its credibility. The institution of Parliament has been surreptitiously undermined. The longer term interests of the nation are often subjugated by short term party political ambition in the pursuit of power at the expense of integrity and principle.
Sections of the British tabloid press are regarded by many as the most socially irresponsible in the world and are symptomatic of a general malaise within British society today, which irrationally seeks to destroy those who succeed but does little to help those who fail to achieve.
The BBC, once the most respected broadcasting organisation in the world, is a pale shadow of its former self. The aim of a public broadcasting service in a developed society should be to help raise standards not lower them. We now live in a country where the lowest common denominator is the accepted norm. This is not good enough.
Middle-aged and elderly
The middle aged are the first to be made redundant and the last to be offered new employment. We live in a society where experience is sacrificed to a culture of youth, where celebrity worship is the new religion. We live in a country that has lost its sense of direction and its sense of core values.
The elderly are too often given little respect and generally treated as second class citizens despite their valuable contribution to society over entire lifetimes. Their wisdom and experience is ignored by governments and corporations alike. They are attacked in their homes and in the streets by semi-illiterate thugs unaware that they owe their own freedom and their democratic lifestyle to many of those they abuse. Britain today repays the contribution made by its elder citizens by destroying their savings, leaving them more vulnerable to crime, closing down care homes and hospices and undermining their dignity. This is unacceptable in a so called civilised and cultured society.
Crime and anti-social behaviour
Successive governments have presided apathetically over alarming increases in crime, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour which are now endemic in the streets of our cities, towns and villages. Prisons are overcrowded. Sentencing laws are a laughing stock. Society is in virtual meltdown because government has failed in its duty to uphold the values that are essential to a civilised society. This is unacceptable to the majority of decent, honest, hard working people in this country.
Traditional political parties
It is evident for all to see that the structure of the traditional parties no longer reflect the structure of British society. They are out of touch, out of tune and out of date with the aspirations of modern Britain.
Britain is now at a crossroads when it must decide on its future destiny. The choices offered by the existing political parties are limited, simplistic and narrow in their vision. They would also spell the end of the Britain we have known for more than a millennium and the end of Britain as a major influence on the world stage.
This is the last chance the British people will have to decide what kind of Britain they would like their children and their grandchildren to live in. This is the opportunity to create, not an ordinary Britain but an extraordinary Britain, that remains true to its heritage and continues to stand for freedom, tolerance, democracy and justice, a country of which we should and can all be proud.
Europe or what?
It is also worryingly self evident that the current political parties are entrenched in orthodox thinking with regard to Europe. They have never sought nor presented the British people with any alternative strategy other than to join or not join the Euro. Are they telling the British people that these are the only choices open to us, that there are no alternative strategies that might serve Britain's interests as well or better?
Why should Britain isolate itself and lose its identity in a protectionist trading block when it could and perhaps should eliminate its trade barriers on a quid pro quo basis with trading partners around the world? Could Britain not set the definitive standard for true globalisation?
The British people must be presented with the widest possible choices before deciding for themselves which course they believe best serves the interests and aspirations of the nation and its people. No government has the right to dictate policy on matters of constitutional importance but all governments have a duty to protect the sovereignty of the nation.
New political consensus
Given the general malaise that now pervades this country, it is clear that a new political consensus is required. The undersigned therefore believe the time is now right for the formation of a modern new political body which will be known as the Reform Party capable of facing the problems of the 21st century as well as resolving the mistakes of the previous one.