I write this a day before a general election, conscious that the things I am most concerned about are not on the agenda for mainstream parties. Here are the things I wish were major election issues. There’s no priority order here.
Climate change – real commitment to tackling the causes and preparing for the uncertainties of the future. Recognition that poorer countries and the most vulnerable people are likely to suffer most as a consequence.
Recognition that capitalism is a snake eating its own tail, that we are exploiting finite resources and cannot have perpetual growth. As automation replaces jobs we need a radical rethink about the structure and purpose of society.
Exploitation – both on the domestic front and internationally. We drive down prices by oppressing others, exploiting finite resources and exploiting workers in other counties. There are many international forms of slavery still functioning, including debt slavery.
Recognition that we all need clean air and safe, drinkable water and that these issues do not respect borders. Recognition that we need to co-operate internationally to safeguard these essential things and to work for long term food security for all as well.
A proper look at the causes of terrorism, and most especially the financing of terrorism, with actions to change this that do not simply involve killing more civilians. Recognition of the role of the arms trade in terrorism. Recognition that no matter how great the imagined benefit of profit from weapons sales, selling weapons is fuelling international violence.
An end to habitat and species loss, with recognition that trying to turn everything into fleeting profit regardless of the long term cost just isn’t clever or good. Stopping killing the oceans.
An approach to humanity that recognises common dignity and basic rights rather than seeing the many as a resource to be used and abused for the benefit of the few. A rejection of all political and religious grounds for dehumanising others.
Recognition that war, terrorism, oppression, exploitation, and the consequences of climate change and resource loss are the reasons for mass human migration at present. This will not be solved by closing borders, but by facing up to the causes.
We have the resources, the knowledge and the means to deliverer a fairer and more sustainable way of life for everyone. While we reject that in favour of short term profit for the few, we make ourselves ever less viable as a species.