The Peace Party – Non-violence, Justice, Environment

General Statement of Vision, Views and Policies, 2005
a. Introduction
Our philosophy is based unequivocally on a celebration of life, of concern and respect for every person.  Our aim is to feel compassion for all people.
We will never kill (or ask another to kill) or cause pain and suffering to any other for any reason whatsoever.
We apply this thinking to all areas of policy – we are not a single issue pressure group.  Supporters of the Peace Party believe that the world needs
Justice for everyone and their environment.
The Party, in government, would support no more wars, or preparations for them.  This would currently allow around 37 billion each year to be re-allocated to all kinds of socially useful work – eliminating poverty, delivering peace, promoting health and education, improving the environment and so on.  The detail follows in this manifesto.
War is destructive to humanity and a morally unacceptable way to resolve conflict.  Killing people must never play a part in government policy – The Peace Party renounces war entirely.  It does not support any kind of war for whatever reason.  It is determined to work for the removal of all causes of war.  It knows that it is time to break the war habit and to move beyond the use of physical, and other forms of, violence.
b. Peace means real Hope for the Future
1. Peace is about activity; it is a process, a set of procedures that imply unequivocal care and concern, selfless compassion and respect for all humanity.  There can be no real peace without truth, trust, toleration and justice.
2. Peace is about social and economic justice and social equity.
3. Peace is a myriad of webs of communication that link us all creating real security and strengthening bonds between people and within each one of us.  In today’s world we can be in touch with any other instantaneously.
4. Peace needs constant work and effort.  The flows of energy create a force stronger than any weapon.
5. Peaceful communication is positive, co-operative, constructive and life-enhancing.
6. Peace is belonging.  Peace is community. Peace is harmony.  Peace is solidarity.  Peace is cultivating virtues of compassion, kindness and consideration for others.
7. Peace is security where people can define and answer their own needs, where they live, free from exploitation, violence and persecution.  Security comes from within – from within individuals and from the places where they live.
8. Peace is recognising, when things go wrong, the cycle of violence and how to break out of it; it means resolving differences and conflict by non-violent means (peace-making and peace-building) – finding a common interest, a unity of purpose by listening and talking, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, conciliation and reconciliation.
9. Peace is about the full development of all of humanity and the acknowledgement of all human rights.
10. Peace is not just absence of violence, terrorism and war.
11. Peace is about the right relationship with our environment, a relationship that is holistic and organic.
12. Peace brings rewards for all for, only with peace, can everybody win.
13. Peace has also been shown to be extremely cost effective by several orders of magnitude than meeting violence with violence.
c. All people need policies for Real Peace
Our government needs to pass laws to
1. Close down all the military, abolishing the standing armed forces and the military-industrial complex.
2. Take out of use and destroy all weapons stockpiled for military purposes and thus allow the reallocation of at least 37 billion each year (32 billion – Ministry of “Defence”, 1.5 Billion – Foreign Office, 4.5 billion – International Development) (0.1 billion is, however, used for Conflict Prevention) to all kinds of socially useful work such as eliminating poverty, delivering peace, promoting health and education and improving the environment;
3. Withdraw immediately from all military alliances and from all current military commitments (in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere) - the UK will never take part in any war again.  We will thus greatly reduce, and probably eliminate, the chances of our being considered a target for terrorism;
4. Close all armaments factories and research facilities and subsidise their conversion to peaceful purposes – peaceful production can bring an end to war;
5. Stop the arms trade: ban all trade in any type of weapon or military equipment.
6. Establish and maintain a multi-skilled, non-violent, highly-trained “Sea-Air-Land Disasters Emergency Force”, based on the coastguard, fire and ambulance services, to help deal with national and international emergencies.
7. Educate individuals and groups, children and adults, to act rationally at times of conflict and thus to know how to build trust and self-empowerment, to use conflict prevention and all forms of non-violent conflict resolution – mediation, negotiation, conciliation, arbitration and reconciliation or, as a last resort, passive resistance, civil disobedience, conscientious objection and non-violent direct action.
8 Ensure that children as well as adults learn about peace, disarmament and human rights and that they are able to practise peace skills in a non-violent, co-operative atmosphere.
9. Subsidise only those youth organizations that promote peace (e.g. Woodcraft Folk).
10. Set up a Ministry for Peace as part of a government orientated towards peace.
11. Adopt a democratic peace constitution for the European Union.
12. Strengthen our commitment to democratized peace-building organizations including the United Nations and its agencies, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – for conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.
13. Strengthen our commitment to the World Criminal Court.
14. Set up a world-wide disputes settlement service within the United Nations.
d. All People need policies for Social Justice and an Open Society
Our government needs to pass laws to
1. End all forms of slavery – exploitation of some people continues to exist in our country today.
2. Ensure that all people, including the young, are able to work to earn sufficient for their personal needs, subject, of course, to age, special social circumstances and physical or mental infirmity.
3. Support co-operative systems of employment, i.e. systems that are democratic, involving everyone in the control of the workplace including those workplaces operated by government and local authorities.
4. Eliminate poverty and inequality.  Simplify the benefit and pension systems at a stroke by ensuring that each adult has a minimum income of 300 per week.  (By the early 1990’s 30% of children were living below the poverty line in Britain and the gap between incomes for rich and poor widened inexorably).
5. Introduce higher rates of taxation for those on incomes over 100,000 per year.
6. Make all tax, for fairness to everyone, income, wealth or corporate.  (We note that, for example, VAT hits those on lower incomes proportionately harder than those on higher incomes).
7. Pay for local services ONLY from central funds thus abolishing the unfair Council Tax.
8. Work urgently through the United Nations to eliminate poverty and inequality elsewhere in the world AND THEN allow unrestricted movement of people throughout the world so that they may live and work where they like - and marry, or live with, whom they like.
9. Ensure that society is completely open and inclusive – that no one is excluded from it for any reason.  On so doing, everyone will feel more secure.
10. Ensure that children and young people are treated as equals.
11. Work urgently through the United Nations to establish bodies to manage globalization.  Everything cannot be left to the “self-regulating” market – such a market does so much to promote insecurity.
12. Work to reform the United Nations e.g.
Abolish the controversial human rights commission,
Enlarge the Security Council from 15 to 24 seats,
Tighten oversight of the UN’s contracts and sanctions programmes,
Create a new peace-building body to strengthen civil society in countries ravaged by conflict.
13. Work for democratic world government and the rights of local groups of people to govern themselves.
14. Ensure that all people have good housing at a price they can afford.  Our children need a good home environment in which to grow up.
15. Liberate land for building houses to ensure that everyone benefits from the wealth tied up in land.
16. Guarantee the promotion of a healthy life-style and good health for everyone.  Medical, psychological and emotional care must be free to all with the best facilities available to all, for when ill-health strikes it is often the poor, dispirited and exhausted that can suffer most.
17. Guarantee that only drugs tested on people will be recognized and marketed; there must be no more testing on animals.
18. Make sure that all education is available to everyone - without cost.  Non-means-tested grants will cover all costs of those needing to live away from home - for travel, lodging and subsistence.  Promote apprenticeship schemes to help the young especially into work.
19. Ensure that good sports and leisure facilities are available to all and that they are accessible by subsidized (i.e. free) public transport for the young.
20. Ensure that everyone is potentially able to take part in decision-making with voting in all elections by proportional representation (for example, by single transferable vote in multi-member constituencies as in Northern Ireland).
21. Ensure that the UK has a sufficient supply of its own doctors, teachers and other skilled workers – trained ones must NOT be drawn away from poorer, developing countries thus hindering or stunting their growth.
22. Work towards the de-criminalisation of all drugs, acknowledging that all of them, including tobacco and alcohol, are noxious, life-threatening substances and recognizing that making drugs illegal has failed to stop abuse and has lead to the increase of crime and poverty.
23. Ensure that the UN is able to work with governments locally to protect indigenous peoples and
24. Subsidise purchases from these peoples.
25. Ensure that the social climate is so supportive that every mother-to-be will feel that she and her partner and family will want the pregnancy to run the full term; in a pacifist society there must be no more killing of unborn children – abortions are contrary to the core vision and philosophy of the Peace Party.
e. All People need policies for a Peaceful Environment
where we work with nature, using only our fair share of resources and
recognizing that every action rapidly affects every other across the globe
Our government needs to pass laws to
1. Make sure that everyone has access to free local travel with longer journeys being even more heavily subsidized than they are at present;
2. Ensure, by means of subsidies for wind, wave, hydro-electric power (river and tidal), solar, nuclear fusion and biomass burning that everyone has access to sufficient, non-polluting energy – aim to replace as soon as possible nuclear fission power and the burning of all carbon-dioxide-producing fuels - gas, coal, oil.  Indeed, petroleum, coal and uranium are too useful to burn.
3. Subsidise the storage of “wastes” from burning and nuclear reactions for future use (we do not know what new technologies will require as raw materials).
4. Subsidise scientific research programmes.
5. Guarantee that, as far as is humanly possible, no-one anywhere in Britain or the world will ever go hungry again by putting in place fail-safe devices to move food to wherever it is needed.
6. Support fair trade/trade justice by maintaining a minimum price for products and a minimum wage for producers as well as guaranteeing markets using subsidies.
7. On climate change – (i) reduce carbon dioxide emissions by:
Subsidising public transport (making it free locally and at very low cost for longer journeys) thus making it more attractive for car-owners whilst
Taxing, even more heavily, petrol and diesel in private vehicles
Subsidising cycling (e.g by providing bike pools and cycle routes) instead of private car-driving
Subsidising the development of hydrogen-powered and electrically-powered private transport (where batteries are charged from non-polluting electrical energy)
Subsidising the production of renewable sources of power including run-of-river (not big dams and reservoirs) and tidal hydro-electric power, wind-generated electricity, solar power and bio-gas
Subsidising the development of fusion reaction for electrical power production to replace coal, oil and gas
Subsidising companies converting from carbon dioxide-producing to non-polluting processes whilst
Taxing companies producing carbon dioxide
Taxing timber that cannot be shown to be from forests that are re-planted with trees of similar species
Working through the United Nations to do all the above all over the world (more “Kyoto Protocols”)
Educating children and adults about the dangers of carbon dioxide pollution
8. On climate change – (ii) reduce methane emissions by:
Taxing waste put into landfill
Subsidising re-cycling and re-use of materials
9. Reduce other man-produced pollutants by:
Subsidising companies to convert from polluting to non-polluting processes
Taxing the polluters
Educating children and adults about the dangers of all kinds of pollution
10. On climate change – (iii) reduce the percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide by:
Subsidising tree-planting (to increase this “carbon sink”) including “edible landscaping” i.e. fruit and nut trees.
11. On climate change – (iv) reduce its possible effects (e.g. global warming, changes in rainfall patterns, increased windiness and possible local cooling) by:
Subsidising changes in forestry and agriculture – draining fields, introducing irrigation, bringing new land into cultivation to maintain and increase food production (as sea level rises and agricultural land is flooded)
Planning to re-locate residents, factories, offices, roads and railways (as sea level rises)
Developing multi-skilled emergency services (a Peace Party-governed country would have no military to lean on)
Improving water supply (e.g. by creating canals and pipelines from high to low rainfall areas, by improving storage of water, underground and in reservoirs), by the de-salination of sea/salt-water, by subsidising rain-water collection)
Improving/introducing flood relief schemes in river valleys
Constructing /making higher coastal defences to protect lands liable to flood as sea levels rise.  (Such engineering works may have limited life but they will allow time for populations to be moved and for new agricultural land to be brought into use.)
Working through the United Nations to do all the above all over the world
Educating children and adults about their role in climate change through, for example, the National Curriculum and advertising
f. Conclusion
1. The Peace Party stands beyond the left, right and centre of current politics.
2. The Peace Party has a radical vision-led programme which is democratic and anti-authoritarian and stands beyond those who support the status quo and thus outside current trends in politics.  “Without vision, the people perish.”
3. The Peace Party is a secular political group.  It welcomes people of all religions – and of none.
4. Peace Party members elected to Parliament have agreed to accept only the equivalent of the national minimum wage for skilled workers plus actual travel and subsistence expenses incurred.
Revised 26th March, 2005