Friday, May 01, 2015

Howard’s Way and Howard’s End - Socialism

In response to Hindu Matters in Britain, our Brighton Pavilion's candidate, Howard Pilott wrote:

Dear Brighton Hindus,

Thanks for this.  My message to your readers is that I stand for things which I suspect will appeal to members of your faith: a society in which exploitation is abolished, where the participants are able to act towards each other in a spirit of compassion rather than competition, and where honesty can characterise our dealings. My [admittedly poor] reading of Hinduism leads me to the sense that it is a strongly ethical religion, and it is from my ethical considerations that I am attracted to and an advocate of Socialism [a political system which also has a strong following in India].

We live currently in a world where wealth and power are very unevenly distributed, entailing the deprivation and degradation of many people, throughout the world: poverty wages here, child labour abroad, interference in overseas regimes and constraints on their markets. The system works to the advantage of a tiny minority. Yet somehow a belief has gained currency that this is the only way it can be; that there is no alternative to this system of haves and have nots; that we need incredibly rich people in order to make the whole thing work.

I hold that we are a remarkably resourceful and adaptable people and the advances of technology provides testament to what we can do when we have the impetus. This convinces me that we could organize this world in a far more egalitarian manner.  Can it be right that since the start of the recession in the UK the richest 1% have seen their wealth grow by £77m per day whereas the rest of us have had to endure cuts to our public services and real terms drops in the value of our earnings?

Changing the world is not a simple process.  I wish I could believe in the reforms offered by other parties of conscience, but I am clear that unless the power balance of our system is amended, the rich will always have greater influence and move things to their advantage [and hence against ours]. It is only by the abolition of the capitalist system that we can progress to a compassionate distribution of the world’s bounty: the most compassionate maxim I know of in politics is 'from each according to their ability, to each acccording to their need'.  Only Socialism can deliver this: vote for me and/or better still get involved: visit our website for 3 free issues of our magazine

Kind regards,
Howard Pilott
Prospective Party Candidate
The Socialist Party of Great Britain

While James Kenny e-mailed, “As a Manchester United fan and a voter in the Brighton, Pavilion constituency, before I vote on May 7th I would like to know whether you will support legislation to reform football governance? [to see another candidates response see Bill Martin’s reply here ] We believe legislative changes are necessary as outlined here.  Howard Pilott answered: 

Hello James,

Thank you for your email.  My understanding is that Manchester United plc is registered in the Cayman Islands and quoted on the NYSE, and as such is a multinational company. In 2014 they made over £400m. This is a business which exists for the benefit of the shareholders [mostly US family the Glazers] selling shirts and viewing rights and merchandising, oh and also playing some football.  Players are predominantly from overseas. The association with the town of Manchester or England is coincidental to their activities: if they thought they could make money out of it they'd move to Milan or Los Angeles.

I have nothing against those who enjoy watching football or those who play it.  I have an issue with a created marketing culture which treats a local sport as a product to be ruthlessly advertised and merchandised. I grew up living locally to Arsenal football ground where you could see players walking along the local streets, and talk to them; some dated girls at my secondary school; friends went for trials and we could get in for a song. Now players earn more in a matter of months than many fans do in a lifetime; they are super celebs. The £250+m wages bill at Old Trafford means £250+m has been sucked out of our economy when it could have been spent on schools, hospitals, railways, care of the elderly, etc...But that's what happens in this cockeyed system. The current system may produce some great players and even sometimes some great games, but what is hidden is the real cost of doing so. Somehow our world spent £5.1bn on premier league viewing rights while we have 4hrs+ waits in A&E.  Ask yourself if that is a good balance.

Because football is now big business, you cannot make meaningful reforms: it's like trying to reform a scorpion - what will always come out top is what is good for business. A reform here and there - they'll find ways around it if they want to. However if capitalism was abolished, football and football teams would no longer be big business: the whole thing would be run by whoever is involved, not by non-doms or overseas billionaires. Games would be free and players could play for the sport of it. Ask yourself why footballers need millions of pounds to play well whereas Olympiads do it for nothing. I prefer the model of the Olympiads myself.

Not sure this answered your questions but hopefully it may raise some others.

 Howard Pilott
The Socialist Party of Great Britain candidate

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