A new Assembly of around 100 democratically elected representatives to be established with the sole responsibility of taking over control of Health and Education. To ensure a smooth transition, the Assembly needs to be set up, and elections held, two years before powers are handed over.
All powers to run Health and Education, currently held by members of the House of Commons, are to be devolved to the elected members of the new Assembly. The Government remains responsible for allocating the total budget but hands over all control over how this money is spent. Over time, the Assembly’s influence in fixing the total budget will develop.
With the new Assembly in place, the number of MPs is reduced by half. New constituency boundaries will need to be drawn up, broadly doubling the size of current constituencies.
Health and Education are different. They can and should be removed from the stranglehold of our old political system. Only by combining the two can we justify demanding changes of this scale. Only by making changes of this scale can we inject new energy and participation into our political system.
Do not be discouraged by the extent of these changes, do not think these ideas are impractical or unachievable. This is evolution, not revolution.
We are simply responding to the fact that our society has outgrown “old style” politics and that the issues facing us have become too complex and demanding. We need objective long term solutions and consistent detailed follow-up. Politics just guarantees us pretty well the opposite.
Achieving The Aims
Over time we will be able to assemble a group of people who want to lead this – the competent, the committed and the communicative. People with a proven track record in Health and Education will carry conviction, but this is much more than just a project for “insiders” and “technocrats”. We must aim to be representative of all aspects of our society and encourage the very best talents to come forward. Everyone wanting to be involved needs to be comfortable with the Guiding Principles but complete uniformity of ideas is not required, or even desirable, at this stage. Conviction among ourselves will not be enough; we must have the ability to get our ideas across to the sceptics, the non-believers and the abstainers.
We can hardly expect any existing political party to take on these ideas (!) therefore we will have to present ourselves as a new party. In any case, gaining independent democratic credibility is essential for our cause.