For the third time I imagine a manifesto of a political party that goes beyond the usual nothingness of Malawian politics. This time it is the labour party. I imagine not a “New Labour” party, but a classic one. The British “New Labour” is just another name for neo-liberal-but-a-little less-neoliberal. Again this is NOT the situation according to John K Black. This is the opinion that a labour party would sustain in Malawi. The idea is to show that there are real alternatives in politics, that a government needs to choose from. Politics is not a technocratic exercise, it is the expression of an ideal for the country.
The population of Malawi is being exploited by a small group of ruling class. The proletarians work, the ruling class rules and enriches itself at the cost of the population. This needs to stop, it needs to be improved. We can do better than this, and the MILP (Malawi Imaginary Labour Party) will do better for the population.
- Economy is at the heart of the Labour vision for the country. What goes wrong now is: widening inequality. Lowering standards of living for the majority of the population, widespread poverty, and soon hunger. All this can be improved, and the MILP will improve s soon as we get into government. We will narrow the income gap, improve living standards and the general standard of life for the common Malawian. This can only be done with a strong government system. At the moment labour laws are not bad, but they are not enforced. MILP will send missions to all businesses to enforce good working conditions. Minimum wage will be raised to the level needed to sustain a family of four. This will be religiously enforced. With the difficult times Malawi is going through, the rich will have to shoulder most of the burden of the crisis as the poor simply do not have the carrying power. This means taxes for the rich will go up, while wages for the poor will go up. Government will create jobs for a large number of people. At the moment International as well as big Malawian companies are making astronomical profits at the expense of the people who do the actual work: the labourers and farmers. Minimum prices for agricultural products will be guaranteed by government, so farmers are not being ripped off by big companies or unscrupulous traders.
- Agriculture: the FISP is the much needed support for the poor. Malawi cannot do without it (for this read Stephen Carr). We will clean up FISP from corruption so it will be both affordable and effective in supporting those who need it: the poor. The already privileged will not get the opportunity to divert the inputs from the poor. Government will guarantee minimum prices, if necessary government will buy at these prices, and resell later when international prices have recovered.
- Civil service: the country needs a strong government system. At the moment civil servants are demoralized by bad organization, underpayment, and lack of resources to do a good job. All this is caused by bad management, corruption and nepotism. The civil service will be reorganized without lay offs: civil servants will be empowered to do a good job. Ghost workers will be removed, and those responsible for the vice will be brought to justice. No longer will the higher echelons of the civil service be immune to law enforcement. They will be required to do the job well, and without corrupt or nepotistic practices. This will free up the money and manpower to make the government sector strong, the strength of Malawian society.
- Education: it is clear to everyone that the mass of Malawian population cannot afford the astronomical rise in school fees that the current anti social government is trying to lay on it. Primary and secondary education must be free of charge, and of high quality. Tertiary education will be charged lower than currently and for talented individuals from poor background a strong system of scholarships will be available. Quality in all areas of education, including vocational training, needs to be improved in order to enable the population to make a good living and develop the country.
- Health care: the rot in health care needs to be stopped, and the best way to do so is to make the whole ruling class use the same system as the population: no more flying out for elite treatment. Instead improve the system here until it can meet international standards. We do not need inequality in this most important human right: the right to life.
- International politics: Malawi will engage with other developing countries (South-South initiative) to form a block against International Capitalism, so exploitation of the Global South will end. We will engage with other sub-Saharan countries first, but also contact countries in South America, Asia, Arab World and Southern Europe to form a united front against exploitation by international capitalism. We will engage also with workers unions and other entities of the disadvantaged in the west. This way we can form an international coalition that will not allow the current divide-and-conquer politics of the ruling classes in the west.
Malawi is a rich country, but its inhabitants are poor because a current ruling class are conniving with multi-national companies and their servants in western governments and institutions. We will not give away our mineral wealth for a pittance, or allow tax holidays for the rich. We will stand up for the common man, not for a “national interest” of the rich.
Improve Malawi, vote Labour, vote MILP