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Five demands from the Peace & Justice Project

Let’s build an alternative to the misery faced by millions, says JEREMY CORBYN

A QUARTER of a million are homeless. 4.2 million children live in poverty. Our planet is deteriorating.

Unprecedented crises require transformative solutions — and our five demands go beyond the broken status quo. Across the country, millions of people are crying out for transformative change — and political leaders should listen. 

No one person can have all the answers and nobody should spend their lives bossing other people about. When we listen to each other and come together, we are an incredibly powerful force for change. That’s how history is made — and how we will make it again.

The five demands, launched by the Peace & Justice Project, are tools to empower the working class, advance equality, protect the environment, and realise peace and human rights for all. They have emerged from the movements that are the wellspring of our collective strength.

These five demands are not tablets written in stone or hollow soundbites. They are the living demands of our movements. They are built to inspire hope. To shape the future into one that truly works for the many, not just the few.

And that is what the Peace & Justice Project is asking you to do with its 5 Demands. Think about them, debate them, refine them, organise with them in your communities and, ultimately, win them.

Each of the five demands is radical in contrast to the cold-hearted austerity served up by the parliamentary front benches today, but in their principle and delivery, they are totally realistic and achievable ambitions for a fairer society and a thriving democracy.

The demand for a payrise for the many — bringing Britain’s salaries to at least £15 an hour — is a long overdue step to bringing about economic justice for the millions of workers struggling to make ends meet on the same stagnant wages they had in 2005 while battling soaring inflation. 

Dignity for those in work, as well as those out of it, must be an absolute priority for any government.

We must also take urgent action to address the climate crisis. The demand for a Green New Deal with public ownership at its heart will make Britain a world leader in clean energy with a series of strategic investments in green jobs, energy, water and public transport to rebalance the scales of wealth away from climate criminals and the wealthy elite, and ensure that, without exception, the lives of people here and in the global South are put firmly before the profits of greedy bosses.

The desperate demand for housing for all will finally be met.  The cost of housing is simply too high and rents have been allowed to spiral out of control. Housing should be a right, not a commodity to exploit those in dire need of accommodation — and we must act quickly to undertake the largest council house building programme in a generation to meet the unprecedented need faced by so many for somewhere safe, warm and affordable to live. Council housing represents the most cost-effective form of housing of all.The demand for housing for all also means ending no fault evictions and enforcing an immediate rent freeze.

We also demand urgent action to save our NHS. While the wealth of Britain’s billionaires has increased exorbitantly by 400 per cent since 2005, our hospitals are crumbling before our very eyes.  

We will defeat this injustice by implementing a wealth tax on the richest corporations and individuals, as well as instituting a windfall tax on the super-profits driving the inflation pushing families into poverty, to restore our NHS and public services to full health. 

As well as this, we demand this government, or the next, dismantles all outsourcing in our hospitals and builds the vital national care services to support all of us through old age.

With each day that passes in Gaza, as well as the countless conflicts around the world, our final demand feels more and more important. 

The government and opposition seem hell-bent on outdoing one another in their demonisation of refugees fleeing war, poverty and persecution, but the reality is we simply must build a humane migration system that gives asylum-seekers safe routes to access the right to work, healthcare and housing. 

Our demand to welcome refugees and a world free from war seeks to end the cruel cycle of devastation and displacement that enables the global arms trade to exploit conflicts for financial gain.

The world is in a perilous state. This requires peace initiatives, not more plans for war. From US President Joe Biden sending an obscene multibillion-dollar arms package to Israel while over half a million US citizens sleep rough on the streets, to Keir Starmer echoing the government’s calls to bring Britain’s military budget up to 2.5 per cent of GDP — a position he previously spoke against — we must ask the political Establishment why there is always money for war but never enough to pay every worker a dignified wage or overcome the rampaging climate crisis.

The five demands can energise our movement and bring us closer to social, economic and climate justice for all. They can liberate our communities from the doldrums of austerity politics, as well as the Palestinians, West Papuans, Kurds, Kashmiris and Chagosians from oppressive colonial powers. These demands can inspire hope and bring about lasting change for generations to come.  

Let’s build an alternative to the misery faced by millions.

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