1. GOVERNING BRITAIN
The House of Commons
The House of Lords
Bill of Rights
The Use of Referenda
The Decentralisation of Government
The European Parliament
The Civil Service
2. THE COMPOSITION OF THE UK
The Family of the Nation
Who is part of the Nation?
The size of the Population
Emigration from the UK
The National Democrat Bill of Rights
Encroachments on our Freedom
Town Hall Dictatorships
Other parties' idea of Freedom
The European Union
Europe Not the EU
Movement of Labour
Loss of World-wide Contacts
A Common Foreign end Defence Policy
5. LAW AND ORDER
Protecting Our People
Punishment and Rehabilitation
6. THE FAMILY
The family: The ideal Social Unit
The Image of the Family
Defending Our Land
An Independent Defence
The Royal Navy
The Royal Air Force
The Nuclear Deterrent
The Merchant Navy
Independence from NATO
8. THE ECONOMY
Prosperity for the Nation
Municipal and State Ownership
Finance and Inflation
Performance and Prestige
Local Schools to meet Local Needs
A Core Curriculum
State and Non-State Education
School Buildings & Facilities
Youth Service to the Nation
Nursery Schools and Starting Age
10. THE MEDIA
Quality of Television Programmes
Distribution of Newspapers
Right of Reply
Invasion of Privacy
11. HEALTH & SOCIAL SECURITY
Looking after our People
Funding of the Health Service
12. THE ENVIRONMENT
Protecting our Environment
13. NORTHERN IRELAND
The Economy of Ulster
Our Relations with Southern Ireland
14. THE NATION'S ART
What to Subsidise
Throughout British history one of the main complaints of the people has been their oppression by absentee landowners and by out of touch barons, kings and politicians. Such individuals have regularly exercised their power arbitrarily, sometimes resulting in the devastation of individual families or communities. From the Norman Conquest through the times of great land owning lords to the Scottish clearances and the advent of the industrial revolution, there has never been any shortage of individuals who have been prepared to feather their own nest at the expense of the majority of hard working British people.
As we approach the year 2,000 it is surely amazing that once again real political and economic power is slowly being taken away from the British people. Decisions are being made in Brussels, in New York and in Tokyo which can dramatically affect the lives of whole communities, yet such communities may have little or no say in these decisions.
Real decision making power has been passing further and further away from individuals and local communities. Whether it is a decision over the local environment, or a major national issue such as an aspect of law and order or immigration, ordinary people have less and less say in the making of such decisions.
It has been bad enough having an out-of-touch, sovereign British parliament making such decisions but now many political and economic matters are decided in Brussels, usually as a compromise between the major European countries. Under the present laissez-faire financial system many economic decisions are now made by multinational conglomerates which have no responsibility or accountability other than to make profits for their international shareholders, many of which are international financial institutions.
GIVING REAL POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE
Quite simply the National Democrats believe the loss of power by the people is wrong. Unlike the three major political parties in Britain we want to give real decision making power back to the British people. What's more we want all decisions that can be made by individuals, by families and by local communities to be taken by them and not by national or international politicians.
We believe that Britain has now slipped into being an "elective dictatorship" run by an out of touch "Class politique" who run the country more for their own benefit than for the good of the people.
The National Democrats are pledged to give real power, political and economic, back to the British people; to allow local communities the right to determine their own future and to ensure that all decisions affecting Britain are made in Britain by British politicians who regard themselves as the servants of the people.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Stop the European Parliament having any control over Britain's affairs by withdrawing from the European Community.
Introduce a fairer electoral system including an aspect of proportional representation.
Increase the powers of Hour of Commons Select Committees.
Eliminate the powers of hereditary peers.
Seek to maintain the monarchy.
Make local government much more responsive to local needs, when necessary by giving more powers to smaller community councils.
Move more power away from central government to local and regional control.
The main aim of the National Democrats is to introduce government that is responsive to the wishes of the British people at both local and national level. We regard it as an outrage that on a whole range of issues the Government has become completely out of touch with the people. These issues include health care, capital punishment, immigration and privatisation. Similarly at local levels councils hand out grants to a whole range of minority groups against the wishes of the local people and often carry through grandiose plans without consulting or gaining the consent of local people.
In both cases we believe that many politicians of all three major parties have lost touch with ordinary people and have become more interested in strutting around on the political stage, both at home and abroad, and at various international conventions. They also spend more time trying to get themselves into the newspapers or on television by launching 'new initiatives" or announcing "new approaches", often ignoring the actual needs of the people they are meant to serve.
The aim of the National Democrats is to provide government for the benefit of the people, not to oppress or ignore them.
2. THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
At present the 659 Members of Parliament are elected on a first-past the-post system. This means that the two largest parties (Conservative and Labour) are heavily over represented, while all other parties are seriously under-represented .For example in 1987 the Conservative Party received 43% of the total vote but was given 58% of the MPs the Labour party received 31% of the vote but ended up with 35% of the MPs. The Liberal Democrats received 22% of the vote but gained just 3½% of the MPs.
The National Democrats support an electoral system which we believe is fair to all parties while at the same time retaining the best aspects of the present system.
We would like to see half the MP's elected as they are today except we would double the size of the constituencies. The other half would he elected by direct proportional representation on a list system giving, for example, a party 3% of this section of MPs if they achieved 3% of the national vote.
We believe that this still allows the concept of a local MP while, at the same time, providing smaller political parties some representation without destabilising the parliamentary system. We would emphasise that we believe this system is right and just and has not been designed to give the National Democrats maximum representation which is the method that seems to have been adopted by other political parties when discussing this issue.
3. SELECT COMMITTEES
The behaviour of MPs in the main chamber is a disgrace and the majority of the British people have been horrified by their puerile antics as displayed on television for all to see. These set piece debates achieve little and seem to have even less effect on the course and conduct of government by the party with an in-built majority. The National Democrats therefore believe in the strengthening of the power and scope of the select committeees. We would like to see an expansion of the televising of these so that people can see the details of the checks on government that would then exist ,and where legislation can be examined in some depth without degenerating into the farcical slinging matches of the main chamber, which would do more justice to a local football derby.
4. THE HOUSE OF LORDS
The National Democrats believe that the House of Lords should act purely as an advisory chamber, able to debate and examine bills but unable to obstruct them. Hereditary peerages would be abolished and peers would be appointed by all the parties in the House of Commons according to their numerical strength. The real purpose of the House of Lords would thus be as a committee of experts able to act only through the power of their arguments, without having any constitutional power.
5. THE MONARCH
We will uphold a constitutional monarchy in Britain as it is clearly the wish of the overwhelming majority of the British people. We believe that the Royal Family could again become an important symbol of the nation as a family and of the continuity of the nation. We do not regard ourselves as bound by the current Act of Succession. We would also encourage the relinquishing of the monarch's role as head of state of a disparate group of Commonwealth countries and as head of the Commonwealth from which we would withdraw.
6. BILL OF RIGHTS
The National Democrats would introduce a Bill of Rights guaranteeing certain absolute freedoms for the people of Britain. This is more thoroughly examined under the section of the manifesto entitled; "Freedom".
7. THE USE OF REFERENDA
On questions of moral legislation and in matters which affect the whole future of the nation the National Democrats would be prepared to make use of both local and national referenda to be supervised by an independent electoral commission.
8. THE DECENTRALISATION OF GOVERNMENT
The National Democrats would seek to move as much power as possible away from central government to more local control. However we recognise that some aspects of government must remain the prerogative of the national government, this includes defence, national taxation, foreign policy, part of our education policy, etc. Many aspects however can be moved to more local control including such items as transport policy, the arts, part of the education policy, environmental policy, etc.
We understand the resentment felt in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales at what is seen as an out of touch English Parliament. Consequently we are in favour of moving many of the main ministries out of London and out of England. We see no reason why, for example, the Ministry of Defence should not be based in Scotland, the Treasury in Belfast, etc. Modern communications makes this relatively simple, would save money, relieve congestion in the South East of England and help to unify the United Kingdom.
9. LOCAL GOVERNMENT
We believe in giving local people the right to decide on whether to return to traditional counties and districts and boroughs in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales when this has not already been carried out. In urban areas we are in favour of smaller truly local councils and would encourage the splitting up of large urban boroughs which have bred massive bureaucracies. Smaller, more personal local councils would be far more directly answerable to local people and would be far less likely to indulge in crackpot schemes. They would also have to answer directly to local people for their expenditure.
Our financial policies would substantially reduce the huge burden of interest bearing debt that weighs down on local councils. This would enable them to spend more of the money they raise on local needs.
The financing of local government would be by means of local income taxes collected by the Inland Revenue, this would mean substantial savings in the cost of collection and would be fairer than the present system.
10. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The National Democrats would unilaterally revoke the Treaty of Rome and the Maastricht Treaty and we would therefore withdraw Britain from the European Community and the rule of the European Parliament. We would, of course, stop making any more payments to the European Community which are used to sustain foreign farmers and a bloated bureaucracy.
The National Democrats wish to remain on friendly terms with all European nations but will not cede any sovereignty to any European body, nor do we seek sovereignty over any other European nation.
11. THE CIVIL SERVICE
Unfortunately this does tend to operate as a cosy club especially at senior level, with too close a resemblance to a recent television series. Many senior politicians and civil servants belong to the same clubs and are highly conservative in their outlook. In particular they almost all work in London and live in the South East commuter belt. They take decisions which affect parts of the country which they have never visited and about which they seem to care little.
The decentralisation of government ministries would include the relevant civil Service departments, specifically including the Foreign Office, the Treasury and the Ministry of Defence. We believe this would reduce the influence of the Old Boys Club, and make the Civil Service more responsive to the needs of ordinary people
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD
Encourage the concept of the nation as an extended family with each member having rights as well as responsibilities and obligations.
Seek to stabilise our population by an almost complete halt to all further immigration.
Prevent all types of 'back door' immigration and deport all illegal immigrants.
Provide financial incentives for the emigration of those who have come to our country over the past 30 years or so.
1. THE FAMILY OF THE NATION
The National Democrats believe that a nation should be based upon similar precepts to that of an ideal family united by a common bond of shared interest, heritage and blood relation, able to support itself without relying too heavily on others, caring for each other in times of adversity and sickness, respecting each other's right to privacy within the common social fabric, living in an environment commensurate with the needs of the family and which is cared for as a trust to be handed on to future generations.
2. WHO IS PART OF THE NATION?
The British people have evolved with certain characteristics drawn from our past. We are essentially a mixture of peoples drawn from the Northern and Western parts of Europe all of whom are part of the Caucasian race. We have many shared cultural and ethnic links with other nations of Western Europe, but we have evolved certain social, political and legal structures to suit our own characteristics and temperament. These include a form of popular democracy, a monogamous family life, an independent system of justice, a belief in certain property rights, etc.
Within Britain there are substantial regional differences but many common factors as described above. This has led to the evolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland inhabited by 'British' people who also owe allegiances to their home nations: Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, their home region or county and their home community.
3. THE SIZE OF THE POPULATION
The United Kingdom has one of the highest densities of population of any country, although it should be pointed out that virtually all of the UK is habitable, unlike some other countries which have deserts, arctic regions, etc.
Although much of Britain is extremely beautiful and provides a pleasing environment in which to live or to visit, there are many areas which are crowded and where population density is detrimental to an improving quality of life. The consequences of this are high levels of pollution - chemical, noise, traffic, overcrowded roads, cramped living conditions, the encroachment on our green areas, etc.
The indigenous population has largely stabilised its size by a general reduction in family size. Accurate figures for immigration and emigration are not reliable because of the large number of illegal immigrants.
The National Democrats believe that a halt to virtually all immigration would lead to small decreases in Britain's population which would be beneficial to the general population.
Because of the above mentioned factors and because of continuing high levels of unemployment, the National Democrats believe that virtually all immigration into Britain should be halted. The only exceptions would be for specially skilled individuals and for genuine marriage reasons where individuals had been brought together in the course of their social lives or work. Immigration through the activities of 'marriage agencies' would not be deemed genuine.
5. REFUGEE IMMIGRATION
The National Democrats would draw up a list of countries from which we would accept refugees. Most of the time this list would be blank. It is our belief that in accordance with United Nations' charters, refugees should seek sanctuary in their nearest safe country and should remain there only until such time as their country of origin is safe for them to return.
Refugees who are accepted into Britain would similarly be required to return to their own country as soon as conditions make this safe.
6. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Those individuals who have entered or remained in Britain illegally should be required to leave immediately. We would use the social security system and the Inland Revenue as agents for the detection of such individuals.
7. EMIGRATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM
Naturally the National Democrats would offer no hurdles for those wishing to leave the United Kingdom. In the case of those individuals and families who have settled in the UK over the past 30 years or so, particularly those who are of non-British ethnic descent, we would offer financial incentives for them to return to their land of origin or to settle elsewhere.
We believe it will never be possible for the large non-white population currently resident in Britain to both retain their culture and identity and to live harmoniously with the white population. The growing apartheid in the USA is evidence of what the future could hold.
Their presence, through no fault of their own, is also detrimental to unity and cohesion of the nation and thus threatens our traditions and way of life. The loss of a community of interest between them and the majority of the population is also threatening to cause ruptures and collapse in our most basic and fundamental institutions.
To pay for these financial incentives for our immigrant population the National Democrats would redirect our current system of overseas aid. This would thus provide substantial financial incentives as well as ensuring that such emigrants can resettle and make a positive contribution to their country of destination.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS BELIEVE:-
For the last thousand years the British people have fought. and sometimes died, to preserve our basic freedoms. The National Democrats wholeheartedly believe that these freedoms must be maintained.
Over the last few years these liberties have been under attack and there has already been some erosion of them. Consequently the National Democrats are in favour of the introduction of a Bill of Rights that would absolutely guarantee these freedoms for all our people no matter what their political beliefs.
1. THE NATIONAL DEMOCRAT BILL OF RIGHTS
Equal and free access to justice.
Freedom of speech and publication and distribution of printed matter.
Freedom of access to publicly owned assembly facilities.
Freedom for orderly demonstrations in public.
The right to vote and stand for election for public office without onerous financial or other qualifications.
Freedom of access to the media.
A person's right to examine and correct their own files held by police/others.
Freedom from arbitrary arrest.
The right to professional legal representation upon arrest.
The right to choose one's own associates at home, at work and on social occasions.
The right of adults to lead their lawful private lives without invasions of their privacy by the media or the authorities.
Freedom of conscience, practice and belief in matters of religion.
Freedom from arbitrary dismissal from employment.
2. ENCROACHMENTS ON OUR FREEDOM
The National Democrats are opposed to aspects of the public Order Act and the Criminal Justice Act. Under these Acts parades and demonstrations can be banned if the opponents of such activities threaten to cause trouble. The same is effectively true of open air meetings. These pieces of legislation enshrine the principle of freedom for those with the biggest mob.
The National Democrats would guarantee the rights of all such parades and meetings and would only restrict the activities of those who seek to stop such events by means of political violence.
3. TOWN HALL DICTATORSHIPS
It has become increasingly common for local councils to attempt to 'gag' legitimate political opposition. A whole range of groups and organisations are now banned from using public facilities, such as town halls and libraries because they are deemed 'politically incorrect' by these petty dictators.
Some councils, such as Manchester, insist that facilities are only available to those groups which are prepared to sign up to their 'Equal Opportunities' programme - which includes the hiring of homosexuals and lesbians in areas of child care. (groups which do not approve of such actions, and this may include many Christian organisations, are simply banned from the use of public facilities.)
The National Democrats, through our Bill of Rights, would guarantee the rights of all those political and religious organisations, with the sole and only proviso being that they do not advocate taking up arms against the state.
4. OTHER PARTIES' IDEAS OF 'FREEDOM'
Some other political parties have policies on individual liberty but frequently introduce restrictions based on their own party policy. For example, the Labour Party only seeks to guarantee the freedom of those individuals who accept large sections of their policies. The same is true of the Liberal Democrats. Such 'Freedom' is false; freedom is only real when it is extended to one's political opponents as well as one's friends.
The Conservative party takes an even more cavalier approach to liberty and has actively encouraged restriction of people such as law-abiding football fans. They are also in the forefront of the campaign to introduce a nationally computerised identity system - although, no doubt, it will have a very different name.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Support the right of self-determination of all European nations.
Encourage the development of cultural and sporting links with other European nations.
Oppose the attempt to impose a bureaucratic dictatorship on Britain.
Oppose the moving of decision making power further away from the British people.
Encourage the cultural diversity within the nations of Europe and resist attempts to eliminate this.
Withdraw Britain from the European Union and cease to make any financial contributions to the European bureaucracy.
Oppose the monetary and political merging of the separate nations.
1. SELF DETERMINATION
The National Democrats believe that there is a common cultural and historical link between the nations of Europe, however there are also many differences and each nation has developed a distinct identity. We believe that each nation has an absolute right to govern its own affairs - this includes nations in both Western and Eastern Europe. Only when this absolute right is accepted can true friendship and respect develop between nations.
As a consequence we are totally opposed to the attempt to impose a 'European' authority over the rights of the British Parliament and people, or to enforce some sort of merger between the European nations into one 'Euro-Super State'. Any such attempt will simply build a bureaucratic empire along exactly the same lines as the one which collapsed in Eastern Europe.
2. THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
This started as a trading block concerned primarily with economic matters with the aim of unrestricted movement of goods, capital and people. The National Democrats have consistently been opposed to the EU and Britain's membership for three basic reasons;-
A. We are opposed to the formation of any such block because the formation of continental trading blocks effectively divides the world up into a small number of super-powers which will tend to exclude each other. This is exactly what is currently happening between Europe, North America and South East Asia.
B. We are also against the formation of such blocks because they inevitably lead to standardisation of products and the merging of cultural identities - the greying of the world.
C. In such a European block Britain is inevitably being relegated to an offshore, outlying, depressed region while the industry is drawn to the central industrial areas of Germany, France and Northern Italy. Britain can only compete by accepting permanently lower wage rates and consequent standard of living.
The National Democrats would withdraw Britain from the EU, restore our national sovereignty and seek bilateral trade links with other countries where of mutual benefit.
3. EUROPE NOT THE EU
There are several Western European nations which have refused to join this Common Market. These countries wish to retain their sovereignty but have come under pressure to join the EU because their trading partners are now within the tariff wall of the Common Market. Despite this some of the countries with the highest growth rates and standards of living in Europe are not members of the EU.
Co-operation between European nations can only come about on a voluntary and willing basis - not as a result of economic blackmail.
The European Community has spawned a monstrous, bloated and self-important bureaucracy. These Eurocrats receive high salaries, exorbitant expenses and have little sense of responsibility. The bureaucracy does little good, but produces huge volumes of reports and memoranda on all sorts of aspects of our lives - most of which would be better dealt with either at national or local level (or not at all) - and at a fraction of the cost.
The National Democrats would cease to make any financial contribution towards the cost of such a bureaucracy which we would like to see dismantled and which is currently costing Britain many millions of pounds.
The Eurocrats have worked out that in order to achieve full free trade within the EU there must be a common set of standards and conditions and this is what they have now set out to achieve.
Initially they simply wanted us to adopt metric measurements and weights (kilometres, litres. etc.). Now, however, they want all conditions standardised for the sake of free competition between businesses in different countries.
Already we are seeing attempts to standardise tax rates such as VAT and the level of subsidies to business. This is a gross infringement of the functions of national governments and means that already Britain is losing its right to conduct our own affairs.
There are also a vast number of committees trying to draw up rules to standardise all the products produced throughout the EU. This has already affected traditional British foods and is slowly creeping into all aspects of our lives.
The National Democrats oppose the whole concept of standardisation across the EU firstly and mainly because standardisation inevitably makes life more difficult for small businesses and producers who are so important in maintaining the national characteristics of a country. We believe that the culture of each country includes its foods, products, drink and the way in which we do things. These should be kept distinctive and different in each country - the European bureaucrats' attempts to standardise rules across the EU are a deep and potent threat to this diversity and would lead to the 'greying' of the continent.
It is impractical and ludicrous to attempt to standardise taxes and other costs right across the EU The idea that you can make all manufacturing costs equivalent in both, say, Greece and Scotland is absurd and only a third rate politician or an overpaid bureaucrat would think otherwise.
6. EURO CRIME
With the dismantling of borders it has become steadily easier for terrorists and drug smugglers to operate throughout Europe. Already many of the drugs being sold on the streets of Britain are being shipped into Southern European countries before being brought into this country.
With the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the relaxation of controls it has become easier to smuggle animals into Britain and this is increasing the possibility of the introduction of rabies into the country.
The National Democrats would re-introduce proper border controls and would impose heavy penalties on those caught smuggling drugs, firearms, etc.
7. MOVEMENT OF LABOUR
As part of the attempt to turn Europe into one super-state all regulations concerning the movement of labour within Europe have been dismantled. This means that the various people from all over the European Union including any countries that join an expanding EU have the automatic right to come to this country and work here.
This includes all the various ethnic populations throughout Europe - the Algerians, Nigerians, Turks, etc. The British Government has signed away all rights to control or prevent this.
One of the reasons why Britain has become a low wage economy has been the continuing influx of immigrants which have acted as a source of cheap labour.
8. LOSS OF WORLD-WIDE CONTACTS
The creation of this tariff-free block coupled with the imposition of European rules on trading with other countries has meant a lessening of contacts and trade with non-European countries. Outside of the EU Britain would be free to negotiate bilateral agreements of mutual benefit with countries such as New Zealand and Australia.
9. A COMMON FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY
The European Community has already started to move into the realms of directing our foreign policy over events such as those in Yugoslavia. Every time there is a major foreign policy decision to be taken the British Foreign Secretary rushes off to Europe to consult with other foreign secretaries from European countries.
Yet these various European countries have historical links with widely different nations and they also have very different attitudes to world problems. One example of this came in the Falklands conflict when other European countries were distinctly hostile to the British action in forcibly expelling the Argentine invaders; another came during the Gulf War when several European countries took very different views to that of the British Government.
Despite all this, all three major political parties are now committed not only to a convergence of foreign polices of the European nations, but also to the first steps towards the creation of a European Army. We regard this idea as absurd and are totally opposed to the whole concept.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Educate our children to uphold the law.
Dramatically increase preventative measures.
Bring back the death penalty for specific crimes.
Encourage the free provision of personal alarms to OAPs.
3 Serious crimes and "It's Life".
Ensure that the police are part of the community they serve.
1. PROTECTING OUR PEOPLE
The very first duty of any Government is to protect its citizens. In this respect successive Labour and Conservative governments would have to be adjudged as failures. Crime his risen drastically over the Past thirty years or so. Many of our older people are scared to go out of their own homes, yet even in their own hours they are increasingly subject to the violation of their property and person. Outside on the streets youngsters are subject to a whole range of dangers including violence and drugs.
In Britain today there are more organisations ready to spring to the defence of the perpetrators of a crime than to the defence and protection of their victim. The National Democrats are totally committed to bringing down the crime rate; we are determined to protect our citizens particularly the most vulnerable - the old, the weak and the defenceless.
The very first step to improving the crime situation should be taken in our schools. We are horrified that some schools do not allow police officers to visit schools to give talks. We would positively encourage such visits. We would also like to see all children taught of their responsibilities in fighting crime, how they can help the police and how they should try to prevent crimes. We also expect teachers to help in this process and to fully co-operate with the police. Teachers would be expected to teach children to have respect for life, property and the rule of law.
Children must also he made aware of the dangers of drugs and of the reckless intake of alcohol, which is so often a contributory factor in crime.
No matter how successful the National Democrats are in reducing the level of crime, we have to accept that we will not be able to stamp it out completely.
We would therefore like to take preventative measures wherever possible:-
a) SECURITY AT HOME
We would maintain a continuous education programme on securing the personal property of people, encouraging the use of basic preventative measures such as proper window locks, door eye-holes. etc. At local level the National Democrats would encourage local charities to help provide locks and security devices to the private homes of older people who cannot afford them themselves. The National Democrats would arrange for these security devices to be made available cheaply for such purposes. On Council owned housing we would fit such devices as standard. All new housing would also be required to provide such protection.
b) SECURITY OF THE PERSON
The government would use such outlets as the Post Office to make available personal 'screech' alarms to Old Age Pensioners. We would also encourage all other 'at risk' individuals to carry them.
While we accept the benefits of surveillance cameras in high streets etc., we believe that the use of such cameras must be used exclusively for the detection of crime, and consequently, safeguards for the personal liberty of innocent individuals should be introduced. Such safeguards should apply to all surveillance cameras which cover any area of public highways, footpaths or other areas.
4. PUNISHMENT AND REHABILITATION
The National Democrats believe that there must continue to be a larger element of punishment in the sentencing policies of our courts. In the case of the perpetrators of some types of violent crimes, such as mugging, we would introduce the punishment of birching in addition to other sentences. For the habitual perpetrators of serious crimes we would introduce the American idea of 'three crimes and it's life', although we would stress that this would only be in the case of three serious crimes, which would usually involve premeditated violence. As far as we are concerned in the cases of sentencing 'life' should mean for life.
In the case of terrorist crimes, murder, violent rape and, in particular, child murder, we would restore capital punishment. This would also be available for those people who manufacture, import or distribute drugs in large quantities as a commercial enterprise.
Once criminals have completed their sentences they should be helped back into society and we would expand the supervision of the remission period of released prisoners. Our policies on employment would ensure the availability of work, and this, above all else, we believe would help to reduce the chances of a return to crime.
5. JUVENILE CRIME
In the case of offenders under the age of criminal responsibility we would take two types of action. In some cases the charge would simply be levelled at the parents and fines would have to be paid by them. In other cases, in particular when a custodial sentence is considered, the penalty would be suspended until the child's 16th birthday. Should he or she keep out of trouble then the sentence might be allowed to drop. This problem of juvenile crime is not going to go away until action is taken and, as with all other forms of crime, we are determined to rid our society of it.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WILL:-
Give real financial help to families.
Increase family allowances.
Provide free school meals for all.
Make sure that all families are able to have houses with gardens.
Abolish the parental contribution to students.
Ensure the free provision of crèche facilities
Restrict the promotion of homosexuality and lesbianism.
1. THE FAMILY: THE IDEAL SOCIAL UNIT
The National Democrats regard the family as the ideal social unit. All the evidence leads us to believe that a happy family is the ideal environment in which children can grow and develop. Over the last 20 years or so there has been a marked decline in this type of arrangement - with rising divorce rates and a dramatic increase in the number of one-parent families. A number of surveys have revealed that children from one-parent families or from broken homes do less well at school and are more likely to develop problems in their own relationships.
We accept that there is no simple solution to this problem and that the situation today has arisen as a result of a combination of factors. However we regard a number of government decisions as having unnecessarily made the situation worse. These include the lowering of the real value of family allowances, a number of changes in tax allowances of married people and the chaos that they have caused in the housing market.
We believe the Government can take a number of concrete steps to provide support for the concept of the family unit. We also believe that our education system and the mass media - particularly television - have led to the denigration of the family and we would like to see this reversed.
The National Democrats have no wish to return to a Victorian set of values where anything but a normal family was regarded as a disgrace. However we feel that the pendulum has swung too far and families that could and should be happy and contented are under unnecessary pressure causing an increase in the likelihood of their break-up.
2. FINANCIAL HELP
Without doubt one of the largest single causes of marital break up is the financial strain. For reasonably well-off parents it can be a struggle to bring up children involving considerable financial sacrifice - for less well-off parents the strains can be immense.
The National Democrats would take a number of steps to provide financial help to families. We would substantially increase family allowances well above the rate of inflation. These allowances are widely regarded as the best way of getting the money to where it is really needed and it is a complete disgrace that recent Conservative governments have been cutting back on them.
All state schools would immediately provide full lunch time meals free for all children. This Service has become increasingly expensive for parents and has led to a large number of children either going home for lunch or missing out altogether. We do not approve of the stigma that would be involved in only some children getting free meals so we would make them all free. This would also encourage positive and useful lunchtime activities for school children within the school.
We know that this would be an expensive step but we feel that this type of support for young families is essential.
Where families are in need of council accommodation we would insist that all families with children under the age of 14 are housed in houses with gardens and not in high rise flats. In view of our other policies, particularly the financial assistance to emigrants, we see no difficulty in providing this.
Many families come under further strain when the eldest child goes to university. The National Democrats would provide an adequate grant for such students who are on recognised degree courses. We would abolish the silly student loan scheme and we would abolish the parental contribution.
We fully approve of the Government's action in pursuing absentee fathers to extract their financial contribution towards the upbringing of their children whom they have deserted. However some mothers are refusing to name the father thus frustrating this. In such eases, while ensuring that the child is well cared for, we would seek to penalise the mother.
3. THE IMAGE OF THE FAMILY
Although we believe that the Government must take a large part of the blame for the decline in family life we also believe that Britain's mass media must also accept its share of the blame.
It is extremely difficult to think of many television programmes which portray an even reasonably happy family. Ironically those that do tend to come from other countries such as Australia or America.
The overwhelming majority of programmes which touch the subject either portray family problems or more usually the single man and the career girl .
The National Democrats believe absolutely in the equal rights of boys and girls to study for and pursue a profession. However there would appear to be steadily increasing pressure on girls to follow a profession rather than to have and rear children - which we regard as at least equally (if not more) fulfilling. There is a similar pressure on boys to aggressively pursue a career rather than to put marriage and a family first.
Of course these alternatives are not mutually exclusive and we would certainly encourage girls to study at universities and to pursue professions but we would also like them to be aware of the joys, benefits and fulfilment of motherhood.
For mothers of young children who do wish to pursue a career we would encourage the provision of crèche facilities and we would take steps to ensure that such facilities are available free of charge
4. ALTERNATIVE FAMILIES
We do not regard homosexual or lesbian relationships as valid alternatives to a normal heterosexual marriage. The National Democrats approve of the current law restricting the promotion of homosexuality and we would ensure that this is fully enforced.
We believe that within reason what people do in the privacy of their own homes is their own affair, however we opposed the recent lowering of the age of homosexual consent and would seek to raise this back to 21.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Develop a coherent defence strategy.
Retain the regimental system.
Restore control of all British forces to the British Government.
Retain an independent nuclear deterrent.
Only use British troops for the defence of British interests, not for United Nations adventures.
Ensure that the manpower and equipment of our armed forces are adequate for the job.
1. DEFENDING OUR LAND
The protection of the British people at home and throughout the world is the first duty of the British Government. It is for this purpose (and this purpose alone) that we require our armed forces, which have such a proud record in defending our nation.
The history of armed conflict shows that this can arise from totally unexpected directions. In the early 1930's most politicians were convinced that European peace had been finally achieved and would be permanent:
Britain's armed forces were deliberately run down. Within ten years war had broken out. In the late 1970's British political leaders could see no point in maintaining a significant garrison on the Falkland Isles as there was no danger of aggression - the naval and army forces were steadily run down......and then war broke out.
No British politician wants a war, but it is a sad fact that if we are to make sure that British people are safe then we must be prepared for a whole range of eventualities including the less likely ones. This is particularly true when Eastern Europe is in a period of change and uncertainty, when some Islamic fundamentalist states are increasingly aggressive, when tensions are rising in South East Asia.
2. AN INDEPENDENT DEFENCE
The basic policy of the National Democrats is to maintain a sufficient capability to inflict massive damage on any two other countries in the world should they act as an aggressor. The equipment with which we arm our forces must be designed and built in the UK and must remain solely under the control of this country.
This provides our defence chiefs with a coherent and sensible defence strategy which they can use as a base line for the planning of our detailed needs. The only additional requirement is the ability of our defence forces to deal with the terrorist threat no matter from where it may come.
The National Democrats would withdraw our troops from NATO control, we would cease to allow them to be used for United Nations adventures, and we would resist any attempts to merge them into a European Defence Force.
3. THE ARMY
We strongly support the retention of the regimental system and we are opposed to any further reductions in manpower by means of regimental amalgamations; in fact we suspect that the present manpower level is not sufficient to meet the defence needs of the United Kingdom. We would encourage the continuing recruitment to regiments based on local areas.
As regards equipment we would continue the process of competitive tendering where suitable, however all equipment would be British made and quality would be the more important criterion rather than just price. We would ensure that adequate stocks are maintained. We found it a total disgrace that during the Gulf War we were begging other countries to lend us ammunition, and we were having to cannibalise tanks for spare parts.
We are totally opposed to the idea of privatising any further aspects of the army's operations, the idea that Army transport can be handed over to a commercial and possibly a foreign owned haulier we regard as absurd.
4. THE ROYAL NAVY
The Conservative Party not so long ago made a commitment to maintain a complement of fifty capital ships - a commitment it has reneged on. The National Democrats would restore the Navy to an adequate level to provide home defence and for other defence needs, so that it is able to mount a task force operation without denuding our own defences.
5. THE ROYAL AIR FORCE
The primary duty of the RAF must be the air defence of the United Kingdom for which it needs modern interceptors. These must be of British make. Attempts to produce planes jointly with other countries have proved to result in expensive. inefficient compromises - this is not acceptable when the safety of our people is at stake. The RAF should also be provided with a full range of support planes as well as bombers.
6. THE NUCLEAR DETERRENT
The National Democrats would maintain and update Britain's own nuclear deterrent. We would like to see a divergence of methods of launch. We do not see any requirement beyond a basic capability in this respect. Needless to say under full British control.
7. THE MERCHANT NAVY
The Merchant Navy plays a vital role in the defence of the UK, but It has been allowed to run down to a dangerous level and to come under increasing foreign ownership. It is doubtful, with the present state of the Merchant Navy, if a Falklands type operation could be launched today. Investment in the Merchant Navy will aid both the economy and our defence capability. To achieve this we may consider regulating the use of British ports by vessels registered under 'Flags of Convenience'.
8. THE RESERVES
The importance of strong reserves like the Regular Army Reserve and the Territorial Army and their Royal Navy and RAF equivalents must be remembered.Should we become involved in any large scale conflict we will require sufficient reserves to enable us to carry on operations until new units are raised. The importance of these reserves is even greater today when quite extensive training is required to handle modern weapons.
Defence works hand in glove with the nation's foreign policy and thought needs to be given to where we require our forces to be in the world regardless of historical commitments
10. INDEPENDENCE FROM NATO
Above all Britain must be able to use military force without the restrictions of international alliances such as NATO or any European defence agreement. This freedom of action will stop Britain being dragged into disputes that are not in its interests. The British Government must have complete political control over the British armed forces and their use.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Restrict foreign imports so that the goods in our shops are made in Britain by British workers.
Ensure that the wealth created by British people is invested in the future of this country and not sent abroad.
Eliminate the speculator and take-over bids by giving British people direct ownership of their place of work.
Reduce VAT on all items and abolish it on some items.
Withdraw from the European Community so that British people can gain control of their own economy.
Reintroduce exchange controls.
Introduce stable and low interest rates to give confidence to businesses.
1. PROSPERITY FOR THE NATION
The British economy has been in a state of decline relative to other industrialised nations for at least the last forty years (many would argue that the malaise goes back much further). No matter which political party has been in power, our economy has lurched from one crisis to another - at one time unemployment soars to two or even three million; inflation varies from 3 or 4 % up to 25-30%, and interest rates have moved up and down more like a yo-yo than a measure of financial control.
It has now become quite normal for British factories to be closed down as their multinational corporate masters decide to shift production to another part of Europe, or to the Far East. Our governments have regularly called for higher productivity and loyalty from workers, yet few of the very large companies or the government ever show any loyalty to their workers.
Successive governments have completely ignored the problems faced by small businesses, and thousands have gone to the wall directly through the failure of governments to look at these problems.
In the City of London fortunes can be made and lost by shifting money around the money markets, businesses are bought and sold like so many pounds of carrots and yet the City creates no real wealth, it acts like a parasite on the real producers of wealth.
Foreign imports flood into our country destroying whole industries and throwing thousands of British working people onto the dole queues.
The National Democrats are calling for an economic revolution which aims to turn our economy into the servant of the people instead of the plaything of the speculator, and to give prosperity to those who create the real wealth of our nation.
Over the last forty years or so the manufacturing base of our economy has been slowly eroded by a lack of investment and the opening up of our country to an absolute deluge of foreign imports. It is now quite usual for Britain to have a regular and massive trade deficit in manufactured items.
This is extremely dangerous for our future now that our only large scale and valuable natural resource apart from coal - North Sea Oil - is running out. Unless dramatic corrective action is taken NOW, we face the slow but inexorable collapse of our industrial infrastructure. We will end up as a banana republic relying on a few financial services, European handouts and tourism to stop us sinking completely. What industrial work remains will do so solely on the basis that our wage rates are amongst the lowest in Europe, whereas once we were amongst the most well off.
The National Democrats propose to remedy this situation by immediately introducing import controls and tariffs. This would have the effect of raising the price of imported goods, but it would provide a massive incentive to our manufacturing industry to produce replacement goods. There are whole new areas which would cry out for entrepreneurs to set up new factories making motorcycles, typewriters, toys, electronic equipment, kitchen appliances, radio communication equipment, computer hardware, hi-fl equipment, etc. For small businesses this would be a huge incentive offering chances of recapturing sections of the home market that many had deemed to be lost forever.
Our opponents always cry out that this would lead to retaliation by other countries. This is, no doubt, true, but as we have regularly imported more goods than we export, the overall result will be greatly beneficial and would provide tens of thousands of new jobs as well as giving both individuals and the nation as a whole the satisfaction of designing and creating new products. Such a policy would also be environmentally sound, reducing the vast amounts of fuel that is consumed in transporting millions of tons of goods around the world .We would seek to negotiate some bilateral agreements with a limited number of countries, but no longer would countries like Japan be able to flood our market while effectively preventing our goods from being exported to them.
To take full advantage of this opportunity there would have to be a substantial and continuous flow of investment capital into such companies. This will naturally come about as a result of some of our financial policies, it would also follow from our policy of introducing currency restrictions. While there would be no restrictions on people spending money while on their holidays, we would prohibit the investment of money abroad in foreign firms and land. This particularly applies to financial institutions such as pension funds. This would prevent the present absurd position whereby, for example, the pension fund of a car worker might end up financing a Japanese or Korean car firm whose subsequent imports into this country put the car worker out of a job.
4. INDUSTRIAL OWNERSHIP
The National Democrats believe that there should be no foreign ownership of British industry. All industries which are presently owned by foreign concerns should be sold to new British owners, or, in a few cases, taken over by the government. In accordance with the principle that nationalism means giving the nation back to our people and giving our people a sense of belonging to the nation, the National Democrats believe in extending to British working people ownership in the industry and agriculture of our country. We hold that wide-spread ownership of workshops, factories, farms and shops is necessary to:
a) Ensure the freedom of the individual and individual family from oppression by private employer or state bureaucrat.
b) Give the sense of fulfilment which comes from a link with the product of one's labour.
c) Provide incentives for work - and quality work.
d) Eliminate the class structure.
e) Protect national sovereignty from powerful sectional interests.
Small private businesses along with co-operative businesses will form the basis for most industrial ownership under a National Democrat government. However all enterprises which are in purely private hands (i.e. not state owned or workers' co-operatives) should remain small or medium sized. This is in keeping with the National Democrat's desire to see as many people as possible owning the enterprises for which they work. If these privately owned concerns grow too large we would find ourselves returning to the situation we have today where a small number of owners employ a very large number of employees.
However this desire to keep all privately owned concerns small is also necessary in order to stop the formation of powerful sectional interests within the state. At the moment some large commercial companies wield enormous power, sometimes working against the interests of British national sovereignty and against the wishes of the British people. An example of this is the ability of large firms to engage in the wholesale export of capital and the large scale importation of goods. So, in order to halt the natural monopolising tendency of capitalism, and in order to stop the creation of powerful sectional interests we would seek to impose incentives for firms not to grow too large.
This limitation of the size of privately owned firms can be maintained in a number of relatively simple ways. The most efficient and easy to introduce is simply to adjust the taxation system so that it helps smaller and medium sized companies but penalises firms the larger they become.
It would thus be in the interests of very large firms to simply split into a number of separate and independent concerns.
In the case of very small businesses wanting to expand we would like to see changes from the current system. At present a private company wishing to expand frequently converts itself into a public company by the issue of shares to the public. Under our system the expanding company would convert itself into a workers' co-operative by the issue of shares to its employees - this is similar but not identical to a management buy-out. This will largely provide for the growth of small enterprises which start life as purely privately owned concerns.
5. CO-OPERATIVE OWNERSHIP
Producers' co-operatives will form the basis of ownership within the industrial sector of British industry. They represent an ideal form of industrial enterprise because the entire workforce within such an enterprise share in its ownership. These workers' co-operatives can be amongst the most efficient of all forms of industrial enterprise as can be seen from their success in Spain, France, Scandinavia and in Britain.
Unlike private companies there will not be the same restrictions on size, since in their case neither ownership nor power are centralised and consequently the evils which accompany large private companies will not apply.
6. MUNICIPAL AND STATE OWNERSHIP
These two types of ownership will not normally be encouraged as the National Democrats do not approve of centralised ownership by either type of authority. Both of these types of industrial concern require the employment of bureaucrats and the exclusion of the workforce from any personal share in their ownership. The only concerns where we would envisage such ownership is in a very limited number of service industries such as in the provision of electricity (so we would nationalist the power companies). the postal service, etc. In such cases we would, at least, offer favourable profit sharing schemes to the entire workforce.
A large part of the revenue raised by taxation goes to pay interest charges on debts that have been incurred by local and central government. The National Democrat's financial policies will cause interest rates to fall and so reduce the amount of money that government needs to raise. We would also seek to reduce expenditure in other areas, for example by reducing the level of unemployment and by cutting the size of the civil service. We would also cease to make the enormous payments to the European Community and would cut back severely on the foreign aid programme that currently costs about £2,OOO million each year.
The National Democrats would raise part of the revenue needed by central government by means of tariffs on imported goods, and, of course, with more people in work taxation revenue will automatically rise. When these factors are added together they will allow us to reduce the rates of taxation and we would be able to reduce the level of VAT (which the Tories have raised from an original 7½%). We would also seek to abolish it on a number of items such as take-away meals and clothing.
We would raise taxation rates on the very highest earners. We regard it as obscene that individuals can earn literally more in one day than some old age pensioners have to survive on for a year. While allowing a spread of income over a limited number of years we would seek to effectively introduce a maximum level of personal earnings in the region of £250,000 per year. For personal income above this level the taxation rate would be 100%. We would then link this figure to average earnings for future adjustments.
8. FINANCE AND INFLATION
Over the past ten years millions of British families have been affected by the dramatic fluctuations in interest rates. Tens of thousands of homes have been repossessed when families have been unable to keep up with soaring interest rates. Many more have lost their employment as firms which invested in new machinery and equipment suddenly found their loans costing nearly twice as much as when they first took them out.
These catastrophic changes in interest rates make it impossible to plan ahead - whether by a family of by a business. It is hardly surprising that many British companies are now hesitant to invest in new factories, plant and machinery when they know that government incompetence causes this type of change in their costs.
In the late '50's and early '90's when interest rates soared from seven or eight per cent up to around twenty per cent we were told that this was because there was too much money in circulation and this was causing inflation. Yet only months before this rise in interest rates the Conservative government had given away millions in tax cuts, largely to the more well off in our society.
Any normal person would expect a 1% or 2% rise in interest rates to quickly correct the situation. However the banks and other financial institutions had been creating credit by greatly increasing the amount of money they had been lending. The government had helped this process by removing the last few restrictions on this type of credit creation.
As a result instead of a l% or 2% rise, the government raised interest rates by 8%. This led to firms drastically cutting back on investment and costs - leading to the rapid growth of unemployment, to the closures of factories and to the huge increase in mortgage costs. Eventually their action did cause a reduction in the money supply and consequently inflation came down - but at a huge cost in misery and goodness knows how many broken families.
Yet even then the Government said they could not bring down interest rates. John Major had taken Britain into the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (the ERM) and this meant that we had to maintain sterling within a set range against other European currencies. In order to do this Britain had to keep interest rates high, so that financial speculators would move their money to Britain and gain the advantage of high Interest rates. This carried on for long after our domestic situation would have allowed us to drop the interest rates. Eventually even the Conservatives realised how disastrous their policy had been and to avoid even more disastrous they were forced to bring Britain out of the ERM. - but a huge amount of damage had already been done.
Our European 'partners' must have been rubbing their hands with glee - every additional month of high interest rates saw more of our industrial base going bankrupt and greater opportunities for foreign firms.
To prevent this type of sheer lunacy the National Democrats would institute a financial revolution to make money the servant of the people and not their oppressor.
Our first step would be to bring the creation of credit back under direct government control. Rather than solely relying on interest rates we would adjust the creation of credit. Only relatively small adjustments in interest rates would then be required and it is most unlikely that they would ever need to go above 6-7%. With money supply under control inflation would automatically be kept in check, however both government and local authorities would have to live within their means and only exceptionally resort to borrowing.
This will only work if the financial speculator is eliminated and so we will reintroduce exchange controls and prohibit the overseas investment of money.
This programme would have a whole range of beneficial changes, fixed rate mortgages - once the norm in this country - would return for their whole 20~25 year span; business managers could confidently plan ahead knowing what their costs are going to be; the new businessman can start up his business with confidence that the bank is not going to suddenly double the cost of his overdraft. In all. sanity will return to the nation's finances. The only losers will be the gambles who treat currencies as so many numbers on a roulette wheel.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Restore local control of schools.
Have a core curriculum, but with more local content.
Improve the quality and experience of our teachers.
Improve the quality of the buildings in which education takes place.
Institute a system of youth service to the nation.
1. PERFORMANCE AND PRESTIGE
The education system in Britain was once the envy of the world and while it has retained some of its best aspects it has slowly slipped down the league table in terms of its performance and its prestige. The National Democrats believe that urgent action is needed to remedy its failings and we would give this an extremely high priority so that Britain's next generation is able to reap the benefits of the best possible education system we can provide.
2. LOCAL SCHOOLS TO MEET LOCAL NEEDS
For the last 40 years Britain's education system has been at the mercy of changeable government policy. Each successive government has sought to impose its ideas right across the nation, in towns, in cities and in rural communities.
The National Democrats would give far greater control to local people - the local education authority, school governors, parents and teachers. While setting out broad parameters we would encourage decisions to be made at local level. After all, one type of school system is unlikely to be suitable both in inner London and in the Outer Hebrides.
We would seek to introduce a process of local decision making which avoids wide fluctuations as sometimes happens when a Conservative authority becomes Labour or vice versa. Changes would only be allowed to occur when they receive overwhelming support from the interested groups, specifically including the parents and the teachers. We believe continuity rather than continual change would lead to a better and more professional education system.
3. A CORE CURRICULUM
We agree with the principle of a core curriculum for a number of reasons, including the establishment of a standard by which schools can be measured, also to ease any transfer of a pupil from one school in one part of the country to one elsewhere. However we would endeavour to reduce the current time periods allocated to this core, so that more time is available for locally determined studies.
4. STATE & NON-STATE EDUCATION
We believe in equality of opportunity in education and we also believe parents should have the right to choose which sort of education their children should receive and we would guarantee the right of non-state schools to exist alongside the state system. We would however change the financial administration of non-state schools so that they are financed by a direct grant and would be open to all suitable children, on the basis of merit and without fees. These schools would handle children with special needs, abilities or religious affiliations.
In both state and non-state schools we would seek to limit the size of schools to a maximum of 800, thus guaranteeing the maximum personal attention to all pupils.
5. SCHOOL SUBJECTS
As stated above we would seek to restrict the time spent on the core curriculum allowing more local input, however as well as such basic subjects as maths, science, English, etc. we would also ensure that Britain's history, culture and constitution are adequately taught. We would especially want to see emphasised the responsibilities of British citizens in a democratic country.
We would also ensure that every school has adequate funding to properly teach modern technological subjects to equip our school students for the modern world.
We do not approve of the teaching of subjects such as 'Black studies', 'ethnic dancing' or of alien religions. If the parents of non-white children wish them to be taught this, then this would have to take place either out of school time, e.g. in Asian 'Sunday schools' or by the establishment of separate schools as is being increasingly requested by Islamic parents.
The National Democrats believe that teachers should be of the highest quality, should earn the respect of their pupils and the community in general and should be paid accordingly. However some teachers have no one but themselves to blame for the current situation and the consequent low morale.
The attitudes, dress and appearance of a small minority of teachers would not be tolerated in any commercial industry. Their antics at their Annual Conference are a disgrace, while the clear political motivation of some teachers is entirely reprehensible. Too often such teachers have gone straight from school to teacher training college and back to school. The National Democrats would insist on a break of at least two years during which time the individual would have to find work outside the educational system.
We feel that this would be beneficial in that it would broaden their horizons and enable them to see at first hand how other organisations function. Teachers' salaries would then have to be appropriate to entice them away from their job into the teaching profession.
We would expect teachers to be subject to a normal form of assessment and incompetent teachers would not be retained.
7. SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES
We are not automatically against the use of old buildings - some of Britain's most famous schools use buildings hundreds of years old. However all educational buildings must be suitable for their purpose and must be warm and dry. We would do whatever is necessary to achieve this. We would prevent any further selling off of school grounds and ideally we would like to see each school situated in its own landscape-designed setting with its own sports facilities on site - and we will work towards this ideal.
8. HIGHER EDUCATION
The National Democrats would encourage all young people to attend some form of higher education. All such people who are accepted on a full-time basis by a recognised institution of higher education should automatically receive a grant and should not be dependent on the generosity or otherwise of their families.
In the area of scientific research our universities have an excellent reputation, however this is currently being seriously under funded and we would seek to rectify this. However in the field of applying this research they are not so proficient and we would encourage all universities to develop links with local industries on a day to day basis.
The National Democrats would also encourage the idea of apprenticeships linked to local universities to improve the pool of skilled labour that is so desperately needed for a modern technological society.
The National Democrats would encourage the teaching of arts subjects as an essential part of the continuing development of our national culture and heritage.
9. YOUTH SERVICE TO THE NATION
A vital element which we believe is lacking in the present day educational system is training in service to the nation. This is not surprising as the main Parliamentary parties have for decades been internationalist in outlook and have allowed the concept of 'nationhood' and the need to cherish it not merely to lapse from the educational environment provided for young people, but have tolerated and encouraged the denigration of patriotism in the school room and lecture hall. Seats of higher education were the first of our nation's institutions to be heavily infiltrated by left-wing subversives in the 1930's and the baneful influence of these people has now percolated throughout the educational system. Today, where the natural willingness of young people to give of themselves in service if harnessed at all, it is directed to the "Third World" and is organised in such a way as to foster a racial and national guilt complex, while at the same time, fostering a new form of western cultural imperialism in Africa and Asia.
The situation would be drastically altered by a National Democrat government. The effort to regain our national freedom will require a resurgence in the natural feelings of patriotism in the British people - feelings that surfaced, for example, during the Falklands War.
We will foster a national regeneration through the patriotic instincts and the desire to serve of young people. We will direct their energies to the service of the nation through a new two year scheme of national service in a National Reconstruction Movement. The primary purpose of this scheme will be educational, though it will provide the nation with immediate practical benefits. The scheme of National Service which we have in mind would not be of the old fashioned sort, which was entirely military in character. We propose that the period of service all young men and women would be required to give from the age of eighteen would be divided into two parts: one year with the National Reconstruction Movement and a further year either in the Armed Forces or a further year with the NRM.
There are vitally important public works and environmental projects which could and should be undertaken and which the NRM could help to carry out: the restoration of some of our historic buildings, the expansion and maintenance of our national system of footpaths, the running of environmental courses in the countryside for younger children, the protection of some of our wildlife habitats. We would also like to see more young people gain experience of farm work and we would hope that this would allow farmers to cut back on the use of chemicals.
Service in the NRM. and in the Armed Forces would bring together young people from all parts of the country and from all social and educational backgrounds in an atmosphere of service, challenge and comradeship which they would find an invaluable training for later life. Such an experience, furthermore, would do much to eliminate class divisions and promote national unity.
We believe that through such a scheme young people would derive a sense of pride from having assisted personally in the reconstruction and defence of their nation and, as a result, would he possessed of a greater sense of responsibility to the nation throughout the remainder of their lives.
Such an idea is not dissimilar to the national service and consequent results that can be seen in modern Switzerland, although there are differences with the scheme we propose.
These proposals are NOT put forward as a remedy for current youth unemployment (though the abandoned and betrayed youth of today's Britain would certainly benefit from such a scheme) but as a means of harnessing the idealism and energy of young people in the service of the nation and building up a unified national community.
10. NURSERY SCHOOLS AND STARTING AGE
We believe this is an area which has been badly neglected by successive governments. We believe that the period between 3 years and 5 years of age is important in the development of a child and that some form of schooling should be available to all, but should not be forced on all. When a caring mother and/or father is able to spend time with a child or children then this may be at least as advantageous.
A National Democrat government would leave the statutory starting age of school at 5 but would seek to urgently make available free nursery places initially to those aged 4 and above and then even earlier.
11 VILLAGE SCHOOLS
In small rural communities the village school is still an important centre of education and a focus for the community. National Democrat policies would result in the return to many villages of young couples and consequently of their children. However before this becomes fully operative we would keep open all village schools and, in some cases reopen closed ones. We would seek to equip them with modern electronic communication equipment so that they can nave access to extensive libraries, data, etc.
The National Democrats would act decisively to reverse the trend away from competitive school sports. All pupils would be expected to take part in some kind of physical activity, however we would expand the range of sports available to try to cater for all tastes. We would encourage co-operation and some integration of sports facilities between different schools and with the local community. This would enable pupils to have experience of a wide range of sports. We would also seek to provide as professional a level of teaching of sports as possible.
In many schools inter-school competitions already exist; where they do not we would seek to introduce them. As well as providing competition this enables pupils from different schools to meet each other - something we would encourage. We would seek outside financial sponsorship of such competitions from both local and national companies and we would in particular seek sponsorship and coverage by media concerns. In a few cases such as the Daily Mail sponsorship of school rugby competitions this exists but we would seek to dramatically extend this.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Ensure that all radio, television stations and newspapers are British owned.
Introduce stronger rules on television violence, language and obscenity.
Ensure that the televising of major sporting events is available to all.
Encourage the development of local television stations.
Restrict the number of imported programmes on television.
Provide extra resources for our libraries.
Strengthen the right of reply on television and in newspapers.
Restrict the invasion of privacy by journalists.
Encourage greater televising of British sporting events rather than just prestige events.
1. THE MEDIA
The media includes television, newspapers, cinema, etc. and they serve two basic functions; to inform and to entertain. The National Democrats seek to encourage a diversity within such areas and to promote a larger British input into the industry.
In the case of providing entertainment we seek to promote a larger British film and television industry because we regard these areas as an opportunity for British talent to demonstrate itself. In the case of providing information and educational items we believe that a dominant British input is essential if British people are to be able to make proper judgements on matters of national interest.
The ownership of all British newspapers, television and radio stations must be entirely British. We deplore the fact that several of our national newspapers are owned by foreign companies and we would act to return such newspapers to total British ownership and control. We also believe it is unhealthy for any one individual or company to own more than one daily national newspaper, e.g. News International owns The Sun. The Times, The Sunday Times and has extensive interests in television networks.
We would enforce a one-company-one-title rule to prevent the build up of such power by one organisation. The same would apply to television and radio stations.
We regard weekly and monthly magazines somewhat differently and would allow a more flexible arrangement while, at the same time, seeking to maintain and promote an adequate level of competition and variety - this would probably be achieved by our taxation policy.
We are very unhappy about the direction of recent developments in television and would seek to alter this direction. We would prevent major sports and other events being solely available through satellite television. We also believe that rather than more satellite channels which seem to exist on a diet of second rate re-runs and cheap foreign imports, we would prefer to see much greater development in localising television stations probably through the cable network.
3. QUALITY OF TELEVISION PROGRAMMES
We are not at all happy about what we regard as a fundamental deterioration in the quality of programmes shown on television. We believe this is particularly marked with satellite television but is also true of the main channels. In some cases this is due to a lack of available money in other cases it seems to have more to do with the quality of the programme makers.
The percentage of 'bought-in' programmes from abroad has been steadily rising while the number and quality of British made programmes lags behind as a result of a lack of investment.
We would seek to correct this by means of a quota system on the level of imported programmes together with a punitive import tax. This would provide a great incentive to British programme and film makers.
One area where this would have a particularly noticeable side effect would be the reduction in the number of foreign (mainly American) sports programmes especially on satellite television. We regard it as farcical that American college sports are covered while British lower level sports are entirely ignored. Our policy would force television companies to cover a much wider range of British sports giving many of them (such as tennis) a much needed boost.
Finally we believe that the current rules about obscenity, violence and bad language (i.e. not before 9.OO PM) are absurd. We have no wish to prevent adults from viewing (within extremely wide limits) whatever they wish - however television is a medium which brings itself directly into the family home, and it should behave as a guest in someone's house. Its programmes should conform to the same standards expected of such an invited person into a household where children are present.
We would therefore ban all bad language and obscenity on television and we would more strictly regulate the showing of violence. In many cases we suspect that such items are intended deliberately to 'shock' as a way of covering up the lack of talent of the producer. We believe it is quite possible to produce exciting and realistic programmes (as the best television is quite able to demonstrate on occasion) without resort to such abuses. Those programmes and films which do not fit such criteria for showing on television would, of course, be able to he made available through the video format .
4. THE DISTRIBUTION OF NEWSPAPERS
At present a very small number of companies such as W.H..Smith and John Menzies have a large share of the market of such distribution. The National Democrats' economic policies would strongly encourage the break up of these chain stores into independent units. The same would apply to wholesale distributors thus ensuring a greater level of competition. It would also provide greater opportunities for local and regional publications and for smaller circulation specialist publications.
We strongly support the declared policy of the Library Association which supports the stocking of all requested titles and condemn the attempts by some local authorities to politically censor the titles in libraries. We believe that libraries offer an important service to the community and that their funding should be dramatically increased so that they can become local centres of research and education. In this context we believe it is essential that libraries should offer the public access to the new means of communication and we would provide funding for immediate connection to the Internet.
6. RIGHT OF REPLY
We support the right of a newspaper to criticise and oppose individuals and organisations including political parties; in this respect they have an absolute right to be biased in any way they desire, however they also have a duty to get their facts correct. Where they get their facts wrong either through carelessness or deliberately then they have a duty to correct the error - this duty must he backed up by the force of law. At present newspapers which print untrue allegations on the front page, print the retraction and apology at the bottom of page 16 and the offending, journalist usually gets away with it completely.
The National Democrats would compel the retraction to appear on the same page and to be of at least the same size as the originally untrue statement.
A newspaper which habitually offends in this way would thus be severely penalised (at present there is no element of punishment in Press Complaints Commission adjudication) and is likely to be more careful about the journalists it employs. The same basis would be used in connection with television programmes with the victim being allowed direct access to the programme to present the true facts. With the spread of investigative television programmes we would also be in favour of the appointment of a 'devil's advocate' to take the side of the accused in the same way that an arrested individual has the absolute right to a lawyer.
7. INVASION OF PRIVACY
We do not accept that some people should expect to have their privacy invaded. We believe that what people do in their own home or in other private locations is entirely their own business and they should not be subject to intrusions by the media. This particularly includes the Royal Family.
We believe that it is possible to devise rules which in no way inhibit the right and proper role of a newspaper to expose abuses of power and corruption while at the same time affording people a much higher level of privacy.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Provide an entirely free National Health Service.
Abolish prescription charges
Prevent abuse of our health care system by people from abroad.
Fund the NHS to a degree that eliminates waiting lists for operations and other major treatment.
Give unemployed people a fair deal.
1. SOCIAL SECURITY
Our belief in nationalism emanates from our recognition that a true nation is a unification of families. Just as it is the duty of the breadwinners of the family to provide for all members of the family who are unable to provide for themselves, so it is the duty of the "family of families" ultimately the nation - to provide for the genuinely needy, the aged and the infirm.
We therefore believe in a fair deal for unemployed people. For the vast majority of unemployed people, extended unemployment is not a fault but a tragedy. It is true that there is a minority of people who are work-shy, but such cases can easily be treated by means of deductions of cash from their benefits where appropriate while ensuring that their children are properly catered for.
Above all we believe that it is the duty of the state to provide full employment for the people and, insofar as this may not always be possible, to protect those involuntarily unemployed so that they do not suffer unduly. Through the implementation of our economic and financial policies the number of unemployed people in this country would rapidly and drastically drop and we hold successive governments in the United Kingdom in recent years responsible through their inept handling of the economy and their subservience to international interests for the widespread misery and burden of unemployment.
2. LOOKING AFTER OUR PEOPLE
When people fall ill, what they need is good, quick and friendly health care. They don't want to worry about waiting lists, bed shortages or whether or not they can afford the treatment. The National Democrats believe that the National Health Service should be absolutely free to every British citizen.
We are not opposed to private medicine and health schemes but we believe that they should be kept entirely separate from the National Health Service which should not have to suffer for the benefit of private schemes.
Our National Health Service has suffered from a surfeit of meddling and reorganisation, and we would seek to restore a degree of continuity (and some would say sanity) to an already overworked system. However we do not approve of the commercialisation of hospitals. We believe that funding of the NHS must be rapidly expanded to improve performances, reduce waiting lists, provide good remuneration to staff both doctors and nurses and ancillary workers and to raise the morale of the service. We would however like to see a reduction in the number of 'administrators' and their self- appointed importance. All final decision-making within a hospital should rest in the hands of the doctors.
Finally we would like to see more emphasis placed on preventative medicine and we would encourage the institution of regular and comprehensive check-ups. Many companies find these to be of financial advantage for their staff and we feel that the same is true of the nation - and, of course, it would be of great benefit to our people. Without these changes we believe that the loss of the best doctors to overseas and to the private sector will lead to a demoralised and third rate National Health Service and we find this to be intolerable.
3. PRESCRIPTION CHARGES
These would be abolished. We feel it is fundamentally wrong to ask people to pay for medicine at exactly the time that they are under pressure through being ill, possibly losing wages, and frequently finding it difficult to cope. These charges also deter people from seeking the help they need. We would however institute a system of checks on doctors to ensure that they are only prescribing treatments that are needed by the patient and not squandering NHS money.
4. FUNDING OF THE HEALTH SERVICE
While we expect all parts of the NHS to use money efficiently and carefully a National Democrat government will make available sufficient funds to eliminate all waiting lists for medically needed operations and treatments. This will take priority over other items of expenditure.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Protect our existing green areas.
Seek to expand their size and number, particularly in our cities.
Increase public access to green areas, particularly those less well known.
Rejuvenate agricultural and village life.
Make our cities fit places to live in.
Introduce a national transport strategy.
Seek alternative energy sources and restrict out total use of energy.
1. PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
The guiding principle of the National Democrats' environmental policy is to put our own house in order first. Only this will give us the moral authority to lobby international bodies and to bring pressure to bear on other nations to act responsibly.
We believe that in order to solve many of our environmental problems we need to adopt a national strategy which transcends the narrow short-term profit motive that has been so engendered by successive Conservative governments in recent years.
2. THE COUNTRYSIDE
Our countryside has been under persistent threat for many years, the Green Belt has been encroached upon, our hedgerows have been destroyed, meadowland is on the verge of extinction, along with the wide variety of animal and plant life associated with it.
This has been caused by government indifference, population pressure and commercial greed and is particularly damaging in the South East and the Midlands of England. If the countryside is to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations then urgent action is needed.
We thoroughly approve of the plans to create new areas of forest and we would like to extend this, primarily with deciduous trees. Although we accept that timber is a commercial resource we regard woodland as an important public amenity and a nature conservation area.
We believe there should be a deliberate policy of expanding common land with rights of public access. We would also strengthen the Acts concerning Rights of Way. Some well known walks and areas are under threat from an excessive number of visitors. Rather than seeking to restrict this, we would aim to open up (and publicise) other areas and walks thus spreading the load of visitors. We regard villages as a vital aspect of our countryside and we would take steps to rejuvenate them. We would particularly aim to encourage and enable young families to return to villages both to live and to work.
This would be helped by our attitude towards farming and the land. We are totally opposed to absentee ownership of land particularly by large financial institutions. We would seek to reduce the size of very large farms and reduce the level of chemicals poured on the land. We would prefer to see smaller family farms with local farm co-operatives to own the large pieces of equipment and to help with the marketing of farm produce.
We are fully in favour of organic farming and would encourage this by financial restrictions on the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, etc.
Finally we would continue to support the functioning of the National Parks and would seek to prevent any further government interference in their operation.
3. URBAN AREAS
The majority of British people live in urban areas and we feel that not enough attention has been paid to the quality of our urban environments. Although the epidemic of tower blocks and concrete estates is now receding, we believe that the advent of a National Democrat government will create a unique opportunity to improve the quality of life in our cities.
We believe that for the first time in our history our policy of financial assistance to emigrants will lead to an overall reduction in our population. We will encourage local authorities to draw up plans to take the best advantage of such a situation to improve the lifestyle for our people. We believe that this will allow an expansion both in personal living space and public living space and a decrease in the worst aspects of over-population such as traffic pollution.
Major cities such as London have been ceasing to be places where people live causing the rush-hour jams and the consequent chaos. The National Democrats would place a complete moratorium of the expansion of office space in central urban areas and would like to attract people back to live there by improving the environment of such areas in terms of facilities and open space.
In both urban and rural areas we would like to see further expansion in a range of recycling schemes. We would like to see schools take a leading part in encouraging this type of activity.
This country has needed an overall and coherent transport strategy ever since the last war. Instead we have had a muddled and chaotic mess whereby decisions are made on a one-off basis without reference to the total transport needs of the country. As a result a transport shambles exists with virtually no co-ordination between private and public transport. Where such co-ordination does exist it is usually as a result of local initiatives such as the highly successful park-and-ride schemes.
While recognising the freedom, individual choice and convenience of private transport we would seek to provide incentives to switch a much greater proportion of our transport onto the rail network. Rail transport is far more environmentally sound than road transport and is less destructive on local communities.
This is one of the most common ways of getting about and yet it is often ignored or forgotten. Whenever there are road developments it seems that the needs of the pedestrian are not even considered - this is unacceptable.
Cycling is a very healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport, however it is also neglected and can he dangerous. We would like to see more cycle lanes and purpose built cycle parks in city and town centres. Perhaps shops could be encouraged to sponsor such parks.
In order to improve safety we would like to see all schoolchildren taught to ride properly and safely. This will introduce them to the rules of the road, reduce accidents and make them aware of the problems faced by cyclists when they come to learn to drive a car.
PRIVATE ROAD TRANSPORT
We recognise the freedom, individual choice, and convenience of private transport, and we would take steps to make this as trouble free as possible. We would prevent the over-frequent and illogical closure of roads for roadworks, and where absolutely necessary we would insist on widespread publicity and warning of such closures so that drivers can make alternative arrangements.
We would also abolish the road tax and recover the cost of this by adjustment to the price of petrol - this is a fairer method of collection as it is paid according to the amount of use of the vehicle on the road and it benefits environmentally friendly smaller cars.
We would also like to see better driving standards perhaps be providing incentives to take an advanced driving test. Until such a test is passed we would extend the use of the green 'L' plates or an equivalent.
We would seek the re-opening of routes such as the Colne to Skipton railway. We would also seek the re-introduction of passenger services over what are presently freight only lines. It seems a ludicrous state of affairs that there exists saturation levels in other forms of transport and yet the railway infrastructure is there but is under-utilised. To encourage the use of the rail system we would increase the rail subsidy and thus bring fares down.
We would introduce a rolling programme for the electrification for the railway. This would bring benefits for both the environment and for increasing employment. It is disgraceful that routes from London to Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance, to Cardiff and Swansea and to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield have not been electrified. Upgrading routes draws traffic to it and thereby leaves the roads that bit clearer. It is therefore not just rail users who benefit from these schemes.
We wholeheartedly oppose the privatisation of British Rail which is being done to comply with EU Council Directive 91/440/EEC.
Whilst it is recognised that they do not entirely alleviate the problems faced by many city centres, it certainty reduces the road traffic congestion as shown by Manchester. It is common sense that neighbouring towns and cities work together for the greater common benefit.
Today's main energy sources: coal, oil and nuclear are all environmentally harmful. In the short term we are dependent on these sources of energy but the National Democrats believe in building for the long tern when oil and coal becomes comparatively scarce and expensive These fossil petrochemicals are in any case far too useful as sources of plastics, medicines, etc. to be simply burned.
Therefore we will actively support the research, development and implementation of renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and hydroelectric power. These not only damage the environment less, and do not run out, they help our nation remain self-sufficient and hence truly independent. In the meantime we will seek to use our large coal reserves on a sensible and planned basis. We will also seek to implement, through financial incentives and active public campaigns, the saving of energy wherever possible, thus reducing our overall needs.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Maintain Ulster as part of the United Kingdom for all time.
Integrate the province into the rest of the UK
Introduce an oath of loyalty to the United Kingdom.
Remove IRA members and supporters from the UK.
Give real security to the North by sealing the border with the South.
Make the whole of Ulster an economic priority area.
Move at least one main government ministry into the province.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD NOT:-
Hold 'Munich-style' talks with IRA terrorist leaders.
1. NORTHERN IRELAND
The National Democrats are committed to maintaining Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom for all time. We believe that the people of Ulster have received a raw deal from successive British governments and we have nothing but admiration for their loyalty to Britain in the face of such treatment. We would fully integrate the province into the rest of the country in exactly the same way as England, Scotland and Wales. The powers of the local authorities in Northern Ireland would he restored to the same level as in the remainder of the UK. The degree of regional devolution within the UK would be left to the people of the province to decide in line with our policies on government.
Those people currently resident in Northern Ireland who refuse to renounce allegiance to an independent Irish state and therefore do not consider themselves to be British will lose their British citizenship and, as a result, their automatic right to live on British soil, vote in British elections and enjoy British social services. All residents of the United Kingdom will he required to swear an oath of loyalty to the United Kingdom before taking up their right to vote in UK elections.
In Northern Ireland this stipulation would enable all IRA activists and their supporters to be removed permanently from British soil.
This would not affect the right: of people of Irish descent, of whatever religion, who declare honestly an allegiance to Britain from residing anywhere in the UK nor would it have any necessary effect on the residence of people of Irish citizenship in Great Britain.
However, they would not enjoy a right of residence unless they applied successfully for British citizenship, in the process renouncing their Irish citizenship. Irish citizens would lose their rights of voting and candidature in all UK elections.
The removal of the IRA and its supporters from the province would, at a stroke, end much of the strife in Ulster.
A national Democrat government would affirm that Northern Ireland will always remain an integral part of the United Kingdom and this would extinguish the inspiring hope of the IRA that they can cow a British government into washing its hands of Ulster. We would back up this permanent state of affairs by sitting government ministries in Ulster (see section on government).
This outright elimination of any hope of the IRA achieving their target together with the citizenship measures described above would dramatically weaken the IRA It would also force them to move any remaining operational bases to the South of Ireland.
The British government has no jurisdiction over terrorist bases in Southern Ireland and we question the will of the Eire government, police and judiciary when dealing with IRA terrorists. Therefore we see the only solution to the security problem to be the complete sealing of the border in whatever ways are necessary to give real peace and security to the people of Northern Ireland.
4. THE ECONOMY OF ULSTER
Ulster has consistently had a level of unemployment considerably higher than the rest of Britain. It has also been badly hit by the running down of our defence industries.
The National Democrats are committed to dramatically improving the situation. As an indication of our commitment we would move at least one major government ministry to Northern Ireland. The National Democrats' commitment to improving Britain's defences would also be of great benefit.
Finally we would authorise whatever economic subsidies are needed to bring Ulster's economy up to the rest of Britain and to eliminate the scourge of unemployment.
5. OUR RELATIONS WITH SOUTHERN IRELAND
The security of the people of Northern Ireland is our prime concern and the lack of this has caused immense ill-feeling between the people of Ulster and those of Eire. Only when the security problem is solved permanently can relations between Britain and Eire improve.
Although we regard the border with the South as being far from perfect we believe that it is better to accept the existing line than to start any tinkering which would simply exacerbate the situation.
The National Democrats has a long term aim which we accept will take several generations to achieve. The basis of this is the achievement of peace and tranquillity in Northern Ireland over a period of generations. When this has been achieved then our long term aim might be practicable.
This long term aim is to see the people of Southern Ireland voluntarily and willingly re-join the family of British people so that the United Kingdom would consist of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland each determining their own affairs under the overall authority of the national government.
THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WOULD:-
Continue to subsidise the arts in the interests of the nation.
Seek to preserve the art treasures of the nation for public enjoyment.
Encourage education in the arts and remove all financial restrictions.
Demand higher levels of architectural merit in new buildings.
Seek to promote local culture and art.
Help to preserve the various traditional British languages.
The National Democrats believe it is the duty of a government to foster and encourage the arts. We would aim to do this in a number of ways and we would maintain the principle of government subsidy where appropriate. We would however also encourage the various arts to seek additional funding from non-public sources.
Where public money is being given, we would announce funding of the majority of projects at least 18 months in advance wherever possible so that arts groups would have plenty of time to work out their budgets, and where necessary seek alternative funding.
2. WHAT TO SUBSIDISE
We have no great quarrel with the general system of funding as it currently exists, although we would discourage heavy funding of art forms or projects which fail to achieve significant public support. We do not see it as a function of a British government to fund foreign culture or art, although we have no objection to its promotion in other ways. Apart from this there would be no government interference in the operation of bodies such as the Arts Council.