The Return of the SDP
By MichaelNovember 1, 2020
There is a strong chance I'd be standing as a Social Democratic Party's candidate in the coming election, having joined the Party soon after its revival and having worked with a handful of other members in Wales. Yes, it is that SDP - the party that was formed in 1981, was largely dormant since the leadership merged to form the Liberal Democrats, and was last year revived by its activists. William Clouston took the brave step of bringing the it back into the public eye.
As it is, we are still more or less a fringe organisation, and there aren't many of us in Wales. The Party does get media exposure on LBC, talkRadio and regional BBC programmes, though. We also had a number of things planned for this year - press conferences, tours, etc., but, of course, all that's on hold because of this pandemic thing.
Standing for an election in the near future would be a difficult choice, since I am good friends with the Labour councillors in my area - they are working class guys who do a cracking job at keeping things running here.
But we need to put ourselves forward in elections, because an alternative is needed now more than ever. Our system of government is a mess, having long been delegated to a largely unaccountable political class that represents a corporatist establishment and is divorced from the majority. As the New Declaration states, 'We hold that the old Labour/Conservative duopoly is harming our nation. The Conservative party has conserved very little and instead, has put everything up for sale. Labour has abandoned the nation’s working men and women.' Of course, the thing that bothers me now is that I can't imagine any of the mainstream parties committing themselves to doing what it takes to repair the extensive damage to our society and our quality of life caused by the 'lockdowns'.
And, perhaps the biggest difference between today's SDP and the Liberal Democrats is we don't like liberalism. Being socially conservative, we believe that no man is an island, and that we are weaker alone. An atomised and individualistic society is one where individuals are powerless against the state and corporations, and where people are socially isolated and without adequate support networks. We want a Britain in which children are raised by families in stable environments, and in which strong communities have the power to determine how the world around them is run. Most our policies are centred around this. Contrast this ideal with the situation we have now, where the only ones in power are the political class, which is disconnected from the reality of most people.
The SDP's council house building policy is just one example of how we could achieve this. As it stands, many houses and apartments are becoming so unaffordable that people are not only being priced out of their own communities, but someone occupying buy-to-let accommodation is in a position tenuous enough that starting a family is a risk. The SDP's solution to this is the building of council houses - lots and lots of council houses, at least 300,000 by the end of this decade - enough to satisy much of the demand, make home ownership more affordable and provide a more stable method of home ownership. Such a programme would also provide countless job and training opportunities.