Tag Archives: national income dividend

The Lib Dems’ Big Idea

On 11th May Humphrey Hawksley posed the question “Do the Liberal Democrats have a captivating Big Idea?“.

Hawksley went on to mention Boris Johnson’s ‘Take Back Control’, and Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’, and briefly discussed these and other examples of Big Ideas, before finishing his post thus:  “The Liberal Democrats, therefore, have a unique opportunity. Let us define our big idea and begin arguing its case now, so that by the time the next general election is announced it will be embedded in the national conversation.” (I wish he had not dropped the capital letters!)

I shall attempt, now, to take up Hawksley’s challenge.

I actually wish to reinvigorate what is now a rather tired but now Very Big Idea, with one or two Radical changes  added. (Lib Dems are rather inclined to label any Good Idea as a Radical one: that is an error!)

Here goes, then.  I propose that our ‘Big Idea’ shall be endowed with a new name altogether. Let us proclaim, when the time comes, the Big Idea of the NATIONAL INCOME DIVIDEND, a new name for an elderly idea which  begins to limp along in tired plimsolls as Universal Basic Income, full of percentages and pennies and History.

NATIONAL INCOME DIVIDEND is not a mere renaming of UBI with less depressing words. Say it now – OUT LOUD if you are alone –  and listen to it. How does each word sound by itself? How does it ring? And how do they work as a threesome? And do they run in harness rather like that old-timer, beloved headliner, the unholy trinity GDP? GDP is the very devil at the heart of Conservative capitalism.

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