Cometh the hour, time for a party


A new political party has been launched – on International Workers’ Day – to represent the interests of people whose opportunities in life have been restricted because they earn low wages.

The Underpaid People’s Independence Party – UPIP – will campaign for better pay, better rights and a better say on behalf of all those who currently earn less than they need in order to pay their own way.

The new party has announced several policies already:

  • A living wage for every working person, ensuring that the overburdened benefit system does not subsidise greedy corporations
  • A guaranteed ‘income floor’ for all British citizens, ensuring that those who do not work because of illness or unemployment are able to live with dignity
  • The guarantee of employee benefits including sick pay, holiday rights and both lower and upper limits on the number of hours worked
  • Strengthened – and rigorously-enforced – health and safety regulations for all workplaces, to limit the number of workplace-related illnesses and disabilities
  • An end to corrupt ‘workfare’, ‘work programme’ or ‘mandatory work activity’ schemes that allow governments to collude with corporations in forcing citizens to work for no payment other than benefits that are subsidised by other working people
  • Tax incentives to encourage all companies to transform into co-operatives, with responsibilities and profits shared among the entire workforce

UPIP founder Nobby Fulsom, a former mineworker, said Britain’s hardworking poor had suffered for too long under neoliberal profiteers, and the time had come for a party they could all enjoy.

“I have stayed underground for too long; now is the time for working people to stand tall,” he said.

But he admitted: “It is too late for us to field any candidates in the European election.

“If we could, we would be opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that would push workers on both sides of the Atlantic into ever-worsening conditions of employment.

“Europe should be pushing for an agreement that will guarantee the best possible conditions for all workers. The fact that the EU doesn’t seem interested in supporting its constituents poses questions about its own role, and that is why we support a top-down reorganisation of the European Union, with authority granted to nobody unless they can prove they started their careers at the lowest level and worked their way up, rather than just walking in from a position of privilege.”

Mr Fulsom said it was not true that members of UPIP had been posting anti-corporatist Tweets on the internet, nor had they been targeting members of the aristocracy with derogatory remarks.

“UPIP is an inclusive party,” he said. We believe in uniting people – not in the divisive rhetoric of the Coalition government or certain minority parties with similar initials to our own.

“Any corporate executive who is willing to turn his organisation into a co-operative is welcome to join us, as is anyone from a family of wealth who accepts that the people who made that cash for them are entitled to the opportunities they and their forebears enjoyed.”

He added: “We don’t want much, but what we want is fair – for everybody, not just those with a private education and independent wealth.”

Undoubtedly, UPIP will have a great deal to say about the current election campaign and the future direction of British politics.

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28 thoughts on “Cometh the hour, time for a party

  1. Joanna

    Please tell this isn’t satire and it is for real, I am after all quite a gullible soul. If it is for real, then Whoo Hoo!! Paarrtty!!!

      1. Joanna

        No worries, thank you for letting me know, though it could be food for thought, who is to say that there couldn’t a party that is actually for the people!

  2. Joanna

    One question begs to be asked though,
    How would these excellent intentions be funded?

    Also what about everything that has already been privatised, can they possibly be re-nationalised?

    1. Joanna

      Why? We desperately need change! What is dangerous is the parasites we already have, whose only intention is to ruin all that was good!!!

      1. Mike Sivier

        Uh, Joanna?
        I don’t honestly think he’s being entirely serious. My impression was that he was taking the article in the spirit it was given.

  3. vicmart009

    Mr Fulsom is expressing a believe & feeling that he is not going to roll over & die. That I admire ! He has past the first post . I long to hear more of his journey.

  4. hilary772013

    Mike you got me going for a moment, I for one would vote for a UPIP Party…Oh! well back to reality… If only it was real and not satire (sigh)

  5. Barry Davies

    Other the the co-operative part which is clearly a communist ideal, I think most decent people i.e. not tories or lib dems would agree with the aspirations of the legendary Mr Fulsome, however as the last man to leave the coal mines he probably thinks that the USSR still exists. It sounds like he wants a party to be like a similar named one which is inclusive rather than the diversive old parties that seem to be the rich versus the poor versus the chronically defeated.

    1. Mike Sivier

      In fact, the Liberal Democrats have taken action, while in government, to promote employee ownership and co-operative business principles. John Lewis is (famously) a co-operative – would you call that a Communist organisation?
      Nobby knows the USSR no longer exists and that’s fine with him; as with China, he agrees with the belief that Communism was never really enacted there – it was just another form of Middle Class oppression, similar to the system we have here but more overt.

    2. hugosmum70

      are you saying that the cooperative movement here in Britain which has been going years, is/was a communist idea? not quite sure when it started but do know it was going when my mother was a girl and she would have been 100 years old as of march 6th this year. that movement has helped the poorer in society all these years with the dividends each member got every year. how can it be communistic?

      1. beastrabban

        Hugosmum – the Cooperative movement goes back well over 100 years to the mid- or early 19th century. The co-operative stores were started by a group of former Owenite Socialists. They wished to introduce the collective, cooperative principle at the heart of Owen’s management of New Lanark and his scheme for the establishment of a series of communistic communities into retail. The Grand National Consolidated Union, which was a gigantic trade union founded in the 1830s with the aim of wresting power away from the bourgeoisie through a massive general strike, also operated a series of co-operatives to provide work for the unemployed;

        There was an extremely large and powerful co-operative movement in Russia before the Communist Revolution of October 1917. As well as co-operative department stores, there were even several co-operative banks. University students also helped support themselves and their fellow students by running co-operative stores and bookshops. There was also a tradition form of worker’s co-operative, the artel. This was a society of artisans, like builders, who would elect a leader to negotiate contracts for the group, and share the profits.

        One of the interesting experiments Gorbachev pursued with perestroika was the attempt to turn a number of the state industries into co-operatives. Aganbegyan, his economist, describes some of these in his book, The Challenge of Perestroika. The idea was that the workers would employ the managers, who would have to be interviewed by them before being given a post at the enterprise, with the workers having the power to hire and fire them.

        As for workers’ control, which was one of the central Bolshevik policies under Lenin before the workers showed themselves unfortunately unable to manage the enterprises successfully, this actually predated the Bolshevik seizure of power. The soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers that sprang up in constitutional revolution of February 1917, which saw the Tsar overthrown and a provisional government headed by Kerensky and the Kadets, became increasingly radicalised as the year progressed. Some of the factory soviets began demanding to see the official books and have their workers represented in management.

      2. Mike Sivier

        The idea of workers employing managers in post-Perestroika USSR is particularly interesting to me because of a connection in AMERICAN comic books (of all things). When a group of extremely successful artists split from their employers to form Image Comics, they made it perfectly clear that they would not have ‘money men’ dictating what they should do artistically. Instead, they would employ the managers, whose sole responsibility would be to ensure the smooth running of the company, financially. Image has been a successful – in fact, a mega-successful – enterprise for very nearly a quarter of a century.

      3. beastrabban

        That’s interesting about Image Comics, Mike. The ‘Capped Crusader’ Michael Moore discusses how successful many co-operatives in America are in his documentary, ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’.

        The Fabian pamphlet ‘The Future of Industrial Democracy’ notes that there is overwhelming evidence – in fact, it’s accepted by all the sociologists, who’ve studied it – that workers actually work harder and better when they feel they have a say in the management of their companies.

        ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone made the same point in his 1993 ‘Livingstone’s Labour: A Programme for the Ninetiess’. He stated that giving workers a say in the way companies were run actually made them more successful, as workers took a far more long-term view of the company and its fortunes than management.

        The book actually shows you why the Tories under Maggie really hated Livingstone. Not only was he very Left, but he was also very bright and well-informed – the very last things the Tories want in Labour leader.

  6. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    It’s a pity that this is only satire, as this is a party I’d fully endorse and support. It’s what the Labour party should be doing, but isn’t. Even so, I wonder if the UPIP fiction couldn’t be used as a literary device for serious, vigorous promotion of the ideas and ideals Mike – or Mr. Fulsom – lays out here.

  7. prayerwarriorpsychicnot

    Brilliant. It could go world wide. So why hasn’t it happened. All our politicians bought perhaps? Becoming a politician is about the only way any jack-ass can join the over-paid, over-privileged elite. Anyone who wants to stand against the elite interests can’t do it being poor, and if they look as if they might get somewhere their support will be intimidated, bribed or mystified away.

  8. beastrabban

    Mr Fulsome reminds me of one of the running jokes in the 1980s comedy, Dead Earnest. The show’s hero, played by Andrew Sachs, was a poor fellow, who was wrongly killed off due to a computer error in heaven, and was trying desperately to find a way back to Earth. One of the gags there was about the future appearance of a militant Labour leader, a Yorkshire miner, who would lead the party to victory. And one of his policies was to be the castration of Tory MPs.


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