Italy urges a political, economic, social and cultural awakening. Since decades, the country has been grappling with profound crises, which are the outcomes of the disastrous neo-liberal policies that fostered poverty and inequality, and of an inept political class that does not stand to rapid transformations and global challenges.
The UK and Ireland provide a privileged observation point on the lack of capacity of Italian policy-makers in responding to the real problems of the country. The UK is not only the land of Brexit and of the cuts to the welfare state inspired by right-wing policies, but also the country of Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist Labour Party. With its motto “for the many, not the few”, the Labour offers a credible alternative of hope and of economic and social changes.
We, Italian citisens residents in the UK and Ireland, believe that it is possible to gather consensus around a radical and credible progressive political program that aims at extending human well-being, social services, and social rights to the largest share of the population, that is currently excluded from them due to a lack of representation in the political arena.
In our UK and Ireland community, we have worked together to distill a synthesis of the many ideas, programs and manifestos of the many left-wing groups active in both Italy and the UK. The result of this synthesis is this Manifesto, which imagines the type of Italy that we would like: open, cooperative, inclusive, fair, and European.
We decided to name it after the city of London to flag the role of immigration in this debate: last year only, 285,000 Italians have left their homes to relocate in London, and the city is currently home to more Italians than Florence. We believe this is the moment to offer clarity and conviction to overcome this crisis, with the underlying idea, learnt from Jo Cox, that we have far more in common than that which divides us.
- Europe – We want a stronger political, democratic, and social Europe
We want a Europe that is able to stand to global challenges, such as climate change, inequalities, migrations, global markets and companies, and the fourth industrial revolution.
We want a federal European Government, democratically controlled by the European Parliament, to overcome the restrictive policies of the Fiscal Compact and launch a strategic plan for investments on material and immaterial infrastructures, research and innovation, and green economy. This should be financed through a European tax system.
We want a Europe where freedom of movement is accompanied by full welfare protection (health, pensions, education) for all European citisens.
- Economy – We want an economic policy that is at the service of society
We oppose to cuts to public services that have amplified social inequalities and poverty. We argue for investments in social protection, education, research, health and justice. We want to fight all forms of tax havens and tax evasion, and to implement a fairer, more progressive tax system. We want to regulate the global markets and companies and to contrast the productive and fiscal delocalisation through taxes and policies coordinated at European level.
- Work – We want employment and labour back at the centre of economic policy
We strive for a strategic plan to increase employment, particularly among the youth, as well as labour productivity and safety at the workplace. We want to amend the laws that led to increased precarisation of labour, starting from the Jobs Act.
We also want that the contribution to society of migrants – both Italians abroad and foreigners in Italy – is explicitly recognised and appreciated through policies of inclusion and access to rights.
- Climate change and sustainability – We want rapid and strong policies addressing the environment, bio-diversity, and our cultural heritage
Both Italy and Europe need strategic investments in renewable energy and a coordinated policy for climate justice and sustainability of the economy. We believe that this strategy should start from the valorisation and protection of our rich and diverse artistic, natural, and cultural heritage.
- Human rights – We want peace, human rights, and inclusion at the centre of our foreign policy
We want peace and are against any form of violence, war, and terrorism. We always stand for the values of welcome, solidarity, and human rights.
We are in the midst of the worst migration crisis after World War II and we believe that foreign policy should balance the need for safety with the basic human rights of migrants and of the refugees. We ask for a common European policy towards migration, including economic migrants.
Both foreign and international development policies should be completely rethought around the goals of international solidarity, elimination of conflicts, and reduction of global inequalities.
We are against racism and any form of discrimination. We are against any right-wing extremism and against any fascism. Our values are the ones of Resistenza and anti-fascism.
- Equal opportunities – We want full gender equality and full rights for everyone
We believe there is no conflict among social, economic, and civil rights. In London, we perceive the fight against discriminations as more cogent, as many Italians are here to escape discrimination based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and cannot go back to Italy.
We believe in an intersectional perspective in the promotion of human rights, which recognises the multiple identities of each individual (gender, economic class, race, sexual orientation, age, religion), which sometimes result in even larger discriminations.
We are against any salary discrimination based on gender and any form of gender-based violence. We are for a full equality of LGBT people and we ask for the amendment of the current legislation in terms of adoption. We are for full rights related to decisions around one’s own health and life (abortion, IVF, palliative care, euthanasia).
- Justice and Transparency – We want justice at the centre of internal policies
We stand for the values of justice, honesty, legality, transparency, and we fight against any type of mafia, corruption, collusion, illegality, abuse, privilege, conflict of interest.
- Education and Research – We see education and research as an opportunity for human, cultural, civil and professional development for all
We want a public, universal, secular, pluralist, modern and quality educational system.
We want more investments in research and innovation, so that the research excellences in Italy and abroad are really valued. We ask for a transparent and merit-based recruitment plan aimed at researchers working abroad.
- Health – We want a quality and universal national health service
Health is a basic right and we want Italy to invest in its national health service. We want a universal, quality, modern, and secular health service that overcome the inequalities in access and quality of care between North and South. We want more investments with accompanying economic evaluations of health expenditures in order to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of the system.
- Constitution – We want to defend the Italian Constitution and get back people’s democratic sovereignty
The Constitution is at the heart of non-negotiable and necessary democratic guarantees. We need electoral laws that allow citisens to choose their own representatives.