If I were Prime Minister: The army wouldn't pledge allegiance to the Crown, but to the working class from which it's drawn

Our series in the run-up to the General Election – 100 days, 100 contributors, but no politicians – continues with the writer and ex-soldier

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The Independent Online

There is no chance I could be elected at all, and far less that I would get the top job. The reason? I am working class, and my politics flow from that.

There is no evidence to suggest that Parliament is anything other than a forum for the ruling class to manage their personal daily affairs. I could hardly make nice with them in the bar. That said, given that the question is so seductive, I will entertain it.

To get to Downing Street today I would have to commit terrible acts like bowing to big business - which in the neo-liberal age operates according to the precise ethics and economics of fascism: power is all, man against man, woman against woman, kill or be conquered.

My first step would be to resolve a long-standing contradiction which has proven vital for keeping democracy at bay and is a matter of personal and historical unfinished business.

I'd return the army to its radical New Model origins by changing its allegiance from the Crown to the social class from which it is overwhelmingly drawn. That was the original purpose of the army - to replace one class with another. The tier it brought to power – we know it as the middle class - is empty of progressive potential. It is high time to replace it.

That would mean unionising and democratising the Mob. Such a force would operate strictly in the interests of those that composed it, the current leadership would be gone given the military would choose its own leaders and this new army would literally elect which wars it fought in.

Programs of debate designed and implemented by the soldiers themselves would be embarked upon so that they are ready to protect the people from the inevitable physical backlash by the clinging has-beens of the old order.

For my next trick I will pay heed to the lessons of 17 years of being a worker and 33 of being working-class. I have never had or heard of a job where given half a chance the people who carry it out couldn't do it better than those placed above them.

Every kind of job - bin-men to bouncers, nurses to nursery workers - must self-govern. This heresy, wherein those who do a job decide how to complete it, we may simply call democracy. No system of politics where the fundamental means to live – food, housing, healthcare, education – are not allocated sensibly is worthy of the name.

Beyond these measures, the future would be up to those I have mentioned, but my suspicion is that as well as being Britain's least likely Prime Minister, I would also be it's last.

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