The Campaign for Universal Inheritance

Universal Suffrage


Universal Inheritance

"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams
Wandering by lone sea breakers
And sitting by desolate streams
World losers and world forsakers
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory;
One man with a dream, at pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown:
And three with a new tune's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth:
For each age is a dream that is dying
Or one that is coming to birth."

Arthur O'Shaughnessy, (1844-1881) - Ode


Universal Suffrage - votes for all - was once a dream - that in a democracy every young man and woman should
have the human right to a vote at the age of 18.

It finally became a reality in Britain when women, having in 1918 obtained the vote at the age of 30, as compared with the age of 21 for men, achieved equal voting rights in 1928. 

British Universal Suffrage has transformed our country.  (Although it will not be fully effective until the Westminster Parliament decrees, as it should have done already, that we can all vote with a Single Transferable 1,2,3.. Vote in existing Single Member Parliamentary Constituencies so that every vote counts in electing a Member of Parliament - instead of continuing to require us to vote with the archaic, intelligence-insulting, non-numerate and non-preferential X.) 

Universal Inheritance - inherited capital for all - is another such dream, first broadly suggested by Thomas Paine -  that in a capitalist democracy, every young man and woman born a citizen of a country should also have the human right, not only to the vote at 18, but also to some capital - a minimum once-a-lifetime inheritance.  In 1797, in Agrarian Justice, Thomas Paine proposed £15 at the age of 21, financed by a 10 per cent tax.

In 2007, OPPORTUNITY - The Campaign for British Universal Inheritance- proposes a British Universal Inheritance of £10,000 at 25, financed by and subject to a progressive tax on all capital gifts and inheritance received, at a rate starting at 10% (down from the present 40%) and remaining there for most beneficiaries.  The average wealth of every adult and child in the UK at the end of 2002 was £85,000, according to the Office of National Statistics.

British Universal Inheritance - as this dream too comes to birth - will transform our country, as did British Universal Suffrage.  Universal Inheritance will also transform the world, as Universal Suffrage has done, is doing and will continue to do.  Other countries will have their own national universal inheritance schemes, with amounts related to their own average wealth.


PO Box 1148 Oxford OX44 7AT