How we build One Nation Labour

13th November, 2012 10:35 am

The breadth and ambition of the political project Ed Miliband outlined at party conference requires a transformation of the way we do politics. It sets a significant but exciting challenge to the party. All of us from staffers to supporters to elected politicians, will need to change our approach to campaigning, so that we can make our values live again across the country. We have begun to change and must continue to change – so we can rebuild trust and win a mandate for changing the country. That’s why the party is changing – so we can rebuild trust and win a mandate for changing the country.

It’s an exciting time: we have already begun to shift the party’s resources to the frontline and have established a top team that can create a movement inspired by Ed Miliband’s leadership. Already the first wave of organisers and candidates are in place in our frontline seats. Appointing and selecting the second tranche of those frontline forces is only a small part of the task for all of us in the next year. Everything in the next twelve months will be focussed on us growing the movement, involving more people and empowering them to create the change we need.

The many by-elections, mayoral and police elections we are fighting right now reveal the scale of the challenge. I am confident we will be able to deliver electoral success, but we cannot allow ourselves to lurch from one capacity crisis to another: that is why we must build a movement, inspired by the possibilities of change.

Without this outreach, deepening our relationships with people as well as widening our appeal, it will be more difficult for us to win in 2015. Our current levels of activity and levels of paid staff may not get us over the line. This is the harsh truth and to counteract this we must build a movement.

Everything; from our policy development process to our fundraising activities, will have one overarching goal: building capacity. We will increase the numbers of people who will believe in us, work with us, join us.

This will mean a huge culture change: respecting members, and volunteers, rather than treating them as though they are only good for delivering leaflets. Thousands of people have joined us since party conference: we need to know and understand, respect and act on their motivations for getting involved.

There is already an enormous groundswell of enthusiasm for change, not only from our new members and supporters but from the backbone of our campaigning operation.

2013 will be the year of extending that enthusiasm and growing the movement.

Our Training Academy will mean all of our professional staff and our super-volunteers will learn about organising so that every local party can grow its volunteer numbers by significant numbers. The campaigns we adopt on the basis of talking to our communities will involve and empower people, and offer change now. Energy switching is a powerful tool because it is people, party members and supporters, building a network, demanding change, which uses their collective force to deliver a good for all. Campaigning against legal loan sharks doesn’t just gather people names on a petition but offers answers for people’s daily crises, as well as shaping the national conversation.

Our online and offline policy development process will help more people to be involved in deciding our priorities and contributing to the shape of Britain we want to see. Our councillors show, in the face of a fundamental attack on support for the working families and the vulnerable, what Labour can achieve when there’s little money to go around. They will be at the heart of developing a platform for change – giving people a sense of what One Nation Britain will look like.

Changing the perception of Labour in our own communities is a task that falls to all of us. We will focus on evolving the party from being a machine for harvesting votes to being a movement of people, inspiring and making change happen. This won’t be easy; all of us must do our bit to rebuild trust. Campaigners are connecting with people Old Labour never reached, and those that New Labour left behind, mobilising and inspiring them. And it’s an essential step to shifting political activities from transactions to relationships. That is how we build One Nation Labour.

Iain McNicol is the General Secretary of the Labour Party

This piece forms part of Jon Cruddas’s Guest Edit of LabourList

  • PaulHalsall

    I *do* see the idea behind “One Nation Labour*, and it is certainly better than the “get the support the 60% over the 40% at the bottom” view of the Tories.

    But I find it hard to applaud any notion that derives from Disraeli. This seems like Blue Labour in new clothing.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterKenyon Peter Kenyon

    Dear Iain

    Can you be more specific about how members are to be be given a say in making the policies that will frame our next General Election manifesto?

    Our CLP 2012 Labour Conference delegate reported that little more than lip service was paid by the leadership and conference platform to debate, and in answer to questions admitted to being generous. I’m still waiting for a response from Jon Cruddas, this week’s Labour List guest editor to my question about how his role relates to the Labour Party’s official policy-making process(es).

    Peter Kenyon
    secretary, City of London Labour Party

Latest

  • News John Woodcock says he will quit as MP if Labour don’t support full Trident renewal

    John Woodcock says he will quit as MP if Labour don’t support full Trident renewal

    John Woodcock, who is standing for re-election in Barrow and Furness, has pledged that he will resign from Parliament if Labour fail to build four successor submarines for Trident. As the constituency he has represented since 2010 has a shipyard where Trident subs are built, it is a big election topic in the area, with many jobs potentially on the line. Earlier this month, Tory Defence Secretary Michael Fallon accused Ed Miliband of being willing to “barter” away the UK’s […]

    Read more →
  • News Ashcroft polling suggests Labour pushing Tories close in knife edge marginals (but national poll puts Tories 6 points ahead)

    Ashcroft polling suggests Labour pushing Tories close in knife edge marginals (but national poll puts Tories 6 points ahead)

    There’s a big different in the story that two different sets of Ashcroft polling (both released today) are telling. Ashcroft’s National poll gives the Tories a six point lead (Con 36 Lab 30), but his marginal seats polling has Labour ahead in some key marginals, and only just behind the Tories in another. If the Tories were really six points ahead of Labour, then it’s unlikely Labour would be leading comfortable in Cannock Chase or pushing the Tories hard in Great […]

    Read more →
  • News Miliband more trusted on the NHS than David Cameron, poll finds

    Miliband more trusted on the NHS than David Cameron, poll finds

    Last week was Labour’s NHS week; it looks like their clear, constant message on has paid off – their lead on health has doubled since February. This is according to polling ComRes polling for Incisive Health, which suggests that Labour have built on their NHS lead in recent months. Incisive Health’s tracker of the ComRes polling shows the ratings for the Tories have stayed relatively stable while Labour’s have increased. The good news isn’t just for the party overall, though. When […]

    Read more →
  • Video England and Liverpool Striker Raheem Sterling records video backing Labour’s Dawn Butler

    England and Liverpool Striker Raheem Sterling records video backing Labour’s Dawn Butler

    He may not be staying at Liverpool much longer – but England and Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling is definitely a committed Red. Here’s a video of Sterling backing Dawn Butler – who was Sterling’s MP in Brent when he lived there as a kid: Sterling says “Hiya, I’m Raheem Sterling, and I’d just like to say a big thank you to Dawn for helping me and my family when we lived in Brent and she’s been a massive help to […]

    Read more →
  • Scotland Video Scottish Labour release party election broadcast “unlock change”

    Scottish Labour release party election broadcast “unlock change”

    Scottish Labour have released a party election broadcast – entitled “unlock change” as the campaign reaches its final days. The polling situation looks bleak for Labour in Scotland – but there’s no mention of the SNP in this largely upbeat effort, complete with voiceover from David Tennant:

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit