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

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • 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.

  • 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

  • Featured News Seats and Selections Luciana Berger in running for Liverpool City Region Mayor

    Luciana Berger in running for Liverpool City Region Mayor

    Luciana Berger will today become the third candidate in the race to get the Labour nomination for the Liverpool City Region Mayor election. Berger, who attends Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Mental Health, will announce her bid with a speech to local Labour members this afternoon. She is the second shadow minister to launch their candidacy for a new directly elected mayor position in a North West city, following Andy Burnham kicking off his Greater Manchester Mayor campaign earlier […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Sadiq Khan has stuck his neck on the line – but he hasn’t “discredited” Labour

    Sadiq Khan has stuck his neck on the line – but he hasn’t “discredited” Labour

    One evening at Labour Conference 2009, those of us attending from my constituency party met for a meal in a restaurant on the Brighton seafront. Our waiter was very excited to regale us with his familial tie to Labour royalty. “My great-great uncle was a Labour Prime Minister,” the waiter told us. “But I’m afraid you won’t like him: it was Ramsay MacDonald.” On cue, our well-oiled delegates treated him to panto hisses. “Now,” interrupted one, “I actually think there’s room for some reappraisal of Ramsay […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Uncategorized Sharon Hodgson: Labour will always stand up for children with special educational needs

    Sharon Hodgson: Labour will always stand up for children with special educational needs

    Since the Government announced its Schools White Paper last month, focus has been on their ham-fisted plans for the forced academisation of all schools. Though Ministers have subsequently U-turned on these flawed plans – after mounting opposition led by Labour and including parents, school leaders, teachers, governors, local councillors and their own backbenches – it is clear that they are still intent on obsessing over forcing or coaxing every school in England to become an academy. This fixation with school structures comes at the expense of raising standards for […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Jess Phillips hit by 600 rape tweets in one night

    Jess Phillips hit by 600 rape tweets in one night

    Jess Phillips has spoken of her disgust after receiving 600 tweets in one night about her rape. The Birmingham Yardley was bombarded with vile messages after launching a campaign to end online sexist bullying. “To see the attack of a pack on here check out my mentions 600 odd notifications talking about my rape in one night. I think twitter is dead,” she wrote on the online platform. Phillips, who was sexually assaulted as a teenager, today described the revolting […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Uncategorized Labour must view immigration as a political opportunity rather than an obstacle

    Labour must view immigration as a political opportunity rather than an obstacle

    In 2014, the last reliable figures that take ethnicity into account, there were 790,000 Poles living in the UK. With EU net migration still in the positive, and suggestions these figures might be a grossly underestimated, the total number could be significantly higher. To be clear, this is not a piece about immigration, or, at least, not about its effects on Britain, but about what policies may convince Polish migrants to vote Labour. Because the Tories have a head start. As EU migrants, most […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit