The way that we make policy in the Labour Party is changing

June 21, 2013 1:33 pm

As we watch the bedroom tax ruin lives, child poverty rise and the use of food banks go through the roof, we all know that the election in 2015 will be the most crucial we have fought for a long time. For people across the country, it is vital that we get our manifesto right and put Ed Miliband into number 10.

Tomorrow representatives from all parts of our party will converge on Aston University for the 2013 meeting of the National Policy Forum. As Chair, I am looking forward to what is an important step on the road to writing that winning manifesto.

We’ve got a lot on our agenda. On the Saturday, we will be finalising the policy papers on the ten areas which have been out for consultation all year. These cover a wide range of issues from young people and politics to tax avoidance, a British investment bank, housing and the integration of the NHS and social care. You can see all the papers here. On Sunday, we will be looking forward and discussing what we need to tackle in the next stages of our work, particularly how we can prioritise and deliver on Labour’s values in a constrained economic setting.

There is one thing that I hope will be clear from this weekend: the way that we make policy in the Labour Party is changing. We are making sure that our policy processes and structures are fully open, transparent and accessible for members and for the wider public. If we are to write a manifesto that speaks to people, then we need to listen to people as we write it.

Our new Your Britain website is revolutionalising how we formulate policy. Since we launched under a year ago, we’ve had hundreds of submissions and we’ve had Your Britain discussion events in every corner of the country. You can see for yourself the quality of the debate by having a look here.

But it isn’t just about structures, it is about a change of mindset too and that is where all of us come in. It is easy to fall back in to the habits of the past – whether that is giving in to cynicism, or falling straight in to opposition mode at the first sign of disagreement. We are not going to be able to agree about everything, we are not going to be able to have everything in the manifesto that we might want – but we are going to have a manifesto that we are all proud of.

I am determined that every member of our party feels like they have a stake in our policies for 2015. We’re going to build our One Nation manifesto from the grassroots up, and you are going to be involved every step of the way.

I’ll report back here after the NPF, and I’ll keep in touch throughout the process.

Latest

  • Comment The tennis match that reveals the Tories’ re-election strategy

    The tennis match that reveals the Tories’ re-election strategy

    David Cameron’s fundraising takes place in secretive opulence amongst the world’s super rich. This week we saw the extent of his reliance of those who operate in a different world to hardworking families concerned with paying their bills. The Conservative Party has taken a reported £1 million from Russian backers since David Cameron has been leader.  In 2008 David Cameron said, ‘Russian armies can’t march into other countries while Russian shoppers carry on marching into Selfridges’, and yet as Russian […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Keeping childcare high on the agenda

    Keeping childcare high on the agenda

    Recent headlines that childcare will be a key battle ground in the General Election will come as no surprise to those of us who have been knocking on doors and speaking with mums and dads in our communities. Time after time, when I’m listening to families on the doorstep, the cost of childcare comes up as a reason for why they are struggling to afford to work. As the summer holidays start, this is particularly true. Research from the Family […]

    Read more →
  • Featured We are the only people who can stop Murdoch’s power growing

    We are the only people who can stop Murdoch’s power growing

    After the parliamentary inquiries, Leveson, and the criminal trials, it sometimes feels like nothing has changed at Rupert Murdoch’s News UK. The grim case of Tulisa Contostavlos shows that Murdoch’s people will still fit up a celebrity if it sells papers. When I read Mazher Mahmood’s Sun on Sunday drugs sting, I thought of poor Sean Hoare. Sean was a brave man. He was the first former News of the World journalist to have the guts to admit to phone hacking. He was an […]

    Read more →
  • News Independence? UKIP can’t even spell it

    Independence? UKIP can’t even spell it

    Slow clap for UKIP, who have put out a leaflet in Blackpool in which they’ve managed to spell their own name wrong. Proudly proclaiming themselves as the “UK Indepencence Party”, the leaflet has been delivered to voters for the Clifton by-election taking place today. Maybe their campaigning against “Eurocrats” has just been a typo all along.

    Read more →
  • News Company pulls out of workfare scheme days after Osborne visit to promote it

    Company pulls out of workfare scheme days after Osborne visit to promote it

    A business in Bristol has pulled involvement with the Government’s controversial workfare programme, only days after Chancellor George Osborne paid them a visit to publicise the scheme. Byteback IT Solutions welcomed Osborne earlier this month for an opportunity to publicise the Help to Work programme, where long-term unemployed must work on placements in order to receive their benefits. However, after campaigners took to Byteback’s social media sites to protest, they decided to terminate their involvement, saying they had been “ill-informed” […]

    Read more →