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

21st June, 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 Defeat doesn’t make us defunct

    Defeat doesn’t make us defunct

    It’s frustrating when protests and demonstrations are shrugged of as a meaningless waste of time and those who pick up a placard and participate are faced with accusations of ‘disillusionment’ and of being ‘sore losers’. The thousands of people who took to the streets of London (and in cities across the country) on June 20th had every right to do so. Yes, Labour suffered a cataclysmic defeat at the ballot box resulting in the Conservatives prevailing as the ‘winning’ party […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured The EU Referendum could do to Labour in England what the independence referendum did in Scotland

    The EU Referendum could do to Labour in England what the independence referendum did in Scotland

    The issue of Europe rarely stirs Labour’s soul. The current attitude of ‘we’re moderately pro mainly because the antis come across as a bunch of swivel-eyed fruitcakes’, has not served Labour badly, partly because it chimes with the majority view. Despite two decades of daily derision and drip-feed EU hostility from a small group of mostly foreign media-owning billionaires, poll after poll has shown a majority in favour of staying. But while leadership contenders tiptoe cautiously round this subject, in […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Yvette Cooper launches child poverty petition

    Yvette Cooper launches child poverty petition

    Yvette Cooper is launching a child poverty petition, which calls on the government to rethink plans to cut tax credits. She says these plans will push thousands more children into poverty. Cooper is one of four people in the running to be Labour’s next leader. Today at a leadership hustings in Swindon she will say 4 million children are living in poverty in the UK, 500,000 more than when David Cameron first became Prime Minister. She will point out that in the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Cutting the public health grant would be a cut to the NHS

    Cutting the public health grant would be a cut to the NHS

    Amidst the chaos of the coalition’s NHS reforms a few years ago responsibility for public health services moved from primary care trusts to local authorities. Credit where it is due, this is the one move of those controversial reforms that presented a positive opportunity. Public health’s relationship with local government is a historic one and many in local government stood ready to drive forward a progressive public health agenda once again, aiming to tackle alarming health trends and health inequalities. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Scotland has a housing crisis and it demands radical solutions

    Scotland has a housing crisis and it demands radical solutions

    It’s vital that Scottish Labour goes into next year’s Holyrood elections with a bold and ambitious manifesto. Few issues need ambition more in Scotland than housing. With 150,000 people currently on waiting lists and private landlords pocketing more than £450m in housing benefit, there is a housing crisis. This week I was inspired on a visit to the West Whitlawburn Housing Cooperative in South Lanarkshire. Approaching its 25th birthday, the Coop provides over 600 properties and has transformed a community. […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit