Labour Together: Economy

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Seven MPs have left our party. We must now reflect and understand to heal and build a movement guided by our shared values. Labour is a diverse family with many different traditions. We’re guardians of a 126-year-old movement that belongs to us all, and how we move forward together is vital for our country and the people we serve.

The challenges our country faces are immense, and this is a moment that demands long-term thinking. This means creating spaces in which people can have the difficult but necessary political conversations. It’s why we decided to guest edit LabourList and, in that spirit, today we focus on the economy with perspectives and thought-provoking contributions from across our movement.

Reflecting on the huge opportunities for Labour to build the green economy in the context of the climate crisis, John McDonnell writes about Labour’s national transformation fund. “It will be a guide for the green jobs revolution that we want to see take root across the country, especially in communities that have been ignored for too long.” It is these communities and those who “work hard for their poverty” that are the focus of Rachel Reeves, who sets out her ideas on the everyday economy.

The reality of Brexit cannot be ignored. As the New Economics Foundation’s Miatta Fahnbulleh argues, the subject dominates our politics but little is being done to address the demand of Leave voters “for something better than an economy that does not work”. The solution must be ”economic change from the grassroots”, she says. It can be too easy to hold on to ideas of the past and reach for comfort blanket solutions. IPPR’s Mathew Lawrence agrees that economic change must come from the grassroots, and further contends that a “democratic ownership agenda” as ambitious as Thatcherism is needed to “confront the wreckage of neoliberalism”.

Also shining a light on the dangers of globalisation, economist Ann Pettifor explains how Theresa May’s ‘global’ Britain links billionaires Jim Ratcliffe and Jim Rowan, the right of the Conservative Party, Presidents Trump and Bolsanaro, and Brexit. She says Labour must fight against their post-Brexit vision of the future to remain “the only thriving and popular social democratic party in the world”.

Finally, we know answers are to be found around tables, not just podiums, so we also have contributions today from ordinary Labour members. They have shared their views on the economy, and we hope you take time to tell us your own too.

This piece was commissioned by Labour Together, which is guest editing LabourList this week.

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