Labour for Democracy is a new group, launched at the 2012 Labour Party conference, promoting a more open and pluralist approach to politics inside the Labour movement. We’re committed to the radical change for Britain that Ed Miliband has set out in his ‘One Nation’ agenda. We believe that it needs a new approach to the way we do politics, reaching out to those who share our values across parties. It’s not about coalitions or compromise, but building on popular support for progressive change that is shared by voters who do not always support Labour.
On this website you can find out more about Labour for Democracy and who’s involved, the case for pluralism and our plans for promoting it, and you can use it to contact us. We’re not a membership organisation, but a network of members from across the Party, so we hope that you’ll get in touch to sign up and find out more.
Paul Blomfield MP
Chair, Labour for Democracy
Josh White has written a good summary for the Total Politics blog of our launch event in Westminster last week.
He describes Labour for Democracy as ‘an intriguing, if embryonic new initiative, setting out to invent new electoral strategies in the face of mass ‘partisan dealignment’.
You can read the blog in full here and let us know what you think.
Jess Garland, Policy and Research Officer at the Electoral Reform Society, and one of our founding supporters has written a brilliant blog post reflecting on the launch of Labour for Democracy and why the future of politics is plural. Have a read of her piece here and let us know what you think.
Ahead of yesterday’s launch our Chair, Paul Blomfield MP, wrote a short piece for The Independent on how Labour’s history has often been of working with others for progressive goals.
Steve Van Riel also wrote a very thoughtful piece on “Leveson, Labour for Democracy and Lib-Lab co-operation” for The Centre Ground.
If you’ve got any comments on either piece, or if you would like to be kept in touch with Labour for Democracy, then please do get in touch with us.
In an article for the New Statesman website John Denham, one of Labour for Democracy’s founding supporters, has called on Labour not to turn it’s back on pluralism. In the article John says:
“This isn’t the easiest time to make the pluralist case. The Lib Dems’ governmental and electoral performance is hardly encouraging, and has revealed a culture at times as sectarian as anything Labour has to offer. Meanwhile, Labour is doing well, and, of course, every party activist will work as hard as they can for every Labour vote. It is tempting to see pluralism as a sign of weakness, a lack of confidence; even an unwanted attempt to give Nick Clegg a permanent and undeserved place in government.
“But we must be bigger than that. Tribal differences have obstructed progressive change in the past. Voter allegiances to the major parties are declining as fast as the icecaps are melting. There are even signs that the ‘progressive majority’ that split its vote in the 1980s is itself shrinking in the face of recession and insecurity. If we want to change Britain in a progressive direction, Labour must show it is willing to work with, not just lead, everyone who will support all or part of that change.”
The article can be read in full at http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2012/12/labour-must-not-turn-its-back-pluralism
Paul Blomfield, Chair of Labour for Democracy, has written an article for Progress about why Labour for Democracy has been established. In the article Paul argues that Labour must work in a more pluralist way if we are to make One Nation politics a reality:
“Alongside the new economic settlement that is at the heart of the appeal of ‘One Nation’, we must provide long-term solutions to big issues like social care, pensions and climate change. As a new government in 2015, we will have to meet these challenges without the dividends of the extraordinary growth that funded public investment after 1997. The tough decisions that we will face, and the need to build wide support for radical change, demand a new approach to the way we do politics.
“Achieving the change we want, and embedding it beyond one parliament, means building the sort of progressive consensus that the 1945 Labour government achieved in the postwar settlement on the welfare state. We cannot achieve this sort of change alone. We will need to reach out to others who share our values.”
You can read Paul’s article in full at http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/11/30/beyond-tribalism/
On Tuesday 4th December we’re holding the Westminster launch of Labour for Democracy. The launch will be in Room 17 in the House of Commons between 6-7pm (Please note the new venue from the one previously advertised).
The speakers at our launch will include:
- John Denham MP – Former Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet member, and President of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.
- Vernon Bogdanor – Research Professor at the Institute of Contemporary History, King’s College London
- Jessica Asato – Vice-Chair of the Electoral Reform Society and former Director of the Labour Yes Campaign
- Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett – Professor Social Policy at Loughborough University
- Neal Lawson – Chair of Compass
- Andrew Harrop – General Secretary of the Fabian Society
- Jess Garland – Policy and Research Officer, Electoral Reform Society
- Paul Blomfield MP – Chair of Labour for Democracy
The launch is open to all so if you would like to join us please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place.