Labour Left is Labour’s largest think tank. At its core is a group of thinkers who generate policy which they hope will be considered for inclusion in the 2015 Labour Party manifesto. Our structure includes a committee, a group of MPs and interns and a wider base of grassroots supporters that number over 400 people and acts as a broad based campaign group within the Labour Party. We have set 18 regional committees and are in the process of setting up more.
a) So what do we stand for you might ask? Well in short we are the home of ethical socialism, set up in 2011 explicitly to help Ed Miliband become the next Prime Minister. We aim to influence the Labour Party to chart a different course than the post-1979 Thatcherite consensus. Light touch regulation and trusting the free market to provide ‘trickle down’ advancement for all has clearly failed. Wages have stagnated for years and above inflationary price rises to our key services of energy, transport and telecommunication has put a squeeze on living standards that two thirds of Britain cannot afford. An explosion in consumer debt, obesity and the prescribing of anti-depressants has been as a consequence of trying to make family life work in the current neo-liberal framework. Labour has failed to uphold the ‘British Promise’. We in Labour Left recognise this and are determined to create policies to show that we have listened and that we understand.
b) So what is our strategy? Essentially, Labour Left wants to formulate new policies around five new pillars which we hope will deliver a more ethical package of reforms for voters at the next election. Those five pillars are as follows
This requires a great deal of coordination among the entire Labour Left grouping to ensure that our ideas are coherent and can together form a package that is fully costed and that will make a demonstrable difference to the lives of the 65% of households in Britain that currently face such a squeeze on their income that the great ‘British Promise’ eludes them.
Our campaigns include the living wage, and end to #Workfare, a repeal of the NHS Bill, a National Care Service and affordable housing. We concentrate on domestic policy and do not take formal positions on foreign affairs.
Labour Left recognises that ill deeds have been done to the UK in recent years. An unethical foreign policy, the backdoor privatisation of health and education and well as the commodification of higher level education has all damaged our society. We do not wish to dwell on these areas in an overly negative way but we will, from time to time, put forward ideas and papers as to how we think a new Labour government could temper the excesses of the current Tory government in these areas. However, as we try to remain positive, our focus will primarily be on the five key areas outlined above.
c) What next? In 2011, Labour Left published a volume of essays in the form of a Red Book, our diagnosis of where Britain has gone wrong in recent years and how we hope to fix it. We will on an annual basis update our Red Book to include our latest and most up to date thinking. The book will always be free of charge on request and so we invite you to obtain a copy, have a read and offer us ideas as to how we can improve. 35+ million voters did not vote Labour at the last two elections and Labour Left is on a mission to discover why.