Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Should Labour's General Election Manifesto Say? (Part 1)

The above title is the topic for our next discussion meeting as advertised in our right hand column.

In order to shape its General Election Manifesto, the Labour Party has published a consultative document entitled "The Choice For Britain". To help with our own discussions my summary of the document appears below. The full document can be found here.

Your ideas on both the summary and the full document are, of course, welcome in our comment box.


(1). In preparation for its General Election Manifesto, the Labour Party has produced a 38 page consultative document entitled “The Choice For Britain” - see the above link.

(2). It states that “Our proposals are being sent to every constituency party in the country framing thinking for the next manifesto. All responses will be fed into the National Policy Forum and used to shape Labour’s ideas. Every party member can have their say so we have a programme that reflects the aspirations of the British people. We want to know your ideas on the way forward for Britain” (page 7).

(3) The avenue for expressing your ideas is shown here by Ed Miliband.

(4) In summarizing the document below, I draw from the section entitled “Our plan for the future - national ambitions for 2015” and use quotations only (from pages 22 to 35). Whilst most sections have key points which can be drawn from, this is not possible with Extract C as it covers a wide range of areas including crime, immigration, the armed forces, health and pensions.


A. “Building a prosperous Britain : forging a new growth model for the UK economy. …..Labour believes that competitiveness requires sustained investment and support - real help, now - that will help secure future employment and living standards…..We will help people to compete in a globalised world, and retain a diversified economy based on high-value employment, without closing markets or denying the huge benefits of free enterprise …..”.

B. “Building a fairer Britain : breaking down barriers and boosting opportunity. …..There has, until recently, been little of the momentum towards social progress that there was for the sons and daughters of the Second World War generation…..schools will be the engine of social mobility. Education is now more than ever our number one priority for Britain’s future. Our ambition is world class schools offering excellent teaching and personalised support. This is epitomised by our commitment to create over 400 Academy schools in England…..”.

C. “Building a stronger Britain: strengthening family and community life and reinvigorating the public realm and keeping Britain strong abroad......There have been major improvements in public health, with standards rising across the system. The reforms have included stronger incentives for organisations to improve performance, with payment linked to patient outcomes, a revolution in patient choice, and greater freedom for providers, for example, through the establishment of NHS Foundation Trusts in England……We are committed to re-linking the state pension to earnings…..”.

D. “Building a greener Britain : shifting to a low carbon economy and society.. ….. Our Low Carbon Transition Plan…..includes details of our renewable energy strategy through which we will achieve 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020, our programme to build new nuclear power stations …and our demonstration programme of carbon capture and storage technology on coal-fired power stations. The global market for low carbon and environmental goods and services is already worth £3 trillion…..Our Low Carbon Industrial Strategy aims to make Britain among the best places in the world to locate and develop a low carbon business…..”.

E. “Building a democratic Britain : restoring trust and revitalising our constitutional settlement.…..Britain needs a new constitutional and political settlement for a new era. The key issues on which we are seeking the views of the British people are reform of the House of Lords; proposals for a written Constitution; stronger powers for local and regional government; options for electoral reform; and improving engagement, especially amongst young people, including votes at 16.….And we will commit to a referendum early in the next Parliament on whether to move to the Alternative Vote system for the House of Commons…..”.



* We will have raised the living standards of those on middle incomes.

* We will have delivered low inflation and kept interest rates as low as possible.

* We will have more than halved the deficit as a proportion of national income.

* We will have helped to create at least one million new skilled jobs.

* We will have built on our record, investing in front line services such as schools, hospitals, and Sure Start Children’s Centres.

* We will have a national social care service with personal care for all.

* We will expand the supply of affordable housing and give more help to first-time buyers.

* We will have reformed our democratic institutions and given people a greater say.

* We will have met our energy emissions targets reducing climate change.

* We will have kept crime down and given communities new powers to improve their quality of life.” (page 36).


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