Monday, February 1, 2010

What Should Labour's General Election Manifesto Say? (Part 2)

See Part 1 here.

To date, 43 Labour MPs supported by the Coalition for Labour Victory and Compass have signed the following statement calling for Labour’s election campaign to be based on a "radical redistributive programme". The statement appears below.

"In order to mobilise the maximum number of Labour voters in preparation for the next election, we believe that Labour should now focus its campaigning around the following key principles:

A. The recession should be tackled not with cuts in essential public spending, but by massive public investment in house-building, infrastructure and the de-carbonisation of the economy.

B. Banks should be split up with their casino investment arms hived off. Publicly-owned retail banks should be required to meet new social and community objectives and support manufacturing, with lending to businesses and homeowners restored to 2007 levels. Pay and bonuses should be tightly regulated.

C. A clean break must be made with market fundamentalism – deregulation and privatisation. Public provision should be expanded – in health care, education, housing, pensions, energy and transport. Royal Mail must remain wholly in the public sector.

D. In the face of huge and unacceptable growth of inequality, a big redistribution programme must swing resources away from the rich to provide sizeable increases in pensions, the minimum wage, the lowest benefit levels, and to fund job creation and improved public services. Union rights must be restored – it is in economic crisis that workers are most in need of that protection.

E. To achieve the 80% carbon emission reduction target by 2050, renewable sources of energy should be promoted on a far bigger scale, industry (including airlines) should be required to reduce its climate change emissions by at least 3% per year, household carbon allowances should be introduced, and the UK targets should be fully met by domestic action and not by carbon offsetting abroad.

We also believe that if Labour is to revive its membership in numbers and activity, it must fully restore its internal democratic procedures so that the voice of its individual and affiliated members is listened to and taken account of. This process has begun with the adoption of all-member voting rights for the National Policy Forum. But we believe that several further reforms are needed, in particular to restore to the elected NEC full supervision and control over the party’s operation and finances, to introduce a charter of members’ rights and a Party Ombudsman to enforce them, and to renew for all party employees the core civil service values of impartiality, integrity, honesty and objectivity in the development of party policy and selection of party candidates."

Diane Abbott, John Austin, Colin Burgon, Ronnie Campbell, Colin Challen, Michael Clapham, Katy Clark, Harry Cohen, Michael Connarty, Frank Cook, Jeremy Corbyn, Jim Cousins, Jon Cruddas, Ann Cryer, Ian Davidson, David Drew, Bill Etherington, Mark Fisher, Paul Flynn, Neil Gerrard, Fabian Hamilton, Dai Havard, David Heyes, Kelvin Hopkins, Lindsay Hoyle, Brian Iddon, Lynne Jones, Andrew Mackinlay, John McDonnell, Michael Meacher, Alan Meale, Austin Mitchell, Chris Mullin, Gordon Prentice, Ken Purchase, Linda Riordan, Alan Simpson, Marsha Singh, Graham Stringer, Paul Truswell, Joan Walley, David Winnick, Mike Wood.

Hat tip - Labour List

Update 5 February : See coverage in today's "Tribune".


  1. At last night's Dronfield Labour Party meeting the Branch agreed to add its support to this statement. The secretary of the Branch is to send a letter to Ed Milliband notifying him of our views.

  2. On the Statement, also see the debate involving Dugsie, Frances, Paul McLean and myself on this thread at Compass -