Thursday, August 26, 2010

Manifestos Of Intent - Read These Before You Vote.


On 16 June we commenced a campaign to get the candidates in the Labour Leadership Election to issue what we called "Manifestos of Intent".

As time went on we came to feel that these Manifestos should be published at least a week before the ballot papers were due to be issued to members of the Labour Party. That made yesterday the deadline.

We are now able to present these Manifestos or provide relevant links to the candidates own web-sites where they have previously published this material themselves.

We cover each candidate in alphabetical order.



People’s Economic Strategy

We need to rebalance the economy away from an over reliance on financial services and the City. I would have a new approach: a manufacturing strategy; investment in infrastructure; support for the Green New Deal and a renewed commitment to regional economic development.

The Coalition’s savage cuts are not inevitable, they are ideological. And they are not the solution. We have to grow our way out of this recession. Instead, I would raise billions from a financial transactions tax and a bigger bank levy, and by cracking down on tax evasion. Why should ordinary families pay for bankers’ irresponsibility and greed?

Liberty is crucial to our democracy

Liberty is crucial to democracy and we need to take back the civil liberties agenda. Basic rights and freedoms will help to bind 21st century Britain together.

I was against compulsory ID Cards, anti trade union laws, 42 and 90 days detention without trial. I also argued against holding children in immigration detention centres. All my life I have campaigned to protect innocent people’s rights. I oppose the indiscriminate collection of innocent people’s DNA.

There is no contradiction between keeping Britain safe and protecting our basic rights and freedoms.

A Strong Welfare State That Protects The Most Vulnerable

I oppose cuts to pensions, benefits and welfare. These cuts will disproportionately affect women. A strong welfare state is a vital safety net. We must invest in the welfare state to increase social mobility.

The coalition wants to take security of tenure from council tenants and slash housing benefit. Thousands could find themselves homeless.

I would have the biggest programme of council house building since the war. It would meet housing need, ease social tensions over housing, create thousands of jobs and generate growth.

An Ethical Foreign Policy

I am the only candidate who argued, marched and voted against the Iraq War. I will set a timetable for the withdrawal from Afghanistan. We must work more closely with our European allies and the United Nations.

Trident is a Cold War weapon. It will not keep us safe. Strength in the modern world for the nation state is about diplomacy, development and aid. It is not about wasting billions on nuclear weapons we will never use. I will scrap the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Despite our current economic challenges, we should continue Labour’s proud tradition of reaching out to help the very poorest internationally.

Public Services For The People

The Labour party should be proud of its historic support for the public sector.We are the party of the National Health Service. But under New Labour there was too much creeping privatisation.

Public sector workers are at the heart of our communities. We should value them more. Why should they lose their jobs because some bankers gambled with other people’s money?

I would bring the railways back into public ownership. This would be a pragmatic step and would make it easier to invest in the infrastructure, help create green alternatives and jobs and brings profit back to the people.

This is her campaign web-site.



We have received this email from Ed Ball's Campaign Office -

Ed Balls has set out his Manifesto position "in the mailing to all party members .....which includes a mini-manifesto section on policy, plus a number of pledges re the Party itself. This can be read and downloaded here.

Ed’s speech at Bloomberg yesterday fleshes out the economic side of this in more detail and can be found here."

This is his campaign web-site.



He published his Manifesto entitled "Aspirational Socialism" on his web-site on Monday. We reported on it here. It is some 9,000 words long and can be viewed and downloaded here. This is the home page of his campaign web-site.



We received the following letter from Ed Miliband and have added links to the items from his web-site which he refers us to.

"Thank you for your letter and the views of the signatories to the statement you attach. I agree that we need now to have a serious discussion about what we got wrong in Government, and how we should stand up to the Coalition while preparing for a return to power. I have said repeatedly that I believe we need to put our core values at the heart of everything we do.

Early on in the campaign I set out my vision for the future direction of our Party, which I hope meets the requirements for your Manifesto of Intent. In a speech in Leeds, I reflected on the reasons behind our defeat in May and set out how we can learn lessons and reach out to the country again. A few weeks later, I gave a speech outlining how the Labour Party can adapt to 21st social democracy, to become a living, breathing party of progressive change. You can find both of these speeches on my website

It could be a long road to the next General Election, but the change has to start now. In Government we sometimes seemed to lose a sense of the values that should always shape Labour's mission. As leader, I would put these values back at the heart of everything we do.

I want to lead a Party that actively turns its values into reality, to improve people's lives. We need to be ready to offer a better vision to the electorate. We need to have already shown by our actions and arguments that Britain needs a different kind of economy in which new manufacturing and small businesses are prized.

We can only do that by listening to our party and building a movement for change. I would appreciate your support to make this happen.

With best wishes,
Ed Miliband."

This is his campaign web-site.



My vision for Britain

No movement has done more to improve the lives of ordinary people – creating the NHS, building the welfare state and introducing the National Minimum Wage – than our Labour movement. And there is no greater danger to these achievements than a Tory Government. This Conservative Coalition is bringing the wrong change to our country.

We owe it to the people of Britain – to the men and women seeking work, to the pensioner worried about police cuts, to the student with no university place – to be the change Britain needs.

As I think of the challenges our country faces, I’m guided by my vision for the Britain I want to live in, the Britain I want to raise my children in and the Britain I seek to serve.

I believe in a Britain where power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few.

I believe in a Britain where people earn a living wage and wealth is truly shared.

I believe in a Britain where everyone can benefit from work, with a new industrial revolution that supports manufacturing and creates, protects and improves jobs.

I believe in a Britain where the opportunity of world-class education and the guarantee of excellent health care are a birthright for all not the preserve of a few.

I believe in a Britain where families who need a home are not left to the chances of the market, and the welfare state protects better and also demands more in return.

I believe in a Britain where people have power in their communities, lives are not ruined by crime, liberty is real and we break the hopeless cycle of crime.

I believe in a Britain where people feel secure locally because they know Britain is effective globally on security, economy and climate change.

And it’s because I know this hope for Britain is shared by you, and needed by
our country, that we have a duty to win.

I'm asking for your support and your vote. And I'm asking you to join with me in building the movement for change that Britain needs.

The Cause worth fighting for
‘Power, wealth and opportunity… in the hands of the many not the few’. An inspirational phrase printed on each of our membership cards.

I will be the leader who puts Clause IV into action.

Power and security in every community
Labour was the first government since the Second World War to cut crime, and we devolved power to Scotland, Wales and London – but our work is far from finished. I would:
1. Give people more power over their public services and local government greater power to lead their communities.
2. Defend police numbers and the priority of tackling anti-social behaviour.
3. Ensure we build more council housing to rent and affordable housing to buy.

Wealth creation across the country
I would reduce the deficit by getting Britain growing and working, not by cutting the roots of our economy.
The Tory cuts hurt those least able to afford them and risk a second recession. I will:
1. Focus on returning Britain to full employment and achieving a fair deal for those who work the hardest.
2. Promote manufacturing through a new industrial revolution – starting by doubling the levy on banks and investing in green jobs.
3. Support a Mansion Tax on houses worth over £2m not the Tory cuts to family livelihoods.

Opportunity to tackle the gap in life chances
We improved education most in the poorest areas, but pupils from these schools are still least likely to go to top universities. Life expectancy is still too dependent on the postcode in which you live.
I will work to ensure that where you are born does not determine where you end up, through:
1. Recruiting the best teachers to the toughest schools, focusing pupils on learning not simply on exams, and expanding higher education and apprenticeships.
2. Fighting against the Tories’ attack on the NHS and prioritising public health to target all health inequalities.
3. Preventing the waste of worklessness by providing a job to anyone at risk of long-term unemployment and making sure they take it up.

This is his campaign web-site.

1 SEPTEMBER UPDATE : David Miliband has distributed a booklet by post which starts with the above material - mine arrived today (HB). The whole booklet can, therefore, be seen as an extended version of his Manifesto and should now be in the hands of Labour Party members.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Have A Manifesto

In response to the campaign run by "Dronfield Blather", Andy Burnham has today issued a Manifesto setting out the programme he would seek to pursue if he is elected as leader of the Labour Party. It is some 9,000 words long and can be viewed and/or downloaded from his web-site. It is a serious contribution and should be studied by all those with votes in the leadership contest.

Andy describes his stance - "It begins with a definition of the philosophy that underpins my approach to politics and outlook on life. It is Aspirational Socialism. It means that we want all people to fulfil their hopes and dreams but knowing that this will only happen for those who have least if we work for a world where resources and power are shared".

It is hoped that the four other contestants will set out their stalls based on their own values and commitments. Later this week we will publish or provide links to any Manifesto material we have access to from them.

Eventually we will make our own assessment of the different cases which the five candidates argue.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Manifesto Momentum

Yesterday as part of his Labour Leadership Campaign, Andy Burnham circulated an email in which he stated - "Next week, I will set out in my manifesto how I intend to rebuild our great Party from the bottom up, as an open and vibrant campaigning force with power vested in the hands of our members. ..... My manifesto – ‘Aspirational Socialism’ – is a coherent political philosophy and vision for our country. Keep an eye on my website at for more information. You will be able to download my manifesto to read at your leisure."

As we first reported on 2nd July, Andy's action is fully in line with a commitment he had then made to "Dronfield Blather". Following a further exchange of emails, he repeated his promise to us as recently as 6th August.

As soon as he issues his manifesto we will provide access to it on this site.

As we showed in the item we posted on 1st August, we also hold promises from the other four candidates that they will also issue Manifestos. We will send each candidate a link to this current item and press David, Diane and the two Eds to also deliver their Manifestos next week. Not least because the ballot papers in the contest are due to be circulated from 1st September. It would be good to have a chance to read and digest the Manifestos before then.

We initially ran a campaign for the issue of such Manifestos here.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now There Are Five

All five candidates for the Labour Leadership have now responded positively to the campaign run by Dronfield Blather to issue Manifestos of Intent. On Friday we reported that four out of the five were then on board, but afterwards the missing Ed Balls was approached at the close of the final hustings held at Manchester and he accepted our proposal.

It all reminds us of the first of Enid Blyton's books about the Famous Five. It was entitled "Five On A Treasure Island" and as is shown opposite. The cover of the book depicts Enid's missing character being safely brought aboard at the last moment.

However, the drama is not yet over. The five have all agreed to publish Manifestos of Intent. Three have confirmed this by email, one by a letter and the other face-to-face with Blogger Brader at Manchester.

But we only have until 16 August until the balloting commences. So we are keen to gain access to the finalised Manifestos themselves for publication by then. So far we hold some initial material from two of the candidates, although if they wish they still have time to elaborate on what we hold.

Whenever all five Manifestos are to hand we will publish them alongside each other. If anyone falls out of the boat we will, however, publish what we then hold on 16 August which is the date that balloting commences in the contest. We can't wait any longer than that.

Candidates are, of course, free to publish their own Manifestos at any time they wish. If they beat us to it, we will nevertheless stick to the above timetable.

The start of the ballot for individual members of the Labour Party has been changed from 16 August to 1 September. We hope, however, that the candidates will submit and/or issue their "Manifestos of Intent" well before the new date. People need time to examine and discuss Manifestos. So we will still seek to act in conformity with the time-table mentioned above.

For what are called logistical reasons, the final date on which we hope to issue the candidates' Manifestos is now pushed back to 25 August. It is a good old fashioned compromise between the two dates mention in the earlier update. At least it shows that we are in communication with the high commands in the various candidates' camps.

Below - the famous five at their final hustings at Manchester.