Open Labour: Rebuilding Labour Together

Open Labour is supporting Ann Black, Jermain Jackman, George Lindars-Hammond and Alice Perry in the elections for Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Our overarching aim is to fix Labour’s broken politics, so that Labour’s culture is more open and welcoming. We stand for reenergising our movement to get a Labour government that transforms Britain by ending austerity, tackling inequality and building a green economy.

1. Fixing our broken politics

The Labour party needs to move forward and rebuild after the divisions of recent years.

We want the Labour Party to be a welcoming and productive environment, with an open and democratic culture. We want an atmosphere in Labour of friendly debate in order to find the best ideas and nurture the talent of our activists.

We want to support and strengthen the Bernie Grant, Jo Cox and Chris Smith programmes, and develop a leadership programme for members with disabilities.

Open Labour consistently campaigns for a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of racism, discrimination, abuse and harassment in the Party, and for a robust complaints process which is trusted by all.

2. A Labour government to transform Britain

Covid-19 has shown up the inequalities in society that have always been there. When the pandemic is over, we can’t just go back to business as usual. We want to get Labour into government so that we can end austerity, tackle inequality and build a green economy.

Every worker deserves a secure job and a living wage. No one should be without a decent and affordable place to live. A Labour government must invest in jobs, education, and infrastructure, making sure that the benefits of this are shared across the UK and that workers get the wages they deserve. We need to strengthen employment and trade union rights so that workers have secure jobs and get a fair deal.

We need a Labour government which will rebuild our welfare system, invest in our NHS and mental health services, create a social care system that gives people dignity and security and end the scourge of homelessness.

Labour councillors have been on the frontline responding to Covid-19, providing valued services despite enduring years of Tory cuts. We need to support our councillors as they fight to protect their communities.

Open Labour supports reform to our electoral system, so that all votes count equally, and a wholly elected House of Lords. We want to see electoral reform debated at conference so that the Party supports proportional representation.

We want a UK federalism agenda that devolves more power to the nations and regions of the UK in a framework that retains the benefits of the Union and offers a clear alternative to the nationalistic approach of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. To develop a new federal settlement for the UK, we support Keir Starmer’s proposal of Labour convening a constitutional convention to develop clear federalist policies before the next general election.

3. Standing for internationalism

Open Labour is proudly internationalist and supportive of international solidarity. We campaigned against Brexit and for a public vote on the Brexit deal. We understand the fear, worry and anger many of Labour Party members felt over how Brexit was handled in recent years. We now need a Labour government that will strengthen our ties with Europe and reject the Tories reactionary rhetoric and damaging policies.

In opposition, we must fight tooth and nail against a no deal Brexit and against the watering down of workers’ rights, consumer laws and environmental protections. We need to make sure that future trade deals do not undermine the NHS and other public services or environmental standards.

Open Labour believes that the UK should be open and welcoming to those coming to the UK, whether refugees, asylum seekers, students, workers or those coming here for family reunion.

4. Re-energising our movement

There is no simple short-cut that will give us the keys to Number 10. To get Labour back in government we need to build on the support we have and, where we need to, rebuild public support ward by ward, constituency by constituency, and community by community.

We can only get a Labour government if we win across the country. That means reconnecting with voters in different communities and in all the nations and regions of the UK. Local CLPs, members and candidates, who know their local areas best, need to be more involved in shaping the campaigns that Labour runs.

Too many candidates are imposed on local Parties, meaning they are not selected by those who know the area best. Open Labour supports CLPs being able to choose their Parliamentary candidates rather than having them imposed centrally.

Local parties should also get a greater share of resources from membership fees so that more resources are spent on local campaigning where they can make the biggest difference.

Our members are a great resource. All members need to be supported to develop campaigning skills and the way we campaign needs to be made accessible to all members.

Working together we can rebuild Labour and secure the transformative Labour government our country so desperately needs.

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