Why Reform Is Important
Fixing our political system is vital to ensurng people feel they have a stake in our society.
The Labour Government took unprecedented and radical steps to improve and update the British constitution, which contrasts especially starkly with a complete absence of political reform during the Tory years. The government should take urgent action to improve the state of politics and the political process.
The Labour Party exists to create a society in which “power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few”. Devolution and empowerment are in our DNA.
Almost a century ago, the socialist thinker and writer GDH Cole called for “the widest possible diffusion of power and responsibility, so as to enlist the active participation of as many citizens as possible tasks of democratic self government.”
Passing power to the powerless and influence to those denied a voice is a key part of modern socialists’ vision.
The future and viability of our democracy hangs in the balance. This is not the time for gimmicks. Serious reform has never been more important.
I have believed this for a long time – certainly before the expenses scandal brought the issue to the fore. We cannot create a fairer society without moving towards a stronger political system.
What Am I Doing?
I have been a supporter of Unlock Democracy (formerly Charter 88) since I became politically active.
In 2005 I gave evidence to the Sheffield POWER inquiry, highlighting the need for more devolution and a more inclusive style of politics. (The full POWER inquiry report can be seen here – whilst I may not agree with every single recomendation , it is very insightful in explaining the reduction in formal political engagement).
I have joined the call for a Citizens Convention to examine these issues in greater depth. Electoral reform, devolution to communities, reforming Parliament’s antiquated procedures, fair funding of our political system and establishing a fully elected House of Lords are the key priorities in this area.
When I was a candidate for Parliament, I wrote to Gordon Brown to express my view that there should be a referendum on voting reform at the same time as the next General Election – the next election should give people the chance to vote on the sort of political system they want, as well as the sort of government.
More broadly, I am persuaded that the public should have a say in how political parties pick their candidates, although the details of this are need more clarity.
I am completely committed to the highest standards of probity and integrity and will lead by example.
Get In Touch – Get Involved
If you would like to know more about my priorities and my plans to improve our political system, please get in touch.