Labour has long claimed to be active in every community up and down the country and whilst this is not an untrue statement, there are many parts of Britain where the Labour Party is exclusively encountered in the press. For many citizens political activity is something that is people want to do but do not know how to get involved with issues they care about. My suggestion would be to make the Labour Party into a grassroots movement that is active at a level that is much more localised than just parliamentary constituencies. Empowering local people should be the future of the party and this requires a new approach to party organisation.
Since the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum the British constitutional settlement has been pushed to the forefront of political discourse. The reaction from policy-makers has been piecemeal devolution and vague conversations about a federal UK. The problem with the federal UK proposal is that any future prospect of legislative decentralisation is contingent upon the UK remaining as a political entity. Notwithstanding one’s personal views on the British state, it must be said that a situation where the UK remains intact looks unlikely. The Brexit vote has seen Scottish secessionist feelings harden and there are serious questions about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland, especially in relation to the Good Friday Agreement. Basing devolution on the future of the union, therefore, would seem foolish. Continue reading →
For the first time in a while, Blairite MP said something that isn’t totally inane. Today Tristram Hunt, an MP on the Labour Party’s neoliberal wing (which incidentally shouldn’t exist), said that the Labour Party needs to reclaim the mantle of devolution from the Tories. Devolution is an issue that re-entered the public consciousness following the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, and the Tories seized upon it by promising a whole new constitutional settlement. Labour delivered devolution under Tony Blair, and they need to relate this approach to socialist principles in order to get the party united behind this concept.