The Next Future

We have been living in south-London and have been socialists for a long time. Our main focus in the past, and now, and for the future is a good, full and satisfying life for everyone regardless of how they started in life.

Politics goes up and down, but in the past few decades, many politicians have taken away more and more and more opportunities from millions of people. It’s hard to face the fact that a recent UN survey put 14 million people in Britain living in poverty.

Our central desire is to turn that round. As simple as that.

We want our party – the Labour Party – to gather together existing policies to improve the lives of teenagers, workers and pensioners throughout Britain into a big hard-hitting programme which will do the business.

We have sent the suggestion below to the shadow cabinet and other Labour MPs – urging them to adopt the plan.

Tim Hodgkinson and Ken Hyder

February 2019

A FRESH LABOUR MESSAGE

LABOUR needs a new message to reinforce its appeal in the critical period between Brexit and the next election. We, a small group of party friends, are sharing this proposal with your shadow cabinet and Westminster colleagues in the hope that it may help hone that message to greatest effect in a new and positive way.

It does not propose policy change. The policies are in place and – as the last manifesto showed – already have popular appeal. But we believe there is a need for a new, cogent and immediately comprehensible “mantra” bringing Labour’s promise into one simply understood and elector-friendly programme.

Too much of Labour's message is currently fragmented and delivered in scatter-gun fashion. This reflects the fact that we are not really understanding our policies as forming a purposive whole.

So what is our message?

Right now, it can be encapsulated in what could well have been a quote from Jeremy Corbyn: “Whether we are in Brexit or not, Labour promises to turn the clock forwards for the millions of British people whose life opportunities have been systematically taken from them by successive previous governments. We will restore the right of every individual in this country to live the best and most useful life they possibly can.”

We need a programme centred around the idea that Labour can transform the lives of individuals. This will be a joined-up vision targeted on each individual in society being an active and important part of our whole community. It will show how our individual policies all work towards this end, and it will make those policies more convincing. Offering young people much more of a chance in transitioning from childhood to adulthood, with access to youth-clubs, apprenticeships, and a sense that they are wanted and needed in society, will, for example, reduce knife-crime in a deeper more long-term way than simply reversing austerity cuts to policing.

Our programme should explicitly address the kind of future we want, even if that future cannot be reached tomorrow. We want to build a future in which every individual can discover and learn throughout life, sharing the pleasure of that with the others around them, and developing their mental, physical, aesthetic, emotional, and social lives to the full. Making people free doesn't just mean letting them vote for the government every few years: it means making available to them the concrete resources to make real choices about their lives: it means giving people free time and access to social wealth and to education for life. We want to build a different kind of society with opportunity for everyone. And we want everyone to know that's what we want.

This programme should be thoroughly researched, costed, and ready to go - at a time of our own choosing.

We believe that there is an urgent need to widen and deepen Labour’s electoral appeal at a time when it promises to meet the interests of the greatest number of people. To that end we propose to blog this communication with updates to encourage support.

Yours etc……


February 2019

Ken and Tim

Ken - musician and journalist, including Labour Weekly

Tim - musician and composer

Page 2 - Background thinking