Jeremy Corbyn’s former trade union adviser will call for Labour to embrace an overhaul of Westminster to give ‘power to the many’, at Momentum’s ‘The World Transformed’ Conference on Sunday.
Nancy Platts, coordinator of Politics for the Many, will be joined by Jon Trickett – Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office – to debate the centralisation of power in the UK, from the lack of devolution to the need for electoral reform.
Platts and senior union figures argue the UK’s democratic structures are ‘stacked against the interests of the majority’ – an issue only set to get worse if the cut in MPs and mandatory voter ID are imposed. Jon Trickett is currently leading the Labour party’s work on a Constitutional Convention.
The debate follows speculation about whether Labour will embrace ‘full federalism’, as well as growing concerns over levels of disillusionment with politics. Recent polling shows lack of faith in politics, politicians and government has made its debut in the top ten issues for Britain.
Former Newsnight/Channel 4 economics editor Paul Mason will also join the panel, alongside; Alice Kinghorn-Gray (Electoral Reform Society Scotland); Kate Shea Baird, a member of the Executive of Barcelona En Comú (the citizen platform currently governing Barcelona City Hall); and Jonathan Shafi, Campaigns Manager, Common Weal, founder/coordinator of Radical Independence Campaign.
A full briefing on the event will be sent later in the week.
Politics for the Many is the trade union campaign for political reform. Its launch statement says:
From the Chartists pushing for universal suffrage, to the Scottish TUC’s role campaigning for a Scottish Parliament, trade unions have often been at the forefront of demands for a better democracy that puts working people at the centre.
We write in the month that 100 years ago the Representation of the People Act was passed – extending the right to vote to many women and abolishing the requirement that men must hold property to vote.
Today, there is a new democratic frontier for trade unions in Britain: reforming Westminster’s creaking establishment. From a broken voting system, to an unelected House of Lords and denying 16 and 17 year olds the vote, Parliament is skewed towards a privileged few.
Trade unions exist for workers to stand up against concentrations of power and wealth. Today, our politics concentrates power to a handful of voters in wealthier swing seats, while throwing 22m votes in the electoral scrapheap. That’s a recipe for alienation and distrust.
Democracy is never a finished thing. We have to constantly struggle to remake democracy anew for each generation.
Today we are proud to launch Politics for the Many – the trade union campaign for political reform. If you are involved in a trade union, join us.
Nancy Platts – Politics for the Many Campaign Co-ordinator and former trade union advisor to Jeremy Corbyn
Mark Serwotka – General Secretary, PCS
Howard Beckett – Assistant General Secretary Unite (in a personal capacity)
Billy Hayes – Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform
Ian Hodson – President, BFAWU
Sam Tarry – Political Officer TSSA and President of CLASS Mike Kirby – Scottish Secretary, Unison