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Left Platform, this Saturday in London – don’t miss it

Left PlatformLeft Platform takes place this Saturday 7 February from 11am to 4pm at the University of London Union,  Malet Street, London WC1E 7H

Left Platform is a roundtable discussion being hosted on the 7th of February 2015 with aim of bringing together Left MPs, PPCs, Left Trade Union Representatives, Elected Local Government Members, representatives from Left Labour organisations, and a number of key Left academics, policy analysts, commentators and activists to discuss and determine the key bottom lines in policy terms that we will be campaigning for Labour to adopt in Government and as base lines in any coalition negotiations if Labour goes down that road.

If the outcome of the National Policy Forum is anything to go by, Labour’s Manifesto is likely to be light on significant policy commitments that most on the Left would consider vital not just to address the needs of our society but also to mobilise the support we need to be elected.

Many MPs, Candidates and activists will want to campaign for a more radical agenda of policies and many people will look to Labour to have any chance of their implementation in government.

We would argue that there is no contradiction in standing on Labour’s eventual official Manifesto and advocating the policies that we would want a Labour Government to implement. We would be simply campaigning democratically for Labour to go further when in office.

The reason for trying to assemble a broad Left policy based coalition prior to the election is that many voters will want to know that there are people within Labour that are arguing for real Labour policies and that by voting Labour there is still a hope that these policies will be implemented.

In addition, if Labour does end up negotiating a programme in any form of coalition, the Left should not allow itself to be ignored and should have its own policy bottom lines for any negotiations.

Discussion Schedule

11am – 11.15am  Introduction from John McDonnell MP

The recession has created a sense of insecurity and lack of hope in the future but increasingly people are beginning to challenge the old orthodoxies and question the old order. Now is the time to demonstrate practically what a Labour government could do in office. What is needed is to consolidate a common Left policy platform that can give people hope.

11.15am – 12.30pm First Session: Alternative to Austerity

There is no shortage of resources in our country to provide an alternative to austerity. The problem is that they are held in the hands of the few and are simply swelling assets of the wealthy than being used productively. Labour could free up these resources by taking control of finance and introducing a wealth tax on the richest 10%, a land value tax, and a restored system of progressive income tax, whilst clamping down hard on the tax evasion and avoidance that is costing us £119 billion a year.

Labour could put these resources to work to tackle the issues our people prioritise and stimulate economic growth by investing in public services, ending and reversing privatisation, large scale building of council houses, a £10 an hour Living Wage, restoration of trade union rights, ending the attack on welfare benefits and re-establishing the right to free education.

12:30pm- 1pm Lunch

1pm – 2.15pm  Second Session: Public Ownership not Private Profit

Privatisation of our natural resources and our public services has allowed big corporations to rip us all off with cuts in wages, working conditions and pensions for the workers and high prices for the consumers. Labour could end all privatisation, especially in the NHS, and start the process of bringing our public services back into public ownership by re-nationalising our railways, with immediate price controls over energy prices and rail and bus fares, whilst blocking TTIP that threatens the ability of a Labour Government to promote public ownership.

2.15pm – 3.30pm Third Session: Ending Poverty Pay and Benefits, Restoring Trade Union Rights

Too many of our people live in or on the margins of poverty. Labour could introduce a living wage and living welfare benefits, ending the attack on people with disabilities by scrapping the ATOS tests and workfare, and bring in a cap on high wages of no more than 20 times the lowest paid in any company, with legislation to tackle the gender gap and restore trade union rights and health and safety regulations to protect people at work.

Sponsors & Participants

MPs & PPCs
John Cryer MP

Michael Connarty MP
Sir Alan Meale MP
Michael Meacher MP
Ann Clwyd MP
Elaine Smith MSP
Neil Findlay MSP
Sam Rushworth PPC
Louise Baldock PPC
Mike Le Surf PPC
Matthew Dorrance PPC
Tom Corbin PPC
Andy Botham PPC
John McDonnell MP
Mike Wood MP
Ian Mearns MP
Jim Sheridan MP
Ian Lavery MP
Kelvin Hopkins MP
Dave Anderson MP
Jon Wheale PPC
Chris Summers PPC
Claire Jeffrey PPC
Chris York PPC
Charlynne Pullen PPC
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Ronnie Campbell MP
Ian Davidson MP
Katy Clark MP
Grahame Morris MP
Chris Williamson MP
Graeme Morrice MP
Austin Mitchell MP
Lloyd Russell-Moyle PPC
David Drew PPC
Gary Puffett PPC
George Aylett PPC
Russell Whiting PPC

Sponsor Groups
Labour Representation Committee
Left Economics Advisory Panel
Left Futures
Campaign for Socialism
Labour Left
Red Labour
Welsh Labour Grassroots
Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Trade Unions
TSSA
NAPO
NUT
ASLEF

Participants
Owen Jones
The Labour Land Campaign
David Graeber
Prof Prem Sikka
Prof Greg Philo (Glasgow Media Group)
Mick Cash (RMT)
Dr Jacky Davis (NHS Consultants’ Association, BMA general council)
Keep our NHS Public
Disability Labour
Michael Roberts
Positive Money
DPAC
Unite Community Southampton Branch
New Approach
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Rhona Friedman (Co-founder of the Justice Alliance)
Andrew Fisher (LEAP)
Richard Murphy (Tax Justice Network)
John Hendy QC
Southall Black Sisters
Dr. Richard Barbrook
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
Socialist Educational Association
Labour Friends of Poland
Robert MacGibbon FRCGP
Murad Qureshi (London Assembly)
Labour Campaign for Free Education
Prof Bill Bowring
Mark Serwotka (PCS)
Dave Wetzel (The International Union for Land Value Taxation)
John Hillary (War on Want)
Socialist Health Association
Local Schools Network
Richard Solly(London Mining Network)
Nick Dearden (Global Justice Now)
Ronnie Draper (Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union)
Prof Victoria Chick
Ian Hodson (Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union)
Disability Counts
Gordon Nardell QC
Francis Gilbert (Author ‘I’m a Teacher Get Me Out of Here’)

6 Comments

  1. Mike Phipps says:

    This is a very timely initiative. With the polls narrowing, it is vital that Labour articulate a clear alternative narrative to that of the Coalition and increasingly it’s clear that only the left can provide this. Why isn’t the frontbench trouncing the government on education, economic and welfare policy? Because of too many fatal similarities perhaps. If Labour can’t articulate a clear policy alternative, the debate will focus entirely on what the Tories want to talk about: the media images of the two leaders. And Labour will lose.

  2. Barry Ewart says:

    I wish Left Platform every success tomorrow but London for many can be difficult to get to. Perhaps the Left needs to harness new techology so we can participate by distance. But I guess a report will be posted on here and we can contribute. Perhaps videos of the event could also be posted – if the resources are there. I always felt one of he greatest achievements of Neo-Liberalism was to stop the Left from dreaming and it’s brilliant that we are all dreaming about a better World being possible again. Yours in solidarity!

    1. Robert says:

      Yep totally agree, but the worrying thing over at labour now is the idea that Blair needs to be given a position up front to get Miliband elected so from the left to the right all in a few days.

  3. Jon Williams says:

    To quote TB use “grip”…

    Keep it simple and keep repeating the message…

    More UK manufacturing, jobs and housing.

  4. Andy Newman says:

    Pleasantly supprised to see Jon Wheale supporting, who was Progress backed when he tried to get North Swindon PPC nomination

  5. Robert says:

    The left and welfare nice to here it in a different way, not cut but about living benefits. After New labour and listening to Miliband and Reeves I nearly gave up.

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