The Labour Party in a Post-Work Future

The need for workers to have a collective voice, first industrially and then politically has shaped the Labour movement in this country for well over a century now. But in the century ahead, changes in the way the economy will operate means that work will not exist in the same way as in the past, and there will quite possibly be a lot less of it about than now. 

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Why constitutional reform is so important for Labour

Constitutional change is perhaps not the sexiest subject in British politics. It is, however, of critical importance if Labour is serious about transferring power and democratising our country.

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THE REDISTRIBUTION OF POWER: A CASE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

Over two years has passed since the EU referendum. And in that time, millions of hours and columns inches have been spent debating both its causes and its consequences. Though any desire to find a single common cause will always result in either frustration or over simplification, I do believe that one phrase had particular significance, that of “taking back control”. This phrase didn’t just resonate with the millions who voted Leave, it also resonated with millions of people who voted Remain. And the reason it did, was less to do with our membership of the EU, than it was the resentment people feel towards the economic and political status quo.

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Only the Left Can Defeat Technopoly, Fix Capitalism - and Finish Nationalism

Karl Marx is back in fashion. And for good reason. The 200th birthday of Trier’s greatest son was the trigger for an extraordinary wave of re-appreciation: ‘Happy Birthday Karl Marx. You Were Right!’ ran the New York Times; ’more relevant than ever’ said the Financial Times. ‘Surprisingly relevant’ wrote the Economist.

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The practical response to our society’s widening inequality? A partial basic income

Last week, Natalie Bennett wrote here that we need to discover a ‘sense of outrage’ about what the current benefits system is doing to people. She is right – but her view that UBI is the response to such outrage begs a lot of questions, not least because there are so many different expectations pinned to it.

For supporters, a Basic Income promises to address a host of problems at one fell swoop – poverty, the impact of technological change on jobs, income instability linked to precarious work, the complexity, harshness and unfairness of the benefit system, with such a heavy reliance on conditionality.

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Cultivate an inclusive STEM sector to benefit society and the economy

When I say Parliament is the most diverse organisation I’ve ever worked in, it surprises people: our representative body is not known for its representativeness. Then I explain I was a professional engineer before coming into politics and everything is clear – Parliament may still have a long way to go but it is still closer to representing our nation than science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

According to the Women’s Engineering Society, women still make up only 11% of the UK’s engineering workforce – the lowest in Europe, and according to the Association for Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) Engineering, BAME people make up only 6%, despite them accounting for 25% of graduates. This only touches the surface. It’s not only a gender and ethnicity issue, but one for all under-represented groups and STEM sectors.

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Justice for Grenfell fire victims is making sure it never happens again

A year ago, the Grenfell Tower fire shocked the nation. Today, we remember the 72 people who lost their lives as a result of that fire. We also remember our duty to do right by them and those who survive them. That means seeing that justice is done and those responsible are held to account. And it means taking all steps necessary so that a fire like Grenfell Tower can never happen again. 

Directly after this national disaster, the Prime Minister pledged that Grenfell residents would have all the help and new homes they needed and that her government would “do whatever it takes to… keep our people safe”. 

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Carers Deserve Better Than This Government’s Botched Action Plan

This week is Carers Week, where we all recognise the crucial role unpaid carers play in our society. 

6.5million people in the UK are giving unpaid care to a family member or friend, three million of whom juggle paid work and care. Two million of them are aged over 65. 

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Grenfell and Carillion show we must hold private contractors to account.

One of the great legacies of the last Labour government is the Freedom of Information Act, a piece of legislation that threw open the inner workings of the government and its agencies. Members of the public were empowered to uncover information that would otherwise have remained hidden, allowing greater scrutiny of the public bodies working on their behalf.

Since the Act came into effect 18 years ago there have been thousands of successful FOI requests, uncovering information that those in power may have preferred stayed hidden. Failures in the care system, misuse of stop and search, increased waiting times for child mental health treatment – all of these were uncovered using FOI.

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With The NHS At A Critical Junction, These Are Labour’s Five Tests For The Government

Jeremy Hunt has considerably heightened expectations for the so called birthday present for the NHS later this month telling us to expect ‘significant’ investment.

We know the NHS is experiencing the biggest financial squeeze in its history and on current projections the Conservatives are breaking their manifesto promise for real terms head for head rises every year of the Parliament.

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