Help Jeremy Corbyn build a country for the many not the few, writes Katy Clark
Democratic socialism puts people in charge. The democracy review Jeremy Corbyn has launched gives our party the opportunity to see our principles in action by transforming into a truly democratic and participatory movement, led by its grassroots and capable of winning elections to form a government fit for the 21st century.
Since the 2015 general election, our party has almost tripled in size, swelling its ranks to well over 550,000 members. Our mass membership is an incredible asset. Our members won votes for our party in communities across our country in the general election, helping us to achieve the biggest increase in Labour’s vote share since 1945.
Members are not just an army of canvassers. Our membership is a remarkable resource of ideas, talents and skills. As a party, we must ensure that we do not waste this precious capacity, but enthuse our members to be as involved as possible in all aspects of our politics and our party. We want our members to be at the heart of our party – to have more power – over policy, how we campaign, organise and run our party, just as we want the people of Britain to be at the heart of deciding how our communities, economy and society are organised.
That is what the democracy review is about. It will look at what we already do well and what we can do better. It gives members the opportunity to be heard by sharing their ideas on how we can campaign more effectively and organise at every level, how we determine policy, the makeup of our National Executive Committee and how we elect our leaders.
Our party must bring new people into politics – and improve our party’s diversity. The review will ask our members how we can recruit new members and get them involved in our party as well as how our party can best represent all communities in our country.
The review will be wide ranging. We will consider how we develop regional and local plans, how best to work with the whole Labour movement, improve the digital skills of our local parties, how regional parties work, the relationship between councillors and local parties, how our conferences work, the scope of Young Labour, how we empower our BAME and LGBT+ members, the role of women’s conference, socialist societies and friends groups – and many other issues.
There are three submission deadlines: 12 January 2018 for any structural issues relating to women’s conference, BAME Labour and Young Labour, 23 March for many other diversity, participation and local party issues and 29 June for all other aspects of the review. Full details can be found on Labour’s website or in the email from Corbyn.
Since the party launched the review just three weeks ago, thousands of members have sent in ideas to make our party even better. Over the coming months, we will consult with affiliates, branches, socialist societies and members and bring together proposals and recommendations next year.
Please, take part in the review and help us build a country for the many not the few.
Katy Clark is leading the democracy review and was appointed political secretary to the leader of the Labour party in November 2015
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