Updating and Clarifying our Party Values In Response to COVID
Below is a suggested rule change circulated by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) to local groups ahead of the Sept 2021 Labour Party Annual Conference
Chapter One (Constitutional Rules)
Clause IV (Aims and Values)
Existing rule point 2.B. on page 3 reads:
“A JUST SOCIETY, which judges its strength by the condition of the weak as much as the strong, provides security against fear, and justice at work; which nurtures families, promotes equality of opportunity, and delivers people from the tyranny of poverty, prejudice and the abuse of power”
Amend Chapter One, Clause IV, Point 2.B. to read:
“A JUST SOCIETY, which judges its success by its capacity to tackle and remove the drivers of social injustice - oppression and unfair privilege; which provides security against fear, and stands unequivocally for justice at work, in sickness, disability and older age; which nurtures families, promotes equality of opportunity, provides legitimate and permanent routes out of the injustice of poverty, prejudice and abuses of power and matches the economic value of each type of work to the extent of its contribution towards building a socially just, caring and green society that can sustain itself through major crises and emerge fairer”
With an acknowledgement that the kinds of work that need to be valued and rewarded more highly are those that contribute the most to our Labour values and aspirations, we can win the support of those currently contributing in all of those ways.
With an acknowledgment that opportunity is steeply stacked in favour of those born into privilege and that unfair privilege is as much of a problem to a more equal society that is better for everyone as unfair disadvantage, we can move away from concepts such as aspiration and social mobility and focus our politics on ensuring the jobs that contribute to a healthy and socially just society are the ones we seek to apply the greatest value to, as part of ensuring that all jobs provide quality employment and dignity in work. This also supports a shift of mindset toward one which prioritises human health and flourishing over and above profit and trickle-down economics, success being measured on the basis purely of GDP, endless economic growth and nationalism.
If the party can lead the way on re-framing what we value and why, based on what we have learned through the pandemic, we can spearhead a truly transformative post-COVID vision of society rather than merely aspiring to a slightly less damaging return to business as usual, which works for progressively fewer within any society.
In a society that acknowledges unfair privilege and oppression as two sides of the same coin and values work based on it’s value to communities, families and the natural environment, people will be able to access routes out of poverty without having to be delivered, or pulled up.