Ed Balls publishes 10 pt contract with Labour


2:38 pm - August 22nd 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Ed Balls’ campaign team sent out this mail today:

Today I’m launching my contract with the Labour Party – ten pledges I am making about how I will work with party and union members to rebuild our movement and win again. Download the contract as a PDF or read my pledges below.

I’m sending it to every member this week and if I’m elected as leader you can hold me to account for them.

As part of the contract I also want to hear from party members about how we improve our policy-making process, reform the National Policy Forum, make our Annual Conference the debating chamber for working people in our country and how we become a more outward-facing party that engages with and listens to the communities we serve all year round. Please take a couple of minutes to send me your thoughts on the form here.

* * * * *

My contract with the Party
These are my pledges to every party member – if I’m elected hold me to account for them:

1. I will lead a responsible but effective opposition to the Tories and Lib Dems. I will lead from the front and ensure the whole party from the shadow cabinet and PLP to every councillor and party member plays their part in shortening the life of this coalition and exposing the unfair decisions they are taking.

2. I will increase party membership and strengthen Labour’s link with the trade unions – not just nationally but in every constituency and union branch. We should extend the £1 youth membership rate to every affliated union member joining Labour for the frst time. And as the frst Co-op MP to stand for Labour leader, I would build a closer relationship with the co-operative movement too.

3. I will give Party Conference back to members. Our Conference must be reinvigorated as the debating chamber for working people in our country. We must not go back to the 1980s, but nor should we repeat the mistakes of the second term when the Labour government neglected its base and often sounded like it was attacking trade unions and the public sector.

4. I will reform our party’s policy-making process by consulting members on how our National Policy Forum needs to change. On some policy areas – Iraq, tuition fees, agency workers, housing, and fair migration – we lost touch and lost our way. That cost us the trust of voters. I will listen to members about what we got wrong and what needs to change for the future.

5. I will drive a culture change in our party to support greater representation of women at every level. I support the goal of having at least 50% women in the shadow cabinet and in Parliament too. But we will only achieve this with greater representation of women in local government and our party structures.

6. I will set up the party’s ?rst-ever Diversity Fund to help all those who are under-represented get selected, including BAME groups, disabled people and those from ordinary backgrounds.

7. I will end undemocratic imposed selections and start the selection of candidates much earlier. We must start campaigning now in the seats we need to win – and be ready for a general election whenever the coalition falls apart.

8. I will support all our candidates, councillors and CLPs to win again. Labour faces crucial elections in the next two years, where we must take on the Tories, Lib Dems, nationalists and the BNP. They’re not simply a platform for winning again at the next general election – we need Labour in local government, the Scottish and European Parliaments and the Welsh and London Assemblies to deliver for our constituents.

9. I will nurture talent in our party and help our youth and student movement grow by giving Young Labour a full time member of staff and keeping all three Labour Students sabbaticals.

10. I will bring our party closer together by including our leaders in local government and the European Parliament in the shadow cabinet and giving our leaders in Scotland and Wales a place on the NEC.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


This is an interesting thing to do, but I wonder why he didn’t launch it at the beginning of his leadership campaign.

@1 David

Possibly because he’s losing? Interestingly, whilst it appears to make lots of “motherhood and apple pie” statements aimed at giving the membership a warm and fuzzy feeling that he’s a nice guy, and will listen to them….. the statement is very short on actual content, words about policy, or expressions of regret for his part in getting us all in this mess.

A sinner converted is always to be welcomed of course, but perhaps Mr Balls will forgive the wider electorate a healthy dose of scepticism to go with that apple pie?

#1 I think his answer to that would be that at the start of the campaign he said it wasn’t up to him to decide all this stuff and he should listen to members first – he would probably claim this is the first fruits of having done that.

I agree it’s short on content and not that different from some of the things he said at the beginning of the campaign. However, it’s more fleshed out than anything any of the other candidates have produced on this issue.

@3 tim f

“…..it’s more fleshed out than anything any of the other candidates have produced on this issue”

Damning with faint praise tim? 😉

What I’d actually like to see from one of the candidates is a clear list of points encapsulating how they are going to expunge the illiberal, anti civil liberty stance of NuLabour and how they will promote a progressive, radical agenda.

No really…. stop laughing up the back! A man can dream can’t he?

Nice list, but what do any of them mean in practice ? Expanding a soundbite into a paragraph doesn’t actually give it substance. The fact is that any party that doesn’t do this is going to have problems anyway, so this is Party-Organisation-For-Dummies as opposed to a ground-breaking new concept in winning elections.

And finally, i don’t want a Labour leader who wants to oppose the tories, I want somebody who’ll lead the whole of the country forward instead of doing a Blair/Thatcher and just looking after the top 1% of it.

Odd. Didn’t David Cameron do this with The Great British Public, at large?

Sensible list, I guess. But where’s anything specific to Ed Balls? The ten points are pretty much things that should be done anyway. The only concrete thing I see is the diversity fund, a patronising setup that assumes “the under-represented” can’t get through unless they benefit from positive discrimination.

He needs something to stand out from the Miliband crowd, and I don’t see anything on this list that will make people think twice about supporting one of the brothers.

“6. I will set up the party’s first-ever Diversity Fund to help all those who are under-represented get selected, including BAME groups, disabled people and those from ordinary backgrounds”.

I happen to know that the people are crying out for more diversity. Isn’t language a wonderfully flexible thing? “Those from ordinary backgrounds”. Now who could that be, I wonder? Guardian readers? Non-Guardian readers? Daily Mail readers? Gillian Duffy? People who despise Gillian Duffy?

It’s a load of meaningless froth, which is dissapointing.

I was hoping he would have expanded on his theory that immigrants (the swine) should be banned from sending money back to their families.

Along with Andy ‘Indigenous’ Burnham he does seem to be one of the leading proponents of turning Labour into BNPlite.

10. margin4error

@8

That passage is nabbed somewhat from Andy Burnham’s campaign talk about getting more working class people into politics. (Labour isn’t doing enough if it just represents them, it must be them and ensure working class people can get into politics.)

His proposals on this include banning unpaid internships within Labour – as they are clearly a block on people from poor backgrounds getting to work for MPs – meaning the main route into politics is only open to wealthier people who can afford not to earn a wage while their parents support them.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  2. Laura

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  4. newleader

    http://www.edballs.tk RT @LuraTea RT @libcon: Ed Balls publishes 10 pt contract with Labour http://bit.ly/91pYOk

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    […] Ed Balls, 21 August 2010 (contract with Labour members) I will lead from the front and ensure the whole party from the shadow cabinet and PLP to every councillor and party member plays their part in shortening the life of this coalition and exposing the unfair decisions they are taking. […]

  6. Balls accuses Milibands of "rerunning debates of the past" | Left Foot Forward

    […] to party reform, Mr Balls, who published a 10-point contract with party members this week, said “I think there’s a bit of a contradiction between […]





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