Labour for Democracy

A new internal Labour Party organisation has been established today called Labour for Democracy. The group is fronted by Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, he said:

“We’re committed to the radical change for Britain that Ed Miliband has set out in his One Nation agenda. We believe that it needs a new approach to the way we do politics, reaching out to those who share our values across parties. It’s not about coalitions or compromise, but building on popular support for progressive change that is shared by voters who do not always support Labour.”

One of the groups founding supporters is John Denham MP, Ed Miliband’s PPS. He has set out the pluralist case in an article for the New Statesman. He concludes:

“If we want to change Britain in a progressive direction, Labour must show it is willing to work with, not just lead, everyone who will support all or part of that change.”

Some initial reaction is simply bemused at why this essentially electoral reform group has chosen now to make the case. Others have been more hostile, like Jon Lansman at Left Futures:

“I am happy to work with people from other parties to the left and right of Labour to defend community services, stop unnecessary wars, protect jobs, act against climate change, or whatever. But I’m in the Labour Party to win and believe that we can. We will not win over former Lib Dem voters by telling them we’d like to work with the party they’re no longer sure if they trust.”

On a similar theme Luke Akehurst from Labour First:

“We had naive talk about pluralism in 2010. The people making those noises should have learned their lesson. The Lib Dems are not a progressive party and the Greens are an anti-working class and anti-economic growth party. We should be seeking to defeat them both intellectually and at the ballot box, not pandering to them.”

Willie Bain MP is a founding member and the leading Scot on the group. It remains to be seen if it is anything other than the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform in another guise.