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Introduction from Jon Cruddas MP
In Top of the Policies, Pragmatic Radicalism has come up with a great idea to involve people in shaping Labour’s future. By organising a series of events which invite people to pitch a policy idea in two minutes they’ve created a political version of slam poetry. Each policy idea comes with its own story and each of the events creates a wider picture of the society we live in and the ways in which we can improve it. It’s like having a political discussion that avoids long statements and abstract philosophising. It sticks to the point.
This pamphlet records the results of the first series of events.
Labour’s policy review is about doing politics in new ways by involving people in collective debate and activity. It’s about more than polishing off a series of technically sound reforms. They’re essential, but so is the story that binds them together.
Without a story of who we are and what we believe in and the future we imagine for the country we are left with a pick and mix of policies that will be impossible to communicate to the electorate. Top of the Policies is an example of how policy making can be part of a bigger picture of creating a more inclusive and exciting way of thinking about politics.
The policy review will be structured around three key themes: a new economy, a good society and a new politics. Each theme will have strands of policy work. The themes and the strands will be organised into the larger story of Rebuilding Britain. We will not be successful if we speak down to our members or if the Labour Party just talks to itself.
We want a wider public to get involved, organising house meetings so that people can meet and discuss politics, building relationships and political activity in our neighbourhoods. We will reach out to where there is energy and new thinking, both locally, nationally and internationally, and bring together expertise, organising skill and good practice where we find them
We need a different way of talking about politics because the political class has lost touch with how people live and speak and feel about the world around them. We need to reconnect and Pragmatic Radicalism can play a valuable role in making this happen. I welcome the pamphlet and a second Top of the Policies event at this year’s conference.