Saturday, 13 July 2013

A better politics for Haslingden and Hyndburn and for Britian

We need to build a different kind of politics; one that is open, transparent, trusted and rooted in every community and every walk of life.

I know from talking to people in Haslingden and Hyndburn that there are many out there who think politics in Britain is broken. Ed Miliband’s bold announcements this week show Labour is determined to lead the change we need to fix our politics and that change begins within our own party.

I’m proud of Britain’s trade unions and I’m proud of Labour’s links with the thousands of nurses, teachers, engineers and bus drivers in Haslingden and Hyndburn that are in trade unions and part of the Labour family. We need to ensure that these union members are more involved in everything we do. They are often not members of local parties and they are not active in all of our campaigns.

We’re setting out a new relationship with individual trade union members. I want union members to actively choose to join the Labour party alongside millions of other ordinary workers. This way we will be a mass movement for ordinary working people.

Ed is also leading change on party funding reforms. His proposal for a £5,000 limit on donations from everyone - trade unions, businesses and individuals - is fair and should be pursued. But the Conservatives, bank rolled by millionaires, are dragging their heels. They represent the old way of doing politics - they have accepted a £25 million donation from hedge funds and then followed this with a £145 million tax cut for the sector.

Ed is also demanding an end to second jobs for MPs. People should expect an MP’s allegiance to be to their constituents alone and people should expect their MP to devote themselves to their constituency full-time. He’s right to say there should be a limit on how much MPs can top up their income. But the Conservatives have rejected these reforms and it’s not surprising - they don’t want change because they are the party of privilege whilst we are the party of the people.

I am proud we have links with millions of ordinary people in and out of the trade unions. We will continue to strengthen our connection with working people, continue to engage with individuals who are passionate about improving their communities and continue to reach out to those who want to play their part in rebuilding Britain.