Politics, just as in life, forces you to confront failings and reflect on that deeper truth – namely that you cannot become what you need to be, by remaining what you are.
This is why we have gathered MPs on the left, who aspire to build something new and different. We call it Love Socialism: green, internationalist and democratic. We embrace respectful debate and pluralism. Ours is a political culture that seeks to work with other progressive movements, both inside and outside of the Labour Party. When we work together, we draw on our collective strengths to solve the challenges of our time.
As MPs, we represent the diversity of Labour, drawing on our experience, commitment, energy and aspiration to see a transformative Labour agenda that reaches into the communities we represent to meet people’s deepest needs.
The existential threats and challenges of the 21st century are almost overwhelming: pandemics, ecological breakdown, climate chaos, A.I., surveillance capitalism, labour fragmentation, a new gilded age of wealth and power inequality, all wrapped up in a crisis of democracy. As vested interests and countervailing forces strengthen, progressives can no longer resist from isolated political silos. Five individual fingers can achieve much, but acting as a co-ordinated hand can achieve yet more. The collective endeavour of shared ambition must unite us.
We seek to be both catalyst and bridge. A catalyst for positive change in the way our Party organises and interacts with itself and others. A bridge, reaching into the heart of our Party, to challenge injustice and advance progressive change. Change demands more democracy, not less. It must challenge and dissipate political power and institutional constructs of wealth and privilege that drive so many of our planet’s ills.
Our common bond is that we believe things can “be different and better”. Although we might arrive at this point from different places, the last year has shown, so painfully, that “how” we disagree is arguably as important as “what” we disagree on.
As such, Love Socialism is a rejection of the top-down, bureaucratic, authoritarian tendencies in our movement, tendencies found across the Party, which ultimately smothered the creative and democratic potential of successive leaderships. Consensus will always struggle if decisions are top down. Instead we must empower each other with a sense of agency to achieve our collective purpose and potential.
But let’s also be clear: the emergence of Love Socialism is not about creating a new Labour faction, nor is our analysis of political culture done to deepen division or suggest intellectual superiority. Rather it seeks to shape 21st century socialism and create unity.
If we accept this premise, three critical issues must be squared within Labour.
First, acknowledgement that only a transformative political agenda, domestically and internationally, will avert the existential threats now looming. The time for moderated incrementalism has long passed. The Labour leadership must explicitly grasp this critical moment to #BuildBackBetter, understanding the hunger for political and intersectional change.
Second, recognition that structural racism and inequalities have pervaded all walks of life and unless race, culture and other inequality is not urgently addressed, we are not part of the solution. This is the moment to confront suppressive forces, not to pander to this authoritarian national government. Call it out, don’t redefine, and prove that leadership reaches beyond walls both red and blue. Then all who have been left behind unite, north and south, precarious and secure, rural and urban, old and young: a new electoral coalition grows.
It starts with implementing the EHRC report, in dealing with antisemitism, but Labour must also do more to address structural racism both within the Party and society. This cannot simply be a transactional activity, but must, at its core, rebuild relationships across our communities. This forges a new inclusive movement and more inclusive society.
Finally, we must, as a Party, embrace radical constitutional and electoral reform beyond the old tired devolution and PR discussions. Not merely for our own political advantage but because people need to see how their voice changes their lives. Deepening our democracy, expanding it, extending power, is the best way to challenge its erosion these past 40 years.
Our vision may be radical, but also pragmatic, entirely necessary for us to achieve a Labour government. We call on those of the broad left of the Labour movement to be part of this journey with us.
Clive Lewis is Member of Parliament for Norwich South
Rachael Maskell is shadow minister for the voluntary sector and charities since 2020 and Member of Parliament for York Central
Lloyd Russell-Moyle is Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown
Alex Sobel is Member of Parliament for Leeds North West
For more information, visit lovesocialism.org.uk
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