We’re currently in the first phase of Labour’s policy review. Jon Cruddas, who is co-ordinating the review, spoke at the Unions21 conference earlier this month and said that there is a stronger framework for joint policy work between Labour and the unions than in many years.
He said it is significant for unions that the review is putting front and centre issues of economic and industrial democracy, vocational skills and apprenticeships and the notion of a modern industrial policy.
We have a fixed term Parliament leading up to the 2015 election, so three natural phases to the policy review.
- First Phase: Until late July 2013 (ahead of Labour Party conference 13)
- Second Phase: Oct 13- July 14 (ahead of Labour Party conference 2014)
- Last phase from 2014 conference (until the May 2015 election).
Jon set up the three policy groups last Autumn and put together a work programme, timetable and responsibilities that will see the first cut of the policy review coming out this Summer.
The three groups are:
Bank reform, a modern growth agenda, spending, energy policy, vocational skills, supply side policy, railways and buses, Europe, housing, vocational skills.
Welfare, immigration, crime and policing, health and adult social care, prison reform, recidivism.
3) Politics: Devolution, Local government, young people, constitutional reform and the fault line between liberty and security.
Jon is beginning the cycle of meetings that will pull together policy in these areas. In July we will have the basic handle on the policy agenda that will form the strategy behind the second and third phases.
There are a number of different organising principles around which Jon believes the review is beginning to cohere:
- Devolution of power
- Building more resilient connected communities
- Prevention rather than cure
- Building a more resilient economy