New trade union-led campaign seeks electoral reform
POLITICS FOR THE MANY, a new collaborative campaign spearheaded by British trade unionists, will seek extensive reform of Britain’s electoral and political system.
The key demands of the campaign are for an elected House of Lords, a voting system based on proportional representation, and an extension of the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds in all UK elections.
The campaign is supported by a number of high-profile union figures, including Nancy Platts, former trade union advisor to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and now campaign coordinator for Politics for the Many, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, Unison Scottish secretary Mike Kirby, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) political officer Sam Tarry, Baker, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) president Ian Hodson and, in a personal capacity, Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett.
“As people struggle to earn a decent living, nearly 800 unelected peers in the House of Lords treat our Parliament as a private members’ club.” Politics for the Many campaign coordinator Nancy Platt
Commenting on the campaign’s launch, Nancy Platt said: “Trade unions have been at the forefront of demands for political reform dating back to the Chartists’ fight for universal suffrage.
“In 2018 there is still plenty of work to be done to enhance democracy – and Politics for the Many will once again see working people leading the charge.
“The current system is desperately broken. Westminster’s voting system has allowed governments to form with very little popular support. It serves the old boys’ network while workers’ interests are trampled on. The polarisation and swings we see mean any gains Labour make are often swiftly undone by the next right-wing government.
“Our 16 and 17-year-olds are denied a voice, while millions of eligible voters are not registered.
“Trades unions were at the core of the movement to re-establish a Scottish Parliament and should be at the centre of demands for further electoral reform.” Unison Scottish secretary Mike Kirby
“And as people struggle to earn a decent living, nearly 800 unelected peers in the House of Lords treat our parliament as a private members’ club.
“It is now time for a Politics for the Many. We need a democracy fit for the 21st century, and an end to the political injustice that breeds alienation and only aids the right.”
Also commenting, Unison Scottish secretary Mike Kirby told CommonSpace: “The electorate in Scotland are familiar with PR systems for local government, Scottish Parliament and European Parliament, why not Westminster?
“Trade unions were at the core of the movement to re-establish a Scottish Parliament and should be at the centre of demands for further electoral reform.”
Picture courtesy of robertsharp
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