Political activists met for another round of 90-second policy blasts last week at Pragmatic Radicalism’s Top Of The Policies event on Justice and Constitutional Reform.
Working on the next Pragmatic Radicalism pamphlet is Jon Cruddas MP, the newly appointed co-ordinator of Labour’s Policy Review.
Cruddas compares Labour’s challenge to be match fit at the next election, to provide answers to the triple whammy facing Britain of recession and austerity at home and the deepening eurozone crisis across the Channel.
A lecturer in Labour history at Oxford, Cruddas sees comparisons with what the party faced in 1945.
Cruddas told the Guardian last month:
“The way I look at it would be that in 1945 Labour locked in the organised working classes into an overarching story of national renewal, and that is the equivalent task at hand today.”
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan MP said of the night:
“The speakers were dynamic, the ideas original, and mostly realistic, and the audience merciless in their constructive cross- examination…
“As shadow justice secretary and shadow chancellor I’m currently leading Labour’s review of justice and constitutional affairs policy – events like this are a shot in the arm.
“It was wonderful to see experts, activists, trade unionists and members of the public get together to thrash out new and exciting ideas. It’s a brilliant way of sourcing new ideas, and hearing some of these policies road tested.”
There was a tie for first place which after a show of hands tie-break vote saw my policy come second, to keep social welfare legal aid in scope, specifically to reinstate the Specialist Support Service, to help law centres and Citizen Advice Bureaux.
Last month the government, through the Legal Services Commission, scrapped this major service providing specialist welfare advice, weeks after 90,000 people were told their benefits would be cut.
As I said on the night:
“Rights are hopeless without access to advice and help to access what is available to an individual.”
For more information on forthcoming PragRad events, go to pragmaticradicalism.co.uk.