Ken Livingstone sets out the context for Progressive London’s excellent initiative taking place on 30 January at the TUC Congress House.
Dear Friend,I am writing to invite you to a Progressive London conference in the new year – A Progressive Agenda to Stop the Right in 2010.
To register in advance for the conference, which takes place on 30th January 2010 at the TUC, click here.
The conference will provide a cross-party, multi-community forum with politicians, trade unionists, bloggers, campaigners, faith leaders, community representatives, artists and academics.
We are at a key moment in British politics. The global financial crisis led to the worst economic situation since the second world war. There has been massive state intervention to bailout bankers and bank shareholders. Unemployment has risen and private investment has collapsed. Although the Thatcher-Reagan consensus was discredited by the meltdown of the right’s economic model, nonetheless the Tories are using the deterioration in the public finances to openly plan painful attacks on public spending that would do great damage to an economic revival and bring misery to millions.
We are getting a taste of that in London. Boris Johnson has defended the worst of the bankers, protected drivers of the most polluting cars, but promises yet more painful fare increases this January, on top of last year’s inflation-busting package – and threatens reductions in bus and tube services.
It is vital that alternatives to the right’s arguments prevail.
The challenges we face, from recession and global economic crisis to climate change, make progressive policies more relevant than ever. Only progressive political solutions provide a way forward – investment, planning and collective action are the levers that would allow us to climb out of the economic crisis and raise ourselves up to the scale of the environmental catastrophe that has to averted.
Progressive political forces must seize back the agenda by offering policies that ensure that the majority of people are not made to pay for a crisis they did not create.
The Progressive London conference will look at how we resist cuts to public services, pensions and pay that would hamper economic revival, work together to continue to achieve social progress, take radical steps to protect the planet from climate change and halt the BNP in its tracks by ending the self-defeating cycle of concessions to the far right.
Under discussion will be a wide range of subjects including:
Investment not cuts; Trident, Afghanistan, Iraq – the cost of war; Challenging Cameron’s media echo chamber; Stopping the BNP – no concessions to the far right; After Copenhagen – turning the tide on climate change; Young people and the economic crisis; PR – progress through electoral reform?; One society, many cultures; Blogging London; International fight against the right; Capitalwoman; Lessons from Latin America; Why the Tories are not progressive; Peace in the Middle East, justice for Palestinians; Plus sessions on a progressive agenda for London – affordable housing, transport, culture and many more.
To take part in the debate register in advance here.
I very much hope to see you on the day.