|  Uncategorized   |  A new (Labour) blog….half price consultancy

A new (Labour) blog….half price consultancy

Been quite a week then…. thoroughly enjoyed last Thursday night. Regardless of who you voted for – we can surely all agree that a period of stability, unity and clear direction backed up with a significant mandate is exactly what we all need. If we are actually going to repair the public realm, attract investment and growth and start the long process of civic renewal – we need a break from the personality driven in-fighting that have characterised the last few years.

As I said before – winning under a fundamentally undemocratic system like ‘first past the post’ does not the system any more undemocratic. And the fact that Labour, Lib-Dems and the Greens managed to play the system better than usual – doesn’t make it any less of a broken system. But with that size of majority we won’t be getting any electoral form any time soon.

One of the fundamental challenges facing the new government (amongst many) – is restoring trust and engagement in our democratic systems alongside addressing the health and wealth of the poulation. We can assume that after a honeymoon period – where everyone is just relieved that the grown-ups seem to be back in charge that the likes of Farridge will grab the platform and the microphones. The summer recess is always slow news time politically – so this is when we can expect some noise especially when the better weather (assuming we ever get it) will lead to more ‘small boat crossings’. Labour in government need to show that liberal democracies can make a difference to people’s lives and that the ‘populists’ never have any answers to the problems and divisions that they stoke. But we all have a role to play in this.

There’s also been a pretty solid start – some good appointments James Timpson into Justice being he most eye-catching. Let’s hope the government continue to look to ‘experts’ for input where it can add value. So here are a couple of policy areas I’d like to see addessed / taken forward (not that anyone will be listening to me).

Drug Policy – needs to move under Department of Health and return to an evidence based approach. The new Drug Strategy needs committed resources in the long term. Refusing to consider things like Drug Consumption Rooms is just meaningless posturing – and literally costs lives. Inpatient detoxification and residential rehabilitation are votal components of an functioning system – they need ring fenced investment and commissioning. The criminalising of people who use drugs achieves nothing other than increasing stigma and exclusion – people know the law is an ass here but we cannot continue to ignore the facts that drug laws are used disproportionately against people from black and global majority communities.

Justice – we sentence more people, for longer, than almost any other major country. Yet we have a crumbling and fullprison estate, an over-whelmed probation service and a narrative that focuses on the illusion of toughness rather than effectiveness. The call to reduce the prison population by 1/3 is sound – but not as a headline. It has to be a strategy – that resources rehabilitative services, invests in communities and raises the aspirations, ends short term sentences and closes prisons. There’s plenty of international examples where this happens. And if anyone doubts that the class war is still alive and kicking – I’d invite you to spend some time in our court and prison systems…..

Alcohol – whether you look at this through a public health, justice or emotional well-being perspective we still need a National Alcohol Strategy – that focuses explicitly on harm reduction and protection of our licensed trade. Alcohol related deaths are at record levels and only increased post-pandemic. We’re also storing up a future health crisis if we fail to address this – as adults.

There’s a million other things I have opinions about obviously – but this will do for starters.

One of the more ludicrous pledges in Labour’s manifesto was to reduce by 50% the government spend on consultants. But in this new spirit of optimism and engagement I’ll do my next two engagements with VCSE organisations for half-price. Just get in touch.

Until then – England v NZ women’s T20 cricket tonight and Hasting’s Reggae Festival coming up.

Post a Comment:


Everlead Theme.

457 BigBlue Street, NY 10013
(315) 5512-2579