New think tank GEER outline vision for Labour’s future

Dr Eoin Clarke, founder of GEER (Gender, Environment, Equality and Race), and Editor of The Green Benches, writes about GEER's vision for Labour's future.

Dr Eoin Clarke is the founder of GEER (Gender, Environment, Equality and Race), and is the Editor of The Green Benches

GEER, a new left wing think tank, launched yesterday in Parliament; the Labour Left have outlined their stall. Grahame Morris MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP and myself spoke at length how we wish to put principles back into policy making.

The panel agreed that under Ed Miliband Labour have now got an opportunity, as the Parliamentary Labour Party is more healthily balanced than it has been for a decade; we agreed that it is up to the party leadership to chart a course for Labour.

GEER’s role will be to aid that by putting forward constructive policies to halt the consumerisation of our services. It was agreed by all that private profit has no place in health and educational provision. The obsession with aspirationalism and middle England, we felt, was the greatest error of New Labour as was the fixation with winning the votes of the middle classes.

Class is not the only measurement of someone’s identity as increasingly race, gender and sexuality are just as important features of someone’s makeup. It was accepted that in the past the Labour Left has not always pro-actively married its principles with race and gender equality – the answer is to unite the different social groups in our society.

Women must play a much more prominent position in policy considerations. The work/life balance needs to be addressed. Wage transparency, equalisation and progression towards a living wage will be key goals of GEER. So, too, we must resist the readiness of some in the party to blame our woes on immigration. It is true that people have genuine fears about immigration and the European Union has had a dramatic and not always positive impact on UK society but the answer is not scaremongering.

We must improve the housing stock of our country so that private rents rise more slowly, and so that ordinary hard working families have access to affordable rental housing. This would put much less pressure on race relations, and this must be the future for Labour.

We in GEER are not seeking to overthrow capitalism but damned if we trust it. It needs a much tighter leash to ensure restraint than it has hitherto failed to exercise. Profits must not be hinged on consumer led growth. This means stronger powers for pricing regulators and a more responsible approach to profit. Business should be rewarded for its enterprise, but not when that enterprise exploits society by having a lasting damaging effect on the moral health of society, or indeed the environmental future of our children.

You can read a more detailed review of the launch on The Green Benches

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15 Responses to “New think tank GEER outline vision for Labour’s future”

  1. Daniel Devine

    New think tank @GEERuk outline vision for Labour's future: http://bit.ly/kvdWYg by Dr Eoin Clarke (@TheGreenBenches)

  2. vitoria

    New think tank outlines vision for Labour & urges end to its fixation with winning middle class votes http://bit.ly/lkJF4B #race #gender

  3. Robert

    Love it race gender sexuality, but not disability, I saw sod all about the welfare state, this is just another of the many ideal we will have for Labour to put forward for those nice hard working people, I suspect it will end up a middle class calling group who see people in the same way as new labour.

    The left in these people views are more or less Tory in ideal and beliefs, we must do more to the housing stock, well yes building social housing I suspect this lot will again see it as a method of renting before buying.

    I still see sod all for people like myself.

  4. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: New think tank @GEERuk outline vision for Labour's future: http://bit.ly/kvdWYg by Dr Eoin Clarke (@TheGreenBenches)

  5. Sue Davies

    Robert … I promise you that as the Editor of GEER, as the carer of a daughter with long term illness and a contributor to Sue Marsh’s Diary of a benefit scrounger … I will not neglect the welfare reforms and will argue with every breath I take to change Labour’s present stance as determined by James Purnell. In fact, GEER has already reprinted Sue Marsh’s piece calling for new policies to confront the psycho-social model. You cannot accuse me of not understanding the situation for those with disability or long term illness … I live it too!

  6. Sue Davies

    The following quote comes from ‘About GEER’

    “However, the next Labour government must govern on behalf of the overwhelming majority, promoting equality, fairness and protection of the vulnerable … and in particular protection of the disabled and long-term sick who are under horrifying attack by the coalition government.”

    http://www.labourleft.co.uk/?page_id=9

  7. Andy Hicks

    New think tank @GEERuk outline vision for Labour's future: http://bit.ly/kvdWYg by Dr Eoin Clarke (@TheGreenBenches)

  8. William

    Roll on 20 years of opposition, as winning the votes of the ‘middle class’is a nasty smell too far.Dr.Clarke should ignore the democratic process(71 percent did not vote Labour),and retreat with his hardline supporters to South America, and sup with the spirits of the late Jim Jones.

  9. Tristan Learoyd

    I’m sure all readers agree with the sentiments expressed by the thinktank but surely our alternative lies in the examples being set in latin america, where the left have been successful in elections in the past decade? Particularly Brazil and Bolivia and their moves toward the democratic ecomomy? The works of Mangabiera Unger point out the left’s rivalry between holding on to social democracy (socialist state policies or Labour until 1979) and working with the market (the third way or New Labour) in Euroop and how both principles are wrong. The root cause of the problem is the corporate capture of our governments and the dictatorship of the finacial sector over the people of the UK. We’re in an era of economic warfare, bring democracy into the ecomony and the rest will come into play. Fail to bring in democracy to the economy and we’ll carry on on this rightward trajectory of inequality.

  10. Rob Jackson

    RT @GEERUK Left Foot Forward report on new GEER think tank http://bit.ly/kvdWYg by Dr Eoin Clarke #GEERUK

  11. Ed's Talking Balls

    Go ahead and abandon aspiration and the middle classes.

    Enjoy the electoral wilderness.

  12. Sue Marsh

    William – You sum up the awful pickle we’ve got ourselves into. You consider a think tank focussing on “Gender, Equality, Environment and Race” as “hardline”

  13. Dave Citizen

    Britain is in a bigger mess than these proposals suggest. Turning things around requires much more than the set of essentially defensive manoeuvres mentioned above. If Labour is to become the party of a better future for most of society it needs to set out a positive and coherent vision that addresses the fundamentals of social and economic life – democratic control of economic decision making, reconnecting ownership of land and other productive assets to those that will use them in society’s interests not simply accumulate them in defense of their own interests. I agree, more women will help but be clear why – because it moves us in the direction of democratic decision making over elite interests.

  14. kendall wigoda

    RT @leftfootfwd: New think tank GEER outline vision for Labour's future http://t.co/QIoCH6R

  15. Pam Field

    RT @leftfootfwd: New think tank GEER outline vision for Labour's future http://t.co/VwNY7GJ

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