• Labour's Covenant

    The UK is living through a time of extraordinary change. No part of the old political settlement, including what was the centre, remains unaffected. In this new period, who and what does Labour stand for? What is its purpose?

     

    Following the 2019 general election, Labour Together published its General Election Review analysing the causes of Labour’s defeat. It called for a big change economic agenda rooted in people’s lives and communities, combined with the values of family, work and community, to build a new coalition of voters around a story of national renewal. In June 2020 we decided to follow our own advice and take on the task. We set up the Resources for National Renewal programme to develop Labour’s national story involving over 100 policy experts, academics, politicians, councillors and journalists.

     

    Labour's Covenant is the result of our joint efforts.

  • Events

  • Recordings

    What is Labour's Covenant?

    Join us for a session to explore what Labour’s Covenant is and how it might work in practice, with Shabana Mahmood MP (Shadow Cabinet and National Campaign Coordinator), Jonathan Rutherford (Author of Labour’s Covenant), Jon Cruddas MP and chaired by Sienna Rodgers (Editor, Labour List).

  • Why place is the new politics

    Join us for a session to explore why places are becomming a definitng part of political identities, with Alex Norris (Shadow Minister, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities), John Tomaney (Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University College London), Jessica Studdert (Deputy Chief Executive, New Local) and chaired by Hannah O'Rourke, Labour Together.

  • The national economy and Labour's renewal

     

    Labour’s Covenant calls for a new kind of national economy, rescued from the forgotten annals of Labour history and tradition. Join us for a session exploring this radical economic programme, and how Labour can move beyond the current model of rentier capitalism that dominates the British economy.

  • A labour politics of land and nature

    Politics has failed to generate a larger vision of how individuals might live lives better in tune with their natural surroundings. With climate collapse being the key challenge of our decade, Labour needs a new approach to the politics of land and nature. Join us for a session where we’ll be exploring how Labour can establish a broad, national coalition of support for a green politics of nature.

  • Geopolitics and Labour's foreign policy

    Labour has always been the party of patriotism and internationalism. Its future foreign policy will be shaped by its history of nation- and institution-building and its representation of the labour interest. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, Britain must balance protecting its own national interests with creating international cooperation in the face of climate change, monopoly tech platforms, pandemics and the threats of China and Russia. Join us for a session where we explore the strategic challenges facing a future Labour foreign policy.

  • Supporting Papers

    The Resources for National Renewal programme invited an eclectic range of over 100 policy experts, academics and journalists to take part in more than forty webinars, where they engaged in discussion with Labour Mayors, Councillors and MPs. As part of this process 10 working groups were set up and over fifty papers have been written. Here are a selection of these papers which provided some of the foundational thinking for Labour's Covenant.

  • Covenental Thinking

     

    Maurice Glasman

    Thinking with the

    Nation

    David Edgerton

    Organising the Everyday Economy

    Karrel Williams

    National

    Reconstruction

    James Meadway

    Attachment

    Economics

    Jess Prendergrast

    Labour and Economic Growth

    Nick Pearce

    The Politics of Production

    Peter Nolan & Jon Cruddas

    The Intellectual to the Political

    Anon

    Nature and the Common Good

    Tobias Phibbs

    Labour and the Politics of Place

    John Tomaney et al.

    Labour's Scottish Questions

    Rory Scothorne

    Politics, Power and Devolution

    Jess Studdert

    A New National

    Story

    Jon Wilson & Hans Kundnani

    Climate Leadership and Foreign Policy

    Richard Beardsworth

    National Interest & the Labour Interest

    Maurice Glasman

    Governing for Change

    John Denham & Jon Wilson

  • Responses

    A round up of responses to Labour's Covenant from across the movement.

    Who and what does Labour stand for?

    Jon Cruddas MP writes for LabourList on what Labour’s Covenant means for the future direction of Labour.

    Labour can renew the common life

     

    Julian Coman argues in The Guardian that Labour should draw on its heritage to renew our concept of community.

    A dilemma for Starmer

    Professor Steve Fielding argues Labour's Covenant offers Keir Starmer a framework for articulating a positive vision.

    Contract v. covenant

    Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite argues in Renewal that Labour must better balance liberalism and communitarianism.

    What sort of party should Labour be?

    Martin Shipman in Wales Online questions whether what been learned by Welsh Labour can be translated to a UK context.

    Why is Labour so disconnected?

    Louise Perry in The New Statesman argues for the need to bridge the gap between our party and the country.

    The limits of communitarianism

    James Stafford agues in Renewal that a more modest revival of green left-liberalism might be all we can hope for.

    For land and nature in a time of floods

    Cathy Elliot wrote in Renewal that Labour's Covenant begins a welcome focus on nature as a bridging concept.

    Labour needs to think small

    Marc Stears in The New Statesman argues that while promising the Covenant surrenders too much.

    National self-sufficiency?

    Tom Barker writes in Renewal that the Covenant falls short on the details of how to implement a "national economy".

    Labour without the class struggle?

    Nick Wright in the Morning Star argues that Labour's Covenant has sensible thinking but fails consider private ownership.

    Morality, Culture and nation

    Alex Campsie argues in Renewal the Covenant is limited by its conflation of neoliberalism with liberation politics.

    Cold Wars and Class Wars

    Frederick Harry Pitts argues in Futures of Work that shifts in geopolitics since the cold war will affect any modern national economy.

    Ethos, anti-ethos … synthesis?

    Richard McNeill Douglas argues that Labour's Covenant pulls together two distinct elements of Labour ideology to overcome the estrangement of ethos from policy.