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Labour's new policy on International Development

Guest Blog Post by Nick Dearden of "Global Justice Now"

Yesterday the Labour Party released its new development policy, called ‘A world for the many, not the few’. It contains many ideas which we’ve supported for years – which is why I wanted to let you know, and to say thank you.

Ideas once ignored by the majority of politicians, are now commitments of the official opposition. Campaigning works.

Six months ago, Shadow Secretary of State Kate Osamor asked me to join her International Development Taskforce, along with other campaign leaders, journalists and academics. We took evidence from dozens more campaigners, including southern activists. And this evidence was fed into the Labour Party’s policy document released today.

So what’s so important about these policies?

For a start, the Department for International Development (DfID) would no longer focus only on relieving extreme poverty – it would also be legally bound to fight global inequality, the scourge of our age.

There’s a clear acknowledgement that ‘market knows best’ economics has failed. Rather than spending aid money on private schools and healthcare, or well-heeled corporate consultants from London, we must prioritise building public services across the world.

And there’s a recognition that handing over charity to clear up the mess which western governments and corporations create is not the right approach. We need to change those policies, radically reform international institutions and, critically, redistribute power globally.

There’s much more which the policy paper says about building peace, tackling climate change and clamping down on tax dodgers.

Of course, these policies don’t contain everything we’d like to see. But they represent a very clear step in the right direction. We hope that they will galvanise political support, both in Labour and also other parties, behind the truly radical political actions we need to see.

What’s more, I don’t believe these policies would have been adopted without the years of campaigning we have engaged in as an organisation. There’s a long way to go – persuading other political parties to adopt them, and persuading a future government to implement them, will take continued, persistent campaigning.

But at a point of history when there is much to be afraid of, much to be angry about, let’s celebrate our successes, and embrace hope.

Read my blog on 10 highlights of Labour’s new internationalism

Thank you,

Nick Dearden,
Director of Global Justice Now

Nick Dearden was a member of the International Development Taskforce which helped collect evidence for Labour's new policy.

Read the whole policy document on the Labour Party website

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