The Open Left Project
The Open Left project is a new collection of work from Policy Network
Across Europe, many parties of the centre left are in retreat. Old bases of support have declined, old policies are out of touch, old assumptions no longer hold. In the UK, Labour has taken a leftward turn and despite gaining support and denying the Conservatives a majority, lost its third election in a row in June 2017. In the opinion polls Labour is at best level with the Tories, failing to maintain a consistent lead despite the government’s woes over Brexit and many other issues.
The 2017 election result showed that there is still an electoral appetite for a government driven by the values of equality, solidarity, internationalism and human rights. But the left has not yet come up with a formula capable of winning a big majority and transforming the country for the better.
We believe what is needed is an Open Left. This means abandoning the idea that one tradition of progressive thought has all the answers. We need openness to new policy ideas, openness to learning from past mistakes and others’ experiences. We should be prepared to listen to very different voices and very different intellectual traditions. We must find ways to engage with people from a wide range of communities and backgrounds.
An Open Left also recognizes we cannot retreat from the world, or ignore economic and political realities. We need a dialogue with progressive movements from many different countries, learning from their experiences of putting progressive ideas into action.
During the spring of 2018 we will be publishing a series of papers to develop this theme, culminating in the publication of professor Andrew Gamble’s new work, available for pre-order.