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This is What Democracy Looks Like: Building A Politics For The Many

August 31

Politics for the Many Conference

Throughout history, the labour movement has been at the forefront in demanding progressive change to address the big challenges of the era. Today, the UK faces a social, political and democratic crisis. Yet the democratic crisis – the breakdown of trust, the divide between the rulers and the ruled – has often gone ignored.

200 years ago in Manchester, tens of thousands of people at St Peter’s Square changed history when they bravely stood – and many fell – fighting for Parliamentary representation.

Each generation, democracy must be defended, remade and revitalised. Today it is time to rebuild our democracy.

Our political system is undeniably broken. Power is held by the few, not the many. We need a vision for a political system where people feel their voice is heard, where ideas can be tested and debated on a level playing field, and where our institutions – local and national – are responsive and accessible to the millions.

This conference will address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in campaigning for real democracy today. Meeting these challenges is not an optional extra for the labour movement – it is part of its historic purpose. If we don’t act, much darker forces will emerge to speak for the voiceless.

“This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Building A Politics For The Many” will be the launch pad for a new campaign for a political system that works for all of us. It is not to be missed.

Book Tickets

Speakers so far:

  • Paul Mason – Journalist and author
  • Dawn Foster – Guardian columnist
  • James Meadway – Former Economic Advisor to John McDonnell
  • Holly Rigby – Columnist and education activist
  • Ian Allinson – President, Manchester TUC
  • Manchester Momentum
  • Dave Ward – General Secretary, CWU
  • Sam Tarry – President of Class & National Political Officer TSSA.
  • Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
  • Julie Ward MEP
  • Hilary Wainwright – Editor, Red Pepper
  • Jon Trickett MP – Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
  • Katy Ashton – Director, Manchester People’s History Museum
  • Sue Bowen – Former Coordinator, East Manchester Community Forum
  • Adam Ramsay – Editor, Open Democracy
  • Ed Cox – Director of public services & communities at the RSA
  • Pauline Bryan – Labour Peer
  • Christine Berry – Researcher and writer
  • Centenary Action Group

…more speakers to be announced.

Book Tickets


Launch Plenary
“Then And Now: Overhauling Our Broken Democracy”
Looking back on the legacy of Peterloo – and the labour movement’s role in our democratic history. What lessons can we take, to inform a vision for the kind of democracy we need?

Workshops Round 1
“The People Demand”
Voices from those ‘locked out’ of democracy.

1. Women in politics: Barriers and breakthroughs
2. The power of community: Energising local democracy
3. Locked out: 200 years after Peterloo, why the poorest are still the least represented
4. Missing voices: Young people, minorities and the political system

Middle Plenary
“Transforming The World: A Democratic Revolution to Win Social Change”
Delivering social change requires a revolution in how we do democracy. Join us for this inspiring session.

Workshops Round 2
“The Change We Need”
Taking the provocations from the workshops Round 1 and the middle plenary, we go into more detail about our ideas for reform and key discussions around what works, and what doesn’t. 

1. The Westminster system isn’t working: Towards new models of democracy
2. Democratising the British State: How we can empower our regions, cities and towns
3. The economics of democratic reform: Why is it good for social outcomes?
4. Rebuilding trust: A system wide approach to corruption and corporatism

Closing Plenary
“Politics For The Many: A New Movement for Democracy”

Book Tickets


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