We are delighted, humbled and honoured to announce that we are now an official Socialist Society affiliated to the Labour Party.
Internationalism is in our Party’s DNA. From fighting alongside the socialists in the Spanish Civil War, to creating the UK’s first Ministry of Overseas Development under Harold Wilson, to campaigning against apartheid, Labour has a proud history of standing on the side of the poor and the marginalised no matter where they are from. Under the last Labour Government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Britain led the fight against global poverty, trebling aid, securing debt relief and establishing DFID as a world leading development ministry.
We can be extremely proud of that record. But make no mistake – our leadership against poverty didn’t happen by chance. It didn’t happen because of statistics or facts, however compelling. It didn’t happen because of petitions or protests, however weighty or loud. It happened by choice – political decisions taken by Labour Ministers in elected office.
LCID was established with that simple fact in mind. We exist to do everything we can to help elect & keep a Labour government in power that continues Britain’s leadership against global poverty and inequality. It will not be easy. The recession, UKIP’s rise on the back of concerns over immigration, the shadow of an EU and Scottish referendum and the Syria vote risks Britain turning inwards at precisely the moment we need to be pushing for global solutions to global problems.
Becoming a socialist society matters because it gives us a seat at the table alongside our friends in the Party and trade union and co-operative movement, who like us, wish to see our proud tradition of internationalism continuing. Thank you to all our brilliant members who made this possible, to our hard-working Executive team, to our sage Advisory Board members and our towering Honorary Presidents. I am particularly grateful for Conor McGinn, our Socialist Society representative on the NEC for his help with our affiliation, to Douglas Alexander MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Richard Darlington, Kirsty McNeill, Brendan Cox and the Labour Party international team, who were all so incredibly supportive in helping us get up and running when we first started back in late 2009, and to Ivan Lewis MP and the shadow team and Gordon and Sarah Brown for their ongoing support.
Poverty is political. The solution is political too – please join us and help strengthen our fight for a future Labour government leading global effots against poverty and inequality.
David Taylor is the founder and former chair of the Labour Campaign for International Development.