The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband MP, launched the Labour Party’s policy consultation process at the meeting of the National Policy Forum over the weekend.
The consultation process provides an opportunity for Labour Party members, supporters and politicians to engage with individuals, families, businesses, trade unions, charities, experts, idealists and realists to help prov ide direction for key policy priorities. You can watch Ed Miliband’s speech at the launch by clicking here.
As part of the launch, the Labour Party published its policy consultation paper that sets out the overall purpose and some initial thoughts and questions to address. The process, to be led by Liam Byrne MP, covers four broad areas:
- How we grow our economy and ensure good jobs and a sustainable future?
- How we strengthen families, communities and relationships?
- How do we put power in people’s hands, over politics and public services?
- How do we secure our country and contribute to a better world?
The Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East (LFPME) looks forward to engaging with its supporters to ensure that achieving peace in the Middle East, based on justice and respect of international law and human rights, features prominently in the response to the ‘secure our country and contribute to a better world’ question.
The LFPME believes that uphoiding international law and UN resolutions in the region is the best way to secure our country and contribute to a better, more just, more peaceful world. The Labour Government made some progress in pushing for peace in the Middle East and should be commended for being the first government to take action against goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank by refusing to allow them tariff reductions under the EU-Israel Trade Agreement and getting the supermarkets to agree to label them ‘Produce of Israeli Settlements’. It was a step in the right direction but ultimately it was too little, too late.
Nevertheless, the prominence provided to the situation in the Middle East in the Labour Party over the last several months is very welcome. Currently, over 70 Labour MPs support the work of LFPME and during the summer, all the Labour leadership candidates underlined the importance of achieving peace the Middle East in statements provided to LFPME. You can read their statements by clicking here.
Since becoming leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband MP has reiterated his determination to do all he can to bring a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In his statement to LFPME during the leadership contest he said “The lack of a credible peace process is helping no-one. It sets back the date at which a viable state of Palestine comes into existence, it leaves Israel with few friends in the region and it poses an ongoing risk of instability for the international community.” He has also committed himself to visit the region as soon as is practical to witness the reality of situation on the ground.
The Labour Party has always prided itself on being the party of internationalists and made huge strides to reduce global poverty and help build a safer, fairer world through its decisive action on international development. Nevertheless, on the Middle East, the repeated promises, policy initiatives and road maps that led nowhere – together with a ‘perceived’ lack of impartiality did immense damage to our credibility and little to secure our country or contribute to a better world. We need to work at regaining our reputation for even-handedness, independence and have the moral courage in speaking out against human rights abuses and violations of international law.
The failure to uphold international law and human rights in the Middle East over many decades has abandoned the majority of Palestinians and Israelis who want peace and strengthened extremists and undermined our security. The longer the call for equality, freedom and justice in Palestine goes unanswered and the more hopeless the situation becomes, the higher the price we will pay through increased instability and insecurity in the world.
Become a LFPME supporter today and help us campaign to shape Labour’s agenda. Let us know what you think by emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org