The Road Ahead

September 22, 2021

Our country is now at a crossroads. Down one path is the same old insecurity and lack of opportunity. But down the Labour one is something better: a society built on everyone’s contribution, with high-quality services, security and opportunity.

In this pamphlet, Labour leader Keir Starmer MP sets out his vision of a fairer, more secure and prosperous Britain, built on Labour values. He proposes 10 principles for a new contract between Labour and the British people, which together make up an ambitious plan to remake our country.

Fairness highlights

p. 4: Our country is now at a crossroads. Down one path is the same old insecurity and lack of opportunity. But down the Labour one is something better: a society built on everyone’s contribution.

p.6: People might not always agree on every subject, but they are generally reasonable, decent and understanding of one another.

p.6: In some sense, this is an old story about the importance of fairness and equality of opportunity. Lockdown was a more difficult, damaging experience for those whose kids’ schools were not equipped for home learning, whose employment did not qualify them for sick pay, or who had existing health conditions.

p.7: Does a working-class child in Britain today have the same opportunities my generation did? It is hard to think they do. It is still the case that your life chances are decided by the circumstances of your birth. That must change.

p.15: It is about the idea of a society based on contribution: being part of something bigger, playing your part, valuing others not just because of what they can offer you.

p.15: A programme that offers proper opportunities to people across the country, regardless of where they live or their background; one that harnesses the resources of the state and the innovative brilliance of the private sector to work together rather than against each other.

p.17: There are two fundamental things we need to fix in this country: insecurity and inequality of opportunity. Wherever you look, from the housing market to jobs, from young people to old, these are the primary colours that make up the palette of challenges facing us.

p.17: the opportunities that once existed no longer do and… the link between hard work, fair play and reward has been broken.

p.18: This all tallies up to no less than the erosion of a fundamental idea, central to our democracy and our way of life – the promise that the next generation will have the opportunity to do better than the last.

p.18: Opportunity and security… are the sunlight that help liberty, democracy and citizenship grow: in their absence, each one is stunted.

p.22: People want to emerge from lockdown into something better. They want to see a contribution society: one where people who work hard and play by the rules can expect to get something back, where you can expect fair pay for fair work, where we capture the spirit that saw us through the worst ravages of the pandemic and celebrate the idea of community and society; where we understand that we are stronger together.

p.24: For too long, it has been accepted that many people in this country will not achieve their potential simply because of the circumstances of their birth. But there is nothing inevitable about this. We must aggressively strike down the pre-existing inequalities that mean too many children still have their life chances influenced more by their background and where they live. You cannot unlock a nation’s prospects and potential while allowing vast swathes of its citizens to be held back.

p.31: As we face the mid 2020s and beyond, I propose 10 principles for a contribution society that will form the basis of a new contract between Labour and the British people, rooted in both our party and our country’s values.

  • We will always put hard-working families and their priorities first.
  • If you work hard and play by the rules, you should be rewarded fairly.
  • People and businesses are expected to contribute to society, as well as receive.
  • Your chances in life should not be defined by the circumstances of your birth – hard work and how you contribute should matter.
  • Families, communities and the things that bring us together must once again be put above individualism.
  • The economy should work for citizens and communities. It is not good enough to just surrender to market forces.
  • The role of government is to be a partner to private enterprise, not stifle it.
  • The government should treat taxpayer money as if it were its own. The current levels of waste are unacceptable.
  • The government must play its role in restoring honesty, decency and transparency in public life.
  • We are proudly patriotic but we reject the divisiveness of nationalism.