My Social Democracy
What Social Democracy means to me
Over the past forty years, politics has shifted radically, ebbed and flowed, and been shaped by the changing world around us, but the values that underpin my belief in modern social democracy have remained constant. So, what does social democracy mean to me?
Fundamentally, it’s centred around a strong sense of social justice, based on creating equal opportunities and giving people the tools they need to succeed. Whether that’s in high quality education, affordable and decent housing, or local jobs with real career paths open to all.
It’s a politics founded on strong progressive principles not dogma, on lifting people up and propelling them onwards in life, not just keeping them going as they are. It’s having goals and policies that have broad appeal across the electorate, not just the party membership or a narrow base of voters. It looks for new support in every part of society, every group, every demographic, not just a narrowly defined social class or previous political allegiance.
It benefits from healthy debate and new ideas, but it’s about winning elections, not just winning the argument. My social democracy puts the delivery of social justice via success at the ballot box ahead of blinkered, exclusive political purity. Outcomes matter.
My social democracy is about being generous to those in dire straits, be they people living in poverty or refugees fleeing conflict, with a belief that support and investment in those people will see dividends and returns for society that make that investment a wise one.
My politics has a strong belief in science and technological progress to address the urgent challenges of climate change, pandemics and inequalities both local and global. It’s an approach that seeks out expert advice and knowledge, and brings together the best minds and talent to further progressive goals via constructive challenge rather than confirmation of ideological bias.
It holds unearned privilege and unfair inequality to account, but equally it has a positive offer and a credible alternative to the “better the devil you know” Conservative brand that has long since abandoned One Nation Toryism for a cronyist populism.
My European social democracy instils in me a belief in a nation that draws strength and amplifies its influence via international partnerships such as NATO and the European Union, never more urgent than now. Our identity is national, but our challenges are global.
Social democracy for me is rooted in the rule of law, a free press, and freedoms bounded by our responsibilities to each other. It is about compassion and respect. It is resolute against corruption and steadfast in its antiracism.
It’s a politics that looks for common values we share, rather than individual policies that divide us. My social democracy is modern and fair, grounded in a strong British and European political tradition, it is progressive politics in pursuit of prosperity, security and social justice.
About the author
Warren is a Labour Party member and a former Council Leader.