Clean Up Politics Campaign Update June 2024

2024-06-12 14:44:00 +0100

Can we keep in touch?

From Anya Sizer, Democracy Lead, Compassion in Politics

Trust in our elected representatives  is at an all time low and feelings in the public swing from anger to apathy when discussing politics . It's time to clean up politics and call for a reset. Compassion in Politics  is leading the Clean Up Politics Coalition calling for just that. The coalition includes the Democracy Network and a range of brilliant organisations working in the democracy sector who all want to see reform.  

But what does a political reset mean and what is needed to begin that process .

Firstly, it means rebuilding the foundation and the standards we can expect from our elected representatives. Alongside the Jo Cox Foundation we have created a simple but highly effective tool that is gaining cross party traction called the Civility Pledge.  Of course, civility isn't just for elections and so we will be building on this going forward. The pledge is the start of what we hope will be a shift in the way politics is conducted and a restoration of public trust.  If you are a candidate in this election, please make sure you sign up to the pledge. 

Secondly, it means looking at the structures that make up our democracy, specifically focusing  on  four key priorities : 

1. Call for an end to lying in politics. Honesty is a crucial step in rebuilding trust in our democracy. In other areas of public life laws precent deliberate misrepresentation and we would like to see those laws extended to cover factual political statements.  Our campaign has won the support of politicians from all parties and our polling with Opinium shows that 73% of voters would support it too. You can read more about what we're doing and why in  these articles  in the Byline Times and Guardian

2. We think the codes of conduct that exist in Parliament should be put on a statutory footing so that they can be enforced. We're also calling for an Independent Ethics Commission to oversee political conduct. The Co-chair of the Compassionate Politics All Party Parliamentary Group, Debbie Abrahams MP, introduced this bill into the House of Commons calling for just that. We are hoping that an incoming government will adopt it. 

3. The House of Lords needs to be completely reformed and reconstituted. That's an immense task but as an immediate first step, the advice of the House of Lords Appointment  Committee needs to be binding so that Prime Ministers can't just overrule its objections. 

4. We need urgent action to address the abuse of all politicians with a specific focus on the targeting of minority groups. That means strengthening the laws to prevent the rise in online hate as well as on the ground steps to improve safety and reduce the discriminatory practices that persist in the political space.  We would also like to see an independent Human Resources (HR) body introduced to modernise working practices, to  tackle bullying and harassment and  to provide proper career and psychological support to those who govern. Take a listen to Compassion in Politics co-Founder and director, Jennifer Nadel's documentary on BBC Radio 4, Broken Politicians. Broken Politics to get an insight into why these reforms are so needed. 

Actions for you

Cleaning up politics and calling for change will always be a collective responsibility and we need your support to take this forward. Sharing the work on social media , writing to politicians about the pledge and joining the call, I do believe we can continue and expand this much needed process of cleaning up politics, for good. I look forward to hearing from you

Thank you for your support

Anya Sizer

Democracy Lead, Compassion in Politics

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