18 Oct 2018 - Lord Dubs launches cross-party campaign for compassionate politics

Lord Alf Dubs will launch a cross-party campaign aimed at making politics more compassionate on Saturday 20 October [1].

The launch of Compassion in Politics comes as polling conducted by Survation found that three in five people (60%) think politicians are not compassionate enough. Of those, four in five (79%) believe that a lack of compassion is detrimental to our political system and 61% think they would be more likely to engage in politics if politicians were more compassionate [2].

The Labour peer, author of the ‘Dubs Amendment’ which committed the UK government to providing safe passage for child refugees, will argue that politicians urgently need to adopt a more compassionate approach in order to tackle national and global problems of inequality, climate change, and the refugee crisis.

Dubs is one of a range of individuals and organisations that have come together to advocate for a more compassionate approach to politics. The group has cross-party backing and is supporting by a range of individuals and organisations including Professor Noam Chomsky, comedian Francesca Martinez, Ruby Wax, Professor Peter Singer, George Monbiot, Jo Swinson MP, Robert Halfon MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Laurie Penny, presenter and singer Cerys Matthews, Show Racism the Red Card and Action for Happiness [3].

Also speaking at the conference on Saturday will be Professor Danny Dorling, Julian Baggini, Co-Founder of UK Black Pride Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Great Britain Harun Khan, Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid, and founder of the Forgiveness Project Marina Cantacuzino.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Lord Dubs said:

“Compassion has always been at the heart of my political beliefs. I’ve seen first-hand the solidarity that builds between a group of refugees. I’ve felt the zeal with which campaigners have fought for better treatment of asylum seekers. In those moments, I have witnessed the immense power compassion has to stand up to hate, to defy, when necessary, the consensus, and to change the world.

“We badly need that kind of politics right now. As our nation turns in on itself, as the welfare state collapses after years of cuts, and as communities become ever more divided, we need an injection of compassion, of cooperation, and kindness. That’s why I am supporting Compassion in Politics because I believe the time has come for a movement just like this.”

Co-Founder of Compassion in Politics activist and author Jennifer Nadel said:

“If we put compassion back at the centre of politics we could, in one simple stroke, change politics for good. Trump, Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity are all clear examples of what happens to politics when compassion is edged out.

“For decades we have been sold a lie. That greed and unharnessed wealth creation are good for us all. This has led to rising inequality, overflowing jails, increasing mental illness, climate breakdown and the re-emergence of serious levels of poverty. Through a new kind of politics and with a new set of values at the heart of decision-making we can create a nation that cares for one another, improves everyone’s lives, and protects our natural world.”

Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and a supporter of the campaign, said: 

“Addressing the challenges we face as a country requires far better than the toxic political debate that we see so often. 

“This movement could not have come at a better time. More than ever, we need politicians of all stripes to have constructive discussions and to work together, with compassion and respect, on the solutions we desperately need."

ENDS

Notes

[1] Find out more here: https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/ 

[2] Full results are here: https://www.survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Compassion-in-Politics-Tables.xlsx

[3] Full list here: https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/whos-involved

31 Oct 2018 - Plaid parliamentary leader announces support for Compassion in Politics

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, has pledged her support to a new campaign [1] that’s trying to make politics more compassionate.
 
Compassion in Politics is a cross-party campaign seeking to put compassionate values and cooperation at the centre of political debate. It was launched this October by the Labour peer Lord Dubs [2], author of the ‘Dubs Amendment’, and is supported by MPs from a range of parties including Caroline Lucas of the Greens, Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson and Alistair Carmichael, Conservative Robert Halfon, and Rupa Huq, Thangam Debbonaire, and Julie Cooper from Labour. Liz Saville Roberts has become the first MP from Wales and first leader of a Westminster group to support the campaign.
 
Outside of Westminster the campaign counts among its supporters Professors Noam Chomsky, Paul Gilbert, and Peter Singer, Ruby Wax, Francesca Martinez, Cerys Matthews, Laurie Penny, and organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card and Action for Happiness [3].
 
Liz Saville Roberts MP said:
 
“Across the range of issues that my constituents come to talk to me about - from benefits to pensions, jobs to schools - I sense a common frustration: a lack of understanding from many at Westminster about the lives of the people they represent. Our economy is fixated on the growth of big business at the expense of our communities, austerity has hit those most in need of support the hardest, and human-driven climate change is putting the lives of present and future generations in danger in ways that we cannot yet imagine.
 
“This is not just the result of some misguided policy decisions - it’s happened because the values driving our politics are completely broken. We need to put kindness, empathy, and compassion back the centre of our politics and create a system which benefits us all - people and planet - and that is why I am putting my full support behind this exciting new movement.”
 
Co-Founder of Compassion in Politics activist and author Jennifer Nadel said:
 
“If we put compassion back at the centre of politics we could, in one simple stroke, change politics for good. Trump, the Brexit debate and its divisions, the refugee crisis and austerity are all clear examples of what happens to politics when compassion is edged out.
 
“For decades we have been sold a lie. That greed and unharnessed wealth creation are good for us all. This has led to rising inequality, overflowing jails, increasing mental illness, climate breakdown and the re-emergence of serious levels of poverty. Through a new kind of politics and with a new set of values at the heart of decision-making we can create a nation that cares for one another, improves everyone’s lives, and protects our natural world.”

Notes

[1] https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/ 

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/18/british-compassion-politics-kindertransport-cross-party-movement 

[3] https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/whos-involved 

6 Nov 2018 - Introduction of universal credit for Grenfell survivors: campaigners respond

Compassion in Politics [1] champion and Grenfell campaigner Joe Delaney has responded to the news that the government will introduce universal credit for the survivors of the Grenfell fire which could mean those survivors are forced to go without cash over Christmas [2].

Joe Delaney said:

"It's just plain common-sense that introducing universal credit for survivors just before the holiday period will cause many claimants a degree of hardship than can be avoided if the roll-out were postponed until January.

"Peoples' wellbeing and quality of life cannot play second fiddle to an arbitrary target of a distant government department. Postponing this roll-out would be an easy way for the government to demonstrate that compassion plays a part in their activities."

Co-Founder of Compassion in Politics Jennifer Nadel said:

"If ever there was proof that we need more compassion in politics, this is it. The government is willing to risk highly traumatised residents having no cash for Christmas presents so that they can try to hit their own arbitrary – and already missed – targets for a scheme that has been widely condemned as at best unhelpful and at worst cruel and vindictive. We desperately need to put humans and humanity back at the centre of our politics. A truly compassionate political system would recognise the individuals and the families at the centre of the Grenfell disaster and do all it can to help them, rather than simply erasing the story of that atrocious fire by imagining it never happened."

ENDS

Notes

[1] https://www.compassioninpolitics.com/ 

Compassion in Politics is a cross-party campaign seeking to inject more compassionate values into our political system. It has the backing of a range of individuals and groups including Lord Dubs, Ruby Wax, Peter Singer, Cerys Matthews, the MPs Caroline Lucas, Jo Swinson, Rupa Huq, Liz Saville Roberts, Tom Brake, Show Racism the Red Card, Safe Passage, and more. It launched on 20 October 2018.

[2] https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/universal-credit-launched-grenfell-tower-13510929