Welsh Labour Grassroots is the organisation of the left and centre-left in Welsh Labour. We were established in 2003. Anyone can join who is a member of the Labour party in Wales – or, if not a party member, then at least not a member of a party which stands against Labour. We aim to be an open, non-sectarian body. However, we stand by the following basic principles:
- We are socialists: We are for publicly-owned, publicly-funded public services, accountable to those who use them. We are for enhanced trade union and workplace rights, for tax justice and a social security system that helps those who need it. We are against the inequality which blights the UK. We work towards a society that is run according to collective need, rather than private profit.
- We fight for change: We work to bring about changes in Labour party policy, as well as increased party democracy and the selection of socialists as Labour candidates. We opposed the adoption under Blair and Brown of much of the political legacy of Thatcher and Major. We supported the leadership campaign of Jeremy Corbyn and our members organised his speaking tour of Wales. We also support the struggles of trade unions and organizations representing the poor and marginalised.
- We are for Labour party democracy: We oppose the attacks on party democracy by New Labour. We are for the sovereignty of conference and democratic control by members. We believe that MPs, AMs and councillors should be accountable to the local parties who select and work for them.
- We are for democratic devolution in Wales: We support Welsh devolution as a matter of principle and favour the maximum degree of self-government consistent with the wishes of the people of Wales. We back calls for an equitable financial settlement for Wales. We supported the ‘Clear Red Water’ policy agenda, under which the Welsh Government has kept public services public; rejected the marketisation and privatisation policies followed in England; made NHS prescriptions and other key services free at the point of delivery; and assisted students with the cost of higher education.
- We are for equality of outcome, not just equality of opportunity. This means reducing disparities of wealth and income and also addressing structural inequalities. We recognise that discrimination by race, sex, ability, sexuality, gender, age and religion can complicate and intensify economic and class divisions and we support the struggle for equality across all strands of discrimination in society. In particular: women make up more than half the population but continue to face inequality and discrimination, not least in terms of pay, where they continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, despite equalities legislation. Women are also underrepresented politically: less than a third of Welsh Labour MPs are women and the early advances for gender equality in the Assembly are being eroded by a lack of consistent political commitment. We regard achieving gender equality in political representation as of paramount importance and therefore support the implementation of All Women Shortlists wherever this is necessary to achieve 50-50 gender balance at any level. We also work to secure greater political representation for other sections of society who are subject to discrimination.
- We are anti-racist: We oppose racism and fascism. We seek to expose UKIP as a right-wing, English-nationalist party with extreme free-market, anti-welfare policies. We defend asylum seekers and refugees.
- We are for peace and disarmament: Welsh Labour Grassroots had its origins in opposition in Wales to the Iraq war. We are opposed to military action in the Middle East and elsewhere. We are opposed to the renewal of the Trident missile system as a weapon of mass-destruction which does not serve Britain’s defence needs. The skills involved in building Trident are transferable to civilian needs without the loss of jobs.
- We are for global justice and a sustainable world: We stand in solidarity with peoples in the Global South resisting economic exploitation, diplomatic bullying and military intervention by the rich countries. We recognise that free-market capitalism presents a mortal threat to our climate and ecology and demand urgent action by governments and international agencies to safeguard the future of the planet.
Our constitution can be viewed here:
WLG constitution Dec 2016