Claire McCarthy Former General Secretary 4th March 2019 Blog Party News Share Tweet In the sixth richest economy on Earth, it ought to be a given that nobody goes hungry, that people get a fair days pay for a fair days work, and everyone has a secure and affordable place to call home. Basics such as food, dignity at work, and decent housing ought to be a given. After all, it’s just basic common decency. But after a decade of austerity, for many common decency seem sfurther away than ever. Hunger, insecurity and destitution are becoming a growing reality on the streets of Britain. Last week the Government finally agreed for the first time to start monitoring and recording hunger. This is essential and heart-breaking. And it also continues to refuse to rule out a No Deal Brexit, causing businesses to spend millions on preparations which all but the tiniest minority hope will be entirely wasted. The Co-operative Party believes that righting these wrongs—rebuilding common decency back into the very heart of our society—has to be a top priority. We are focusing on these issues at our ‘Common Decency’ at our event on Saturday in London (There is still time to join us – click here). Over the last few months it has also become clear that we need to see common decency reinstalled at the heart of how we do politics itself. More and more, our politics sees individuals behaving in ways that would be unacceptable in any other context. Too many people’s political participation is heavy on venom and light on ideas and solutions; little more than abuse hurled from behind the comfort of an anonymous avatar. The result is a decline in the tone of political debate that fails to do justice to ourselves or to people whose lives our politics touches. The Co-operative Party has committed itself to being part of rebuilding a politics we can all be proud of. That means living our values not simply through our policies, but in the way we do politics. Disagreeing respectfully; being about ideas not individuals; and committing ourselves to pluralism – being proud that the Co-operative Party brings people together from across the labour & co-operative families united in our support for co-operative values. Again, all of these ought to be statements of the obvious, and for most people they still are, and yet we live in a time where to re-state them in politics seems more vital and urgent than ever. That is why the Co-operative Party has committed itself to the fight for common decency as both a focus of our policy and in our politics. If you feel unsettled by politics at the moment, and wonder if we can’t do better than this, don’t worry—it’s not just you. But together we will show there’s a better way. If you like the sound of what we’re saying, then join us, because together we can build a politics to be proud of, with the values of common decency at its heart.