The newly-formed Hannah Mitchell Foundation is holding its public launch in the Banqueting Hall of Bradford City Hall, at 1.15pm on Friday 9 March.
The foundation describes itself as ‘an ethical socialist campaign for regional government in the north’. It’s a centre-left network of people with an interest in democratic regional government named in honour of a northern working class socialist and feminist.
The following text was agreed at the organisation’s founding meeting in Sowerby Bridge last November and approved at its first Annual General Meeting on 13 January:
The foundation is a forum for the development of a distinctive democratic socialism in the North, rooted in our ethical socialist traditions of mutuality, co-operation, community and internationalism. Its prime focus will be to develop the case for directly-elected regional government for the North of England – either as a whole or for the three regions which make up ‘the North’ (North East, Yorkshire & Humber and North West).
Creating a devolved structure of governance for the North would be based on the key principles of democracy and subsidiarity, social equity and justice, and sustainable development in its social, environmental and economic senses. The foundation is named in memory of an outstanding Northern socialist, feminist and co-operator who was proud of her working class roots and had a cultural as well as political vision.
Objects: The Foundation will:
- Influence the political agenda in the UK, at national, regional and local level in support of elected regional government for the North
- Develop core values of a ‘northern’ centre-left politics based on (though not exclusively), the Labour and Co-operative Party traditions.
- Research, present and promote the distinctive social, cultural and political heritage of the North of England and constituent parts of the North.
- Research, present and promote the economic, cultural and social capital of the North within a wider UK and European context where appropriate (present and future)
- Study examples of regional government across Europe and beyond with a view to building the case for regional government for the North
- Develop outline policies for how democratic regional government could work including the exchange of ideas and information with like-minded individuals and groups elsewhere in the UK and Europe
- Investigate, expose and publicise inequality both within the North and between the North and other parts of the UK – particularly the more prosperous South of England and set out a distinct approach to the future sustainable development of the North of England which places positive social outcomes (including income equality) at its heart achieved through democratic mutual and collectivist approaches
- Build strong mutually supportive links with like-minded organisations and make effective use of research already being undertaken relevant to the Foundation’s objectives.
Halifax MP and the organisation’s president, Linda Riordan, will be the main speaker at the launch, plus the foundation’s chair, Barry Winter, and general secretary, Paul Salveson.
The event is open to everyone but you will need to book in advance so organisers can judge numbers (details below).
In the meantime, the foundation is surveying people’s views on northern devolution while further events are being planned including a reception at the Houses of Parliament in June.
To book a place at the launch email Paul Salveson, email@example.com, or send name, address and organisation, to 90a Radcliffe Road, Golcar, Huddersfield HD7 3EZ.
For more information and details of how to become an individual or corporate member see: www.hannahmitchell.org.uk.
The Foundation also received national attention in the Observer on 5 February.