Renew’s mission is clear: fix the UK’s broken politics. We have to change UK politics for the better; make every vote count; open politics up. We need to rebuild trust in politics and politicians. To do this we need to change the political culture in the UK. We have the politics we have because we get the politicians we get. And this is because of our political culture. To succeed Renew needs to be challenging the established parties with our proposals. To do that we need to be of a size with the two larger parties. We need to build a solid membership who are wholly supportive of our proposals. Our priority therefore is to test and amplify our message about democratic renewal and changing the UK political culture so that we draw in committed new members.
- It is time to update our democracy. Citizens deserve a more honest politics and a party system that does not concentrate power at the very top of political parties. Politics should always be about putting the country and citizens ahead of career or party. Politicians should seek to serve to lead.
- Renew is working to establish a new political culture, focussed on uniting our country and providing a new approach to politics. We are responding to the inability of the existing parties to bring the country together after the 2016 referendum and, worse, the active sowing of division by some politicians. Renew exists to provide a home for the millions of voters who currently define themselves as politically homeless, for whom the dysfunction of the main parties has become too big to ignore.
- We look at the current state of UK politics more in sorrow than anger, although we are strongly motivated by a seemingly impotent frustration that we know many politically homeless voters feel when they see the behaviour of politicians. We have decided we are not impotent and can change our political culture. We are not setting up to be a protest movement, or a campaign group powered by anger, or a single-issue party seeking to shift one aspect of policy. We think the incentives facing politicians lead to the culture we have today. Our Manifesto for Democratic Renewal sets out how we can change those incentives and free up MPs to create a genuinely collaborative politics that transcends our obsolete party politics.
- Renew was formed in 2017 in the wake of the General Election that year. But the motivation for Renew came from before that. Renew’s founders saw a clear need to update our democracy and reconnect voters to MPs. With the upheavals following the 2016 referendum and the hung parliament that followed, Renew sought to take advantage of the clear desire for some sort of change and they quickly worked to establish themselves through recruiting candidates and conducting a Listening Tour of the UK.
- The main effort then was to build a grassroots movement and to develop a strong suit of candidates ready to challenge incumbents. Much of this was done with an anti-Brexit goal in mind, be that through securing a confirmatory referendum or otherwise working towards as soft a Brexit as possible.
- With the new context facing Renew (Brexit formally “done”, save the post-Brexit arrangements, 80 seat majority for the Conservatives, increasingly divisive culture war, fallout from Covid-19), the energy and enthusiasm from grassroots members to generate 600 or so strong, willing and prepared candidates is simply not there anymore. But the problems facing our democracy are too great to ignore and so Renew is refocussing on some of the original founding aims: reforming our political system.
- Renew exists to change UK politics for the better: to make every vote count, to open politics up, to transform the policy- and decision-making processes at the heart of effective, trusted government, to reconnect voters with truly representative, transparent and honest politics.
- Over the next 3 years we want to build on Renew’s established name and set out clearly to voters the real alternative to the status quo. Through communicating our message effectively, we want to build our supporter and membership base to a level commensurate with the big two parties.
- Our aspiration is to fire a belief in the population that there is a viable alternative, and Renew is it.
- In one sentence: Over the next 3 years, Renew’s mission is to grow our membership in order to establish a viable political alternative to the two big parties.
In three years, Renew will be a recognised name and brand across the UK. We will be known for our integrity and our open approach to politics. We will have shifted the narrative on reforming UK politics through our manifesto on how to change the political culture in the UK. The party will have membership numbers equivalent to those of the two major parties (circa. 120,000).