Action for Learning Democracy

To get all political parties to support funding for campaigning training and practical political education

We are campaigning to get more support for learning how to campaign and take part in politics, so that anyone who wants to change things can learn how the system works, who to influence and how to campaign effectively.

To support the campaign, you can do things to help:

Tell your friends about what we aim to do and get them to come to this website so they can get informed!

All three main parties have spoken in support public funding of practical political education and campaign training at the launch of Campaigning is OK! in the House of Commons in July. The Shadow Minister, Nick Hurd MP, changed his mind on this as a result of lobbying – so campaigning can be effective.

Second: get your MP to support you

Writing to your MP is easy. If you don’t know who she or he is, search online.

Write a personal letter and ask them to press the government to support the three points in the petition, and to get their own party to include them in their manifesto for the general election. Finding out about your MP’s interests and voting record can make a connection between their interests and political education if possible.

When you get a response, post it on our website. To do this, simply contact us. Here we have all our of contact information including telephone, address and email.

Third: Get organisational support

Lots of people will benefit from campaign training and support: community groups, voluntary organisations, trade unions, think tanks, charities, community learning providers, pressure groups, even local councils and political parties – indeed, anyone who believes that we need an informed and effective democracy.

If you are involved with any of these organisations, put support for practical politics on the agenda: call it learning for democracy, citizenship education, empowerment, campaign capacity, practical political education, voice or whatever fits best with the organisation’s agenda. Start from where they are and take people with you.

  • Get people’s ideas about how you can support it, by what the organisation does as well as getting people to sign the petition
  • Persuade them to fund, support or run political education relevant to the people they work with.

Even if we get 100% support from MPs, we still need to persuade learning providers, local authorities and other organisations to develop and run practical political education which is accessible, enjoyable and effective.

And if you want to do more, set up education for practical politics

However much you know, you can always learn more about how to influence and take part effectively. New technologies and the web are constantly creating new ways of mobilising people; power structures, institutions and the people who run them are constantly changing; while you can never get enough practice at the old fashioned process of building relationships and personal persuasion at the heart of politics.

You can help people influence decisions about things they care about by promoting or running practical political education in your area: find out what issues matter to people, bring people and organisations together, and create ways of learning that will enable them to make a difference – workshops, information events, campaign coaching, courses, projects – there are lots of ways to learn. But this kind of education is not abstract: it is about doing things which change the world for the better, in little ways and large.

Above all, it is about helping people to be politically effective: it is not about learning how to make banners, run identikit demonstrations or lobbying, but thinking about the most effective way of getting the result they want. Doing practical political education creates demonstration projects to show people what it is, so share your experience through your networks and the media, as well as the campaign forum.

Our Aims:

  1. To get accessible & affordable practical political education available everywhere
  2. Encourage learning providers to develop provision for practical political education
  3. Get to the top of the Downing St petitions by Easter 2010
  4. Get manifesto commitments from all major parties
  5. Get democracy hubs set up in all local authorities
  6. Create an independent alliance for learning democracy
  7. Encourage people to set up and run campaign training & practical political education