Computing for Labour is a membership organisation within the Labour Party that exists to encourage and support the use of Information Technology to further the aims of the British Labour Party. It was set up to provide the Labour Party with the technological tools and support necessary to achieve its goals. We achieve this by providing services to the Party and its elected representatives:
- The casework management system – CFL Caseworker Online
- CFL Caseworker Online training
- The development of new software of benefit to the Labour Party
Computing for Labour (CFL) was founded in 1984 by the Labour Party as part of the process of Party modernisation. The aim was to bring together Party members with IT skills and organise them to support and promote the use of Information Technology within the Party. In the years that followed the organisation grew from a voluntary working group to a unit with full-time staff providing system development, training, and support to the Labour Party and its elected representatives.
Over the years we have:
- Developed software systems to carry out all of the main jobs of a political party, its candidates and elected representatives. These included the first electoral database (Elpack), a membership processing Package (Memlist) and a casework package for MPs and councillors (CFL Caseworker)
- Established an ongoing training programme in the late ’80s, run jointly with the Communications Workers Union (CWU). This ran for nearly twenty years and introduced a large number of Labour Party and Trade Union members to computers
- Set up a wide area email network in the mid-80s, long before the internet and email came into common usage. This enabled the party to communicate rapidly with its members, constituencies and candidates etc. Over the years, this was adapted as IT developed to encompass support for online party systems and campaigning
- Developed a user support structure, starting from a network of local volunteers in the mid-80s, to the full-time telephone helpdesk today
- Provided a programme of support for Labour’s elected representatives and their staff including the distribution and maintenance of equipment, training and support and the development and continual updating of the CFL Caseworker suite of programs, which is used by many Labour MPs, MSPs, AMs and Councillors
- Throughout this period we have delivered information and advice to all sections of the Labour Party. We held our first exhibition at Labour Party conference in 1984 and have been present at every one since then, giving demonstrations, training and practical advice. CFL was constituted as a membership organisation within the Labour Party in 1985 and incorporated as a Company Limited by guarantee in 1999
- We continue to develop new ways of providing support. CFL will continue to expand its capabilities but will always support progressive politics. If you have any questions about CFL please contact us.