The Stand up for Labour Crowdfunder will kickstart a comedy/variety tour of the country that will see 50 shows put on in towns across England, Scotland and Wales every year between now and the next General Election.
Here are five reasons why Labour Party supporters should support the Crowdfunder.
1. Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) are skint
In the past few years, CLPs have had to pay for local election campaigns, the EU Referendum campaign, the General Election as well as some Mayoral elections. The situation for CLPs got so bad that many were not able to afford to send delegates to conference and one CLP even had to use a camper van as accommodation for their representatives. Were there a General Election called in the next two years it will be very difficult for CLPs to be able to afford the basics in campaigning literature, let alone anything as beneficial as social media advertising.
Each Stand up for Labour event would be able to raise between £1,000 and £2,000 for CLPs involved – this would depend on how much support/sponsorship we can get from trade unions and other potential sponsors (this sponsorship would cover the costs of the performers/travel/accommodation/promotional material)
2. Many CLPs need support with events and fundraising
Although some CLPs have energetic teams of volunteers who are willing and hard working, most are ill-equipped to organise events that will pull a crowd.
Stand up for Labour has proven experience of putting on successful events all over the country. We literally have the equipment (PA, lights) as well as list of contacts (comedians, poets, singers, even a magician) who are willing to perform for the Labour Party. We also have experience in promoting events and can support CLPs with promotional material (both printed and online).
With the support of sponsors we can also arrange events that would not involve CLPs incurring any financial risk or putting forward any money.
3. We offer performers an opportunity to perform political material
In the past five years, Stand up for Labour has booked over 100 performers in over 200 events. Stand up for Labour offers an alternative to ‘Hen’ and ‘Stag’ night crowds where material is often coarse and designed to shock. This has allowed performers to develop thoughtful, political material that has improved the culture of the comedy circuit.
The importance of culture on the political landscape cannot be underestimated. It is often artists and performers who lead the way in changing accepted thinking.
4. Labour needs events that bring supporters together and promote party unity
Stand up for Labour is not allied to any particular faction in the Labour Party. Our aim is party unity. We believe it is vital for the party to unite behind the leader if we are to win the General Election.
Because our events are affordable, we are more accessible than other fundraisers like Gala Dinners and we have succeeded in uniting CLPs in laughter and promoting camaraderie that is sadly often not apparent in business meetings.
5. We need to keep our spirits up
Most of the country is under a cloud that is far more threatening than the odd Orange sky.
The level of debt is higher than ever, the shambolic reform of the welfare system through Universal Credit has led to more people dependent on foodbanks. And public services, such as schools, hospitals and the emergency services have been run down to the ground by the government’s economic policy.
As well as holding rallies and meetings that direct our anger at what is happening, we also need to lift our spirits.
Light-hearted, entertaining events that bring people together and promote a sense of community and solidarity help to prevent depression and a feeling of hopelessness.
If we have not got the spirit to fight, then we will never win.