Category Archives: Labour Party

More important than the party leadership

Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates are making noises about how we need to re-engage with communities. I’ve read that we have to listen more or we have to hold hustings in towns Labour lost so we can listen even harder. And both Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy have said we have to devolve power to local communities.

The most obvious way to get the ball rolling is to start devolving power within the party.

Let’s lead by example.

We need to give CLPs the resources to go out and earnestly campaign – to provide a support network within their boroughs, towns and villages.

The situation as it is does not reflect well on Labour.

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This graph isn’t even strictly true. In reality, CLPs receive £1.50 to £2.50 per member as that’s just the standard rate.

The only redistribution of funds that the NEC provides is in the form of some freebies (one conference pass, access to Membersnet, election insurance). These all amount to no more than £1,000 (or the subscriptions of 40 members paying the standard rate).

The financial imbalance in the party is shameful and hardly devolved.

Were the existing financial model of the party proving successful – either in election results or benefits to communities – then I wouldn’t be writing this. However, we have not seen any increase in recruitment or engagement since the last leadership election in 2016.

To move things on from this dreadful situation, we need to balance out the amount allocated to CLPs and to head office so it is a 50:50 split.

This is not only something that would be of benefit to local communities but it is the most just way to distribute membership subs. Almost all party activity is made at a local level so it is only right that local parties receive their fair share.

In ‘Here’s how we win again’, I wrote about how giving CLPs their rightful share of money could bring immediate benefits. In short there could be:

  • Local hubs in each constituency
  • Support for foodbanks
  • Meals offered to the homeless
  • Legal advice for people in debt
  • Cheap venue space for Recovery Groups
  • Cheap venue space for social groups
  • A space for toddler playgroups
  • A space for coffee mornings for isolated, older people
  • Cheap studio space for film makers
  • Cheap studio space for musicians.
  • Music gigs
  • Comedy nights
  • Film nights

These are just some of the ways that extra funds could be used to engage local people and to re-energise local parties.

With CLPs becoming energetic local enterprises, there would be a noticeable increase in party membership and this would bring further financial rewards to local parties as well as the national office.

In order to achieve this, we don’t need to depend on the goodwill of the next leader or the national office. That is unlikely to happen.

What we can do is effect change through the party rule book.

I have been advised that a constitutional motion debated and voted for at the next Labour Party conference could transform the party for the better – regardless of who the leader is.

This is a model motion:

Constitutional motion for Conference: for CLPs to receive 50% of their members’ subscriptions
This CLP agrees with Appendix 1 of the Labour Party Rulebook (2019), which states:
‘We do not believe that social change can be delivered solely by a top-down approach.. It is our members who can inspire and engage local people and communities.’
Having lost a fourth consecutive General Election it is now time for Labour to earnestly pursue a recruitment and engagement campaign that can reinvigorate our party and our local communities.
To achieve this, we must place CLPs at the centre of a bold campaign and move our party’s focus away from the headquarters in London.
Local parties can be pivotal to local people and local community groups and campaigns but they simply cannot achieve this if they have no money.

This CLP therefore agree to send the following amendment as a rule change to this year’s Labour Party conference:

Delete Appendix 8 – NEC Statement – A minimum guarantee of support to CLPs

Replace Membership Rules, Clause IV, 7. with

‘7. In order to support CLP’s community engagement, while also providing for national and regional resources, each CLP will receive 50% of their member’s subscription fees.”

Please consider putting this forward at your next party meeting.

Here’s how we win again

Labour’s ‘People’s Vote’ policy on Brexit was the principal reason for the catastrophic General Election result. This was the main difference between the 2017 and 2019 manifestos and was key to Labour losing MPs in ‘Leave’ seats such as Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland, North West Durham, Barrow and Furness, Workington, Stoke-on-Trent (Central and North) and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

These are all seats where I have organised Stand up for Labour shows and it was very sad to see that the hard work put in by local activists was to no avail.

However, the Brexit policy was not the only reason for Labour’s defeat.

Polls taken since the election have shown that our poor performance had much to do with the unpopularity of our leader. The cause of this was undoubtedly a daily barrage of negative media that has been bolstered by Labour MPs disloyal to Jeremy Corbyn since 2015.

But Jeremy Corbyn is not unique in being an unpopular Labour leader.

With the exception of Tony Blair, ALL Labour leaders standing in General Elections since the 1970s have faced a biased media. James Callaghan was quoted out of context about the Winter of Discontent (‘What crisis?’); Michael Foot was ridiculed for his appearance and his age; Neil Kinnock was dubbed a ‘Welsh Windbag’ and photoshopped into a lightbulb; the media tore apart Gordon Brown for his appearance (especially his fake smile); and Ed Miliband was painted as a soft touch (despite his ‘tough’ protestations) who couldn’t eat a bacon sandwich.

So it was no surprise that after Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, he was ridiculed for the way he dressed and for having an allotment and, more seriously, was accused of being a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ and a ‘racist’.

Some post-election commentary has suggested that Jeremy Corbyn should have handled the media better, or that there should have been a stronger ‘rebuttal unit’. I don’t believe this would have made any difference at all. No Socialist leader is going to receive a fair press.

There will always be negative media about any Labour leader who sets out a radical programme.

Now that Jeremy Corbyn has decided to stand down, we are seeing new leadership candidates come forward and people are suggesting that a new leader will be the answer. There have also been suggestions that tweaking or dropping policies (ie conforming to the media’s preferred policy positions in some way) will turn things around. This is wishful thinking. Just look at what happened in 2015.

The only way Labour will not struggle with the media is if the leader and the party go to bed with Rupert Murdoch and other billionaire media moguls. This is what set Tony Blair apart from the other leaders. And it really is a revolting thought.

So, we have to accept that we cannot rely on the media to provide fair coverage of the Labour Party.

Does this mean that the political system is rigged?

It certainly supports the status quo, but this shouldn’t mean that we give up or that we cannot work constructively towards a fair society where people look out for each other.

So how can we fight for our communities when we are not in government?

Before and during the election campaign, much was said of the strength of our grassroots and our membership. It certainly was heartwarming to see hundreds and hundreds of people out canvassing in Putney, or Chingford, or Kensington. However this was mostly around the election period and the general public are rightly cynical about people knocking on their door a week or two before a vote.

Between 2015 and 2019, Labour did not do nearly enough to harness a grassroots movement.

The fact we have the largest membership of any party in western Europe has often been repeated but the reality is that most of these members are not active – and most only joined to vote in the leadership elections of 2015 and 2016.

And although we do have more members that other parties, we still don’t have enough. We really should have at least one million members. This is not even 2% of the population.

To reach one million members and to increase activism, we need a new vision of how what our grassroots does and what membership can offer.

A fundamental change needs to be made to the party’s financial structure.

We need to move our party’s focus away from the headquarters in London and need to properly fund local CLPs.

Local parties could be pivotal to local people and local community groups and campaigns but they simply can’t achieve this if they have no money.

There is no point employing Community Organisers if the groundforce has nothing to offer in resources.

At the moment many CLPs cannot afford to send delegates to the party conference and I have heard that there are branch meetings where members have to pay to take part (for a business meeting!). During the General Election, Stand up for Labour, Grace Petrie and Atilla the Stockbroker worked hard to plug the gap in local party finances but this is never going to be enough.

The graph below shows just how ludicrous Labour’s financial structure is.

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We need to balance out the amount allocated to CLPs and to head office so it is a 50:50 split. This is not only something that would be of benefit to local communities but it is the most just way to distribute membership subs. Almost all party activity is made at a local level so it is only right that local parties receive their fair share.

This would mean that each CLP would receive £25 for each member paying the full membership fee. A CLP with 1,000 members would, for example, receive up to £25,000 per year.

With this amount of money, local parties would be able to start thinking creatively about how they can support people in their boroughs, towns and villages.

CLP meetings would no longer be dull or acrimonious, but would be buzzing with positive ideas about what members can do practically.

With money behind them, CLPs could set up hubs that would be a centre of support for local people. These could also be run with the support of local trade union branches.

Foodbanks could be given a space, meals could be offered to the homeless, coffee mornings could be provided for isolated, older people and legal advice given to people struggling with debt.

Recovery groups could be given a cheap place to hold meetings; play groups could be set up for parents who want to get out with their pre-school children and meet up with other sleep deprived mums and dads. Yoga groups, meditation groups, the list goes on.

These could also be creative hubs, offering workspace for local people with studio space for local musicians or film makers.

And the social side of the party could be buzzing as CLPs would be able to hire venues and put on gigs, comedy nights, film nights and theatre productions. These shows could also generate a revenue of their own and offer more money for promotion via social media platforms.

To back these CLP initiatives, the national party could provide a networking platform. With this, CLPs could be twinned so that a CLP with a large membership (many London CLPs have over 2,000 members) would be able to help another CLP that needs support (I heard of a CLP in Derbyshire with under 500 members). This networking platform would give members all over the country information about where to go when they visit other CLPs as well as recommendations about where to stay, or even which tradesmen are recommended in a particular area.

All of these initiatives would make Labour a very attractive club to join. And would, in turn, generate more revenue from membership subscriptions. Local parties would be very keen to recruit more people as they would benefit with £25 per person who signs up.

With this new financial structure, the Labour Party would be able to extol the virtues of Socialism in practical ways and not just through pious speeches.

I’m certain this will bear fruit in future elections and, with steady progress, we could become the dominant party for decades to come.

To achieve this, all we would need is an amendment to the Labour Party constitution, setting out that CLPs receive 50% of all membership subscriptions.

The central party in London and regional offices could find that they lose no revenue at all if we double the number of members and, in the interim, they would still receive union affiliation money and be able to crowdfund from emails to all members across the country (as was done so successfully during the General Election campaign).

I am in the process of drawing up a model motion that can be put forward at this year’s Labour Party conference.

If you think that the proposal to change the Labour Party into a dynamic, grassroots organisation is worthwhile pursuing, please get in touch and I will send you the model motion so you can put it forward at your next CLP meeting.

 

 

 

Why Stand up for Labour is people powered

Labour nearly won the 2017 General Election because we were able to inspire and mobilise great numbers of people to get involved in canvassing. And we need to do exactly the same now.

Just like now, the opinion polls were unfavourable in 2017 and Theresa May went into that election with the attitude that it was a formality she would win.

She wasn’t alone in this outlook as even some Labour bigwigs had given up before it had even started. As we saw in the BBC documentary ‘The Summer that Changed Everything’, MPs felt that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign was going to fail dismally and were caught with gaping jaws on election night.

The result of the election was down to activists, not the top guns in the Labour Party.

People in Labour’s headquarters undertook a strategy of minimising losses in seats and they didn’t even attempt to win seats that Labour ended up as victors (ie Hastings & Rye, Kensington, Bedford, Canterbury).

Luckily for us all, activists knew not to trust party officials and we just got on campaigning.

My spirit at the time – reflected in many others – was that it didn’t really matter what people said about our chances, I was going to do all I could to push for a Corbyn-led Labour government. It was a matter of fighting for what we believed in regardless of the consequences.

I feel the same now, even though we are supposed to be in a party run by Corbyn-supporting officials.

Top-down doesn’t work

From what I’ve seen – both from my own experience and that of other members – is that we still have a top-down party structure. The party have thrown significant sums of money at employing organisers who they believe can win us key marginals. This strategy was used in 2015 and did not pay off because the party was too complacent.

It’s not just about organising people, it’s about creating a buzz around the party. 

Inspiring people in this way is what paid off so much in 2017 and I want to be part of this again with Stand up for Labour.

Between 2015 and 2017, I put on over 100 variety shows all over the country and these played a part in bringing people together and also encouraging them to canvass, deliver leaflets, share social media and donate to the party coffers.

The only way I have been able to keep these shows going is through a combination of union sponsorship (from Unite, the CWU, the FBU, Aslef, TSSA and the Baker’s Union), and retaining some ticket revenue from shows.

This strategy has been hit in two ways: firstly, government restrictions have significantly reduced the amount of money that unions can donate to political parties and, secondly, CLPs are so skint that it is not really possible to keep ticket money to cover my costs.

As much as I’d like to protest against this situation and bemoan the lack of fight, I have had to accept it.

That is why I have started a crowdfunder.

I am asking for £7,000, which will cover all the costs of the performers as well as my running costs for up to 10 shows. So far, nearly 60 people have donated over £1,600 and, in return for this, I am writing an epic poem including a line dedicated to each generous donor.  You can hear this poem here.

Donations can be made through clicking this link.

Revolutionising Labour membership

Living with no job security, hardly any safety net, no savings for the future, worries about healthcare and monthly struggles with bills is tough.

But feeling there is no chance of changing this situation and that politics has nothing to offer makes things even more depressing.

This is the sad reality for millions of people in this country. There may be some people who vote in elections, but putting a cross in a box every few years is hardly participating in politics.

Our adversarial political system favours political parties, so it is only by joining a political party that anyone can really make a difference.

And the stark reality is that only 1% of the UK population have signed up with a party.

It should be a requirement of all the major political parties in this country that they reach out to as many people as possible and increase the level of participation. That this hasn’t happened is down to a collective failure to open up politics to more people.

It does not fill me with joy that the Conservative Party membership is under 125,000. This means that fewer than 0.25% of the population participate in shaping the governing party of this country. This leads to less accountability and less opportunity for people to influence local and national policy.

I could just point the finger at the Conservative Party and say that their situation is deplorable. But I’m not enthralled by the level of participation in the Labour Party either.

More than just the leader

A recent smear campaign by hostile media has suggested that Labour has lost over 100,000 members in the past year or so (so down to about 500,000). It has been spun as an indication that Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity has waned. This has been rebuffed by party officials, but the question is why should membership of a party appear as an endorsement of the leader?

Are members of a political party just fans of the leadership? If this is all party membership is about, I totally understand why people are unwilling to pay a subscription to join. It’s a lot of money to pay for just that.

I think this illustrates why so few people have joined political parties.

For some reason, the parties can’t think up ways to encourage people to join them.

As someone who has met thousands of members across the country since I started Stand up for Labour, I have ideas that would not cost the party much (if any) and would:

  • lead to a massive influx of members
  • improve democratic participation
  • build stronger communities
  • improve people’s mental and physical health

Attraction of members

The first thing that strikes me about the Labour Party is the number of decent, warm and friendly people who are members.

Labour members are incredibly attractive people. I see this at every Stand up for Labour show. These are people who are good to be around: friendly, decent, considerate of others.

And there are real heroes out there who make the party an attractive place to be.

The problem with the Labour Party – as it is run – is these kind, warm people are really only given business meetings in which to express themselves.

Business meetings are not only terribly formal and antiquated, but they also promote conflict as they are full of votes on this and that. Anyone who is introduced to the Labour Party by a business meeting is likely to see a room full of formal – sometimes pompous sounding – people who tend to argue and bicker about anything and everything.

I’m not suggesting that we don’t have business meetings as these are vital to party democracy, but they shouldn’t be anything like the be-all and end-all of local party activity.

Local parties offer some alternatives to business meetings. These are usually fundraisers such as dinners, or there may be a social every few months (like a barbecue in the summer). These events are run by volunteers who often have no experience of running events and are not seen as a priority by the party locally or nationally.

These social events should assume far more importance and there should be more of them. Through social events, people will see the real qualities of Labour members and, if these are well run, people will want to join the party to be part of their local Labour fellowship. For these to work, local CLPs need support from people who have experience of running successful social events.

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Spreading the net

The Labour Party has a fantastic network. This has a lot to offer but we are totally neglecting it.

As an example of this, I had a summer holiday booked in Suffolk a few years ago and I had no idea what activities I could offer my young daughter. As I had put on a Stand up for Labour show in Lowestoft earlier that year, I wrote to the candidate there and asked if he had any advice for where to go. What I received was local knowledge that would be the envy of any holidaymaker: the best fish and chip shops, the best local excursions and the best beach.

If Labour were to create a mechanism for members to communicate across regions and share information about all areas of life, this resource would be in heavy demand. To further illustrate this, there would be opportunities for members to list recommended local plumbers, mechanics, etc (some of whom may be members themselves). These would, in a sense, be ‘Labour approved’. And this information would only be known to members.

There could even be a ‘Labour Airbnb’, where Labour members could be assured they were staying with like-minded people and those hosting others would be confident that they would get on!

This network of Labour members could be bolstered further by having ‘Labour Hangouts’ in every constituency (or branch).

These would be cafes, pubs or restaurants where local Labour members were encouraged to spend time. If a list of these were available to Labour members then they would feel confident about where to go when they were in another town or city. They would also fill a hole in our communities, where many people feel isolated and stay indoors rather than go out. We would also build a rapport with local businesses this way.

Creating a booming network creates endless opportunities. Sports and recreational leagues could be set up: 5-a-side football, darts, snooker, even a fundraising marathon set up by the Labour Party.

members only

Exclusive online content

Labour’s online presence could benefit from reinforcing the positive image of the Labour community. This could include features on real Labour heroes in different communities, biographies of remarkable members and Labour figures from the past. This would be a relentless output of positive content about what the Labour Party has achieved and the fabulous people who shaped the party through history (like ‘Labour Heroes’). These videos should only be made available to Labour members (I support Fulham Football Club and I can only watch highlights of their matches and features if I pay a membership fee).

With a focus on the positive aspects of the party and promoting the Labour Party network, the Labour Party will see membership soar. And membership figures will not fluctuate according to who is the leader – or be open to that interpretation. People will join Labour because it is the best social club to be in and because we have such brilliant people.

A more harmonious party structure

None of this can be achieved by the grassroots alone. The branches and CLPs will need support through an improved party machine and there will need to be more communication with the central party.

A revolutionised Labour Party will bring real benefits not just to Labour’s chances of winning future elections, but will also prompt the other political parties to emulate us. We will then achieve a far healthier democracy and society.

 

Labour must campaign earnestly everywhere

The Labour Party is now in a position where it can build solid foundations in every city, town and village in the country. With a commitment to grassroots activity, Labour could create strong community ties that will last generations and provide a firm bedrock from which we can flower and grow.

To achieve this, Labour must ditch some of the short-term thinking that has undermined its support in many towns and villages.

For decades, Labour concentrated all resources only on ‘key seats’. This has meant that Labour supporters in ‘unwinnable’ towns and villages have been asked to ditch their local concerns and campaign in a neighbouring, more marginal constituency.

The rationale behind focusing on ‘winnable’ seats was purely a lack of numbers on the ground. A party with under 200,000 members simply did not have enough active people to attempt to win every seat.

Seats – or even wards in council elections – have been identified as ‘unwinnable’ and ‘paper candidates’ have been put up (ie not really a serious candidate – just there on paper).

Why bother to put up candidates when there has been no campaigning on the ground and there is no expectation of winning (especially when this costs a fair amount of money)? The answer is that it is good for Labour’s image to be seen to be standing everywhere regardless of whether they win and so people have a choice to vote Labour.

I now think it’s time to move one step further with this approach. 

Why don’t we stand candidates in every ward and seat and actually earnestly campaign in those wards and seats – so that people in those communities know that Labour really does have a presence everywhere?

We now have over 600,000 members and many of those members are in ‘unwinnable’ seats. We need to energise those members and not make them feel like they are simply paying a subscription that will help Labour win in marginal seats.

Last year’s General Election saw many new towns – and villages – emerge as possible Labour strongholds of the future.

Bournemouth, for example, has a large Labour membership that were inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and is now working hard to overturn two formerly ‘unwinnable’ Tory seats. Young local activists like Henry Land are enthusiastically campaigning during the local elections as they build up to the next General Election. The Stand up for Labour event in Bournemouth had an attendance of over 150 people and it was supported by three trade unions plus a local business (Unicorn) (see picture above).

Henry Land is not alone in wanting to transform Labour’s fortunes in formerly ‘unwinnable’ seats.

In Aldershot, Hampshire, Alex Crawford and Hashim Hassan promoted a very successful Stand up for Labour show in March and, in May, Stand up for Labour is putting on shows in Minehead (West Somerset) as well as North Walsham (North Norfolk) and Alton (East Hampshire).

Policies needed

It would benefit these CLPs if the party could also push forward policies that would benefit rural areas. The recent Fabians report, ‘How Labour can reconnect with the countryside’, shows that Labour has a poor image in these communities. The report calls for commitments to improve transport, broadband and supporting small business. These policies would not only increase Labour’s popularity in these seats but would pressure the government into improving services that would benefit local residents for generations to come.

With a combination of ‘rural-proof’ policies and a large group of activists Labour can potentially win everywhere.

  • You can buy tickets for Stand up for Labour through the website.

Can the Labour Party come together?

One of the reasons why politics gets a bad name is that politicians will argue about anything. It’s as though they are looking for reasons not to get on, rather than seeking to do the best for their community or the country.

Put simply this is called looking for the differences and not the similarities.

I suppose this wouldn’t be a big issue if we were just talking about Labour politicians disagreeing with Tories. But it does become a problem when it is people from within the Labour Party attacking each other.

Personalities not principles

Factions can be created from votes for positions within the party. Some people become attached to one candidate against another and make this into a matter of principle. This certainly was the case with Jeremy Corbyn standing for leader of the Labour Party and with the second leadership election. Since he was elected, many members of the Labour Party have fallen out – just over a vote for who is the leader of the party.

But it doesn’t just have to be a leadership election, some people have built up resentments against each other for elections for positions in the Labour Party, for council selection or MP selection.

It’s as though every internal election causes more division and, in doing so, makes unity harder.

Show of hands

Everything goes to a vote

Another reason why there are rifts is that every decision in the Labour Party has to go to a vote. In Labour Party branches and CLPs people will vote on anything from whether the minutes are correct to how much money should be spent on the Christmas Social. This isn’t actually always necessary and can lead to unnecessary divisions.

Consensus decision-making is a method of including the input of all so that decisions may address all potential concerns. This creates a greater cohesion within the group. With this method, because everyone has their voice heard, those who are uncomfortable with a particular decision can be persuaded by the force of the argument of comrades and not by the number of hands in the air (often many are not persuaded that something is right or wrong because they lost a vote).

Divisions built on fear

The consequence of factions being formed on the back of votes – whether for positions of power or for any other issue – is that these factions start to distance themselves from each other. This involves talking negatively about the other faction and finding a solidarity with others solely on the basis of this animosity.

So the rifts start to feel intractable.

This seems to be happening in the Labour Party now with a few groups arguing in public about issues like the composition of the National Executive Committee.

What’s being done to unite the party?

There are a few people saying ‘the party must be united’ if we are to win. But there is nothing being done. And the Labour Party itself isn’t going to admit that there are factions as it is not in its interest to do so.

In fact, many of the factions within the party are actually holding meetings in which they are quite publicly saying they wish to take control of the party or take back control. This is only going to escalate divisions.

Laughing audience

Finding common ground

My experience of Stand up for Labour has shown me that social events are a great way to get people together. At Stand up for Labour,  people from all sides of the party are united in laughter and we find our common cause within the Labour Party family. We are able to see that we are a broad church and that we all want to work towards Labour coming back to government and winning local elections.

I believe that Labour members actually agree about most things.

We all want a society where there is no need for foodbanks, we all want the NHS to be properly funded so that everyone has access to good healthcare, and we all want our education system to provide an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We believe that jobs should be available that are well-paid and secure and we also believe that we should have decent, genuinely affordable housing for all.

Issues that are disagreed about, such as defence and foreign policy, fiscal policy, PFI schemes and nationalisation should be discussed openly and the weight of arguments should make the difference not tactical manoeuvres at meetings. I’m sure that if all members felt that their opinions were taken into account then there would be no fallout from policy decision making.

Curry for Corbyn picture 1

A unifying event

On Sunday the 4th of March, I am putting on a curry evening that will involve a discussion on how people see the future of the Labour Party. This discussion will include policy matters as well as party campaigns and organisation. I am writing to all of these groups to invite them:

Blue Labour, Chartist, CLPD, Compass, Co-Operative Party, Fabians, Labour First, Labour Future, LRC, Momentum, Open Labour, Progress, Tribune and all the affilliated trade unions.

The rules of the discussion will be that no one is to speak without using the handheld mic, that no one hogs the mic and that there are no personal attacks or heckling. We can then have a proper discussion and not get indigestion from the curry.

My hope is that some headway may be made towards party unity through the act of being in the same room and breaking naan together.

  • Tickets for ‘Breaking Naan’ will be available to all Labour supporters in the next two weeks.

 

 

 

Strengthening CLPs is key to future victory

The results from 8 June showed that a strong presence on the ground is the perfect counter to biased, pro-Conservative media. What I saw on the last day of the campaign was incredible numbers of activists out in west London, bringing with them amazing victories in Ealing Central & Acton and Brentford & Isleworth.

At the Curry for Corbyn discussion last week it was clear that London was very well served by activists. Kensington, Battersea, City of London, Croydon, Chipping Barnet – Labour members from all of these seats talked about the same numbers on the ground.

We have to replicate what happened in London in other areas of the country.

Stand up for Labour is asking Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) to get in touch (contact admin@standupforlabour.co.uk if interested) if they wish to put on a fundraiser. The General Election has depleted funds and there is a strong possibility that another election is on the way in the next year.

A comedy night with local films, poetry and music is also an ideal way to re-mobilise members and supporters. And it’s a great introduction for the thousands of people who have joined since the General Election.

One of the most uplifting aspects of the last General Election campaign was the return of party unity. Labour delivered a fantastic set of policies that we could all be proud of – and were very popular. It’s now time that we talk up party unity and the programme put forward in the manifesto and start to turn marginals into Labour gains. A good way to do this is to bring all members together for an affordable social that raises valuable funds.