Thoughts on the Labour Party and the UK
I don’t have all the answers but I hope this can help to find a way forward for Labour
We need to make sure that we capture the spirit of this era. This is key to winning. Jeremy Corbyn is riding part of a popular wave of rebellion. We need to broaden the appeal. It needs to reach more young people and older working class people to win. Brexit has changed the feeling I think- people want a change and a party that will listen and stand up for them. We need to focus on a positive future.
Jeremy Corbyn’s strength is the fact that he is a democrat and listens to people. In that sense this is not about him but about us. He must however come over as sober and judicious, with clear messaging.
The core message can be simple and boiled down to democracy. It must be about giving people a say in government (devolution); having a say in the workplace together with a more equal society and greater investment. It must be about the people feeling listened to rather than individuals at the top doing everything.
Crucially the party must be unified. I believe this is possible for Labour to be led from the left. In fact I think this is vital now- this is the change/future now. Jeremy Corbyn must reach out and listen as much as possible to the colleagues from the centre of the party and vice versa. A unified message must be created with a strong shadow cabinet- some big names must be involved to legitimise the unity (e.g Ed Miliband). Maybe involvement from people like Gordon Brown (who usually has some decent ideas).
· Clear messaging to be heard. Bernie Sanders in the US was relentless with his message on inequality, health, investment and getting money out of politics.
· An internet media channel (like the Young Turks in the states) which can initially reach out to young people and then create a further reach.
· Celebrity help on the TV/radio.
· Big music names at events?
· As much TV exposure as possible with a unified message.
· Big campaigns on certain issues
· A focus that Labour will bring back some securities of the past (1945 government) along with policies to embrace the future of work and democracy.
· We need to supercharge campaigning in every marginal constituency as well as a progressive alliance in these areas. This campaigning should be constant, not just at election time- posters, street stalls, local media, events with big name MP visits.
· Target the campaigning on the key constituencies so our policies match the issues that local people have in the particular constituency.
· We have to have really clear policies on the core issues so the people door knocking have good replies to concerns.
Policy- General Aims
· The focus must be on democracy- political and economic. People having their say, greater equality and investment, government for the people not the 1% elites.
· Jeremy Corbyn’s ten point plan is a good start on investment, housing, jobs and health.
· We must also create new policies to aim for the future- especially how work will look like. The focus must be on better trade policies and how to create jobs due to technological displacement of existing jobs.
· Trident- this issue has to be sorted out. The majority of the country does not favour unilateral disarmament as yet however we need a strong multilateralism and look at the lowest cost for this. People will favour this.
I suggest an independent review so that we can remove the nukes when the threats are deemed low. To reduce costs perhaps use the existing Astute subs or underground bunkers for the nukes so we can maybe meet international obligations? This can be part of multilateral disarmament efforts with Russia and US.
· Make clear we are not pacifists but war must be absolutely the last resort and in accordance with international law and where possible with the UN.
· Full support for armed service personnel- financial and medical including mental health.
· This has to be progressive. The fact is the birth rate is relatively low (1.8 per couple) so immigration is needed but it needs to be managed well. We need to make sure however that British people are given training/apprenticeships as much as possible so they have the access to work, along with investment throughout the country.
· People must be given confidence that the issue is a priority and being managed. If so they will accept it plus refugees.
· Migrant impact fund and focussing on preventing low wage exploitation is right to focus on.
· European Freedom of movement — I think this should remain otherwise I think illegal migration will just rise. We need to show that we are working with other countries so they are stable in terms of wages. Difficult but we have to try!
· English lessons to be encouraged and well funded as well as much integration as possible. Maybe a national holiday for Britain which encourages everyone to meet each other?!!
· Let’s take patriotism back from the right. Let’s focus on a unified UK- more democracy and investment for all regions!!
My guess is that Jeremy Corbyn will win the leadership election. He has done a lot of good but he must reach out. Be humble- where mistakes have been made admit it- on both sides.
Unity is vital now and if Jeremy is elected then he must be taken seriously and respected by the Parliamentary Labour Party- PLEASE!!!!
All the best to everyone who is interested in this — please stop the online abuse, come together and move forward!!
Mike (Labour Party Member)