5 Challenges to the Party
Last Sunday at Conference, the Young Fabians launched their “Future of the Labour Party” pamphlet – the culmination of a summer long listening campaign, which reached out to hundreds of Young Fabians members and young people around the country.
The pamphlet issues 5 challenges to the Party:
- Develop a new cadre of diverse leaders - The party must support leaders from all sections of society and increase diversity from the grassroots up
- Develop a compelling vision for the future of the country - We must stick to a clear and consistent message, one that can reach beyond our traditional base and be a clear alternative to the Conservatives
- Master the art of digital communication - Is the Party fully equipped to deal with the age of digital?
- Connect local activism to policy making - The Party must create mechanisms to re-connect the party leadership to the issues members care about at the grassroots
- Change the world from Opposition - We need to act now and use the powers we have from Opposition to build a better Britain now
The event showcased a number of big ideas from across Labour’s youth movement and encouraged audience members to engage with the key challenges of the pamphlet.
Ivan Lewis MP was asked to respond to the challenges. He criticised Labour’s poor record on diversity and encouraged us to think about what Britain will look like in 2020. He also inspired us with examples of when Labour had successfully changed the world from Opposition.
Steve Morrison, founder of the Use Your Voice campaign, spoke to us about increasing our agency. He used his experience to highlight the power of social media in engaging young people and the importance of connecting people from different sectors who can support each other in their goals.
Some of the big ideas pitched that were pitched by our other speakers include:
- Michael Rubin, Chair of Labour Student – Students are the future of the Labour Party. Go on to campuses and engage with students. Build national campaigns with them and give them the tools to become leaders of the future
- Beth Miller, Young Labour Women’s Officer – Parliamentary Candidates often struggle financially. They need to be supported, particularly if we want to encourage more women into the Party. We begin a consultation process which looks into options for supporting candidates financially. One option could be to pay candidates the living wage for 2 days per week then put a levy on their salary once they become MPs.
- Johnson Situ, Peckham Councillor – Politics and politicians need to originate from communities. We need to empower local wards so that we have community-based and diverse leaders and so that we are fighting on the right issues. We need to start from now to win the trust of communities.
- Josh Groves, Birmingham Labour Students Secretary & organiser for Jess Philips MP – Much of organising is boring; however we need to inspire volunteers, get them in and keep them in. We also need to really listen and understand what people really want not what we hope they want.
We then had breakout sessions to critically engage with the 5 challenges. Some of the issues that were raised include:
- Can you train someone to be a leader? How can CLPs change to encourage diversity?
- How do you respond to the increasingly fragmented nature of people’s lives and communities? How do you reach out and bring them together?
- Digital strategies need to be diverse and take advantage of different medium to meet people’s needs.
- What can we lessons can we learn about the effectiveness of community organising from the last election? Without a decent policy platform, is community organising an effective electoral strategy alone?
- It’s important to connect with the grassroots and people outside our usual comfort zone.
Now that we have issues these five challenges, the Young Fabians want to continue to develop our thinking on the Future of Labour Party.
The questions now it “What next?” How do we support the Party to take action to address these challenges for a brighter 2020.
Download the Pamphlet here: http://ow.ly/SSLpd