Abdi Duale discusses why he thinks a Young Fabian should give their first preference to Lisa Nandy.
Voting in the Labour leadership has now commenced with results expected on April 4. There is no doubting that the level of debate has been refreshing, but for me Lisa Nandy has proven to be the unexpected star of this election. She went from not being widely known to most Labour members and voters to surging up in the opinion polls with the latest predictions placing her in the last two contenders alongside Sir Keir Starmer.
As a Young Fabian I’ve been impressed with Lisa Nandy’s Fabian values of gradualism and her deep understanding of the reasons we lost the 2019 election. Many of the problems were not unforeseen, our manifesto reinforced a perception that our pledges were simply a wishlist. People didn’t believe we could deliver on our promises and in some instances they were questioning why we were making certain policies a priority at all. The Fabians have a proud history of believing in gradualism, I believe this is something the wider public also hold true, change cannot be delivered over night and if we are to learn anything from the defeats in 2015, 2017 and 2019 is that less is more.
Labour’s media performance in the 2019 general election was also noticeably poor. In only two months, Lisa has proven to be a phenomenal media performer, having taken on the difficult questions from Andrew Neil and put Piers Morgan back in his box, she’s not full of soundbites but speaks from the heart. And throughout this leadership election Lisa has proven that you can stay true to your Labour values and address the concerns many Labour voters had with our manifesto, Leadership and division as a party. Leadership is accepting the difficult decisions that need to be made even if that sometimes means going against the views of Labour members.
Winning in 2024 isn’t going to be an easy task and changing the man at the top will only send a message to voters - who turned their back on us for their first time - that we don’t want to change. Labour’s proud coalition of working-class voters in metropolitan areas and in the former industrial towns can only be reconciled by a leader who understands that to win Labour shouldn’t solely focus on the ‘red wall’ but the red bridge that connects Dagenham to Darlington and Walthamstow to Wrexham.
Lisa ‘s tenacity, courage and ability to speak truth to power is something I believe will propel our party back into government. Voting for Lisa isn’t the easy choice in this election but a brave one and if we are serious about overturning this mammoth tory majority and pick ourselves up from our worst defeat in nearly a century, then the brave choice is the only choice.