It is an exciting and daunting challenge for me to take on the editorship of Anticipations against the backdrop of recent changes in the world. The UK voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump is president elect of the United States, and many of Labour’s sister parties in Europe join us hesitantly watching the rise of the “alt-right”.
In my years here in this House I have long heard the Labour Party ask: what does the Conservative Party do for women? It just keeps making us prime minister.’
Theresa May’s first PMQs identified a terribly kept secret - the fact that Labour is failing women.
Nowhere was this better demonstrated than during Angela Eagle’s six-day leadership bid.
Yesterday was the first full day of campaigning with the Florida Democratic Party.
Day 2 of the Young Fabian Campaign Delegation to Orlando, Florida began with a bustle of energy and enthusiasm. We launched our delegation with a visit to the local organising branch of the Clinton Campaign on East Colonial Road in the centre of Orlando. A full briefing on the city, the local issues and candidates followed and we enjoyed a thorough introduction to our work ahead.
We were excited to fly into Orlando, Florida and begin the final half of the Young Fabians Operation Stop Trump delegation.
The alternative right or Alt-Right, is growing right wing element, centred in the US. The ‘CEO’ of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is Steve Bannon, a prominent Alt-righter. This gives the movement credence and is arguably the de-facto political ideology of Trump.
For me and many others in Britain, Mental Health is an incredibly personal and important topic. The fact is Mental Health is a subject that most people can say they’ve had some kind of experience with. 1 in 4 people experience Mental Health issues in Britain, so whether it’s someone you know, or something you deal with yourself, it is a topic that most can relate to in some way. It is also something that people tend to shy away from; but they really shouldn’t. Even though at this moment in time Mental Health may be considered somewhat taboo or misunderstood, talking about Mental Health requires frank and open discussion that is conducted in a friendly manner. That is the way to beat the ever present stigma.
Even those most critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s concede that he is winning the battle on selective education, both within the party and in Parliament. At pre-conference PMQs we were presented with an ideological battle between two Grammar School alumni. Jeremy Corbyn - against on the grounds that social segregation is wrong; and Theresa May - in favour on the grounds that her present success is directly attributable to her education.
In the year I was born, a wall signifying the geopolitical divide between two global superpowers collapsed and Margaret Thatcher, the then British Prime minister had cemented a neoliberal consensus that would outlast a generation. That year was 1989 and since then the world has changed beyond recognition, globalisation has brought the world closer together as well as creating huge divisions in wealth and opportunity. Neoliberalism an economic system which was once praised is showing signs of terminal decline.
It is no secret that politics has a women problem. We may have a female Prime Minister but with 29% of Members of Parliament being women, equality has a fair way to go – and the Labour Party is still finding itself behind in this regard too. Much has been written about this, including by me in the last edition of this magazine, but it needs to be spoken about and challenged again and again. To end the Young Fabians’ executive year, and in time for party conference, I therefore wanted to put an issue I feel strongly about front and centre. So this edition of Anticipations is about looking at women in politics and in positions of power leading in their field.
Right now it’s a tough time for politics in the Labour Party, and it’s a tough time for women in politics. Never in my twenty years of Labour Party membership have I seen the kind of abuse and misogyny that our friends and colleagues are experiencing today.
The dismal state of centre-left politics worldwide left me in resigned despair. Charles Dickens inspired me to re-engage. Us Fabians are in dark days and hope is needed.