Meet the Exec - National Coordinator and Welsh Officer

Get to know our National Coordinator, Tom Laing, and our newly co-opted Welsh Officer Daniel Jones, in the latest instalment of ‘Meet the Exec 21/22’.

Tom Laing - National Coordinator

How did you first get involved in politics?

I first got involved in politics upon seeing the impact of austerity under the Tory coalition government. I witnessed first hand how Tory and Lib Dem cuts led to vital services for young people and those with disabilities particularly groups that supported people with hidden disabilities where lost. This motivated me to join Labour not long after turning 14 immediately becoming involved in campaigning.

What made you join and get involved with the Young Fabians?

I joined the Young Fabians shortly after joining Labour, I wanted to meet other young progressives and help shape policies. The Young Fabians offer a safe space for young members to explore and develop the progressive ideas of the future that will shape the work of the next Labour Government. However due to the heavy London centricity of the Young Fabians at the time I was unable to get involved; however with the pandemic and the establishment of regional groups, I became involved in founding the North West Young Fabians.

What are your aims for the year ahead in your position?

As the National Coordinator, I want to work with regions and nations groups to get them meeting regularly and hopefully get them operating and achieving the things that they want to do and achieve. I want to see Regions and Nations groups exploring what they see their role is and helping them achieve that ambition. I also want to establish a better idea of where our members are at University so we can allow University groups to really flourish this year.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?

If I were Prime Minister for one day I would, much to everyone’s surprise here I would not actually reform our voting system. Rather legislate to bring forward changes to education to deliver a completely integrated national education system in which vocational courses are put on equal terms to academic subjects and to allow people who find themselves made redundant are able to get reskilled in new areas to take advantage of new job opportunities that will come from the green jobs of the future, ensuring that no one is left behind by the new technological revolution we are living through.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with a Labour MP, who would it be and why?

If I became stranded on a desert island I would definitely want to be stranded with Luke Pollard because he is easily the best of the 2017 intake and as an active member of Labour coast and country, Luke would offer a lot to help out on this desert island.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or ten duck sized horses, and why?

Definitely rather take on one horse sized duck probably because ducks don’t have hooves with which to fight back plus a horse sized duck would probably be the closest we would come to seeing a non-avian dinosaur alive (anyone who knows me should know that aside from discussing the finer points of constitutional reform I love nothing more than discussing the non-avian dinosaurs) and I think it would be too fascinating not to study.

With regional/national group AGMs under way, you can contact Tom at [email protected] or find them on Twitter at @TomLaing14.

Daniel Jones - Welsh Officer

How did you first get involved in politics?

I’ve always had an interest in politics but was pretty focused on my studies early on. I did join Labour and started campaigning ahead of the 2015 General Election at University (less said about the results the better!). I’ve since been focusing on medical politics and trade union work with the BMA.

What made you join and get involved with the Young Fabians?

I’ve been very heartened by the direction of Welsh and UK Labour since 2019 so decided to get involved again. The Fabians are vital for generating sensible, progressive policies and it’s so important to have a youth voice in there. Again, I’ve been very impressed by both since joining and so decided to get further involved when this opportunity arose.

What are your aims for the year ahead in your position?

A launch event to get the group going again and then building a solid foundation for the future. I’ll be looking to work closely with Fabians Cymru and want to eventually return to quarterly meetings. I’ll also aim to hold an AGM to elect a Gweithgor (Steering Committee) going forwards. We’ll hopefully then be able to go from strength to strength in the coming years.

I’m also keen to embed the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act in all our work and develop some future-oriented ideas and policies for Wales. Finally, I’ll also be looking to promote Cymraeg (the Welsh language) through this forum too.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?

Nerdy but I’d do an all-day sitting of both houses to pass a UK-wide Future Generations Act (with the Welsh one as a template). We need to move to a sustainable and wellbeing-oriented approach as soon as possible and such an Act is a key driver for that. This shouldn’t be partisan and so I hope it would shape the politics of many governments to come.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with a Labour MP, who would it be and why?

Senedd Group aside, Jo Stevens, a genuinely lovely person, and a very effective politician. My culture and language are important to me so it’s a great bonus she’s Welsh (and a hwntw to boot) and she’s already done a great job standing up for Wales as Shadow Secretary. She was also my local MP when I was living in central Cardiff and so I know firsthand that she’s engaged with her locality and cares about the issues affecting it.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or ten duck sized horses, and why?

Definitely the ten duck sized horses! Still not great I admit but the thought of a scaled-up duck bill snapping at you coupled with the fact that it can fly is terrifying.

To contact Daniel, you can email him at [email protected]

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