Fist published on LabourList
No one will believe that two weeks ago I agreed to guest edit LabourList – I am sure it would be more popular to declare that I have ousted Derek Draper – but the truth is that in the run up to the Labour party’s Youth Conference this Saturday there is a passion and enthusiasm that should not go unexplored.
This debate comes at a low point for Labour blogging, in a week where we have all seen the worst excesses of politics and politicians on every front page in the country. But our young contributors give hope, a promise of change and a vision for what’s next and how we go forward.
This an exciting opportunity to get Young Labour and youngish Labour members profiled as the people who are policy driven, idealistic and responsive to the needs of everyday Britain. It is only on the left that a synergy of passion and values come together to campaign for progress, justice and modernity. This has never been more important.
Sadly our youth movement has never fully recovered from its Militant takeover some 20 years ago. By too many it is treated with suspicion or as a recruitment ground for the Bennite left.
But what today’s leadership of Young Labour and the diverse set of contributions show is that Young Labour is a wealth of ideas and activism, that behind our words are hundreds of young people campaigning and engaged in their community as volunteers, school governors and local councillors. Today there is a spirit and idealism that will transcend the pessimism of some, reject the defeatism of others and build Labour a path to its future.
Our young members – from every corner of the Labour Movement – are on the whole proud to have been bought up with a progressive Government in office, but each hold an expectation that we can always do better. We make no apology for being Labour supporting and equally have no apprehension about setting some challenges for where we go next.
Young Labour is back off its knees and wanting to win. The next election is a fight worth having and winning – today will show that not only are Young Labour and Labour Student members the foot soldiers of the Labour Party, but that we are also the thought soldiers of the Labour Party.
Richard Angell is the chair of Young Labour and guestedit of LabourList ahead of Youth conference