Tories

Marshalling for the ‘missing million’

First published on Progressonline

The priority of every Labour politician on television, radio and local media must be to make clear that the government has made a choice on tax credit cuts, that there is still time to change their minds, and that just a two year delay – elequently pointed out by Rachel Reeves yesterday – could limit the impact for so many.

However, in their constituencies, local parties and liaison with councillors and officials, the priority for Labour’s representatives must be electoral registration. Finding the ‘Missing Million’ could make a huge difference to the country, the poorest people and the fortunes of the Labour party. (more…)

The trade union bill – unnecessary, centralising, sectarian

Lots has changed this weekend. One that has not is the Tory government’s attempt to destroy Labour, and the movement with which we share a name, history and future.

And the first thing on the agenda as we emerge from a long leadership election is the trade union bill – the second reading is tonight.

And on this, this party is as one. The government’s proposals hit at the heart of our movement – attacking the very organising ability of trade unions, their rights to support political parties, and workers’ right to strike – the last resort protection of working Britain against unreasonable employers. (more…)

Debate: The Coalition Government Has Failed

A debate organised by KCL Politics Society and New Turn, in partnership with KCL Conservative Society and KCL Labour Society. Under the title ‘Have the coalition failed?’ the event took place 6.30pm on 22 October 2013 in room B5, Franklin Wilkins building, Waterloo.

Proposition: Richard Angell, former national chair of Young Labour, and Sam Coates, out-going co-chair of the Young Greens.

Opposition: Oliver Cooper, chairman of Conservative Futures, and Joshua Dixon, executive committee of Liberal Youth.

* It is worth noting that the event was only an all-male panel due to sickness of one of the speakers on the day

Our island story

First published in Progress magazine

Straight after the local elections Labour will embark on selecting its first 26 candidates for general election 2015, all in seats we lost at the last election which have been designated ‘island’ seats, unlikely to be adjacent to other Labour seats after the forthcoming boundary review. In every constituency the Labour candidate will be up against incumbent Tories, apart from one Liberal Democrat, in Norwich South. Spread across the south, Midlands and eastern England, they are key targets for Labour and tests for the leadership. We must win all of these to gain a Labour majority in the next parliament.

Being selected so early in a parliament has obvious downsides – it is going to be a long old slog till the next election. But those willing to grasp the nettle have a unique opportunity to prove themselves and trial a new style of organising.

Selection for these seats will provide a vital voice for Labour in areas where we currently go unheard. With Cambridgeshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire all without a single Labour MP, those willing to start campaigning now will deliver real change locally. Important seats like Crawley, Dover, Harlow, Hove, Ipswich and Waveney are miles away from any Labour MP’s route home to their constituencies, so visits there from shadow cabinet members and MPs are going to take extra effort, time and resources. Just having candidates in place making these demands of the upper echelons of the party will push their seats up the agenda. We desperately need to reacquaint ourselves with voters in these regions and motivate new and existing party members to fight back for Labour. (more…)

The truth behind the Tories’ pro-gay rhetoric

First published on Progressonline in the Young progressives column

The Tories have been falling over themselves to demonstrate their new ‘pro-gay’ credentials as a symbol that they are no longer the nasty party. But it is on their more recent record that they should be judged.

Many gay people will never forget that Tory Hate made Section 28, but people cannot deny that the rhetoric at least has changed – Cameron will do interviews with Gay Times, Boris will attend Pride. Though their words have altered, the lobby door they walk through has not! (more…)