1 July 2020, Brian Singer, Hexham CLP Vice-Chair, Membership
This debate over the future of our movement has been a vitally important one – but now, as an organisation, we’ve got to turn that vision into a reality.
We’re facing an oncoming wave of crises: from a pandemic to unemployment, police racism and climate change. There is no going back to ‘business as usual’.
The challenge ahead of us is to invent a new normal – one that breaks decisively with an economic system that values profit over human life.
The Labour party is a broad church but we must work together and promote the policies discussed at our last conference.
- so that working people gain more and keep their jobs,
- so that we don’t have homelessness and unemployment
- so that public services like health care, social care and transport are not run to provide profits for a few and
- so that retired people enjoy a decent pension.
Jeremy Corbyn supported these democratic socialist ideas and inspired, the party.
Under Corbyn, the membership grew to nearly 600,000; it currently remains strong at 550,000 – the largest political party in Western Europe.
Starmer was elected as leader because he promised to unify the party.
However, the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey, accompanied by the suspension of many Labour activists, often for very spurious reasons is not helping in this unification. These events have got many of the Labour activists who were inspired by Jeremy Corbyn to think about leaving the party.
Our message is:
don’t leave – stay, organise and argue for your principles and politics.
Unless we organise effectively, the Labour Party faces losing the next election. But if we unite, offer real change and a new future to working people, we can win. If we don’t go for big changes after the pandemic is over and the economic crisis begins to bite, then Labour will lose even more voters – maybe as many as we did in Scotland after the last economic crisis when Labour was offering the same old austerity as the Tories, and as a result, lost its vote to the SNP who were promising to end austerity.
The Tories are saying they won’t go back to austerity, we know that they will, under another name maybe.
Our experience is that when there is a big recession, under neoliberalism, it’s the ordinary working people who have been obliged to pay for it.
Labour members should campaign within the Party to keep the policies passed at the last year’s National Conference, and written into Labour’s Manifesto, especially the Green New Deal, which was designed by Rebecca Long-Bailey, and would provide many green energy jobs, improve the environment, and help reduce global warming by setting an example for the rest of the world.
We must also fight to progress the policy to merge health and social care under public ownership and to nationalise the railways, as just two of the progressive examples from our Manifesto.
Without policies to create jobs, reduce poverty and homelessness; invest in public services and the future; reduce the gap between rich and poor, then the effects of the severe recession which will come after the Covid-19 crisis will be devastating to ordinary people. Grass root members of the Labour Party will want to campaign within the party for such policies, and select MP candidates for the next election who are willing to carry them out. Then we may stand a chance of winning the next election. We also need to ensure that in government, we can carry out those policies.
We urge all our members to stay in the Party and be prepared to fight for what we believe.