Jasmin Beckett: Let’s not forget the Tories are the enemy, not Labour friends

29th February, 2016 5:38 pm

Jasmin Beckett

It is time to extend the ladder of opportunity to young people in our party, and in the country. A strong Young Labour is vital to both.

This weekend I was elected the youth rep on Labour’s NEC. With support across the movement: Young Labour groups, Labour Students clubs and young trade unionists, led by my own union the Communication Workers Union. The weekend was not, however, our movement at its best. Factionalism, grievance and outside interference from people who were neither young nor delegates made it difficult for too many. This has got to stop. The party need to prioritise the resources to make youth conferences and events affordable, you should not have to have daddies credit card or fundraising appeals to get to democrat events. Complaints need investigating, but it’s not rule changes but a culture change that we need. I will lead this.

First step is to remember who the enemy is. My maintenance grant wasn’t taken away by Progress, my EMA wasn’t scrapped by Momentum, and Open Labour didn’t close my old school. The pain that is being felt by young and working class people in the country is because of the actions of a cruel government, a Tory government. While Labour has fewer MPs than the Tories do our words will feel meaningless to those who rely on Labour; our squabbles will be no more than moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.

A new open approach is what is needed. One where everyone is welcome and diversity is encouraged. Labour was founded by the trade unions, the Fabians and socialist societies to first and foremost to put working class people into power. Young Labour must now hold this flame.

I am a working class woman from Liverpool. When I was growing up, I wasn’t interested in politics because it felt like politics wasn’t interested in me. Growing up, life did not seem fair. I got angry. I got into fights. And eventually I was expelled from school. I ran away from home and was taken back to my Mum by the police.

Wirral Young Labour taught me that the anger I felt at society could be channelled into fighting for social justice. So I got involved. Winning Wirral West for Margaret Greenwood and holding hyper marginal Wirral South under Alison McGovern gave me a taste of what winning feels like. Repeat this elsewhere and the trajectory of people with backgrounds like mine is transformed.

As in most places where we made gains in May last year from Hove to Lancaster, Wirral West to Cambridge, it was Young Labour, Labour Students and young trade unions doing much of the work. If we use all of the talents in our movement, come together to build the resilience to beat the Tories not forever be beaten, remember it’s real Tories not ‘red Tories’ that are our enemy, the future is for young members to inherit. No more fighting each other, it’s time now to fight austerity.

——

Jasmin Beckett is youth rep on Labour National Executive Committee

Latest

  • Europe Featured News Exclusive: Labour’s economic advisors criticise Corbyn over EU campaign

    Exclusive: Labour’s economic advisors criticise Corbyn over EU campaign

    Five of Labour’s top economic advisors have criticised Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts before the “major disaster” of defeat in the EU referendum. The group of five added to complaints about Corbyn’s role in the run-up to the Brexit vote by saying they are “unhappy” with his role in the EU campaign. In a statement to LabourList they also called for urgent action to tackle the “impasse” over Britain’s role in Europe. “We all share the view that the EU referendum result is a major […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News McDonnell urges calm as leadership prepares for contest

    McDonnell urges calm as leadership prepares for contest

    Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said that he believes there will be a leadership election, as he urges calm among the Parliamentary Labour Party. Speaking this morning, the close Corbyn ally said “it looks as though we’ll have a leadership election”, as rebel MPs prepare to back a challenger – and one could come forward at some point today, with the likeliest candidates either Tom Watson or Angela Eagle. McDonnell accepted this scenario, but told MPs that they should “play by […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Scotland Dugdale casts doubt on Corbyn’s ability to carry on

    Dugdale casts doubt on Corbyn’s ability to carry on

    Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has weighed in on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership crisis, suggesting that he will not be able to do the job “effectively” following a no confidence vote this afternoon. Although Dugdale did not explicitly say that Corbyn should resign, she said that she would “not be able to do my job” if she was in his position and that he should “reflect” on the outcome of today’s Parliamentary Labour Party ballot. Dugdale is the latest major figure […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Corbyn’s defeat at the hands of MPs puts him on course for a fresh leadership race

    Corbyn’s defeat at the hands of MPs puts him on course for a fresh leadership race

    So now we have a leadership race. Of course, it has not been announced yet, but it seems an inevitability after today’s heavy defeat for Jeremy Corbyn in a confidence vote among Labour MPs. Corbyn is down indeed, but not out. Despite being hit a tidal wave of resignations from the frontbench over the last three days he is hugely confident he can win another vote of Labour members and tonight issued a statement decrying the confidence motion as having “no constitutional […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News LIVEBLOG: Corbyn loses no confidence ballot 172-40

    LIVEBLOG: Corbyn loses no confidence ballot 172-40

    Corbyn is rapidly putting together a new front bench as resignations continue to pile in. While the Labour Party is in limbo, we will bring you all the Labour frontbench news as it comes through. 10.09: Chi Onwurah, a shadow business minister, has confirmed she voted against Corbyn in yesterday’s no confidence motion. In the absence of a Shadow BIS Secretary, Onwurah spoke from the frontbench for Labour yesterday, and leadership sources told LabourList yesterday they expected her to take […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit