Long-Bailey reveals four-point “path to power” plan in bid to shake up leadership race

© Twitter/@RLong_Bailey

Labour left candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey is set to reveal a four-point plan for a “path to power” in a major speech being delivered as part of an effort to shake up the leadership contest.

Setting out her ideas at an event in Salford on Friday morning, the Shadow Business Secretary will warn against “looking for an easy option to win next time” on the basis that “the path of despair is also the path to defeat”.

She is expected to reject the suggestion that Labour could “give up on something here, be less forthright there” in order to become more electable, saying: “Retreating from popular policies that provide answers to the crises facing our country is no route to victory.

“Shrinking from our ambitions to better our children’s lives won’t make us more credible. Triangulation hasn’t worked for social democratic parties across Europe and it won’t work here.”

Long-Bailey will unveil the following four-point plan as a proposed “path to power” for Labour:

1. Improve Labour’s messaging with an everyday language of aspirational socialism to sell policies and principles.
2. Empower our movement to reconnect with voters in the Red Wall and beyond.
3. Stir up a democratic revolution to break the hold Westminster and the City has over our politics, and show people that they can have the power to achieve what they want to achieve.
4. Use the Green Industrial Revolution to unite Labour’s heartlands, from Blyth to Brixton.

The leadership hopeful will also send a message of confidence to supporters by talking about her own personal story in terms of not just winning the internal Labour election but also entering 10 Downing Street.

Long-Bailey will say: “If we lived in a world where how hard you worked or how clever you are translated into success, we wouldn’t be on our 20th Prime Minister who went to the same school. No child from my school ever went on to become Prime Minister. But I am going to change that.

“And when I get to Downing Street, I will never forget who I am, what made me, and that I am there to help deliver the hopes, dreams, and expectations of millions of others who grew up in similar communities as mine.

“I’m a details person. I work hard. I don’t slack off. I suppose that’s the benefit of being a working class woman, always having to work twice as hard to show you’re just as good, in fact better, than an upper-middle class man. So yes, I do think it’s time our party had a woman leader.

“It also means I know our people. I know what drives us forward. Vision isn’t just about big picture thinking and intellect, it’s also about a feeling, having a sense for the hopes and dreams of our people. That’s why I know I can win back areas we lost and new ones we failed to win.

“But to develop a compelling vision, you also need a solid sense of direction. I have that. I’ve always known what my politics are. I’m a socialist who’s aspirational for my family, my community and my class.”

On empowering the grassroots of the party and wider labour movement, Long-Bailey will say: “We aren’t just a different team of politicians in Westminster, alternating power with the Tories. Our party was born out of a movement in communities like mine and many of those we lost in the election.

“To win again, we need to look and sound like it. And it’s our members and our trade unions, on the front line in workplaces and communities, who will make that a reality.

“I say this to my colleagues in parliament who might be worried about a more democratic party. Let’s not be timid. Let’s nurture our talent and bring people into every role in the party.”

Referring to U.S. Democratic Party congresswoman and Green New Deal activist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who is admired by the UK Labour left, she will add: “Let’s find our AOCs.”

Long-Bailey will also discuss the role that trust played in Labour’s 2019 general election defeat, saying: “We spoke about the economy in the general election, but we didn’t have anything to say to people who’d lost trust with democracy.

“And after the Iraq war, the expenses scandal and the austerity lie that we’re all in it together, who can blame them? So to follow our path to power, we will champion a democratic revolution. That way, we can show people how change can happen, with power closer and more open to them.”

The window for local party and affiliate nominations in Labour’s leadership elections will close on Friday at midnight. As of Thursday evening, Long-Bailey had won 148 CLP nominations, while frontrunner Keir Starmer had 338 – amounting to 58% of nominations cast.

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