It is time for the politics of big ideas – that’s why I’m backing Rebecca

Ian Lavery

Labour will announce the results of our leadership elections in a hugely scaled back way on Saturday. When the contest started, it was clear that our new leadership team would have a huge task on their hands, but the crisis that currently engulfs our nation means it will be greater still. The coronavirus pandemic has affected everything, and it has changed the rules of the game.

Even putting to one side the current situation, our nation of nations still faces unprecedented challenges. Brexit, automation, demographic ageing and climate change, amongst other issues, all need to be tackled. Playing it safe is quite simply not an option. It is time for the politics of big ideas.

Our party must be led by someone who not only has a vision of the future but can also articulate it and project a feeling of trust to a country that wants change. Labour’s new leadership team must define itself early on, and our leader must spell out exactly what we stand for and the big picture to our nation whilst ensuring that they have a handle on the detail.

The election last year was devastating. We lost excellent colleagues and failed to convince the country that we could be trusted to govern. Our new leader must directly appeal to those former heartlands that we lost and communicate clearly why it is Labour that they should trust once again.

Very early on in the contest, I pinned my hopes on Rebecca Long-Bailey to take us forward. The current crisis that engulfs our country has strengthened my support. Labour wins when it is ambitious and outlines a positive transformative vision that people can believe in. As someone who has served in senior posts over the past few years and developed some of our most popular policies, she has shown her commitment to a popular, common sense radicalism. But she also understands where we went wrong as a party.

Rebecca understands that we failed to inspire trust in our ability to deliver on our policies and has outlined exactly how we will do so in the future. By parcelling up our policies in an aspirational socialism where everyone in our communities is able to achieve their ambitions, she has shown she can break through wonkish jargon that has often left our most transformative policies feeling irrelevant to the men and women on the street. But she has also shown herself to be strong on detail, quick on her feet and resolute in fighting back against smears.

As a working-class woman from the North of England, Rebecca is ideally placed to win back the places that we lost in December. She doesn’t just understand the issues that affect our former heartlands – she’s lived them all of her life. Rebecca has outlined a transformative vision for the future that all Labour members can get behind. She has put forward detailed policies and a plan to win. If you haven’t yet voted, I’d urge you to vote RLB.

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