Jermain Jackman: Why I want to represent local parties on Labour’s NEC

Jermain Jackman

Ten years of political failure has reached its fever pitch and is culminating in unquestionable incompetence, economic ruin and the destruction of livelihoods. We’ve seen how the government’s contempt for working people and local businesses has led to its targeted attack on Northern towns and cities, as their failing Covid-19 strategy continues. We’ve witnessed the heartlessness of this government as they refuse to feed hungry children and support the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. We’ve even seen this government break international law and violate the UN disability convention. The communities across our country deserve better than this.

Members across our movement have rightly responded to this and argued that a Labour government is urgently needed. I wholeheartedly agree. No part of the UK, whether rural or urban, is beyond the help of a Labour government that is committed to a bold, radical and socialist agenda. However, it’s within that shared desire that I fear we may lose sight of the journey we need to make. This is what informs my campaign and my reasons for standing to be your Constituency Labour Party (CLP) representative on the national executive committee (NEC).

Our movement, as it stands, is far from perfect – the general election result and Labour leaks are a testament to that. Our members are the lifeline of our movement and the mobilisation of our membership is crucial. However, this only works when we continue to empower our members, truly listen to their voices and build upon the democracy and engagement that has been established. On the journey towards a Labour government, we must keep our membership with us every step of the way. We must reaffirm our democracy by being accountable and transparent. But what does this actually mean?

  • A complaints process that is truly fit for purpose. Our members need to have confidence and trust in our internal procedures so that we can all feel safe and supported in our party. At the heart of this must be a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of racism and discrimination, sexual harassment, transphobia and homophobia.
  • Greater democratisation of the party. From local wards to the party conference, the voices of our members are important. Therefore, it is paramount that we build upon championing our members and take seriously the decisions made on the ground – party conference must remain sovereign.
  • More political education. This has always been intrinsic to the development of policy and is at the heart of what we do. There needs to be a continuation of schemes such as the Bernie Grant and Jo Cox leadership programmes, which not only celebrate and empower our members, but provide them with the skills and opportunities to challenge the Tories.
  • Greater accessibility. This is crucial, especially for members with disabilities or childcare commitments. Our members need to be able to take part in every stage of the decision-making process. Coronavirus has proven that we can be more accessible and accommodating. Let’s continue to build on this, and ensure no member is left behind.
  • Better campaigning. Campaigning is tantamount to achieving the Labour government we so desperately need. At the heart of this is greater resources being provided to CLPs throughout the year, not just during an election.

My platform is uncompromisingly democratic and socialist. I stand as a candidate with a vision for our party and a vision for Britain. A Britain that is radically different from the one we inherit from the Tories. One that defines itself by how we treat others and how we lift ourselves and each other up. One that places the interests of the environment at the core of our socialism. 2021 and beyond has to be about the journey we are prepared to make, rather than just focusing on the destination. This journey needs to be one of unity, democratisation, accessibility and inclusivity.

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