What could be the ‘options on the table’ for Labour – and why a 2nd referendum should be the last resort

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Image from Wikimedia Commons (Author: Sophie Brown)

This Brexit deal is going to be the most important piece of legislation seen in Britain for generations. This deal will impact the country for decades and it is of vital importance we get this deal right – otherwise the consequences could damage this country in the long term.

It’s very clear that Theresa May’s deal is completely, and wholeheartedly, unacceptable. A Labour government negotiating a deal (with Labour’s 6 tests) would be a lot better for the United Kingdom as a whole.

The Labour Party conference concluded that ‘all options were on the table’ when it comes to Brexit and bringing down this Conservative government. But what could these options be?

Number 1: Vote of no confidence in the government leading to a general election

If the Conservatives fail to get their version of Brexit past Parliament (which is extremely unlikely – you can attempt to do it by clicking here) then it’ll show that this government is not fit for purpose. This deal is central to the government’s aims and ambitions and a rejection from Parliament would show that the government does not command their support and therefore a motion of no confidence should be called. If the numbers are there to reject the Brexit deal, then they can potentially be there to ensure a vote of no confidence is passed in the government (particularly if the DUP fully jump ship).

If there is a vote of no confidence, the Conservatives have just 14 days to form an alternative government. If they fail to do this, then a general election will be called.

Number 2: Labour attempt to form a minority government

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has floated the idea around that if Theresa May fails to get her Brexit deal through Parliament then Labour should attempt to form a minority government.

The Parliamentary arithmetic may be difficult, but it’s not impossible to imagine a situation where Labour can get the numbers in place – especially if the DUP abandon the Conservative Party. We could either attempt to bring a new Brexit deal to the table immediately in order to unite Parliament or seek a fresh mandate via a general election with 2/3rds of MPs in Parliament voting for it. The Conservatives in government may refuse to budge but if they were in opposition, even for a short time due to the Parliamentary arithmetic, then they could go for it.

Number 3: Pressure Parliament to pursue the extension of Article 50

It seems there is no Parliamentary majority for the government’s Brexit deal – nor is there a Parliamentary majority for a no deal Brexit. However, there may be a majority in Parliament to ask the European Union to extend Article 50, asking for more time to be given for negotiations. This may not seem like an action which could bring down the government, however the position of ‘we are leaving the European Union in March 2019’ has been pushed strongly by Theresa May and the government consistently. This date is a clear red line for Brexiteers in her party – and if Parliament mandates the government to ask extend Article 50 (and, in this hypothetical, it is accepted by the European Union) then Theresa May either has to resign or will be ousted by the Brexit supporters in her party. This could lead to a vote of no confidence or the election of a new Conservative leader who may want to seek their own fresh mandate via an election.

Number 4: General Strike

“And if we can’t get a general election, we should organise with our brothers and sisters in the trade unions to bring the end of this government with a general strike” – Laura Smith MP

Strikes are always a last resort if all other options fail. However, desperate times may call for desperate measures. It is not the position of the Labour Party, nor the TUC, to support a general strike – however it should be an option on the table. Just imagine if the trade unions encouraged all 6.2 million unionised workers to withdrew their labour, take to the streets and demand the government stand aside to call a general election. There *would* be an election. The working class taking direct action to force an election through peaceful means should be considered if the left are unable to get the measures through Parliament.

Number 5: 2nd referendum It should only be an option because Labour conference did not rule it out (and party democracy should be respected) – but this should be the absolute last option. However, if a referendum is on the table then proponents need to think of how it is worded. Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union, has stated that a hypothetical referendum question should exclude the option to remain in the EU. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer disagrees, stating ‘no one is ruling out remain as an option’. The argument is that there is a Parliamentary majority for a 2nd referendum of some sorts, therefore this would mandate the Conservative government to call it which they wouldn’t want to do – so either they would hold their nose and have to go ahead with it (it would likely be the government’s deal vs no deal) or call an election on a platform of rejecting Parliament’s will for a 2nd referendum.

Those who are supportive of the idea of a 2nd EU referendum believe that a ‘people’s vote’ should be the priority. However, it should be the absolute last option to go to. A 2nd referendum would undermine faith in British democracy – it will look like an attempt by the establishment to overturn the democratic will of the people in 2016, with a backlash seen on a scale probably not seen before in British political history. 17.4 million people, with strong working class support, voted to leave the European Union with honest intentions. There is no substantial evidence to suggest that most who voted leave have changed their mind.

Two other things to note:

  1. Timing – the Electoral Commission’s recommendations state that there should be a 6 month window between the introduction of legislation on a referendum until it is approved (then a date set). We leave the European Union in less than 6 months – therefore a second referendum is extremely unlikely to happen.
  2. The question – it’s also important to note that proponents of a ‘people’s vote’ don’t even know what the question will be, whether it will a preferential ballot etc.

So, Labour have many potential options to go to when it comes to Brexit and bringing down this Conservative government. Only time will tell what happens.

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Labour should put the ‘social’ into socialism

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(Above, picture of London Young Labour’s football and socialism social)

Being a member of the Labour Party means many things. It means contributing to the party to ensure we win elections locally and nationally as well as being part of a group which pushes for an ideology which, we believe, will make the country significantly better off.

We are a mass membership party of over 500,000 people and that in itself is an incredible achievement. However, having the numbers may be good for the party financially, but how should Labour engage these members to ensure they can get more involved? Every contribution made by any member, no matter how small, makes a huge difference.

Not everybody is comfortable with campaigning or going to CLP (Constituency Labour Party) meetings and that is completely and absolutely fine – so how should members be engaged beyond meetings and campaigning sessions?

Simple. We put the ‘social’ back into socialism.

What do I mean by this? For many, the only opportunity when Labour members meet is in a CLP meeting room or a campaigning session. Even though both are very important, there should be a lot more opportunities where members can meet each other in another environment where they can get to know each other better, have fun and discuss ideas.

In August 2018, London Young Labour held a BBQ and football event. Members across London met up, had fun games of football, enjoyed the sun, talked to eachother during breaks and had a tasty BBQ. Sun, socialism, football and delicious food – what more could you want? It provided a space where members could meet each other, share ideas, have fun and encouraged people to get more involved locally. It was a brilliant event and credit should be given to the fantastic team who organised it.

‘Labour Live’ was another example of members gathering together to enjoy good music, listen to our party representatives and attend talks which encouraged debate over politics and literature. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and I learned a lot from many people.

University Labour Clubs are also leading the way on this, and perhaps should be a model for CLPs to look at. Labour Clubs across the country host regular events which allow members to meet up beyond CLP meetings and campaigning. The Hull University Labour Club for 2017/18 (which I was proud to be the Chair of) included events like; bowling; pub crawls; a dessert crawl; talks and debates with speakers; meals out; a party night with games; and much more.

Events like these bring people on board and makes people feel part of something wider.

Enjoyable events bring people together and can sometimes encourage them to be more involved in CLP meetings and campaigning sessions. If they still don’t want to participate further and just be a member, then that’s also completely fine. But the power of socialising and bringing people together can be seen by some as a stepping stone to get more involved in a capacity that they are comfortable with as well as showing that local CLPs are making an effort to engage with the people who contribute to our party.

If CLPs build more links with their members by providing more opportunities for them to meet, then our movement will be more connected which could help ensure the election of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. The more engaged the members are, the better.

Engaging with members will be instrumental to ensure this mass movement is not just temporary, but remains long term.

EASY TO MAKE RECIPE: Delicious low carb, high protein pancakes

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Delicious and easy to make: low carb, high protein pancakes!

Nutritional information:

👏 126 calories
👏 13.8g protein
👏 6.3g fat
👏 2.3g carbs

My personal recommendations for toppings:

– BulkPowders Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (15g = 96 calories, 2.2g protein, 9.3g fat and 0.9g carbs)

– Halo Top Ice Cream (Salted Caramel 70g = 80 calories, 5g protein, 2g fat and 7g carbs)

– BulkPowders Zero Calorie syrup (100g = 4 calories, 0g protein, 0g fat and 0g carbs)

Ingredients you will need:

– Protein Powder (of your choice!)

– Eggs

Step 1: Make the batter

– Decide how many pancakes you wish to have. Use one scoop and one egg for every pancake (so, if you want one pancake then use 1 scoop of protein powder and one egg – 2 pancakes = 2 scoops of protein powder and 2 eggs – etc)

– In a mixing bowl, combine together your Protein Powder with egg(s)

– Mix

Step 2: Turn that batter into a pancake

– Use a frying pan/crepe pan – medium heat

– Apply butter/oil to pan

– Pour batter on (like making a regular pancake)

– Flip once edges look set and dry

– Once complete, take pancake out of the pan and get ready for…

Step 3 – OPTIONAL: Toppings

– Fill the pancake with the topping of your choice (in my case, I would use BulkPowders Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)

– Fold up pancake

– (Add Halo Top Ice Cream)

– (Add low calorie syrup)

Step 4: EAT!

These pancakes have really helped me through my weight loss – I think they’re delicious and they fit well with my diet. Give the recipe a try!

Labour Live was a success – let’s do it again

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I am currently on the coach back from Labour Live as I write this. My thoughts in three words: ‘do it again’.

I honestly had such an enjoyable time at Labour Live. The atmosphere was buzzing, the people were lovely, the politics was inspiring and the music was fun to listen to. Thousands of people turned up and had an incredible time (much to the disappointment of the critics).

At the start of the festival you had many right wing tweeters saying: ‘the event is a distaster because nobody has turned up LOLLLLLL’.

Then the photos came out of the large crowds. Then they said ‘oh WELL they’re only there because they had free tickets’.

Then they saw people all people from all backgrounds having a good time. Then they said ‘umm… well… they’re celebrating a festival which celebrates socialism VENEZUELA!!!!!!!!!’.

Many wanted to call this event a disaster. The people at Labour Live proved them wrong.

I met lots of incredible people from across the country who talked about their experiences. I also caught up with old Labour friends who I hadn’t seen in a while – that was nice. Some of these people were brought into politics because of people like Jeremy Corbyn.

Many joined after Corbyn became leader – they became active, they went to meeting and some now even serve as Labour representatives in local government. It’s inspiring to see. It’s very rare to see Labour activists from different parts of the country in the same area unless there is a conference – this different venue, one which is relaxed and fun, ensured people could chat and discuss things in an environment which is accommodating and enjoyable.

Also inspiring were the speakers. Owen Jones and Shelly Asquith opened the festival in the crowded Solidarity tent – passionate speeches followed by interviews with workers from McDonalds and TGI Fridays talking about their positive experiences of trade union activism. Other speeches came from David Lammy, Kate Osamor and other representatives of our party. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s speeches laid out Labour’s plan for Britain – a plan to bring essential services back under public ownership, for a living wage, for jobs, for an ethical foreign policy and investment in communities. All of these speakers were influential – and those who listened took in what they said and took something from it. This festival will no doubt have inspired and encouraged members to become more active – the message was this: the politics of hope exists – and with hard work Labour can implement it.

The stalls were also informative as well. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Labour Campaign for Mental Health – they are playing an extremely important role in the party and all activists involved should be credited and thanked for their work. Young Labour’s stall was engaging and it was great to see so many young people turn up wanting to get involved. The icing on the cake (or in this case: sprinkles on top of the ice cream) was a Unite the Union ice cream truck playing the red flag. As well as many others.

Finally, the music. Levi Roots, Sam Fender, Declan McKenna, Hookworks, Rae Morris, The Magic Numbers, Reverend and the Makers, and Clean Bandit. A wide variety of acts performing incredible songs. The atmosphere was just electric – especially when bands would go along and go ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ with the crowds joining in. They were quality acts.

It wasn’t just me who enjoyed it though – I didn’t meet a single person there who was disappointed at the festival. They seemed to enjoy it, they engaged with it and they seemed to have a great time. I talked to a steward who admitted they were initially sceptical of the festival, but they said they were eating humble pie by the end of it. Another steward said it was the most organised festival they’ve ever participated in (having previously been a steward at other festivals). Not bad for a first time.

Labour Live was a bold concept and it was pulled off extremely well. It would be a great shame if an event like this didn’t happen again. It gave activists from all across the country the opportunity to meet each other in a different and relaxed environment to conference, the speakers inspired people and the music was very fun.

Thanks to all the organisers, volunteers, speakers, acts and people who turned up for making this day unforgettable and incredible.

Here’s to Labour Live 2019?

(Please bring Stormzy)

It’s time for a Yorkshire Assembly

 

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Aneurin Bevan, a personal hero of mine, said ‘the purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away’. Politicians in Westminster should be giving powers to communities, regions and nations across the United Kingdom and representatives in Yorkshire should be fighting hard to empower their communities via devolution.

Yorkshire has a larger population than Scotland, an economy twice the size of Wales and a land mass greater than London. Scotland, Wales and London have long established devolved powers but what does Yorkshire have? Nothing. I believe decisions about Yorkshire are best made by the people who live in Yorkshire.

The ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution plan has received the backing of 18 out of 20 council leaders in Yorkshire. The support for this plan from leaders across the region show the desire for more powers to be given to Yorkshire.

I believe ‘One Yorkshire’ is a good start, but I think we can go further. I think the question comes down to power and how it is allocated. I feel having significant powers in the hands of one individual (in this case, a Metro Mayor representing all of Yorkshire) would be a lot less preferable to an elected Assembly. With the power in the hands of one individual, they could prioritise one area in Yorkshire over another, and could fail to properly distributive wealth and power across the region. An elected Assembly, on the other hand, would ensure all areas in the region have a voice and that no community can be ignored.

But what could this elected Assembly look like? Some ideas:

  • There are 20 councils within Yorkshire – each Assembly member could be elected via a direct vote within the Council boundaries (e.g. the Assembly member representing Hull would be elected by the people who live within the Hull City Council boundaries)
    • Some may argue 20 is too little, but the London Assembly has 25 members
      • (If you have any other ideas then post in the comments!)
  • A First Minister would be nominated by the Assembly members, similar to Scotland
    • The First Minister would then represent the regional on a national and international level
  • A permanent base or a rotating HQ?
    • Should a new Assembly be built?
      • If so, where?
    • Or should areas host the Assembly for a set amount of time before moving on elsewhere?

Many will have differing visions to what the Assembly may look like, but this should all be up for debate. Whilst I’m not a fan of referendums, I feel they have their place on a local and regional level. There should be a referendum in Yorkshire (the sooner, the better) to discuss whether or not there should be a Yorkshire Assembly. If there is majority support in the region then the specifics can be discussed in great detail afterwards. Whilst fans of Yorkshire devolution may not universally agree on the exact specifics of what the Assembly may look like, they all agree Yorkshire needs more powers.

An elected Assembly, similar to Wales and Scotland, would be a fantastic leap forward for Yorkshire. Having Assembly members representing all areas of Yorkshire, having a First Minister to represent the region and genuine powers to unlock Yorkshire’s economic, social and environmental potential would bring prosperity to the people of Yorkshire.

Holding the White Rose County back and ignoring their needs is the hole in the Northern powerhouse – it’s time to give power to the people of Yorkshire in order to empower communities across this beautiful region.

On Corbyn and the crisis for social democracy across the West

These are difficult times for Labour – perhaps the most difficult since it emerged as a major political force in the 1920s.

Across the Western world, we have seen the rise of right wing populism and the decline of the traditional centre-left. This has been deleterious for advocates of social democracy.

Closer to home, Labour have been struggling. According to the polls, there is an enormous gap between Labour and the Conservatives – one poll even suggests that we are behind the Tories and UKIP when it comes to connecting with working class voters. Although we kept Stoke, beating UKIP leader Paul Nuttall in a seat that voted 70% leave, it was an absolute disaster that we lost Copeland – a seat we held for over 80 years. We need to win over 100 seats in order to win in 2020. We should not be declining.

The public do not know where Labour stand on key issues. This is because of the failure of our comms and strategy. Corbyn’s 10 pledges, which were adopted at 2016 conference, have the potential to appeal to key swing voters – but it seems like we are only talking about the NHS. We are failing to get our message across on Brexit; on the economy; on immigration; on welfare; to name a few. The quote ‘Labour will save the NHS, but the NHS will not save Labour’ comes to mind. We are failing to reach out of our comfort zone – this is a strategy which is doomed from the very start.

In summary, there is an existential crisis for the left across the West and there is the complete failure so far for the left to communicate our message. These are the problems that Labour face. So, how do we fix it – and what can we do?

Now, some will say that Corbyn needs to go. But let’s look at the reality.

Some have called for him to resign. However, Jeremy Corbyn has already stated that he will not leave his position as Labour leader. The two leadership elections both came out with a decisive outcome – Jeremy Corbyn won them both – both with overwhelming majorities. For him to stand down just 5 months after winning a 2nd leadership election (with 62% of the vote) is just not going to happen.

Because of this, some have called for another leadership challenge. But these questions needs to be asked: Who/what is the alternative? and who is the challenger? The answer: There is no answer. A 3rd leadership election would likely lead to another win for Jeremy Corbyn, meaning months looking inwards. This will only damage Labour further – and the result would be the same: Jeremy Corbyn would likely remain as Labour leader.

I backed Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader twice. Do I regret voting for Corbyn? Not at all. In the 1st leadership election, his voice was absolutely necessary for Labour to hear – he turned our party from one which advocated some unnecessary cuts in 2015 into an anti-austerity party. He injected bold ideas and radicalism back into the heart of the Labour Party.

When it came to the 2nd leadership election, he was a better candidate than Owen Smith. When it came to the biggest issue of our time, Brexit, Corbyn understood that we had to come out with the best Brexit plan rather than reject the referendum result. Smith’s anti-Brexit platform would have been disastrous in our heartlands and key English marginal seats (the overwhelming majority of which voted leave). Not only this, but Corbyn’s vision was still right, with ideas which have the potential to counter right wing populism and to attach onto the anti-establishment mood. However, as mentioned earlier, our comms and strategy are completely failing, meaning the vision isn’t being seen by the people we need to convince to vote for us – and responsibility must be taken for this.

There is a crisis for the left, and the left need to adapt in order to survive – this includes the left in the United Kingdom. We need to combat this. We should do this by winning the battle of ideas – we already have committed to; public ownership of our railways; a £10 minimum wage; allowing communities to run their own energy firms; and a National Education Service. We should be offering more radical policies like; the Basic Income; allocating Brexit money to our NHS; advocating co-operatives with profit sharing for workers; affordable housing; significant investment in science and technology; to name a few.

There are vast problems for Labour and there is no quick fix. Some will blame Corbyn, but it should be clear that he is not going anywhere. The vision is right but we are failing to effectively communicate them. However, instead of looking inwards, all wings of the party must unite and come up with a coherent strategy to win. We must take risks, we must reach out of our comfort zone and we must offer a radical alternative to counter right wing populism. That is the only way I think we can win.

The crisis of social democracy – the left must adapt in order to survive

To put it plainly: The ever-changing political climate has been deleterious for advocates of social democracy.

With Brexit, Trump, Le Pen and right wing populist movements rising across the world, the left are struggling to maintain their ground. Seemingly, in the eyes of the electorate across many nations, social democracy is failing to offer modern solutions to modern problems. In order to counter this, the left must adapt – or the consequences could potentially be fatal at the ballot box. The left need to offer a bold, coherent alternative to counter right wing populism. This requires radical ideas – ideas that mean a fundamental change from the norm.

One thing we have learned over the past few years is that the political landscape has profoundly changed. It is no longer as simple to say that elections are ‘social democracy vs the centre-right’:

– Austria, 2016 – Far-right Presidential candidate for the Freedom Party of Austria wins 49.7% of the vote. UPDATE: Vote was annulled and re-run, Hofer lost – but still won over 46% of the popular vote.

– United States, 2016 – Donald Trump wins the Presidential election. One poll stated that 81% believed that Donald Trump was the ‘change’ candidate.

– And there could be more to come in 2017 – Marine Le Pen could potentially be the next President of France, Geert Wilders could be the next Dutch PM.

It’s not just the populist right making gains:

– Greece, 2015– SYRIZA sweep to power. Social Democratic PASOK lose 20 seats.

– Spain, 2016 – Podemos receives more votes than PSOE.

– Iceland, 2016 – The Pirate Party take 10 seats at the Althing.

The traditional ‘left vs right’ has changed – and social democratic parties have been caught in the crossfire.

Why has this happened? One important factor to consider is that many people feel left behind – they feel like politicians have not heard them. It is the duty of the left to stand up for everybody, especially those who feel like politics is not working for them.

The way the left communicate their message is extremely important – but the thing is, the right are good at doing it. In the United States, the message ‘Make America Great Again’ resonated with those who feel like the political class no longer serves them – a significantly more powerful message than the Democrat’s ‘Stronger Together’. In the Brexit vote, we saw three powerful words from Vote Leave: ‘Take back control’ – those who have been left behind have felt powerless, and they felt that Brexit would give them control. This is where the left are failing and the right are succeeding – this can very easily be seen at home. As I mentioned in an article I wrote for Open Labour back in February 2016: ‘The Conservatives’ short, simple and coherent messages e.g. ‘long term economic plan’ resonate with the public – we (Labour – from 2010-2015) tried this, but kept on changing our message from ‘cost of living crisis’ to ‘squeezed middle’ to ‘one nation Labour’ – we must have a consistent message for the next five years – e.g. ‘invest to grow’, ‘for millions, not just millionaires’, ‘prosperity not austerity’– or something along those lines – a simple message that connects with the voters which can be repeated over and over again.’

One failure of comms is focusing on issues which the public do not prioritise – far too many times has Trident been the headline over the last year. At times, it felt like the comms strategy was to ‘avoid the media’ (I’m sure the comms team do not intend to do this – but Labour members are still seeing Trident/Divisions dominating headlines) – there are significant improvements that need to be made in comms, and it needs to be done quickly. Instead of seemingly ignoring the media, we must work with them – otherwise it allows public perception to be defined by our opponents. On top of this, Jeremy Corbyn should appear on the TV as much as possible – yes, the shadow cabinet do need to appear as well – however with every passing year in the UK it seems that our style of politics has become more Presidential – the electorate are placing their faith in the person to be their next Prime Minister – he needs to appear more to ensure that he defines his own image, rather than letting the Conservatives define him.

It’s not just comms which are important – but, of course, policies.

The Labour Party created the NHS, the welfare state, the minimum wage, Sure Start, to name a few. It is these radical ideas that not only changed the country for the better, but ended up being legacies that have been respected by the public – radical thinking is bold, and if done correctly: popular. It is radical thinking that Labour need to tap into again.

Some ideas that could help Labour:

Basic Income – restructuring welfare: a universal system which could eliminate poverty, top up wages and help sole traders. (I will write a piece about why Labour should adopt this in the near future and the goals that ‘Labour For Basic Income’ hope to achieve)

National Education Service – Corbyn mentioned this in his leadership campaigns – when it comes to education: universal free childcare, class sizes under 30, scrapping tuition fees, restoring maintenance grants, restoring the Education Maintenance Allowance, investment in Further Education (and of course, the way in which we fund it all)

Brexit and ‘the £350 million a week’ – If we are to remain outside the EEA (which seems increasingly likely), it will mean we will no longer have to contribute to the EU budget. What message would it send if Labour were to adopt the position to adopt the position to put £350 million a week into our NHS? It would show Labour are listening whilst the Tories are ‘out of touch’ – it would give the left the opportunity to define the conversation and hammer the Tory record on the NHS.

Policies we have committed to: £10 living wage, public ownership of the railways, community owned energy firms, 1 million homes built in 5 years (helped by allowing local authorities to borrow to build), advocating co-operatives up and down the nation – to name a few. These are ideas which can help us win, and I’m confident Labour can help set the agenda if comms improve.

(It should be noted that I backed Corbyn twice because his vision is one which is a coherent alternative to right wing populism – I am aware of the uphill struggle the next few years will be, the polling etc – but I feel Corbyn’s vision is one which can help Labour at the general election – as Clive Lewis said: ‘‘Corbyn is the best candidate because in his own way he understands some of the economic and moral challenges we face and is the product of a deep desire for something new.’)

One issue which is fundamentally important if the left across the Western World are to regain trust of those who feel left behind: Immigration. It is consistently seen as the most important issue for voters before and during elections, particularly in the UK. It dominates on the doorstep – and it is the duty of the left to understand the concerns people have about immigration. But this is the important bit: We must discuss immigration – because if we do not then the right wing populists set the agenda. It. Plays. Into. Their. Hands. But we must *never ever ever* pander to racist and xenophobic language.  The net economic benefits of migration are not being felt by many communities – which is why reintroducing the migrant impact fund will ensure communities with high levels of immigration will feel the direct benefits. There has also been failure to invest in English language services – many have concerns about integration, therefore it should be the responsibility of the left to listen and invest in areas where people are concerned. Migrants significantly contribute and benefit our nation – which is why it is extremely important that the left must change the narrative; we are one nation; all people in this nation contribute; no matter what your gender, race, religion – let’s work together to keep Britain strong.

On the topic of narrative change – we need to embrace our patriotism – the left have implemented policies which have help everybody in our country regardless of their background or financial circumstances – as mentioned earlier: NHS, welfare state, minimum wage, Sure Start etc – it is the left that is patriotic entity, we need to embrace it and take it back from the right wing populists.

Now, I’m not saying that this is simplistic. I’m not saying ‘expect a landslide win if we adopt Basic Income – do nothing else’ – obviously. It is a mixture of factors – we need the right vision and strong comms to deliver our message to the electorate in order to succeed – you cannot have one without the other.

To sum up everything above: If the left can’t define itself – then it’s opponents will, and right wing populists currently are. The left must; adapt; embrace the changing political climate; and offer a clear, coherent alternative to right wing populism – it is the only way we can win.