At this weekend’s Labour’s National Youth Conference, I am one of two candidates standing for the NEC Representative Position. Currently I am studying towards a Medical biology PhD and live in Sheffield. I have been driven to stand for this position by the severe lack of opportunities for young people and my absolute passion for equality. The coalition has challenged us to breaking point. I believe Young Labour has the potential to bring about influential change by promoting the strong values of movement and putting young people first. Here I want to paint a vision for what Young Labour should achieve by 2015.
Young people are suffering most as a result of the economic mismanagement of this government. It should fall to Young Labour to lead the debate within the party and wider society to ensure that our response is not just restricted to condemning the Tories and criticise Osborne. We need to channel our experiences and perceptions into formulating a comprehensive alternative to austerity and set Britain on the right course for the future.
Our party will struggle to re-establish credibility if we continue to offer a lesser version of the cuts agenda set by the Conservative Party. As long was we follow their economic argument, we will lose. While we can’t write our manifesto at this point, however, Young Labour need to start campaigning now to help form policies of growth, job creation and investment to have a clear, long term alternative in 2015. We need to have a strong message on young people and well thought out ideas that work for us and are flexible to fit any economic failings that are to come.
Young Labour must have policy making powers, protected by the rule book and clear to all our members. Our movement must have autonomy to hold its own positions and challenge the wider party when needed. We should lead the party towards a platform that protects young people; one that promotes growth not cuts and collectivism not individualism.
This election has a clear choice. I aim to offer members something different-an accountable voice at the Labour party’s highest table. I care deeply about hearing from every corner, every view and every part of Young Labour. Doing this requires two-way communication. I pledge to go to every region including Northern Ireland over my term to hold events where Young members can feed in to policy and Young Labour’s decisions. As well as working with our liberation groups regionally to ensure that all our members voices are heard.
At the heart of my vision for this role is a youth Labour movement which is more transparent and open. One that connects all our members including young workers, students, the young unemployed and those in school education. I would also be the first NEC Youth representative in a long time actively distribute regular NEC reports and contact information, following the good practice of Ann Black and others. Young Labour must be have a leadership fully elected by all members therefore I would push to introduce One Member One Vote for both the chair and NEC positions.
These simple steps will help to build a framework to make Young Labour a stronger movement. For young peoples lives to improve Labour needs to deliver in 2015, Young Labour need to be focused against austerity and all parts of our movement must unify and work together to deliver this.
By Olivia Blake
Find out more at: