In February 2015, Young Labour will be hosting its annual national conference and electing a new national committee. Several Socialist Appeal supporters are standing, with the aim of bringing the Corbyn revolution and a socialist programme into Young Labour.
In February 2015, Young Labour will be hosting its annual national conference and electing a new national committee. Several Marxist students and Socialist Appeal supporters are standing, with the aim of bringing the Corbyn revolution and a socialist programme into Young Labour. We publish here a statement by the candidates running on the “Young Labour Revolution” slate.
For the first time in what seems like far too long, the Labour Party has a socialist leader who is willing to fight on behalf of ordinary people. It is this fact that has inspired us to run for election to the Young Labour national committee. Hundreds of thousands have joined the Labour Party thanks to Corbyn, many of them young people, we want to work with them to bring the Corbyn revolution into Young Labour.
We are four friends who are committed socialists. As far as we’re concerned, looking around the world today there is only one conclusion to be drawn – the capitalist system has reached the end of its usefulness. Our generation faces a worse standard of living than that of our parents. We will be forced to work until we’re older, for worse pay and worse pensions. We’ll be paying off university debt until middle-age and might never be able to afford a house. We’ll have worse healthcare and our kids will go to worse schools. This is the only future capitalism has to offer us. We have to fight for something better. Young Labour needs to fight to change the system.
While life has been getting worse for most people, the 1% have been filling their pockets. The money made by the banks, big businesses and rip-off landlords is wealth produced by the hard work of ordinary people. Young Labour needs to make the argument that this wealth should be taken back under the control of the workers who created it. The railways, the post office, big industry (such as steel), banks, big businesses and landlords should all be nationalised and run democratically by the people who work in them. That way we could use the economy to produce what jobs and houses people actually need, instead of what is going to make the biggest profit for the shareholders.
Young Labour needs to have an internationalist outlook, and push for Labour to adopt a socialist foreign policy. As Corbyn has pointed out, it is imperialist meddling in places like the Middle East that has created the conditions for the rise of fundamentalism and terror in those places. We have to shut down arms dealers and the Trident nuclear weapons programme – there are far more useful jobs for which we could retrain people – and cease all imperialist adventures. Socialists have real allies in the Middle East, such as the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who have been marching against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Kurds in Turkey and northern Syria whose heroic struggle against ISIS is proving them to be the most effective fighters in the region. Labour’s foreign policy must be geared towards supporting socialist groups and trade unions abroad – not stitching up deals with rival imperialists around the world which will solve nothing.
We stand for a fundamental transformation of the system that we have today. We want to see Young Labour taking Corbyn’s ideas and forging them into a coherent, bold socialist programme. We want to see Corbyn’s National Education Service providing education free to all who want it from cradle to grave. We want to see John McDonnell’s “socialism with an ipad” nationalising the major technology companies and rationally planning investment in healthcare innovation and environmental technology – not nuclear weapons and gadgets for the super-rich.
We also have to have a sense of realism. What we are fighting for is opposed by many inside our own party. We have to insist that Corbyn’s democratic mandate be respected, and Young Labour can play an important part in defending him against the underhand maneuvering by the disaffected right-wing of the party, who care more for their careers than for socialism or democracy. Young Labour has to insist that the Labour Party conference be the supreme policy making body of the party. In addition to that, every Labour MP must be subject to mandatory reselection by their CLP before being allowed to represent the Labour Party at an election. And finally, to keep the careerists out of our party, we should demand that every Labour MP take no more than the average working class person’s wage, so that they can’t be bought off or bribed into forgetting exactly who they represent. These are basic democratic requirements which, sadly, have been forgotten since Labour was founded over 100 years ago. It is high time Young Labour fought to bring them back.
Boosted by the massive influx of new young members into Labour, Young Labour could be a radical force for real change. It will require clear socialist ideas, audacious tactics and relentless campaigning. As convinced Marxists we think that, on these things, we can deliver.
- Vote Natasha Sorrell for Ordinary Rep!
- Vote Jack Halinski-Fitzpatrick for Ordinary Rep!
- Vote Beatrice Papapietro for International Officer!
- Vote Sammy Meikle for Under-19s Officer!
- Vote for the Young Labour revolution!