In our first piece since the local elections, Jake Lewis analyses the results of the elections and talks about how Labour can move forward from here. Jake is a relatively new member of the Labour party, attending Chepstow Sixth Form College and hopes to lecture/teach politics. Concentrating on improving our democracy (both at a party democracy level and national level), Education and Free Speech, he hopes to work to make all parties accountable to the people. When not concentrating on this, he is probably busy concentrating on following the many independence movements around the world.
The past few weeks have been a turbulent and challenging time, wrought with division, anti-Semitism and an unelectable leader. That is if you believe what the mainstream media has been saying about us. Since the 5th we have in fact shown that the Labour party of old is an electable party, we have shown that the people want us now, the people believe in our message, and that the people believe in us as a whole, despite the anti-Labour messages being spread by even the BBC.
What it does show is that we have them scared. We are showing them that even with the media bringing the hammer upon us hard with a fact twisted article here or there we are still able to perform extremely well during elections. After all, we, as a party, technically did not lose a single council this election (due to losing one, but gaining another) while the Tories lost one. We only lost 14 seats, while the Tories lost 47 seats. We won every single one of the four mayoral elections, with rather considerable leads and we only lost a single seat in Wales, which was to another left wing party. Of course, these small amount of council elections don’t mean a massive amount in the grand scheme of things, but the mayors are there for a good few years, we have a minority Labour government in Wales and the only reason in my eyes that we lost more seats to the SNP in Scotland is simply due to the fact that the people there feel that the SNP is more left wing and more representative for them as well as being a broader tent for the people there thanks to being a nationalist party.
With Sadiq Khan’s victory in the London Mayoralty campaign, his message was clear: “Success has many parents and I think what’s important is the victory on Thursday was a victory for London. My point is very simple, we’ve got to stop talking about ourselves and start talking to citizens about the issues that matter to them”. Now of course the Independent did try to spin this into an attack on Jeremy Corbyn but the overall idea does not change, our party must be targeting the issues that matter most to the people. We’re not just running for our activists we’re running for all of Britain and Sadiq is right, but that doesn’t mean he’s attacking Corbyn; In fact it’s a message of unity for our party, behind who the people voted for.
After these wins we have a chance to use new found momentum, and while the group of the same name is doing a fantastic job, them alone will not be able to push the Labour party to new heights, it requires the teamwork and coordination of all member and MPs, we have just under four years to get this right before we directly take on the Conservative party, let’s get this right. Let’s not allow these other elements to divide us, let’s make sure we have these debates on policy fairly, equally and give the people of our party the vote on these issues, rather than allowing the Conservatives and mainstream media to target it as a weak spot.
We have four years before they elect a new leader, in these four years we must solidify our image, put up the policies that will bring us together against the hard-line policies of privatisation, hypocrisy and lies and finally, for the first time in our generation, bring a real Labour party into power. And won’t that be something, to do what they said couldn’t be done? I think we’ve shown them it can, and will. They’re running scared and throwing everything they can at us, let’s keep going.