Laura Davison on Practical Socialism – Reflections on the 2019 election campaign
It’s been a difficult few days since the election result. Many of us had pinned our hopes and dreams on electing a Labour government as the best way to address the climate crisis, under-funding in our schools and hospitals, the housing crisis which prioritises luxury development over genuinely affordable and council homes, rough sleeping and so much more. But this time it was not to be. Some of the hearts of our activists will be breaking. But I want to say to them don’t despair. The hope that we inspired and all the many people we met who supported and voted Labour (14k of them) haven’t gone away. In fact, some of them are now joining the Labour party. Because they urgently want to help our community:
Under the Conservative government the majority of our schools will face budget cuts. This will mean fewer teachers. What are we going to do about this?
Under the Conservative government council funding will not be restored. Currently our playgrounds are under threat. What are we going to do about this?
Under the Conservative government the Climate Emergency will not be a priority. What are we going to do about this?
Under the Conservative government more of our community face losing their homes due to rising rents and frozen benefits. What are we going to do about this?
Under the Conservative government hate crime will continue to rise. What are we going to do about this?
Over the last few days our campaign WhatsApp groups have been buzzing with ideas. On a personal level I’ve been saying three things to people:
1. Join the Labour party https://join.labour.org.uk
2. Join your trade union https://www.tuc.org.uk/about-
3. Think about what community group you can get involved in. We are collating a local list. Suggestions welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
We need #Practical Socialism.
Brothers and Sisters we are going to be doing it for ourselves. We won’t allow our communities to suffer. We are going to get involved, as many of us are already, and we are going to help.
What else? We need to hold this government to account. Many of us have roles on local councils. This is now extremely important.
We need to reach out to people who didn’t vote Labour and speak to them. Don’t let anger and bitterness win the day. Our whole philosophy is hope and love.
And what about the media? I am a huge supporter of quality journalism and democratic scrutiny. But is it right that the voices we see around us are so one sided? Let’s ask our newsagents, cafes, stations, buses to stock alternative voices so people have a range of views available to them. This is someone everyone can do. #PracticalSocialism
Other people will have ideas too. We will be holding open meetings for people to come together and discuss the way forward. So watch this space. You can also email your ideas to email@example.com
To everyone who has stopped and spoken to me over the last few days, your support and ideas are inspiring and sustaining. Thank you
Onwards and upwards.