As I sit on a Metropolitan Line train on the way home from an event by Stella Creasy, I can't help but feel very impressed by what she has to offer. Stella doesn't have dozens of ideas, and that sounds like a criticism, but it's far from it, it's one of her strengths. Stella is steaming ahead with her campaign on one main platform, creating power by putting it in the hands of everyday members. Allowing them to come up with ideas and have them nurtured by the leadership, instead of the current diktats from on high that don’t invigorate the membership. Stella wants to turn what is seen as, what she calls, the Labour party "machine" (cold, calculating, and centrally controlled) into a social movement with that spreads like wildfire.
If you've read my blog, you know I like left-wing policies and that I will vote for Jeremy Corbyn for leader. Putting that aside, Stella has made an excellent point that a shift left or shift right is not really the issue, it’s whether Labour will “shift out of focus all together.” What she means is that it’s useless having this massive debate about what Labour’s policy will be if we don’t effectively campaign for it. Currently, Labour members cannot campaign effectively when all of the ideas and orders are coming from only the politicians, and are just being told what to do, like a patronising boss, rather than having their own ideas expanded upon. Stella has promised (not that much from a politician, I know) just that; the much needed dialogue between the membership and the leadership (and I say it that way round for a reason, members need to tell the politicians what to do, not the other way around).
It’s pretty simple, the ideas aren't new, but that doesn't stop them being very good. Honestly, I'm surprised that she’s the first to campaign for it. It’s a lot easier to campaign for something when it’s your idea.
It’s not all just hot air either, in 2011 Stella effectively campaigned for a cap on the rates payday loan companies (or legal loan sharks as she calls them), and bear in mind that this is while in opposition. This campaign ended with cross-party support and a change in legislation to stop these companies screwing over the poor and desperate.
In the next election, Labour needs to make sure we have a strong vision, that was why we lost. Ed Miliband, as much as I liked him, failed to deliver a consistent vision for the future. That’s where the Tories had us; they said what they were going to do and why it would help. Labour said what we were going to do, and not really that much else, especially not how it tied into a larger plan. Stella’s campaigning vision can provide this because her engagement with the membership with galvanise it, and hopefully support for the party as a whole.
So what have I written here? A very long-winded way of saying I am voting for Stella Creasy to be deputy because she wants to engage with the membership, has a proven track record of effective campaigning, and gets the fact that Labour needs a clear message for 2020.