Filed under: General

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The following 9 nominations are for the contested 5 open places on the committee and balloting is by electronic ballot using Opavote. If you have not received a ballot please email admin@openlabour.org

Name: Fraser Amos

Constituency: Taunton Deane

Statement

Having become the Youth Officer for Taunton Deane CLP I have established a new active and growing Young Labour group. We meet twice a month with guest speakers from groups such as Greenpeace and Make Votes Matter to discuss the issues our young members are interested in and campaign on them locally. I also summarise our young member’s views into proposals that are submitted to Labour’s policy commissions so that young members are influencing policy.

We have helped in a campaign to save Somerset’s only LGBT+ Youth Service, nationally recognised 2BU, from threatened closure by the Tory Council. I have been the co-ordinator of this campaign which has raised 1,000 signatures, gained favourable local press coverage and gotten assurances and statements of support from local MPs and the council leader, forcing the council into discussion with 2BU about how to support it. Taunton Deane Young Labour are trying to reach out to local young people and engage in Labour & non-partisan local campaigns to give young people a voice in politics and to expand the reach of the party.

I am also standing for the Managing Committee as I think it is important to have representation from Young and Queer people as well as Labour members in an area such as the South West.

I am a passionate Socialist who believes in pluralistic and open politics, which is why I have joined Open Labour. I feel alienated by the bitter polarisation into camps rabidly in support of or opposition to Jeremy. I believe Open Labour must serve to reach across the divides in the party, as I feel I do in my local party, engaging new members and focusing on the substance of policy and campaigns that enjoys wide consensus among our members.

Name: Danny Filer

Constituency: Dulwich and West Norwood

Statement

I’m running for Open Labour’s Management Committee (MC) because I believe that at this crucial stage of its development into an effective organising group, it needs dedication, enthusiasm, and competence from its MC – I believe I would bring this. The Labour Party has for too long suffered from a disorganised soft left, with many members stuck between a rock and a hard place. We owe it to them to ensure our voices are heard.

I’ve been a LP member since 2010; since then I have been active in Labour Students, initially joining the committee and now currently chairing the Labour Society at UCL – this period has seen me put energy and time into making it an open, active, and inclusive society for its members. I have also been active regionally, working to aid other clubs in London, coordinating and helping where possible.  I have worked with LYL to assist in their events, and am also working to engage young members in my local CLP. If elected, I wont be a vacant seat on the MC, but a dedicated, contributing member who will work to make OL relevant, influential, and organised for its members and the wider LP.  hrs+/week.

Name: Philip Freeman

Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster

Statement:

Momentum to the left of us, Progress to the right of us. Neither of them have any idea how the Labour Party should address the coming challenges this country faces. From Brexit, to automation, to identity, our Party, stuck in its ideological comfort zone, has no answers. This is the vacuum I want Open Labour to fill. Open Labour’s strength has been that it has been built from the ground up. I want us to use this strength to reach three objectives. First of all, I want Open Labour to use community organising techniques to help Labour reconnect with the communities it is has lost touch with. Secondly, I want Open Labour to be an incubator for new ideas so that our Party is able to meet the big challenges of this age. Finally, I want Open Labour to organise within the Party to get these policies into Labour manifestos at every level of government.

I have had experience organising both inside and outside the Labour Party. I am currently the Labour Campaign to end Homelessness’ campaign officer and organised the vigil for Jo Cox on Parliament Square the day after she was brutally murdered.

Whether on the management committee or as lay member, I look forward to seeing this organisation flourish.

Name: Tom King

Constituency: Walthamstow CLP

Statement

I’m standing for Open Labour’s Management Committee because I believe that we need an organisation fighting for democratic socialism within the Labour Party that is rooted in our values and traditions, produces fresh and exciting ideas and is serious about winning power, not based on personality and individuals. There is clearly a challenge to win over the majority of Labour members to this position and I hope that, through Open Labour, I can make a contribution to this. I’ve held a number of positions in activist and campaigning groups – within and outside the Labour Party – and have organised internal election campaigns, conference fringe events and other panel talks, contributed to blogs and newsletters, and planned and delivered campaigns. By day, I work as policy officer and have a range of skills that I believe would be useful in Open Labour’s aspiration to generate policies for the democratic left within the party. I would be happy to spend at least an hour a week working on building and developing Open Labour, if elected, and to spend more time as and when necessary.

Name: James McAsh

Constituency: Camberwell and Peckham

Statement

My utmost political concern is inequality. It was the last Labour government’s failure in this regard which kept me from joining the party, but it was its potential to tackle the problem which led me to join in 2013.

As the Labour Party has transformed in the past 18 months I increasingly feel isolated between two polarised blocs of opinion. I believe it possible to challenge neoliberalism without supporting tyrants overseas. I do not think it is right-wing to adapt your message to the electorate, nor is it ultra-left to take extra-parliamentary social movements seriously. It is not contradictory to address voters’ material concerns whilst maintaining our liberal and social-democratic values.

Open Labour’s position paper sets it up to be an organisation which can bridge this gap. I am increasingly of the view that if social democracy is to have a future, it will belong to the ‘open left’.

Experience

  • Youth Representative on London Labour Regional Board.
  • Vice President of National Union of Teachers local division.
  • Board member for University of Edinburgh.
  • Primary teacher in disadvantaged area.

Skills

  • Building alliances for shared goals.
  • Writing: articles, reports, minutes
  • Facilitating meetings and workshops.

Name: Tom Miller

Constituency: Brent Central

Statement

I am standing for Open Labour’s management committee to empower a broad, realistic and plural left within Labour.

Our tradition in Labour is a Bevanite one. It proposes bold ideas for modern challenges. It seeks to concentrate on building left institutions and changing mainstream opinion. It is practical and it fights. Those who have joined Open Labour are in agreement that our tradition within Labour needs an organised voice.

I work full time as a Cabinet member on Brent Council and am active in the GMB. I began in Labour politics as a member of Compass’s youth wing, have worked for Tribune and as a party organiser.

As a Co-chair I have taken a key role into bringing is organisation together. With my co-Chair Bev Craig and steering committee members like Alex Sobel and Rose Grayston, I have worked to make Open Labour uncompromising on gender equality, involving of BAME activists and people with disabilities at the top, and for it to be truly nation wide.

We now have basic resources a great membership for an organisation finding its feet. We need to organise and build power. Please give me your support to continue this mission.

Robin Moss

Constituency: North East Somerset

Statement:

I am a Bath & NE Somerset councillor, leader of the Labour group. In the past I was a Bristol councillor & a cabinet member. When I was in Bristol I lived in, worked in & represented the multicultural inner city ward of Easton. Now I live in Radstock & represent next door Westfield, part of the old Somerset coalfield community. Both sides of the Brexit, cultural divide, so I’m experienced in the issues that are such a challenge for Labour to rebuild the electoral coalition we need to win a General election. That coalition has to be politically tolerant & inclusive, respecting different opinions & views. Electorally popular policies can only come as a result of debate & a fusion of different ideas. Far left dogmatism & intolerance will only bring defeat.

I work in the not-for-profit sector, & believe that public ownership (& control) is not necessarily the same as state ownership & control. Devolving power & responsibility, trusting communities is a socialist approach. Not vanguardism.

I would hope the management committee will be using technology to meet & talk. I‘m happy to give hours of my time, but not just on public transport please !

Name: Alex Sobel

Constituency: Leeds North West

Statement

Open Labour is the third time I have tried to work with others to setup an organisation of the Labour left that is democratic, tolerant and open since 2010. In the weeks following the 2015 election it seemed crucial that we try again. I spoke to Tom Miller who was of the same mind and we reached out to other Labour Party members. We first met on the day of the Leadership election in 2015 and started working on organising what we then called the ‘centre left network’ putting out flyers at Party Conference. In October we decided to change the name to Open Labour and launched in December.

Since then we have held events around the country, put out regular content on the website and worked towards becoming a membership organisation and I feel with the team I have played a central role.

I see Open Labour as unashamedly left wing but a left that doesn’t lecture or dictate and values opinions from across the spectrum. A left that has a clear strategy for creating good jobs and stable communities, that creates homes for all and egalitarian public services.

I have been proud of the role I have played including as Treasurer.

I am also a Labour and Co-operative Councillor for Moortown and Deputy Executive Member for Sustainability and Climate Change on Leeds City Council. I work for Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber supporting Co-operatives and Social Enterprises.

Name: Tom Williams

Constituency: Manchester, Gorton

Statement

The challenges that face the Labour Party and the international political left over the coming years cannot be understated. I believe that only the open-minded, progressive socialism that Open Labour represents can help us rise to those challenges. We should forge an independent space within the Labour Party’s broad church, but not be afraid to work with those to our left and our right to influence the Labour Party’s direction.

As a member of the interim Open Labour Management Committee, I have lead on the development of our membership and events systems. I hope to be re-elected to the committee to continue working towards a integrated relationship management system so Open Labour can more effectively reach its goals as a campaigning organisation. I have contributed to various other projects and, in February, I organised the Open Labour Campaign Day to Stoke Central.

I am a member of Socialist Health Association and Scientists for Labour. In my non-Labour life, I am a research scientist in medicinal chemistry, and live in Gorton, Manchester with my cat (age 2 1/2).

The following 5 places are for the womens reserved places on the Management Committee and all have been elected uncontested

Name: Cllr Bev Craig

Constituency: Manchester Withington

Statement

As a founding member and currently the interim Co-Chair of Open Labour, I’m passionate about making it a success.

To change our country Labour needs to be in power. Open Labour should be an unashamedly left wing voice that focuses its energy on a Labour Party that is both credible and able to govern locally, regionally and nationally. A Party that has modern ideas and solutions to modern problems, in a way that connects with people and is easy to understand.

Originally from Belfast, I moved to Manchester as the first in my family to study post 16. I’ve been an equality activist for over 15 years, having run LGBT organisations locally, nationally and internationally, including as Co-Chair of LGBT Labour (2013-15).

I’ve been active at all levels of the party; and for the last 6 years a Councillor in Manchester, currently chairing Manchester’s Health Scrutiny Committee covering health and social care. I’ve always been a committed trade unionist, both throughout my time working in local government, education and now working for UNISON.

I have the passion, energy and skills to continue to help build Open Labour as an effective voice for an open, outward-looking, modern left.

Name: Rose Grayston

Constituency: Croydon Central

Statement

I have been part of Open Labour’s early development as a founding member and current interim Secretary. To me, Open Labour is about providing platforms, organisation and ideas to turn the aims of the democratic left into a clear, radical and credible vision capable of building support within and beyond the party. I am passionate about our potential to galvanise the soft left and create the conditions for Labour’s renewal.

As a grassroots activist in Croydon, I believe in the power of campaigning to get Labour’s message out and supporters’ messages into the party, and am keen to develop Open Labour’s campaigning capacity. I am a research and policy advisor for the charity sector, and will use these skills to develop the evidence base on which we make decisions and agree policy positions.

I grew up as a young carer and am a passionate ally of the disability rights movement. As a Management Committee member I will ensure Open Labour is committed to the highest standards of access and inclusion for all members and supporters in all that we do.

I would be privileged to continue to support Open Labour’s development as a Management Committee member over the next year.

Name: Lynn Morris

Constituency: Canterbury

Statement

I am standing for election because I believe in the values and aspirations of Open Labour; I also believe firmly that if we are to heal our broken party, we need to do it in a way that promotes peace and reconciliation amongst the constituent parts of the Labour Party and brings to an end the polarisation and non-inclusive language that we have witnessed, in some parts of our party, in recent times.

I have a good rapport with the current management committee in my capacity as one of the administrators of the Open Labour Facebook group and I wish to solidify and build upon these relationships in the coming year.

I have an academic and consultancy background and the skillset I bring from those spheres include strategy development, planning, organising events, writing for publication, marketing communications and publicity.  I was also involved in a number of social media campaigns in 2016, which some members will be familiar with and recognise my name from.

Most of the time commitment I have to offer will be via social media as I am a working mum with limited face to face time.

I look forward to seeing some of you at conference.

Name: Laura Pascal

Constituency: Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Statement

I want to see a Labour party that provides a credible socialist alternative to the Tory government and I firmly believe in the Open Labour approach to encouraging positive and constructive internal debate.

Through my job I have developed expertise in key policy areas of housing, social care and education. I have experience of the relationships between local and national government in these areas.

I am a director of the Right To Manage (RTM) company for the flats where I live, and an active member of Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP, where I am training coordinator and a branch secretary.

The leadership and energy I have brought to the role of branch secretary has had a transformative effect on member engagement and participation. We also now have one of the highest contact rates in the borough and what was previously an ‘unwinnable’ seat is now widely considered to be on course for Labour success in 2018.

I remain dedicated to contributing to my CLP and community, but do have the capacity and commitment to contribute on a regular basis to the development of Open Labour.

Name: Rachael Ward

Constituency: Hackney South and Shoreditch

Statement

The Labour Party is currently in crisis. Without a clear message on Brexit, or an alternative narrative in the face of a far-right upsurge, the Labour Party feels trapped between a rock and hard place, in terms of our vote share but also our own political culture.

The coup attempt, Labour’s shaky party democracy, and the ideological gulf between the membership and the PLP have entrenched resentments in the Party. Meanwhile, mistrust has pushed many on the left into a hyper-defensive position that doesn’t necessarily engender honest discussion.

Across Europe, left parties are struggling because social democracy is struggling to defend the ideas on which it was founded in the context of globalization. Now more than ever we need a space for healthy open discussion about these questions.

I believe Open Labour can become the home for these discussions, and apply the kind of pressure on the leadership that neither a hostile right, nor a loyalist left can achieve.

EXPERIENCE:

Experience of the building and managing an organisation. I was twice elected onto the London Young Labour committee which involved:

  • committee meetings
  • communication with membership
  • fundraising
  • planning events (including two conferences)
  • And all with a budget of practically 0!

The following nominations are for the Welsh and Scottish places and were elected unopposed

Name: Paul Thompson

Constituency: Edinburgh Central

Statement

Having argued that the soft needs to get some kind of organisational act together, I would like to make a contribution to making it a success. Professional and personal obligations have militated against much local activism in recent years, but I would aim to facilitate an emergent presence in the Scottish party. What I do bring is an extensive experience of organisation and strategy.

I was on the Executive of the LCC from 1983 to its wind down in 1998, and was Chair at its height of influence 1986-8. From 1993 to 2005 I edited the journal Renewal and was a signatory to the founding of Compass. It is an opportune but tough time for Open Labour to be launching an organisation. There is not much most on the left could disagree with in the Draft Founding Statement and that won’t be enough to survive and grow.

The next few years will be brutal. An open culture needs to be combined with sharper perspectives and policies that can appeal to both our natural support and the reality-facing parts of competing political forces when Corbynism implodes.

At 66 years of age, I’m not sure about the energy, but I do have the time and inclination to help steer the MC through the choppy waters ahead.

Name: David Hamblin

Constituency: Cardiff North

Statement

Proud to be a Labour Party member & an active Socialist & Trade Unionist.

I am a former Chair of the GMB Yong Members Network and was proud to lead campaigns on Mental Health, Living Wage, & a Fair Deal for Young Workers.

Standing in the tradition of Bevan I retain a faith in the real & present need for a Labour Party that can impart a positive influence on society.

I believe absolutely in a Labour Party that fights in every sphere – the ballot box, the workplace, & in society as a whole.

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