Let’s start with the basics, Labour Students must do more to welcome and empower our trans members. And how do we do that? We start by asking all of our trans members what they want Labour Students to do, from trans representation in our national structures to the campaigns that we run. In order for our caucus’ to be productive and to make real change, we must be able to decide for ourselves the route and methods of our liberation. That’s why I’m launching a consultation for our self-defining trans members on the future of Labour Students, it will be as detailed as possible and it is my mission to do my absolute best by you while we are on the road to a trans officer.
The consultation will be limited in that it will only be able to affect change that is in the bounds of the new Labour Students constitution. However, until self-defining trans members have autonomy in Labour Students, this consultation aims to do everything possible to make our organisation more trans-inclusive. I am sorry that we are far from where we ought to be and as your LGBT+ officer I intend to work hard to ensure that trans members always feel welcome and empowered in Labour Students.
At liberation conference I will work to ensure that trans people are given a platform to talk about the oppression that they face and have a space to self-organise. And I will always listen to the views and concerns of the trans members of my caucus. Over the next few months I’m going to be campaigning on key issues to LGBT+ Labour Students and I want to ensure that any and all campaigns we run do not ignore or side-line the needs or voices of trans students so I will ensure that anything I consider will be put to our caucus.
Rhys Purtill, Labour Students LGBT+ Officer
If you self-define as trans then please fill out the consultation on what you want Labour Students to do by following this link: https://goo.gl/forms/lzD9dEtiDSZhdZlS2.
If you would like a session run on how to liberate your labour club please get in touch with email@example.com who will organise a session to be run on your campus by Labour Students liberation officers.
Let’s start with the basics, Labour Students must do more to welcome and empower our trans members. And how do we do that? We start by asking all of our...Go to the post
"I just don't believe trans people are a real thing. We should make them start hunting and foraging for their own food and see whether they still care about what gender they are then".
I sat in shock and looked out of the train window. I could see over the tops of the seats the man who was spouting his disgusting opinions, loudly for the whole train to hear. I felt like crying. I wanted to get up and shout at him, but I couldn’t muster the strength. I sunk back into my seat and tried to take my mind off what had just happened.
Earlier that day, a small group of us from Welsh Labour Students went to visit a support group in Stoke for trans people. We handed over a cheque for £700; money we had raised in memory of our friend Lily Summers whose grave we visited just before.
Even now, months after she passed away it still hurts to write about Lily as someone who is not with us anymore. But the pain of losing Lily inspired us in Welsh Labour Students to launch a campaign to improve access to healthcare in Wales for trans people, and to raise money for the support group who helped her through her transition.
For those of you who were unfortunate enough to not meet Lily during her all too short life; Lily was a ferocious campaigner, an outspoken voice for social justice and LGBTQ rights, as well as a proud Labour member and Swansea City Council candidate.
Lily was also Welsh Labour Students Women's Officer, the first trans person elected to our committee and one of my closest friends.
In Lily's memory we met with Welsh Government Ministers, and passed policy at our Welsh Labour Conference improving Welsh Labours policy on trans healthcare. At conference, out of respect to Lily we received a standing ovation and the introduction of the Lily Summers award for campaigning on LGBTQ rights within our movement.
It is easy, in the midst of these victories to feel that our work is going well, but the man on the train who made me cry that day reminded me of just how much work we still have to do in support of trans people. As well as proving the battle that trans people face every day just to be recognised. That's why this month I’ve already met with our fantastic LGBT+ Officer Rhys Purtill, and will be talking to our trans members to discuss how we give the trans campaign in Labour Students the autonomy it needs.
I'm also planning on working with the Young European Socialists new Queer Network Co-Ordinator Luis Deltell Segura, who I recently met with at the Young European Socialists Bureau meeting in Malta. Together with other member organisations we hope to map out how easy it is for trans people to acquire documents showing their true gender across Europe, so we can then launch campaigns in the countries that have the worst records on trans rights. In the coming months I hope to hear from you all on ideas you may have, campaigns you think we should run and changes we should aim to achieve. This campaign must have trans people at the forefront, but with all of us standing behind in solidarity.
Our movement owes it to Lily, to be loud, to be radical and to refuse any silence on the issue of trans rights. So I’m pleased that Labour is pledging to reform the outdated Gender Recognition Act to give trans people the right to choose their own gender and put an end to invasive medical examinations.
It will never be enough, but it will be a start.
Lily was an incredible woman with a fantastic future ahead of her. She loved our movement and always put others before herself. Lily brightened every room she walked in to and her modest brilliance always made her the centre of every debate.
Lily's mum Deborah told me that day that it is every mother’s worst fear that when their child dies, they will be forgotten. Yesterday Deborah picked up Lily’s B.A. that Swansea University awarded to Lily posthumously. When Deborah went up to collect the degree, Lily’s fellow graduates gave her a standing ovation as they remembered the fantastic person Lily was.
I have no doubt that in only a matter of years Lily would have been the UKs first trans MP, proudly sitting on the Labour benches. Unfortunately that version of events will never come to pass, but I know that together we can ensure that Deborah's worst fear is never realised, and people forever remember my friend Lily as someone who inspired great change in the UK.
CN: Transphobia "I just don't believe trans people are a real thing. We should make them start hunting and foraging for their own food and see whether they...Go to the post
Hi! We’re your new National Office. We’ll be leading the organisation over the coming year so we wanted to let you know a bit about what we’ve been planning. Labour Students is an incredible organisation that contributed a lot to all of our University experiences, and as your National Office we want to ensure that being a part of the Labour Students movement is as good for you as it was for us.
We wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to talk to you about some of our priorities for the upcoming year, and if you’ve never been involved before, find out about some of the things we’re doing on a daily basis to ensure Labour Students is the best organisation it can be.
When we were elected, one thing that was clear is that liberation movements should be at the centre of our movement. This year we are organising our first ever liberation conference, in collaboration with our liberation officers, and continuing with anti-Semitism training alongside our friends in the Jewish Labour Movement and at the Union of Jewish Students. We also want to ensure our speakers and sessions are intersectional, and that our caucuses are empowered to make change in our movement.
It’s really important to us that as many Labour Students as possible are able to actively engage with our democracy. That’s why we want to reform our membership system, so every member of Labour Student has a chance to participate in our national organisation and so we can communicate better with new members and those who haven’t engaged with us before.
Labour Students has multiple clubs in every region of the UK, and we see new ones join our national movement every year. We’re especially keen to support new clubs who might not have worked with Labour Students before, and to work with sixth forms and colleges to ensure those who want to set up Labour Clubs in Further Education are able to.
One thing we’re keen to do is give our movement better accountability – we want to ensure that at every opportunity you’re able to hear about what we’ve been working on and ask any questions you may have. Beyond our current Officer Q&A sessions at the end of every National Event - we are intending on more regular reports and more accessible accountability that our members can participate in.
But most importantly, we want to hear from you about all the things you’ve been doing in your Universities and Colleges, and how we can help make your Labour Clubs thrive.
We want to give you the skills to win the arguments, spread the Labour message and build better, stronger Labour clubs. Whatever your plans for the year, we want to be with you every step of the way.
We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Melantha, Rachel & Josh
Hi! We’re your new National Office. We’ll be leading the organisation over the coming year so we wanted to let you know a bit about what we’ve been planning. Labour...Go to the post
Today Labour Students National Committee received a report from the Labour Party regarding Labour Students membership data requirements. The Director for Membership and Party Services at the Labour Party explained the content of the report to committee, and the implications of these for this years Labour Students’ elections.
Today Labour Students National Committee received a report from the Labour Party regarding Labour Students membership data requirements. The Director for Membership and Party Services at the Labour Party explained... Read moreGo to the post
In the final blog of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new LGBT+ Officer, Rhys Purtill, writes about his plans for the year.
In the final blog of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new LGBT+ Officer, Rhys Purtill, writes about his plans for the year. Read moreGo to the post
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new BAME Officer, Lydia Okoibhole, writes about her plans for the year.
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new BAME Officer, Lydia Okoibhole, writes about her plans for the year. Read moreGo to the post
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new Disabled Students' Officer, Gabriel Phillips, writes about his plans for the year.
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new Disabled Students' Officer, Gabriel Phillips, writes about his plans for the year. Read moreGo to the post
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new Women's Officer, Sheri-Ann Bhim, writes about her plans for the year.
As part of our Liberation in Labour Students blog series, our new Women's Officer, Sheri-Ann Bhim, writes about her plans for the year. Read moreGo to the post
Over the last few days, I have seen the vibrant discussion our members have been having on social media about the far-reaching changes we are bringing to Labour Students.
Over the last few days, I have seen the vibrant discussion our members have been having on social media about the far-reaching changes we are bringing to Labour Students. Read moreGo to the post
I would be lying if I said that the last few years have been an easy time for the Scottish Labour Party, but I believe we are starting to find our feet. There is clear red water between us and the nationalists, as we saw last weekend from Scottish Labour Conference in Perth.
I would be lying if I said that the last few years have been an easy time for the Scottish Labour Party, but I believe we are starting to find... Read moreGo to the post
Labour Students, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Union of Jewish Students are coming together on Monday at Oxford University Labour Club to launch the start of a series of training sessions on tackling anti-Semitism in Labour Clubs and on campus.
Labour Students, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Union of Jewish Students are coming together on Monday at Oxford University Labour Club to launch the start of a series of... Read moreGo to the post
At our National Council in Cardiff back in December Amy Smith, President of Sheffield College Student's Union, was re-elected as our Further Education rep. Here she writes for us on how this Government is letting Further Education students down and why Labour needs to make the case for investment in FE.
At our National Council in Cardiff back in December Amy Smith, President of Sheffield College Student's Union, was re-elected as our Further Education rep. Here she writes for us on... Read moreGo to the post
Josh James, Chair of Welsh Labour Students, welcomed us to Cardiff for #LSCouncil16 at the end of December with the following speech:
Josh James, Chair of Welsh Labour Students, welcomed us to Cardiff for #LSCouncil16 at the end of December with the following speech: Read moreGo to the post
This weekend’s National Council in Cardiff is the biggest in our history, both in terms of the number of delegates and the number of motions. That is incredible.
This weekend’s National Council in Cardiff is the biggest in our history, both in terms of the number of delegates and the number of motions. That is incredible. Read moreGo to the post
Yesterday saw the Higher Education Bill third reading in the House of Commons, the final stage for the Bill in the Commons. Labour MPs put forward further amendments, especially around terms and conditions of student loans, with Wes Streeting MP and Martin Lewis pointing out how, effectively, millions of students have been mis-sold student loans. Unfortunately, the government didn’t listen to concerns, and the fight now moves to the House of Lords.
Yesterday saw the Higher Education Bill third reading in the House of Commons, the final stage for the Bill in the Commons. Labour MPs put forward further amendments, especially around... Read moreGo to the post
Across the country, Labour Students clubs, members and SU officers have been working hard on voter registration and campaigning for universities to integrate voter registration in the University enrolment process, in line with our A Million More Voices priority campaign.
Here Becky Gittins, former Chair of Warwick Labour Students and now the Democracy and Development Officer at Warwick SU, describes in step-by-step detail her fight to win on this issue, the set-backs she’s had and her top tips #AMillionMoreVoices
Across the country, Labour Students clubs, members and SU officers have been working hard on voter registration and campaigning for universities to integrate voter registration in the University enrolment process,... Read moreGo to the post
Robbie Young, NUS Vice-President Society and Citizenship, explains why he's marching on the #Nov19 United for Education demo
Robbie Young, NUS Vice-President Society and Citizenship, explains why he's marching on the #Nov19 United for Education demo Read moreGo to the post
Emily Horsfall, the Union Development and Democracy Officer at Keele Student Union, writes for us on why her SU is supporting the national ballot to risk assess action around the National Student Survey and why a 'boycott or sabotage' of it is a terrible idea
Emily Horsfall, the Union Development and Democracy Officer at Keele Student Union, writes for us on why her SU is supporting the national ballot to risk assess action around the... Read moreGo to the post
Labour Students are proud of our partnership with Community Trade Union. Shonagh Munro, Chair of Edinburgh Labour Students, talks about being part of Community and our shared values.
Labour Students are proud of our partnership with Community Trade Union. Shonagh Munro, Chair of Edinburgh Labour Students, talks about being part of Community and our shared values. Read moreGo to the post
Coming to University can be daunting but becoming part of Labour Students is a good way to make friends, have great experiences, have fun at socials and learn more about Labour.
Coming to University can be daunting but becoming part of Labour Students is a good way to make friends, have great experiences, have fun at socials and learn more about... Read moreGo to the post
The changes being proposed by the Government will only further the marketization of education and are the wrong changes at the wrong time.
The changes being proposed by the Government will only further the marketization of education and are the wrong changes at the wrong time. Read moreGo to the post
Over the summer we’ve set out our views on the Higher Education Bill and the Teaching Excellence Framework. Having met MPs in Parliament to discuss the Bill our view hasn’t changed – these fundamental changes to Higher Education are the wrong changes at the wrong time and will further marketization.
Over the summer we’ve set out our views on the Higher Education Bill and the Teaching Excellence Framework. Having met MPs in Parliament to discuss the Bill our view hasn’t... Read moreGo to the post
Labour Students notes the conclusions of Baroness Royall’s inquiry into antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) and Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry into the wider Labour Party.
Baroness Royall’s inquiry into OULC made a number of recommendations about what Labour Students should look like and how it should respond to incidents of antisemitism. We accept the report’s recommendations in full and will continue to work to ensure that all our Labour Clubs are safe spaces for members to come together to debate and campaign.
We look forward to working with the Union of Jewish Students and the Jewish Labour Movement to provide training for our members on what antisemitism is, how best to respond to it, and to empower Jewish students to lead on this issue. We’re hopeful this will expand on our work in guaranteeing that Labour Students is at all levels a welcoming space for Jewish students to express their views, attend meetings and events. In particular, antisemitic language, epithets or tropes will never be tolerated in our movement.
We also welcome the findings of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into the Labour Party as a whole, and welcome the direction set by the national party as a result of this.
Our strong relationship with the Union of Jewish Students is one we continue to be proud of, and we will work hand in hand with them to make these positive changes.
While the circumstances that brought about both the Royall and Chakrabarti inquiries were deeply challenging, we believe that both reports represent an opportunity to renew our commitment to fighting antisemitism.
For any media enquiries, please contact the Labour Party national press team.
Labour Students notes the conclusions of Baroness Royall’s inquiry into antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) and Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry into the wider Labour Party. Baroness Royall’s inquiry into...Go to the post
I was elected just over a year ago on the promise of implementing One Member, One Vote for Labour Students. It was decided by countless democratic events and Labour Clubs that was the right course of action, and I agree. My time in Labour Students has been characterised by the endless debate on this issue. Well enough is enough; tomorrow we can put an end to the indecision, the stalling, and the reviews. We need nothing less to stay relevant in a changing movement; we can’t retain the structures of the 1970s.
I was elected just over a year ago on the promise of implementing One Member, One Vote for Labour Students. It was decided by countless democratic events and Labour Clubs... Read moreGo to the post
The HE White Paper is the clearest sign yet that this government is failing students and young people. This Paper, at its heart, represents yet another attack on our education system from a right-wing government determined to unleash the full force of the market in Higher Education. As such, we have several key concerns:
The HE White Paper is the clearest sign yet that this government is failing students and young people. This Paper, at its heart, represents yet another attack on our education... Read moreGo to the post
We’ve been critical of the direction NUS is taking for a number of years. We’re concerned that the organisation has become more interested in internal debate than real issues facing students, more interested in infighting than fighting the government and more interested in grandstanding than standing up for students.
We’ve been critical of the direction NUS is taking for a number of years. We’re concerned that the organisation has become more interested in internal debate than real issues facing... Read moreGo to the post
We’ve just had Political Weekend – our biggest event of the year, and this year it was the biggest in over a decade. We had over 170 members from across the country come together for a weekend of debate, training and brilliant speakers – including for the first time in a number of years, the leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
We’ve just had Political Weekend – our biggest event of the year, and this year it was the biggest in over a decade. We had over 170 members from across... Read moreGo to the post
Tomorrow is my second Freshers Fayre as a student at the University of Manchester and my first as Co-Chair of the Labour club. If someone had told me this time last year that I would be running a Labour Students stall this year I wouldn’t have believed them. I like most students, was caught up in the queue for dominoes and busy adding my name to mailing lists I’d spend months trying to unsubscribe from. But now that I’m involved I can’t imagine my university experience without Labour Students and the experiences it’s given me.
Tomorrow is my second Freshers Fayre as a student at the University of Manchester and my first as Co-Chair of the Labour club. If someone had told me this time... Read moreGo to the post
Last Saturday was my fourth and final Fresher’s fayre at Dundee University. Three years ago as a nervous, slightly hungover fresher I found the labour stall and signed up to be a member of Dundee Labour Students and the Labour party. Since then I’ve campaigned in countless by-elections, a European Parliament election, a referendum and a general election. I’ve met students from up and down the country. I’ve been involved in campaigns from getting a living wage to ending pay day loans. I didn’t realise then how big a part Labour Students would play in my University experience and how it would change my time at Dundee.
Last Saturday was my fourth and final Fresher’s fayre at Dundee University. Three years ago as a nervous, slightly hungover fresher I found the labour stall and signed up to... Read moreGo to the post
Today we’ve seen brutal evidence of the Tory’s continued attack on students. Not content with simply scrapping EMA, tripling tuition fees and abolishing AimHigher, we have now seen the Maintenance Grants, a lifeline for thousands, pulled from under our feet.
Today we’ve seen brutal evidence of the Tory’s continued attack on students. Not content with simply scrapping EMA, tripling tuition fees and abolishing AimHigher, we have now seen the Maintenance... Read moreGo to the post
During the General Election I was one of many Labour Students knocking on doors across the country in marginal seats. Although the result was disappointing for all of us, we won’t stop campaigning for the values that we believe in.
During the General Election I was one of many Labour Students knocking on doors across the country in marginal seats. Although the result was disappointing for all of us, we... Read moreGo to the post
If you’ve just joined Labour Students then welcome, you couldn’t of joined at a better time! This is a fresh start for Labour Students, we want you to play your part in shaping the organisations future and to help us achieve all our plans for the next year. We’re your new national office, Michael, Erin, and Alec, if you have any questions about what we do or what our roles are don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We were all disappointed with the result on May 8th. A Tory government means harsh cuts for the very poorest in our communities. This disappointment however, has led to thousands of you joining us to fight back against the Tories, fight against inequality in our society, and fight for a better future for our generation. Our membership has gone up by a massive 40% since the general election, thousands of you have put your disappointment to one side and decided to get organised to make a difference. It is more important than ever that we have a student movement which will help shape our party, change the status quo on our campuses, and fight for Labour values across the country.
We’re ready to get started on that change. Over the next year we have so much to do. From organising summer training, a priority campaign, and freshers; to elections in Scotland and Wales as well as the Mayoral elections in London. We are here to help and support you through all of it. Our movement has a proud and long history which has helped shape the Britain you see today and we’re not going to stop there, and as a Labour Student, we know you won’t either.
With thousands of new members and the commitment shown in the past few months by our existing members we know that this year will be amazing! We want to hear from you about what we can do to help make Labour Students thrive on your campuses. We will be holding our usual national events over the next year, Summer Training, Political Weekend, National Council and National Conference but we will also be with you every step of the way on your campuses and on the doorstep up and down the country. We want to use this year to build a brighter future for Labour Students and we want you to play your part in shaping that future. Over the next few months we want your input in organising national events, setting the agenda on our priority campaign, making our organisation as transparent and democratic as it can be, and redeveloping our approach to freshers so that we’re delivering the best possible support for Labour clubs up and down the country.
If you’re not already a member of your Labour Club, join! Being a member of a club is amazing, and it’s where we all started, campaigning on issues you care about and making lifelong friends along the way. If you don’t know what your local club is, or you’re not sure if your college or University has a Labour Club get in touch with one of us and we’ll point you in the right direction (you can also find our club directory here). And, if there isn't a club at your university, we'll do our very best to help you set one up! In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates, and sign up to our mailing list if you’re not already!
Finally we want to thank the previous national officers for their work this past year. Guiding Labour Students through a General Election isn’t easy, and they did it brilliantly. Finn, Grace, and Brad, thank you for everything you’ve done and all the best for the future!
Your new national officers,
Michael, Erin, and Alec
If you’ve just joined Labour Students then welcome, you couldn’t of joined at a better time! This is a fresh start for Labour Students, we want you to play your...Go to the post
It sounds dramatic, but students could tip the balance of power at the next General Election. First thing’s first, everyone needs to register to vote by 20th April. If sufficient numbers do, studies have shown that students could determine who forms a Government in May. And rightly so. Students – at college or university, studying full time or part time – are incredibly important members of society, with a huge stake in our country’s future.
Since 2010, when I was elected MP for Sheffield Central, the constituency with the highest number of students in the country, I’ve worked hard to make sure students are listened to and taken seriously by politicians. Together with NUS, I set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students to provide a direct student voice in Westminster.
As a representative of both Sheffield universities, I’m pleased that Labour has put students at the heart of the General Election campaign. Our £6k fee commitment, with increased support for living costs and a future move towards a graduate tax, is a strong offer to students. Many of the issues raised with me by students are about accommodation and Labour will take tough action to protect tenants.
We’ll tackle rogue landlords, with a national landlord register, and we’ll ban letting agents’ fees, as well as offering longer tenancies for those who want them, and controlled rents. And we’ll strengthen our universities, by taking students out of net migration targets, re-gaining our leading position in recruiting students from around the world. These are all issue raised with me by students in Sheffield.
But I know from my conversations that students don’t only want to see change on ‘student issues’. This election is about future direction of our country. There’s a crucial choice between Labour and the Tories, and the dividing lines could not be clearer. We will use the power of Government to make our economy work for everyone – acting in the labour market to raise wages and tackle abusive zero hours contracts that leave people unsure if they’ll earn enough money to pay their bills.
Tackling growing inequality will be central to an incoming Labour Government. We’ll abolish the hated bedroom tax that’s mostly affecting disabled people and act against the harsh benefit sanctions regime which is driving millions to food banks when they lose vital income, often without knowing why. Alongside raising income tax for the highest earners, and the tax on bankers’ bonuses, we’ll act against the scandal of tax avoidance. And there’s a bigger picture too.
While the Tories jostle with UKIP to see who will take us out of EU quicker, Labour will rebuild our place at the heart of Europe, and use the position to win bold new international agreements on climate change at the Paris Conference later this year. We will insulate 5 million homes to bring down carbon emissions and reduce fuel bills as we head towards decarbonising UK energy production by 2030.
We need a Government that can tackle the immediate issues that students face, create a stronger and fairer economy for all and engage positively with other countries to address the global challenges we face. May 7th gives us that chance.
Paul Blomfield is Labour MP for Sheffield Central, founding Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students and Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Universities. He has been shortlisted in the Guardian University Awards as this year’s Inspiring Leader in higher education.
It sounds dramatic, but students could tip the balance of power at the next General Election. First thing’s first, everyone needs to register to vote by 20th April. If sufficient...Go to the post
At Labour Students National Conference on Saturday 28th February, the following students were elected to the Labour Students National Office 2015/16:
National Campaigns and Membership Officer
The following were elected to Labour Students National Committee 2015/16:
Vice Chair Events and Communications
Vice Chair Policy and Campaigns
National Policy Forum Representative
North Regional Coordinator
North West Regional Coordinator
Yorkshire and Humber Regional Coordinator
West Midlands Regional Coordinator
East Midlands Regional Coordinator
East Regional Coordinator
London Regional Coordinator
South East Regional Coordinator
South West Regional Coordinator
The following were nominated to be Labour Students candidates in the National Union of Students elections:
Vice President Higher Education
NUS Block of 15 (FE Place)
At Labour Students National Conference on Saturday 28th February, the following students were elected to the Labour Students National Office 2015/16: National Chair Michael Rubin National Secretary Alec James National Campaigns...Go to the post
This week Ed Miliband’s announced that between now and May the Labour Party would speak to four million voters.
Labour Students #TeamFightback has already pledged thousands of hours of campaigning. We know the importance of campaigning, and we are committed to ensuring Labour Students is at the heart of those four million conversations. Now it’s time for us to get started!
Labour Students has an absolutely packed agenda to kick of the New Year, starting as we mean to go on. First off, we’ll be heading to Brighton this Saturday with Community Union for a day at the seaside campaigning for the fantastic Peter Kyle. On the 17th and 18thwe’re off to Yorkshire and the Humber, where we’ll be joined by Rachel Reeves and Jon Ashworth as we campaign in Cleethorpes and Pudsey. For the 24th and 25th of January we’ll be visiting the North West for another #teamfightback weekender. And to round off January we’ll be visiting Cambridge and Stevenage on the weekend of the 31st where we’ll be joined by Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt!
This is all part of our #teamfightback campaign. We’re going to be working in key seats all over the country to get as many new Labour MPs elected as possible. With the incredible students who came to Political Weekend promising more than 10,000 hours on the doorstep, this election we hope Labour Students can make an absolutely crucial difference. And of course, none of this would be possible without the support we receive from the Community Union – you can find out more about the Labour Campaign Network here.
We’re also going to be offering prizes for the clubs and individuals who really go above and beyond in the campaigning they do between now and May. We’ll be using our new website to log how many hours clubs and students spend on the campaign trail. The prizes on offer are going to range from drinks in parliament to money for your club!
For January the prize for the club that logs the most hours on the doorstep at the campaign weekends we’ve advertised above will get a visit from a member of the Shadow Cabinet!
There really couldn’t be a better or more important time for you to come along and join us in a key seat. And of course, if you recruit the rest of your club to come along you’re more likely to win one of our fantastic prizes.
With just 120 days to go until Britain elects a Labour Government, Labour Students is ready to campaign and win for the Labour Party.
To get involved come to our campaign days, get in touch with your ideas, and convince your friends that now is the time to make a difference!
RSVP to one of our campaign days now and start January as you mean to go on – fighting for a Labour government.
This week Ed Miliband’s announced that between now and May the Labour Party would speak to four million voters. Labour Students #TeamFightback has already pledged thousands of hours of campaigning....Go to the post
Our Chair of Scottish Labour Students shares her thoughts on the new and exciting changes happening in Scottish Labour at the moment.
Our Chair of Scottish Labour Students shares her thoughts on the new and exciting changes happening in Scottish Labour at the moment. Read moreGo to the post
I want to start by thanking Finn, Grace and Brad for inviting me to join you today.
It’s always a pleasure to be with Labour Students,
And it’s a pleasure to be here in Wales.
As I was travelling down this morning, it reminded me of when I was a student here in Wales myself.
I studied up the road at Aberystwyth.
Aber was a great place to be at University but on occasion, I did make the trip to see the bright lights of Cardiff:
An opportunity for a quiet night out with friends, perhaps even for one or two dry sherries to be consumed as well…
Now I know I’m the final act in what has been a long weekend for you.
You’ve been debating, campaigning, and I’m sure you all had an early night last night…
So before you all depart I want to talk a little bit about the General Election campaign and the political debate in the months ahead.
And there’s nowhere better to be talking about that than here with Labour Students.
I look round the room and I see rows of seriously impressive, bright and dynamic young people.
And if there’s anyone out there who’s pessimistic about our party’s future – let them come here and see the fantastic work you are doing.
You understand that the most important role we can play in politics is not as spectators, but as participants.
As change makers.
Fighting for the type of society we want to live in - in our communities, on our campuses, and on doorsteps across the country.
I well remember the difference that Labour Students made when I fought my by-election in 2011.
Students came from far and wide.
And I swear by the end of that campaign there was barely a single street in Barnsley that hadn’t seen Labour Students running up and down it.
You know, there are few certainties in politics.
Fewer still in political campaigns.
But if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that on the darkest and rainiest night, when there’s a by-election far from home, when there’s only minutes left till close of poll, and everyone else has gone home, you can be certain that there’ll still be a Labour Student running to every doorstep.
You’re one of the reasons why we should be confident going into next May.
Because our ground game is stronger than the other parties.
And we have the best and most committed activists in the country.
So before I say anything else today, it’s my job, on behalf of the Labour team in Parliament, to say:
Thank you for everything you are doing.
Thank you for being such an indispensable part of Team Labour.
Now let’s get down to business.
Because we are just 150 days away from the General Election.
That’s only 21 Sunday afternoons.
This is going to be the tightest and toughest political fight of our lifetimes.
We’re all here today because there’s something within each of us that’s made us want to be a part of this campaign.
And something in our lives that made us join it on the side of the progressives, not the conservatives.
Let me share mine with you.
Because I remember the moment when I first began to think seriously that I could potentially make a difference through politics.
It was during the 2005 General Election campaign.
I was listening to the results coming in over the radio in Afghanistan, on a bunk bed in the UK’s military headquarters in Kabul.
Now just a few days ago, I was doing an interview and a journalist asked me how a major in The Parachute Regiment could possibly be a Labour supporter.
The answer is that my service didn’t conflict with my Labour values. It reinforced them.
I grew up in a home where both my parents went out to work every day to serve the public.
It was that belief in the value of public service that took me into the Armed Forces and kept me there during some tough times.
It took me to Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
It put me in difficult situations.
And it taught me two things.
First, that we can all overcome incredible odds, and achieve exceptional things, when we have the right training, mentoring and support to help us fulfil our potential.
And second, the value of the team.
Because the important thing to understand about the army is how close-knit a community it is.
Your regiment or battalion brings people together from all beliefs and backgrounds.
You stick together. You do your bit, knowing that others will do theirs.
You trust one another. Look out for one another.
That’s something we all need when we have tough times in our lives.
Or when we’re having to make difficult decisions.
Because the truth is – and this is something I don’t tend to talk about - I’ve been tested.
Both professionally and personally.
How did I come through it?
By accepting that life doesn’t always run smoothly,
By sticking to what you know to be right,
And by having that team to fall back on.
That’s why I have always believed in that basic principle on our party membership cards – that we achieve more through shared endeavour than we can alone.
And that we should work together to get difficult things done.
That’s something we’ve all got to remember in the months ahead as Team Labour.
Because I wasn’t joking before - you are all on the frontline of the next General Election.
We’ve seen that just this week in the analysis published by Higher Education Policy Institute.
The road to Downing Street next May runs through a series of constituencies where young people hold the balance of power.
Lancaster & Fleetwood.
And many more.
Even Ministers like Nicky Morgan, Ed Davey and Simon Hughes are under threat.
So it could very well be young people who decide who’s Prime Minister on the 8th May 2015.
And it’s up to us to listen to them, to tell them how their lives will be better under a Labour government, and make sure their voices are heard.
That starts with making sure that students have a vote in the next election at all.
We all know the government’s changes to voter registration have made that all the more challenging.
Stephen Twigg and other Labour colleagues have been warning for years about the dangers of rushing individual registration through.
Now we are seeing the consequences.
Figures released in the last few days show just how many people have fallen off the electoral register in the past year.
20,000 in Liverpool alone.
The picture is even worse here in Cardiff.
25,000 people from this city have disappeared from the electoral roll and won’t have a say in choosing who represents them.
And if this pattern is repeated across the country, it could mean over 2 million people without a vote next May.
That’s roughly the same as disenfranchising everyone living in Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Bradford combined.
And we know who the two biggest groups falling off the register are.
And people who have just turned 18.
And that’s before we remember that not all young people were registered to vote in the first place.
Nick Clegg and David Cameron aren’t going to be losing any sleep at night about students being denied from voting at the next election.
So we’re the ones who’ve got to go out and get students back on the register.
Running registration drives, working with universities to get more students signed up.
I know Labour Clubs across the country are already on this, and Leicester Labour Students have brought a motion to your Council this weekend on precisely this issue.
So get on it, keep at it, and know we in Parliament will be ready to support you every step of the way.
And while I’m on voting, let me say this.
Because there were a lot of lessons for our politics from the Scottish referendum.
But let’s not forget this one.
Votes at 16 works.
And we’ve got to make our commitment to give a greater voice to your generation a big part of our argument for a Labour Government.
Because who wins next May isn’t just about the next five years.
It’s about equipping our country for the next fifty years, and the kind of society my kids will grow up in, and that you will live and work in.
I grew up in Thatcher’s Britain.
I was a student during the dog days of the last Tory government.
Seeing what they were doing to the country was part of what inspired me to join the Labour movement.
It took a generation to repair the damage they did – 13 years of Labour government in fact –
And even then there were things we didn’t have time to turn around.
Now we’ve got a government that’s eroding that progress.
It feels like we’re a country that’s drifting – not pushing on to tackle the big challenges we face.
That’s why I decided to write a book last summer.
It’s called Why Vote Labour.
It’s about the type of future we want for our country.
About how we build an economy for the many, a more inclusive society and a better democracy.
One of the decisions I made right at the outset was that I wanted there to be a specific chapter for your generation.
So I asked Bex Bailey – who many of you will know, and who does such a great job representing young people on the National Executive –
I asked her to write about what a Labour government would offer for young people.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at it, I heartily recommend it.
Because this is your generation’s election.
And I say that for two reasons.
The first will be no stranger to any of you – we’ve all experienced what this government has inflicted on young people.
Child poverty. Rising.
Tuition fees. Trebled.
Future Jobs Fund. Abolished.
Youth unemployment. Still too high.
Housing ladder. Out of reach.
Mental health services for young people. Devastated.
Apprenticeships. Not enough of them.
We’ve got to hold them to account for that.
But there’s a second reason, a bigger reason.
And it’s about the future.
There are big changes going on in our country – changes more rapid than we have ever known.
Changes that offer immense promise and potential, but they present new dangers and difficulties too.
We now live in a world where our livelihoods can be thrown into crisis by property speculators on the other side of the globe.
Where new technologies are replacing jobs and eroding our wages.
Globalisation is changing our communities.
And when people turn on the news, they see new threats to our security – many of them very close to home.
In my view, it’s all part of what’s undermining trust in our politics today.
It’s not as clear and blatant as Nick Clegg ripping up his pledge on tuition fees.
Put simply, people think our problems have outgrown our politics.
They have doubts about whether any of our politicians are up to the task.
And they’ve lost trust in the idea politics of any colour can make a difference to their lives.
We’ve seen in recent months how Nigel Farage is doing his best to take advantage of that.
He and his party are indulging in the cheapest form of political rhetoric –
Going round saying ‘yes, we feel your pain, we remember easier times, let us put things back the way they were.’
But we know that’s not the answer.
And I think the public are savvy enough to see through that too.
In politics, you cannot fight against the future.
We won’t build a better Britain through parties pining for the past or longing for yesteryear.
We’ve got to celebrate the progress we’ve made –
Progress for women.
Rights for gay and lesbian people.
And everything we’ve achieved by working with other countries rather than flouncing off on our own.
And where there are still challenges, we’ve got to win the argument about how we overcome them.
And that’s not just against UKIP.
We’ve got show the Greens aren’t the answer either.
I’ve been to Brighton recently.
I’ve spoken to the people with rubbish piling up outside their front door because the Green Council couldn’t organise to have the bins collected.
And I’ve also sat in the House of Commons too –
Watching Labour MPs make the case for tackling climate change, protecting the environment, and defending human rights.
I’ve seen us make and win the argument – then the division bell goes, the Tory and Lib Dem MPs rush down from their offices and vote us down.
So make no mistake – and you can say this to any student flirting with voting Green in five months’ time –
There is nothing progressive about voting Green and letting David Cameron back into Downing Street by the back door.
We all know that.
Now we’ve got to get out there, and get our message out to the people we want to be helping in just a few months’ time.
And that’s what I’m going to be doing.
I’ll be talking more about this in the next couple of weeks.
But I want you to be the first to know that my New Years’ resolution is going to be to get away from Westminster and get out on the road. –
Talking to people, hearing their views, listening to their concerns, and making the case for why Labour is best placed to support them in the future.
I know you’ve been doing the same this weekend – campaigning for Mari Williams and Jo Stevens here in Cardiff.
They’re both going to make fabulous Labour MPs next year.
And we’ve got lots of brilliant candidates like them across the country.
So when you’re on a doorstep making the case for our party in the months ahead, do so with confidence.
When that door opens, and you’re asked why someone should trust us with their future, tell them what we stand for.
Tell them how we’ll create a brighter future for all our young people.
A guaranteed job for every young person unemployed.
Qualified teachers in our classrooms.
Giving them a foot on the housing ladder by building more homes - 200,000 a year by 2020.
An end to rip off rents and short term tenancies.
Gold standard technical and vocational education.
And then tell them how we’ll build a better Britain.
Making work pay.
Protecting the NHS, so it’s there when you need it.
Stopping zero hour exploitation.
A smart, fair and progressive approach to immigration.
Freezing energy prices.
More free childcare.
And abolishing the Bedroom Tax.
Let me end with this thought.
It’s a quotation I came across whilst I was editing my book this summer.
And it’s this.
‘Values are changing and the impact of the change is always felt most of all by the young.’
That is taken from the report of Labour Party’s youth commission….
Only it’s a report that was published over half a century ago in 1959.
It reminds me that as well as all the phenomenal opportunities there are for young people today, this is also a tough time to be growing up.
That’s why we need a Labour Government that’s ambitious for Britain and ready for the future.
We’re all here today because we know the type of future we want for our country.
And we know it’s worth fighting for.
This is your generation’s election.
So this is my final message to take away.
Have a good Christmas.
Have a good celebration on New Years’ eve.
And then come back, in 2015, ready to campaign and ready to win.
And I promise you that everyone in our party will be backing you and everyone here at Labour Students all the way.
Thank you very much.
I want to start by thanking Finn, Grace and Brad for inviting me to join you today. It’s always a pleasure to be with Labour Students, And it’s a pleasure...Go to the post
This year we will be holding our annual National Council in Cardiff on 6th and 7th December, tickets are available online here!
National Council is the first democratic event of the academic year and is a fantastic opportunity for members to shape the policy of Labour Students and what we as an organisation should be prioritising.
To have a look at what we have planned for the weekend, just click here, to see our current agenda.
If you want to come along but are unsure you can afford both the ticket price and travel please email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to advise you on access to our travel fund.
Each Labour club is entitled to send two delegates to National Council, one of whom must be a woman. Delegates to Council must be elected by club members and must be a member of both Labour Students and the Labour club that elected them. Observers are also welcome to attend, however ticket priority will be given to delegates.
The deadline for delegate registration is November 28th.
Labour Clubs can submit motions which are then debated and voted on by delegates at the event. All the motions to be discussed at the event have already been submitted by Labour Clubs. All motions and amendments to be debated are available here.
National council also gives members the chance to stand for election. Some of our positions are elected at council others are elected in February at national conference, so even if you don’t want to stand this time around there are plenty of positions up for grabs! Even if you have been involved that long please do consider standing for a position.
The following positions will be elected at National Council, and members must declare their intention to stand by 28th November by emailing email@example.com, with the exception of the Liberation Officer positions (who can self-nominate on the day).
Labour Students Policy Forum members
(eight places, four reserved for women, one year term)
(three places, one reserved for women, one year term)
Further Education Representative
(must be held by someone registered at an FE institution, one year term)
Liberation Officers (Women's, LGBT, BAME, Disabled - one year term)
Liberation Officers are to be elected by a caucus of members who self-define and members do not have to declare their intention to stand until the caucus itself.
At Council, we will also be selecting our candidates for NUS elections. Anyone who is wishing to stand must send a CV and Covering Letter explaining why you wish to stand as a Labour Student. These need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th November. There will then be a shortlisting process Candidates will then be shortlisted prior to the vote at Council.
If you have any questions about the democracy aspect of the event, please contact the Chair of Steering. If you have a question about any other part of the event, please get in touch with email@example.com
See you all in Cardiff!
This year we will be holding our annual National Council in Cardiff on 6th and 7th December, tickets are available online here! National Council is the first democratic event of...Go to the post
Thanks to Dan Jarvis for recording a Remembrance Day message for Labour Students. This was played for students at our Political Weekend on Remembrance Sunday so that we could all take a moment to recognise the service and sacrifice of the armed forces.
Thanks to Dan Jarvis for recording a Remembrance Day message for Labour Students. This was played for students at our Political Weekend on Remembrance Sunday so that we could all...Go to the post
This summer I have spent almost twelve weeks in Scotland with the Better Together campaign. Over those weeks campaigning to keep Scotland a part of the UK I’ve had some great experiences and met some wonderful voters, being asked in for tea and a blether on countless occasions.
A lot of people like me, from other clubs in England, have come to volunteer in what is the most historic vote of our generation. The reason I chose to spend my summer campaigning in Scotland is simple. It’s central to my values as a member of the Labour Party that we achieve more together than we achieve alone, that stands true for the nations of the UK as much as for ordinary people.
When I first arrived in Edinburgh I was a bit apprehensive. How was my English accent going to go down on the doorstep? I needn’t have worried. It was fine and, in fact, it’s been an asset, allowing me to give a different perspective on the issues that voters are wrestling with. Scottish Labour and Better Together have made volunteers from England like me feel so welcome – and I wouldn’t swap the experiences I have had this summer for anything.
Even if you can’t make the move up to Scotland for the final weeks (though if you can you should, the campaign is great and the food is even better!) you can still get involved in this historic moment.
You can join Labour Students from across the UK in Glasgow on the 13th and 14th of September HERE
This is our last chance to ensure we don’t lose our Scottish comrades, our last chance to ensure a fairer, united Britain moving forward together - don’t miss it!
Labour Students Vice-Chair Events & Communications
Hi, This summer I have spent almost twelve weeks in Scotland with the Better Together campaign. Over those weeks campaigning to keep Scotland a part of the UK I’ve had...Go to the post
Since we launched the Organisers Academy a couple of weeks ago we’ve had a lot of members getting in touch with questions, so we thought we’d write a blog answering some of the most frequent questions we’ve been receiving, as well as setting out why you definitely don’t want to miss it!
1) Is Summer Training still happening this year?
This is Summer Training; we’ve just given it a General Election re-brand. We decided that this year we wanted to offer something more campaigning focussed so that Labour Students are all geared up for what is going to be an exciting year on the campaign trail.
2) So what’s different?
Summer training usually has a very broad scope of workshops available, but this year we’ve really tried to focus on how you can turn yourself and your club into brilliant Organisers for the election. We’ve also added a more practical element with a mock polling day, so you won’t be sat in rooms being talked at for a whole weekend.
3) I Have lots of doorstep experience – do I need to come?
Labour Students are already fantastic campaigners, you only need to ask a PPC who’s on their campaign wish list – but we want you to be even better. As well as running a board, we hope that by the end of the weekend you will be able to run a committee room, organise a press stunt, and be well-versed in how to persuade 50 Labour Students that they want to spend a month on a Battlebus!
4) I’ve never knocked on a door before, is this event for me?
Yes absolutely, we’ve got workshops to cater for everyone so if you don’t think you’re quite ready to use Contact Creator, then you can learn how to run a board instead! At every national event there is always a good mixture of new members and old-timers so y
5) Sounds like hard work, am I actually going to enjoy myself?ou won’t be on your own. Plus our lovely National Committee will be working hard to make sure everyone gets the most out of their weekend.
Yes! We’ll be honest, the training is going to be quite intense at points but so will the General Election, and we are working hard to make sure it’s a hell of a lot of fun too. The mock polling day is going to be like no other polling day you’ve experienced before, with lots of surprises along the way, and at the end of it you will be
rewarded with an amazing results night and big party on the Saturday!
We hope we’ve managed to answer all of your questions. You guys have the opportunity to be leaders in this General Election, and we want you to be equipped to do it.
If you’re still unsure do feel free to get in touch and we can chat to you a bit more about the event. If not, what are you waiting for? Buy your ticket here and get ready to become a Labour Students Organiser 14/15!
Thanks, and see you in London,
Finn, Grace and Brad
Since we launched the Organisers Academy a couple of weeks ago we’ve had a lot of members getting in touch with questions, so we thought we’d write a blog answering...Go to the post