Choosing the next MP


We’re in the middle of our selection as Labour candidate. It’s an important choice and the three candidates left standing are of a really high quality.

I’m having trouble choosing the candidate

This is really an open set of five political questions to them as well as one operational question on an issue that has really troubled me.

My Five Political Questions

EconomyAre you up for the epochal reset of the economy that we need? How will you promote creating the green and sustainable economy where a family home does not earn more than the people who live in it?

EuropeAre you up for a closer relationship with the EU? Starmer says no going back, but will you push for single market entry?

TaxAre you up for shifting the tax emphasis from work and onto wealth. Will you support a Land Value Tax?

DemocracyWill you be prepared to devolve much more to regions? Will you foster democratisation of devolved bodies, including citizens assemblies and for instance greater user representation in health and transport?

EducationWill you never forget the impact in terms of education and socialisation that Covid had on a generation of children and work to create a permanent lifelong learning infrastructure that supports them and wider society?

That troubling Operational Question

Let’s bite the bullet and tackle that operational question. There’s no easy way of broaching the subject. It’s on the issue of racism within the Labour Party. The party actually recognises it needs to do better and certainly has a focus on increasing diversity in its latest recruitment.

My issue is that it’s not just the regional party that needs to do better, our MPs are failing the diversity question in terms of the staffing of their constituency offices.

In terms of a selection, having worked for an MP, even for a short time, does give an advantage. It was notable that more than half the constituency’s longlist had at some time worked for an MP. However, the most important aspect is that these offices ought better reflect the places they serve.

Q. When elected, will you work with neighbouring MPs and trade unions to review current practice in order to diversify recruitment to parliamentary offices to better reflect the diversity within the population?

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3 responses to “Choosing the next MP”

  1. Andrew Western Avatar

    Hi Mike, brief responses below, Andrew

    1 – I support a Green New Deal to tackle the climate emergency and ensure that we address it in a way that recognises that climate change isn’t just an environmental justice issue but a social justice one too. The only way we can sustainably tackle the climate emergency is by ensuring those working in the jobs of today can fairly and justly transition to the well paid, highly skilled, trade unionised jobs of the future – without this understanding of the link between addressing the climate crisis and the workplace, tackling the climate emergency risks being something working people are wary of.

    On house prices, yes I support a Land Tax as part of a shift to more progressive taxation that would also reset the balance business taxation to ensure online giants are on the hook for fair taxation in the same way as those paying business rates; and a move to taxing the highest earners more instead of the current position in which middle earners face the highest tax burden in 50 years.

    2 – Yes, we need the closest possible relationship. I’m proud to be endorsed by the Labour Movement for Europe and would almost certainly support single market entry if asked to vote on this.

    3 – See answer to question 1 – more progressive taxation and a land tax.

    4 – Yes to more regional devolution, as much as possible. Less favourable to democratisation of the bodies you suggest, I think these should be advisory and that politicians have a mandate to take decisions.

    5 – We’ve discussed this at length previously Mike in January when I said I was really worried that Omicron might mean more school closures, so you know my thoughts on this.

    I was willing to accept the initial closures when we thought it would be for six weeks but this went on too long, and had too great an impact on children’s education. We have kids with up to three school years’ of affected education, and students for whom that is an entire degree course. Of course we wanted to keep people safe but the educational impact along with the impact on other key issues such as mental health, domestic abuse and personal development of children has been a huge price to pay. The Government should have made more effort ventilating schools and prioritised education over business at the late 2020 point. Sadly they did not.

    On staffing, I am happy to work with other MPs regionally and nationally on diversity of staff. I don’t know current levels of representation but I imagine the numbers would be stark and am happy to raise this if elected.

  2. admin Avatar

    Many thanks Andrew. As expected I’m very happy with your answers, particularly on Covid recovery, something I know we have a passion for.

    Thanks again.

  3. admin Avatar

    From Iram Woolley

    Hi

    Hope this email finds you really well.

    Many thanks for this.

    Europe – Are you up for a closer relationship with the EU? Starmer says no going back, but will you push for single market entry?

    I am in favour of closer ties with the European Union however, I do not feel that at the next general election that Brexit should be the main issue. This will only serve to galvanise the Brexit supporters in the red wall seats so let’s see a Labour government formed and then we can take steps to make moves to re introduce a single market and customs union, and freedom to travel throughout the EU. Join the EFTA join the European free trade agreement would be something I strongly do membership and I am a Labour movement Europe member.

    Point out failings that have happened since Brexit but not until after the election because it opens up a can of worms,

    Tax – Are you up for shifting the tax emphasis from work and onto wealth. Will you support a Land Value Tax?

    I would like to see those who evaded paying their fair share of taxes to be by law, made to pay their fair share. I strongly support the removal of non dom status.

    And there needs to be other loopholes closed to the super I’m not getting rich.

    With regards to Land value tax, I would I would need to see how this would, Be processed throughout the country.

    Clearly there will be winners and losers and if the land tax introduced a process whereby large landowners paid more for their estates then This is something I could support.

    Democracy – Will you be prepared to devolve much more to regions? Will you foster democratisation of devolved bodies, including citizens assemblies and for instance greater user representation in health and transport?

    Yes am in favour of this 100% would like to see greater local democracy and participation and consultation open for all this would ensure inclusive local people will feel closer to decisions being made and help stop the current narrative of them and us

    Education – Will you never forget the impact in terms of education and socialisation that Covid had on a generation of children and work to create a permanent lifelong learning infrastructure that supports them and wider society?

    As a school Governor I am fully aware of the impact had on our education system, we are still playing catch-up

    I do believe that education needs to be at the forefront at the next general election.

    As a nation builder I would be looking to support re introduction of sure start, I would also look to see extension of summer schools and extension of the school day.

    To me education is a-fundamental right for all children and there should be no disparity between private and state education

    Make attractive terms for recruitment of teachers as we have experienced low levels and to do we need to make the terms and conditions far more favourable than what they currently are and to ensure that teacher training is something that can attract all.

    Q. When elected, will you work with neighbouring MPs and trade unions to review current practice in order to diversify recruitment to parliamentary offices to better reflect the diversity within the population? Yes I will 100%. Positive action, publish data of ethnic pay gaps as well recruitment and retention figures.

    Well a fantastic question, better representation leads to better decisions being made at the table at all elected roles in civic office.
    As an Operation Black Vote Alumni, I can use my lived experiences and intersectionality to bridge the gap to increase and I have been able to get two women become councillors, one on cabinet, and one cabinet member to secure funding from Mothered, which funds women when they are PPC to cover the childcare costs.

    Here was my response to Labour Women Network pledges
    Start having unconscious bias training, sexual harassment, GDPR and Diversity and Equality training, for all officers from top-down starting with NEC. Also put enablers in place to coach, train, and mentor like I do as a 50:50 coach facilitator for diverse voices.

    Have bite size sessions, like we do for women SignUpToStand, who wish to stand. Equip Her roundtable discussions. Join APPG Muslim Women and Muslim women network to better understand the needs of women post COVID-19.
    Topics include, and learn how to fill out PPC forms, public speaking, hustings.
    Assign a buddy they can bounce ideas from, how to become a councillor, shadowing, offer training Jo Cox women, Future Candidates Prog, Bernie Grant, Coop Party, Fabians, Labour Women Network courses on strategy and tactic.
    How to apply for childcare funding when PPC, become an ELECT-Her ally and alumni and how to plan the next steps of your political journey, setting goals and commitments, as well as exploring the type of support you will need to get you started, or delve even deeper in your journey.
    When advertising, always put if you know any Black Asian women or any ethnic minority women who would like to join the conversation, please encourage them to get in touch with us.
    Meet cross-party PPC and learn how they ran successful campaigns.
    The Labour Party Rule Book and what it entails. Encourage encourage encourage.

    Not all BAME people wish to identify as BAME and that would need to be considered.

    Also work with People with protected characteristics, young and from under-represented backgrounds to see how we can encourage them through education and higher education and become excellent at mobilising the members to come out door knocking and make it a safe space for all.

    Sign up to it retweet it and become an ally! watch Netflix documentaries on racism, and read up books on colonialism and Intercultural competency free course online, donate to organisations that help get the word out. Celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, with Lord Boateng.

    Also trade unions should be running the courses on becoming a councillor online training side by side. With tutors offering 24/7 support and FAQ section. How to launch website crowdfund asking for nominations accessible to speak to and follow up of emails. Posters and emails forms retweet out and again from the data they can filter intersectionality.

    Labour training have their sessions on the website and YouTube.

    With kindness love and peace,

    Best Regards,

    Iram
    IramWoolley.com

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