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
Economy – Are 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?
Europe – Are you up for a closer relationship with the EU? Starmer says no going back, but will you push for single market entry?
Tax – Are you up for shifting the tax emphasis from work and onto wealth. Will you support a Land Value Tax?
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?
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?
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?