Why I’m standing for Young Labour chair


12:42 pm - February 26th 2009

by Sam Tarry    


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I am standing to be National Chair of Young Labour because now, more than ever is the need for progressive Labour Government; progressive solutions are needed to take our country forward. Young Labour must be at the heart of this.

Young Labour must be a space in which progressive ideas and debate can flourish, and where those debates and ideas are turned into real campaigns to deliver social justice, equality and fairness for all.

Many in our generation are turning to single issue and pressure group politics. We need to show them that this is not enough. Young Labour must become the first place people look to make change happen. That is why I put forward to you a comprehensive set of policies and ideas to make Young Labour fit for the challenges ahead.

As someone who grew up on an estate in Dagenham, East London, I understand the challenges facing young and vulnerable people in my community; I never forget where my politics come from or who I am fighting for.

As a community organiser, and professional campaigner I know that I can deliver for Young Labour. I have an impressive record of campaigning at a national level where campaigns I have been involved in have even succeeded in putting new laws on the statute books. I have pioneered innovative community based campaigning in Barking and Dagenham including targeted anti-racism sports events for young people with the help of GMB Young London and a local Trades Union sponsored educational program for young disadvantaged people on some of the local estates.

I have been incredibly active in Young Labour since joining the party nearly five years ago. I have unrivalled experience in Young Labour in fighting the BNP; I have as London Young Labour Anti Racism Officer for the past three years and as an organiser and campaigns trainer for the Hope not Hate campaign organised some of the biggest anti-BNP interventions in the region; including regular days of action focussing on BNP strongholds in East London and Essex. The biggest to date saw over 100 Young Labour activists turn out to campaign in Barking and Dagenham.

As an elected lay officer in my local GMB Trade Union branch for nearly three years I have first hand experience of fighting on the side of working people. I play a very active and key role in my local branch helping them organise local political and campaigning activity.

I believe this experience is built into the policy platform I am standing on. This election is not about me, it is about you. I pledge to put you as a young member at the heart of driving our campaigns and policies.

I ask you to join with me in campaigning, organising, and the rebuilding of our youth movement from the bottom-up.

www.samtarry.com

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About the author
This is a guest post. Sam Tarry is chair of Compass Youth.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


And the award for the most pointless, shameless and irrelevant self-plugging exercise ever seen on Liberal Conspiracy goes to….

This is why I cannot stand the Labour Party

Newmania, I really doubt Sam was canvassing for your vote; if anything the disapproval of far-Right whack jobs like you would be seen as a badge of honour!

Why has this party political puffery been posted?

Who is this proto-hack sleeping with?!

I prefer this similar sounding bloke:

http://samtarran.blogspot.com/

“Why has this party political puffery been posted?”

A very good question. It would be interesting to know who sanctioned this nonsense and weakened the credibility of this site in doing so.

Interesting. Somebody young (how young?) who thinks it is still worthwhile to try to make a career as a New Labour aparatchik. He has strted on the left (as is routine) with Compass and seems to be moving to the right at speed. If he was not, his platform would contain some criticism of the Government.

Gordon Bennett !

Diversity – it looks as if his platform does. There’s some standard (not that that makes the stance he’s taking on the issues wrong) soft left stuff about equalising the rates of the NMW. Scroll to the bottom and it looks as if he is still on the Stop the War National Steering Committee.

Being on the left doesn’t mean you have to shout loudly about which exact government policies you disagree with at every opportunity.

However as far as I’m aware I’ve never met the guy, and I don’t know who else is standing so don’t take this comment as endorsing him.

I think we know too little about Sam Tarry’s sexuality to accuse him of party political puffery.

“This election is not about me, it is about you. I pledge to put you as a young member at the heart of driving our campaigns and policies.”

It certainly doesn’t *sound* like it’s about me, what with me being neither especially young nor a member of Labour…I could certainly drive your policies, but I don’t think you’d approve of where I’d drive them to…

To be fair, Mr Tarry seems like a decent sort, for a member of nuLabour, from his website but all this actually *says* is ‘racism is bad, vote for me’. Which given that the vast majority of those reading this *can’t* vote for him, even if we wanted to, seems like a waste of both his time and ours.

Maybe try writing something here about things of more general interest, which would probably get your name more widely known anyway?

Good God man, can’t you speak in anything other than officially sanctioned platitudes? ‘Progressive solutions’, ‘progressive ideas’, ‘challenges’. What are progressive solutions? Give us one. Just one. Please.

This is supposed a pitch to be the National Chair of Young Labour not a covering letter with an application to be a trolley collector at your local Tesco. All that’s missing is ‘I can work on my own initiative but also as part of a team’. Where’s the passion and the inspiration? You want to save the Labour Party? Give us some piss and vinegar then, not more speeches that sound like they were written by a computer program.

Now, now, LFAT, let’s try and be a little bit more gracious.

Sam’s obviously looking to field test his manifesto, although I’ve got a feeling that a wet Wednesday at the Glasgow Empire might have been a safer venue, so the least un old lags can do is respond constructively and give him a few pointers to help him refine his message.

So…

First things first, Sam, please do go and read, digest and take to heart Orwell’s classic essay, ‘Politics and the English Language’ and then try to apply its contents to your campaign message and manifesto. It may not win you the election but if take George’s advice then, at least I’ll have a much clearer idea of what you stand for.

Without wishing to sound to harsh, about 80% of what you’ve got at the moment looks as if its been spat out of an Labour Party Campaign-O-Tron and lacks any significant sense of authenticity.

Second, and to nick the line that Reagan used to slaughter Mondale in 84 (bit before your time, I know’ – Where’s the Beef?

Call me old fashioned but I’d like to see a bit more substances and, dare I say it, some politics as well would be nice.

So, when you talk about being ‘progressive’, how do you define the terms and in what context are you using it.

Progressive can mean a multitude of different things depending on context.

A progressive policy on, say. prisons would general be expected to play a greater emphasis on rehabilitation than on punishment.

A progressive policy on drugs would broadly favour decriminalisation, investment in rehabilitation and the ‘policing’ of certain drugs by treating them as prescription medications.

While it’s nice that you’re anti-BNP and pro-women, I doubt that will provide any real point of distinction between you and other candidates in the race, so you need to putting up a bit more substance.

For example, you mention that you think we need to make globalisation work for us – how? What have you got in mind? What kind of economic theories or policy do you think will help to make that happen?

And so on…

You get the picture?

Rather than run out the general shill, I think you would have been much better off picking on a particular contemporary issue and writing a blog post telling us your views and opinions and ideas on that issue. There’s no particular shortage of material to work with. It would give us a better feel for who you are and what you really think/believe and you could have stuck a short bio at the bottom of the piece telling us you’ve thrown your hat in the ring and put yourself over just as effectively, if not more effectively because as things stand I don’t think anyone is going to come away from this with any real sense of who you or what, in political terms, you can bring to the role you’re aiming for.

And that’s really rather a shame as you’re obviously enthusiastic and you’ve got some pretty solid idea on the organisation side of thing, you just haven’t really explained your politics at anything more than a superficial ‘by the numbers’ level.

I don’t know if you’ve given any thought to campaign slogans yet, but based on what you’ve put up so far, ‘Sam Tarry – Your Generic Candidate’ seems fairly representative of your current shtick.

13. Alisdair Cameron

Doesn’t this belong over on Draper’s site?
Lovely, wooly words, no substance, but bullshit bingo players would be able to cry house very quickly with this:
“progressive” progressive solutions to take our country forward (tautology in there?), progressive ideas and debate all in the first few lines.
Y’know I’m progress-ed out. Can we have some concrete examples of what you’ve done, not the roles you’ve held (not the same thing at all), and some specifics, rather than touchy-feely flummery, which is a front for careerism.

Shouldn’t posts like this be proceeded a disclaimer…

“The following is a party political web-post on behalf of the Labour Party. Liberal Conspiracy does not condone nor condemn it’s contents and it’s posting here is for informational purposes.”

…?

15. Luis Enrique

won’t somebody think of the regressive solutions needed to take our country backwards?

Yes Unity is right this Sam is a blancmange , he needs some outline

Immigration – Higher or lower or the same ?
Crime – More rehabilitation or more locking the bastards up ?
Education- Academies yes or no
Freedom from state yes or no
Selection yes or no
Housing – More ownership less Council housing – yes or no ?
Welfare – More or less ?
Europe – less or more ?
Tax -Less state or less tax ?
Israel or Palestine
Abortion limit – Bring it down or not
Do we have a victim culture or oppressed minorities ?
Marriage support it or replace it ?

Beatles or Stones
Cats or Dogs
Cavalier or Roundhead

Now I can answer all of that with unequivocal (ish ) short answers , so could Sunny Hundal and so I expect could Unity (well long but clear at least), why can`t you. ? And if you cannot why should anyone vote for soemone who belives in nothing

For once, I find myself agreeing a very little bit with NM and LFAT: this isn’t what Liberal Conspiracy should be for, guys. This is a sanitised keyword shuffle with an embedded CV, and I’m a liberal 22 year old – nominally the target audience – and it inspires me jot, not a jot. Not one single, solitary jot, I tell you.

If you’re going to say nothing, at least show us the consideration of saying it with some damn good rhetoric.

Looks like you collect memberships for a living. I found these two interesting:

Christian Socialist Movement

Honorary Member – Muslim Labour Movement

As seems to be the norm for aspiring politicians these days, including some Tories, you have no experience outside the State and Party agencies.

You also hail progressive policies and a move away from one-issue groups, but your article has only one issue; an anti-BNP stance.

Do you still live in Dagenham? We might have mutual acquaintances.

Stones, dogs and, generally speaking, Roundhead – but we get to dress like a Cavilier if we want to.

20. Sunder Katwala

I hope Sam sees Unity’s advice, most of which is excellent and constructive beneath the world weary tone. (And I would like to put Politics and the English Language into every ministerial and Spad Christmas stocking. Following it might mean the government (or any party) would have much much less to say overall, but there would be much more chance of some of what was said being heard).

And I hope some of my Labour colleagues would engage with this site and spaces like it more. But its very important that those who try to do write something directed at engaging a broad intelligent liberal-left audience across various parties and none, and realise the difference between this and (say) a site like Progress or even LabourList where one can reasonably assume it is a primarily Labour audience. So cutting and pasting isn’t a good thing, and I agree with those who have said that pieces which aren’t directed at the LC audience should probably end up on Sunny’s spike.

However, where Labour voices (and the same goes for LibDems, Greens, even any progressive Tories who want to try) do make a genuine effort to do that, I hope some here would respond to them, on the content, and with reasoned debate and disagreement, rather than on necessarily holding them responsible for every thing done by the government. The good thing about this site is that intelligent conversations are possible here. (I remember a David Lammy post where I personally felt an opportunity to engage, discuss wasn’t really used well, though I appreciate others might differ).

So, if Sam were to attempt to join in a conversation on this thread, and try to discuss the issues, he might well find there would be some genuine engagement. I think the LC-relevant issue would probably be ‘what is the role for student and youth politics now … why is it still important to engage within parties – in the author’s view – perhaps how should youth wings now contribute to, and ideally shake-up, the way parties think and organise. I would have thought other people on LC might have experience in the issue of how and why trade union, community organising and party political campaigning could connect – or why they don’t connect well, and what somebody who wanted to change that could try to do from inside a party structure.

Personally, I think Young Labour should define itself around being one of the voices which is pushing open on the issues of how the Labour party should open up. If everybody at the top says ‘the top down party is over’ (work in progress! to say the least) then it would be good to have some younger and insurgent voices putting up challenges and concrete ideas about how to make that happen in practice, and what scale of change might be needed for the party could link to the type of trade union, community activism mentioned in the piece. It won’t be putting the party back to how it was pre-New Labour or keeping it as it is now.

So there is an opportunity there to challenge the party. But that will require a willingness to let go of some of the media training and on message copperplate. Youth and student members of the party should not feel worried about doing that or what their elders might think. No doubt, it involves making mistakes on the way. Be constructive, be open about what you think should change and could be done differently, what you think we’ve got right and where you think we’ve made mistakes, what issues haven’t had the attention they deserve.

If we are going to create progressive space ahead of the government, we can’t have party members feeling that (perhaps because they are worried about the media, or about sounding ‘disloyal’) that they have to sound a bit similar to government ministers. Breaking that fear at all levels is part of the culture change that would have to happen if this story about breaking the ‘top down’ party were to become true. Others might be very sceptical. But I think there is less political capital invested in the top-down party than some might think – for the good reason that it isn’t going to work in the way it did in a different environment a decade ago. The problem is a different one. Old habits die hard. People will think they are letting go, when they aren’t yet.

Its not my place to endorse any candidate as I’m too old. But I would like to hear how Sam Tarry or anyone else running might try to rebuild youth politics inside the party from the bottom up. Because we’re all going to be saying that, and it will be important we are doing it too.

Sam Tarry,
good jesus.
Like a certain singer said once:- Stop. We’ve heard this one before.

A very good question. It would be interesting to know who sanctioned this nonsense and weakened the credibility of this site in doing so.

I did – and I agree that if newmania and LFaT are annoyed then that must be a good thing.

Sam is a good bloke and I wanted to highlight his pitch. If you’re more interested in his proposals – read the link newmania. I know you’re stupid and all, but even you shouldn’t have a problem with clicking on shiny links.

Shouldn’t this site be used for campaigning? I disagree. I have a lot of respect for Sam Tarry’s politics. He works with grassroots organisations, he is on the left and has good stances on most issues.

In fact he is precisely the candidate I would support within the Labour party. So I posted it.

So cutting and pasting isn’t a good thing, and I agree with those who have said that pieces which aren’t directed at the LC audience should probably end up on Sunny’s spike.

Sunder – in fact I wanted to post this. And I knew it would wind up some people so that is a bonus.

There are people on this site who want Labour to go back to its grassroots origins, and Sam is perhaps the best person to spearhead that. And why assume this site doesn’t have any Labour leaning people.

Though I think criticism by Unity, Sunder and Justin is also valid 🙂
He could have written it with more edge.

Obviously the mods have their reasons for choosing the articles they publish but I can’t help thinking that a discussion on Hazel Blears’ speech yesterday would have been more interesting and productive.

Another one with LfaT and Newmania here, I’m afraid. I’m sure Sam’s a splendid fellow but his manifesto reads like that of a typical party apparatchik who has never had a real job in his life.

Don’t agree with that TB – he’s clearly extremely qualified. The thoughtless cutting-and-pasting is what lets him down here.

Where are you Sam? Stick up for yourself man. You’re in danger of getting Max Gogarty’d here.

Sunny 22: “if newmania and LFaT are annoyed then that must be a good thing.”

I’m not annoyed, I just feel sorry for all the Lib Con readers who will have wasted a few seconds of their lives reading through this rubbish when they were previously under the impression that articles published on this site might be interesting and worth discussing.

I’m afraid I didn’t do very well. My answers were:

Not for us to say whether it’s higher or lower, but controls should be abolished
Both depending on the crime, definitely more rehabilitation in either case though
No
Freedom THROUGH the state ;p
No
More council housing AND more ownership (less private renting)
More
Sorry, I fell asleep. Wake me up when the rerun of the 2001 election has finished.
Higher overall tax burden, lower taxes for the poorest
Both
No limits on abortion
Oppressed minorities
Neither; support PEOPLE (whether married or not is irrelevant)
Sabbath
Neither
Diggers

oh, looks like the newmania comment I was replying to got deleted 🙁

31. Alisdair Cameron

S.Tarry, S.Tarry night…
(couldn’t resist)

This is Sunny’s toy and he can do anything he likes with it. This is at least the second such in-and-off posting by a Labour bright-and-shiny that Sunny thinks is worth all our time and who are we to deny him. As a leftish Libdem I find myself most in agreement with LFAT’s last comment. Seems that as long as you can piss-off a Tory, that’s all that matters.

Ye gods

As a community organiser

Everyone wants to be Obama.

FFS.

Sunny, I’ve no problem with internal party elections getting a wider coverage on the site, Jennie and I certainly did enough supporting Ros Scott for Lib Dem president. But this?

This is just a form letter. It’s in no way tailored to the audience, neither does the bio bit at the end explain why it’s here.

And, unless my eyes glased over as I read it (which, I’ll admit, is possible), it doesn’t seem to say what the Chair of Labour Youth is. Let alone who’s eligible to vote in the contest. Who’s he speaking to?

If the Labourites aren’t impressed, the general audience of the site is even less likely to be.

Sam? I agree with Unity and Sunder. If you’re genuinely a real person with real policies, try to be one, that’s a bland identikit press release trying to press all the right buttons.

Sunny, it’s not a matter of people not knowing how to click a link – it’s him not giving us a single reason to do so. Nor is it a matter of not wanting to read stuff from leftish Labour people – I think the majority of the writers (if perhaps not the readers) on here are Labour supporters/members if I’m not mistaken, so if people didn’t want to read things from Labour members they’d look elsewhere.
It’s just that all the other posts on this site, whether one agrees with them or not, justify themselves being here in some way. Even if they’re badly written, or badly thought out, or just *wrong* (and the majority of posts here aren’t any of those things) they’re saying something.This is *just* saying “Vote for me (in an election that most of you can’t vote in) and the BNP are bad”. Nothing else.
It seems that when ‘young, progressive candidates’ are concerned, a totally different set of editorial criteria are applied than at any other time – an article just saying “I am young and progressive” (without defining what ‘progressive’ means) is considered enough. If you’re going to hold a certain group to different standards than any other group, then don’t be surprised if those who come here looking for one thing and find another comment on this.
As for LFAT and Newmania, even a stopped clock can be right twice a day. The fact that not one person here other than yourself has commented saying it was worth reading, regardless of party affiliation, should probably give you pause for thought.

Well he doesn’t seem to have got the hang of blogging, has he?

Is he in hiding now?

Goddamn Sunny, you made me agree with Newmania. I’m not going to forgive you for this. 😛

I think that some of the criticism has been unfair. He strikes me as a perfect Labour party candidate; meaningless statements and an unwillingness to debate with real people.

Real people? On the internet?

Leaning over backwards to be fair to this guy, I’ll say maybe he’s not answering questions because he’s doing his day job.

BUt if he hasn’t answered any by tomorrow then face it, he just could not be bothered to speak to the little people (and we shouldnt bother to give him our support).

I’m not real, I’m a figment of your imagination. You sick, sick person.

I thought it was awesome. Possibly the best piece ever on LC.

Pure inspiration – I felt that the post was directed specifically towards me, almost like he knew he personally. He is right what we need is a progressive Labour government, progressive solutions and progressive ideas. Forward thinking ones too.

Also I have always said that what is missing from politics today are people who take it seriously, and don’t bother with other jobs. Professionals.

and he hates hatred. This man ticks all the right boxes.

You’ll have my vote Sam!

Yours,

Andrew
Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane,
Berkshire

Ye gods

“As a community organiser

Everyone wants to be Obama.

FFS.”

Brilliant Mat GB

G-d, I’m really praying that Clyde is right that he may actually have a day job – I’d say that that is whats missing from the Labour party at the moment. They all left Oxbridge straight for Parliment. I see no point in having Young Labour become Old New Labour – gosh it gets confusing.

Everyone wants to be Obama.

FFS.

It’s easy to be patronising, but Sam has in fact been doing this for longer than 2 years. All this shows is that if people on blogs don’t know someone, they’re happy to question every bit of that person’s reputation without actually doing any reading to find out if the claims stack up.

The only thing to make clear here, which I should have at the start, is that this was an internal Labour communication aimed at people Sam knew, to get them fired up to support him.

I posted it here because I want the Labour party (and others) to look more outwards rather than have these communications internally.

So yes, I will continue posting more such stuff in the future. My only regret is that the tone kicked off by newmania and LFaT hasn’t been questioned by people who could have spent a bit of time reading into what Sam has done in the past and then make judgements on whether he’s right to call himself a ‘community organiser’.

Perhaps your pal would care to put in an appearance?

Sunny @43: Like I said with the Lammy incident, if you had made clear when posting that this was not something designed to be posted on LC, but was a C&P job from elsewhere, you would probably have saved yourself (and the poor bugger whose name is attached to the post) a lot of hostility.

“My only regret is that the tone kicked off by newmania and LFaT hasn’t been questioned”

Thanks for that Sunny, because I do of course have all my opinions dictated to me by Newmania and LFaT. In fact, Newmania is pulling the strings attached to my fingers even as I type this snetacne…

It was a bad post Sunny. It contained the word ‘progressive’ three times within the first three sentences. When I read that, I thought this isn’t going to be good. I then continued and could have played progressive-left bingo with the article: “challenges”, check; “community”, check; “anti-racism”, check; “progressive”; check-checkity-check.

HOUSE!

You are right, it is easy to be patronising, but only really when something is this bad. I actually feel sorry for Sam – this wasn’t meant for us. It was meant for people who still believe. You should actually apologise to him for putting him in this position. You should have let him write something with more substance if you thought he was up to it (I also feel sorry for the labour party, if this is the kind of thing that gets sent around internal email lists – in most organisations this would have been marked “spam”) . I am not a Labour member, and never will be without some sort of brain injury. Sam may well have what are classed as good ideas in the Labour party (contrary to your belief, I did check out his webpage) but they are stagnant to anyone without red blinkers. And it is nice to know that, even here, it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.

It’s your site, Sunny, so feel free to continue posting the awesome amount of drivel that passes for ‘left’ thought, but don’t expect me to not point and laugh.

It’s easy to be patronising,

Why yes, yes it is.

Which is another way of describing Sam’s form letter above. Which, divorced of context, looks like an incredibly patronising and poorly written blog post.

All this shows is that if people on blogs don’t know someone, they’re happy to question every bit of that person’s reputation

I’m not questioning his reputation. I’m questioning what he’s said in this blog post. With no other context, this is a guest post from someone who has asked for the chance to promote their campaign on the site. Thus, given it’s utter bilge as a blog post, I patronise, as this site is better than that.

The only thing to make clear here, which I should have at the start

You mean like you should have for the Lammy post as well? Yes, you bloody well should have.

Give tone or context. Put it in your name and say why you think he’s worth backing, and why you think entirely internal communication is bad for this sort of thing.

Did you even ask his permission? And perhaps just as importantly, is such a post within the election rules? I know that for some internal party elections, use of external media (including websites) is forbidden, that applies to both Lib Dems and Labour, although the rules are always changing.

So yes, I will continue posting more such stuff in the future. My only regret is that the tone kicked off by newmania and LFaT

No, started off by you in the way this is posted. If it looks like a blog post, and says it’s a blog post, it’s a blog post.

This is a particularly bad blog post worthy of derision.

Except it’s not actually a blog post, is it. If we’d known that, the reception would be different.

hasn’t been questioned by people who could have spent a bit of time reading into what Sam has done in the past

Why should we? There’s no reason to do so given. If the post doesn’t sell itself, why should we need to link further?

If I write a post full of unsubstantiated platitudes here or anywhere else, I’d expect to be ripped to shreds by the commenters.

If I then complain that no one has done any research to see how what I’ve said is true, that’s my fault for not putting it in the original post.

Note that on my post yesterday, the first comment was me answering some questions not fully covered in the post that had been raised in comments on my journal.

Unsubstantiated platitudes and posts saying “I’m wonderful” will get shredded on a high traffic blog. Especially a cross party one like this is supposed to be.

i’m helping sam out with his campaign, so…just for you guys, ill get a liberal conspiracy exclusive as i’ve just been filming him as we wanted to talk to young people and not just young members.

thanks for engaging in his campaign, all criticism if constructive is perfectly valid. on the points you all make, this campaign is obviously aimed at young members as they are the only ones who can vote for the next young labour chair, its aimed at them because they have never been valued or empowered by internal party structures, but they are still in the party and we owe it to them to give them some hope and if we win..power..

if we don’t believe that someone as passionate and dedicated to changing the “top down” culture than sam, then i wouldn’t have bothered, but i truly believe we can do it (not only get sam elected, but actually make that change happen).

and i know many of u aren’t labour, surely its better for us on the liberal left to have a YL chair who respect us, values us and will campaign with us on many of the issues we care about?

diversity, how has sam moved to the right – is it fighting for fairer pay for apprentices, fighting the BNP, campaigning against the war (not just Iraq but the others too), and lobbying for a living wage?

andrew hickey, as well as the policies just mentioned, for us, its not about giving out a prescriptive shopping list of policies we want our members to campaign on, it’s about supporting them to run campaigns where they are, on issues that matter to them and…in collaboration with the most exciting campaigners on the left (like liberal conspiracy for example!)

sunder, as ever a pleasure to see someone who engages in debates on the inside of the labour party/socialist society tent and the…outside. it wld be good if there were more people doing this in the party, maybe it would be easier to understand bottom up politics. in relation to your points about how to connect community organising, trade union and political activism – having helped formulate some of the proposals around this in the manifesto, whether its the “campaign camp” idea of matching young activists with different skills involved in different groups to work together to create campaigns; whether its organising campaigns that actually change the law or local priorities using real democratic tools not inwards looking motions at party conferences that only a minority understand, whether to bring together young trade union and party activists beyond mere platitudes – to tool up young people in the workplace to know and enhance their rights.

don’t agonise, organise

49. the a&e charge nurse

“Young Labour must be a space in which progressive ideas and debate can flourish”.

There’s the problem right there – sadly ‘ideas’ or ‘debate’ have never flourished under NuLabour.

Brown & Co simply do not know how to listen.
Their record demonstrates a near obsession with centrally imposed diktats, I’m afraid.
If young Sam Tarry want’s to be taken seriously he must begin by understanding the nature of the beast he is dealing with.

Anyway, I’m absolutely fed up with ‘new’ this, or a ‘new’ that – many of us simply crave a bit of decency and fairness, and dare I say, social responsibility.
That’s not too much to ask is it ?

I want to join in the sneering ‘cos this sort of thing has the cutting edge of a bowling ball, but a few commenters – @6, @25 – might be unfairly maligning Sam himself (who, I should point out, I hadn’t heard of before today). He doesn’t seem to be a New Labour clone…

Stop the War Coalition National Steering Committee 2004 – Present

Which, just about alone, shows far more sense than most non-Libdem MPs (and me, as it happens). And being a Coordinator for Hope Not Hate isn’t quite the same as being “anti-BNP”. Lots of people are anti-BNP, but considerably fewer have actively campaigned against them.

Have said all that…

1. I agree with Mat @47.

2. The word “progressive” is beginning to send me into spasms.

3. Sam, why are you in the Labour Party?

51. Alisdair Cameron

BenSix @ post 50 asks a very good question. With the professed opinions and principles apparently held by Mr tarry, how can he reconcile himself with the labour party and its controlling, illiberal apparatus?

You mean like you should have for the Lammy post as well? Yes, you bloody well should have.

The Lammy post was authorised and on top of that clearly stated it was an extract from a speech he gave. I don’t know how more obvious than that one should be.

No, started off by you in the way this is posted. If it looks like a blog post, and says it’s a blog post, it’s a blog post.

Not necessarily. We post news stories, we post news extracts, videos and in coming months will post a wider range of material than just straightforward blog posts. In fact we’ll also be publishing fully fledged briefing documents.

The article clearly states what he’s standing for, and a bit more obscurely, why. There’s a link explaining his stance but clearly not many bothered to read it.

My point is, not everything posted on here is meant for everyone. Some is about London politics, some about the Libdems, sometimes we post Libertarian stuff that pisses of more left-wing people, and vice versa. Sometimes it will be Labour party communication that will piss off almost everyone.

There are different audiences for different content. I’m trying to build a broad church here, not just look to please everyone. And yes, that will also include content which might be stridently pro-Labour party (but within left-liberal values).

Why is he within the Labour Party? Because some of us believe we also have to change the system from the inside rather than throw rocks from outside. To that extent I fully endorse and want to support Sam.

Why should we? There’s no reason to do so given. If the post doesn’t sell itself, why should we need to link further?

*sigh*

Really, I don’t see why we should defend what we put on the blog.

Don’t like? Don’t visit.

Simple. As.

can’t say i don’t treat you, here’s that video i promised, hope it answers your questions, if not keep asking!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx7mtyH96vw&feature=channel_page

55. Alisdair Cameron

@ Sunny, 52.

some of us believe we also have to change the system from the inside

.
A reasonable point, but one that’s a bit of a stretch when you consider how at odds with enforced, imposed and heavily whipped New Labour policies, Mr Tarry’s , and by extension, your own) views are. No criticism intended of yourselves, in those instances where you’ve made your opposition to labour policy overt.: it always fascinates me when some Labour MPs are said to be independent of thought, or praised for being principled etc. They still cling to the name, the tarnished labour tag, despite its being appropriated by spivvy chancers, careerists and the power-hungry. I’d be interested to know just what their breaking-point would be: too many say they oppose measure X, Y or Z, but then either sneakily just abstain or worse, get bought off by symbolic but usually petty concessions. This allows them to supposedly save face and still reference their supposed rebelliousness, but still be ‘loyal’.
What would be the real deal-breakers that would compel them to openly stand against the New labour crew? For too many, I fear, there aren’t any deal-breakers, and they’ll grumble, or weakly criticise but not stand up and be counted for much.

BenSix @ post 50 asks a very good question. With the professed opinions and principles apparently held by Mr tarry, how can he reconcile himself with the labour party and its controlling, illiberal apparatus?

Because you can either moan about the party or try to change it , Sam has chose the latter.

Well he has certainly lost the Old Conservative vote …and there is no point in begging for it back!

Sunny:

“Why should we? There’s no reason to do so given. If the post doesn’t sell itself, why should we need to link further?

*sigh*”

You don’t get it, do you? Divorced of context (and even, I suspect, in context), this post gives literally *no* reason why anyone reading the site should care one iota about the existence of this Sam Tarry person. This post was (presumably) intended to build support for him, but has instead made a lot of people who should theoretically be at least vaguely on his side (as well as, coincidentally, a couple of trolls) annoyed at him. When *everyone* finds a post irritating and/or tedious and/or fatuous and/or offensive, then it’s probably not a particularly effective vote-getter. Which is what people, with varying levels of politeness, articulacy and patience have been saying.

Posts like this don’t ‘build a broad church’ except insofar as they make *everyone* annoyed – Tories, Lib Dems, Labour members and hard left alike – as can be seen from this thread…

“Why is he within the Labour Party? Because some of us believe we also have to change the system from the inside rather than throw rocks from outside. To that extent I fully endorse and want to support Sam.”

So, by implication, anyone not in the Labour party is futilely throwing rocks from outside? Oh WAY to build a broad church, there.

Jennie – why are people jumping to conclusions? Is it ‘I want to take offence at something today‘ day? I’ve not said anywhere that being part of any other party is somehow traitorous have I? FFS – please refer to donpaskini’s comment.

or* join another party that hasn’t spent twelve years getting into illegal wars, destroying the economy, scapegoating immigrants, colluding in torture and removing rights we’ve had for centuries…

andrew – well, I also know for a fact not everyone within Labour approves of all that agenda.

One way to avoid sectarian being cats in a sack would be not to have a big flame war every time someone professes loyalty for a particular party. It would be nice if people actually discussed parts of what Sam policy agenda is, rather than argue (once again) over Labour’s Iraq escapades.

I find it fucking funny that while people on Libdemvoice are accusing this website of being some sort of a Labour Trojan horse, that happens to be the party that gets most rubbished on here all the time. And that too by Libdems. Can we put aside the sectarianism sometimes and accept that some people like the Greens, others the Libdems and other Labour at times? Or will this happen every fucking time?

Joe – there exists more than one political party in this country at the moment. More, even, than two or three. You can *actually* either moan about ‘the party’ or try to change it *or* join another party that hasn’t spent twelve years getting into illegal wars, destroying the economy, scapegoating immigrants, colluding in torture and removing rights we’ve had for centuries…

Because you can either moan about the party or try to change it , Sam has chose the latter.”

Well, best o’ luck to the dude, but it seems like trying to mould a mountain with one’s bare hands.

No I,m not a memeber of the B.N.P..( so as not to get anybodies defense mechanisms going )
My complements to most of the commentators and their astute analysis of an attempt to ; empty slogan inspire,using the much too repedative ( anti-racism-magic-word-that-gets-them-going-every-time).
It is cynical manipulative ploy.
We know what makes them tick–you,ve got to understand their psychology.
Its the key words,you see.
Chuck in B.N.P and we are home and dry.
Don,t worry,nobodies going to give much opposition.that would be going directly against “the party line”.
Just prattle out the regular,equality and fairness for all.

What racism was he reffering to by the way?
Koranic,racistic,xenophobic,supremiist,sharia,sexist,taqiyya,non-muslim-ophobes.
Or those son-of a-bitch right-wing deniers of global warming and multi-cultural marxist utopia.
My complements again.All is not lost.
Best Regards
Journeyman.

I hope some here would respond to them, on the content, and with reasoned debate and disagreement, rather than on necessarily holding them responsible for every thing done by the government.

If they’re a government minister they’re bound by collective responsibility and are fair game no matter which way you wish to spin it.

Why is he within the Labour Party? Because some of us believe we also have to change the system from the inside rather than throw rocks from outside.

But you’re not on the inside, you’re not a member of the Labour Party.

Really, I don’t see why we should defend what we put on the blog.

Don’t like? Don’t visit.

Simple. As.

Poor showing mate, reductionism at it’s worst. That aint the point, you can’t talk about building a left/liberal alliance then once you’ve got the traffic then look like you’re sliding heavily toward toward the Labour party without some comment.

I don’t see that anyone’s being asked to ‘defend’ LC, just that it was billed as one thing and apparently (going by some of the comments here by our LibDem friends and on previous threads with this type of discussion) more and more is acting like something else.

Andrew, I cant speak for Sam but he probably agress with you on most issues, membership of Labour is perhaps the only thing that divides you, but hey dont let facts get in the way. I see you mention illegal wars, Sam is on the Stop the War Coalition National Steering Committee.

Just a few points for all those that have derided the style of the post but failed to read the manifesto. Heres a few excerpts especially for you Andrew.

On the super rich – “The huge amounts of money that pour through our financial markets have created a new divide, between the super rich elite and the rest of us.”

On immigration/scapegoating – “High levels of migration mean that our communities are changing fast, but the media and too many politicians use the language of fear and division, feeding the poisonous activities of the BNP.”

On rights and freedoms – “I have worked as a professional campaigner for over two years for Unlock Democracy, the UK’s leading democracy, civil liberties and rights pressure group”

A few headline policies

1) Equalising the National Minimum Wage whatever your age
2) Fighting for a Living Wage for all
2) Votes at 16
3) Ensure that all Young Labour members are in Trade Unions and more young Trade Unionists join the Labour Party
4) Campaign with TU’s to ensure that apprenticeships are all paid at the NMW
5) Young Labour must renew its international links with our sister organisations as we seek partners for delivering social democracy throughout the world
6) I will seek to increase the representation of women in the Labour Party by setting up a mentoring scheme where female Young Labour members will be paired up with female councillors or MPs so that they are guided in their political careers.

I’m sure comments on policy/manifesto would be more than welcome. For a wannabe new labour apparatchik he seems to be making it difficult for himself when criticising the war and pushing for a living wage.

Surely Sam won’t be the New Labour candidate for this election?

Bound to be someone else in the race and leave Sam as the “left” candidate. Some good stuff on there.

60 – “Joe – there exists more than one political party in this country at the moment. More, even, than two or three.”

For someone growing up in Dagenham with the political views that Sam has, though, the obvious choice would be the Labour Party. The Liberal Democrats are the sixth largest party in the area, they got 1.3% of the vote at the last local elections in Barking and Dagenham, just behind the Greens who got 1.7%. Both got considerably fewer votes than the BNP, Tories or UKIP.

If you’re a leftie who believes in community organising and anti-racism, and you are politically active in that part of the world, then it is a pretty obvious choice to get active in the Labour Party and seek to change the bits that you don’t agree with – which is what Sam is doing.

In other parts of the country, depending on the context, someone with similar values might find themselves a member of the Lib Dems (say in areas where the Lib Dems are the main party in defeating the BNP, or possibly in an area where there aren’t really any BNP or Tories and it is all Lib Dem or Labour), or another left of centre party.

One interesting thing about this election is whether it will confirm the recent trend that Compass-backed candidates have been having a lot of success in recent parliamentary selections – an interesting sign of where majority sentiment amongst Labour Party members lies.

Joe, I wasn’t responding to anything Mr Tarry had said, but rather to your own implication that there are only two options – complain about Labour or try to change it. You implied that in response to an earlier post which questioned why someone with Mr Tarry’s stated opinions would be in the Labour party at all. Reiterating that he has stated those opinions neither answers the original objection, nor answers my reply to your previous response.

In fact, I’m perfectly well aware that some people who share my views are currently in the Labour Party, just as I’m aware that some people who definitely don’t are members of the same party as me. I don’t understand why they’d want to be in that party, but I know that they are. I was merely trying to point out that your dichotomy is a false one.

@ Aaron

“Don’t like? Don’t visit. ”

Fair enough, I’m off.

“I’ve not said anywhere that being part of any other party is somehow traitorous have I?”

Yes, you have, that was exactly what you said when you said that people outside the labour party are outside the system; the implication of that is clear for all to see. That might not have been what you MEANT to say, but that is what you SAID none the less. If you can’t see that this is part of the reason why people paint you as a NuLabour apologist, despite your repeated assertions that you aren’t one, then you’re not as smart as I thought.

Really, you could have saved all of this hostility and fighting on every occasion it has happened by posting it under your own name and saying you were reposting something you found interesting from elsewhere. The fact that you haven’t done so, despite being advised of this on every occasion this happens, makes me think that maybe you do it to get a big long comment thread so it looks like people are interested in this sort of stuff.

Jennie – frankly I couldn’t care less what people call me. If I cared that much I wouldn’t have taken up political blogging. My point is about the website in general, and the implication that this is one big ZuNuLieBore torjan horse when I go out of my way to publish a broad range of opinion here, even if I disagree with it.

You can take whatever implication you want from what I said, I really can’t be arsed to justify myself every fucking time. Whether I posted this under my name, or posted what Sam had already said publicly, it makes no different because some people on here will ridicule and throw tomatoes at anything remotely attached to Labour… even if the person in question happens to have politics that very much chime with the general consensus here. I guess it’s too much to ask people to go through the policies and the history of a particular candidate. Being snarky is so much easier ain’t it?
When I said outside the system I meant party politics itself. You’re deliberately trying to get irritated if you think ‘the system’ somehow meant Labour directly. In which case I wouldn’t bother publishing anything anti-Labour or Libdem MPs or Green candidates etc. In fact we wouldn’t even be one of the main supporters of the Convention on Modern Liberty for that precise reason. But anyway – you’ve got an axe to grind so go ahead anyway.

If Sam believes in progressive change, why is he in Labour?

Does he think he can change the whole Labour Party from the position of Young Labour chair? It’s not exactly a position of huge influence, is it? Why not stand to be an MP instead?

All questions of whether or not this should have been posted here aside (if I ever run for something in the Green Party I won’t expect LC to just post it up here although it would be mucho appreciado!), I don’t have any respect for anyone around my age who has grown up under this Labour government, with betrayal after betrayal on everything from foreign policy to public services to civil liberties, who thinks they can somehow make it progressive – whilst not even criticising Labour’s record in power on their manifesto.

Some organisations are just too old, entrenched and rooted in their ways for even a charismatic person to be able to shake them up; our parliamentary system relies on deference, but so it seems does Labour’s internal hierarchy.

As for the fact that he is from Barking and Dagenham and this being a reason for him to be in Labour – ffs, we live in London, we also live in the UK: he has joined a national political party, why does this mean he has to either restrict his activity to his local area, or let it define his entire political outlook?

We all know the biggest reason for the growth in the BNP is the neglect by Labour of its traditional supporters and the racist atmosphere it has whipped up over the years to justify various laws or stances. It’s ironic that one of the areas where such neglect has been the most damaging should give rise to someone who proudly stands by their Labour membership.

This guy is either arrogant or deluded to think he can change Labour into a progressive party, or just plain trying to appeal to lefties with phrases like “community organising” and “progressive”. I’ve said that to all young Labour members I’ve met and I’d say it to this guy’s face if I saw him.

When will Labour learn? You can’t just slap the word progressive on whatever you do, without acknowledging how shit you’ve been for the past 12 years, and calling for the party to turn around and dump half its policies.

“One way to avoid sectarian being cats in a sack would be not to have a big flame war every time someone professes loyalty for a particular party.”

That’s the point really. This isn’t a very interesting post, but there’s been certain other posts on here about the minutiae of certain other parties’ elections that I haven’t found particularly interesting either. That’s life. I read something else. If every post had to pass through a committee, then nothing would ever get posted.

I get the point about trying to change Labour from the inside (although I would take issue with a description of non-Labour party activism as ‘throwing rocks from the outside’ as I do feel I am within the broad political system as it were) but then what changes has he proposed either now or in the past to the way Labour should do things?

Again, perhaps this is not something the chair of Young Labour can really argue for, which begs the question, if he has to keep his head down now, and once again when trying to get selected, and once again when trying to make PPS then PUS then Minister than Secretary of State, when exactly does he plan to “change” Labour? By all means, he can post here, even if it’s not to say Labour should change, which is my opinion but not one that all people on the liberal-left share – but we should ask ourselves if those jostling for influence within Labour cannot speak out, what point is there jostling for that influence?

Or will this happen every fucking time?

Heh welcome to the real world mate. 😀

Sunny, people aren’t jumping to conclusions – Jennie read your own words. Much like Joe, you presented a false dichotomy – change the system from inside or throw rocks from outside. You’re either with us or against us.

And I wasn’t ‘rubbishing’ Labour, just pointing out the flaw in Joe’s ‘logic’. And given that the candidate himself hasn’t actually said anything about his ‘policy agenda’ here, while someone connected with his campaign says “its not about giving out a prescriptive shopping list of policies we want our members to campaign on”, that hardly gives much to talk about, does it? If you wanted people to discuss his policies, maybe you should have posted *them*, rather than a vapid collection of buzzwords, as the actual article.

People here weren’t getting annoyed by the fact that this post is by a Labour party member – many of the posts here are. As an obvious example, Sunder’s post yesterday got plenty of favourable comment, despite/because of Sunder being General Secretary of the Fabians and so (I presume) a member of Labour. People were complainig because the original post is a load of vacuous self-promoting flummery without a single, solitary idea in the entire thing.

And whether people in Labour ‘approve of that agenda’ or not, that is the agenda they support. Those are the policies Labour have put forward while in government. Politics isn’t a matter of ‘some people like the Greens, others the Lib Dems and others Labour’ – it’s not a matter of taste, so that you might like Twix while I prefer Snickers, but the difference doesn’t really matter. It’s something that has actual effects on actual people’s lives. There are *SUBSTANTIAL* differences between those three parties, and they actually *matter*. And asking why a candidate who claims to hold certain views is a member of a party which has put into practice policies that are diametrically opposed to those views is a perfectly reasonable question.

It’s a question that can even be *answered* reasonably – as Don has attempted to do – but to *ask* it is a very different thing from being ‘sectarian’.

There are *SUBSTANTIAL* differences between those three parties, and they actually *matter*. And asking why a candidate who claims to hold certain views is a member of a party which has put into practice policies that are diametrically opposed to those views is a perfectly reasonable question.

Andrew – which policy issues are we referring to here, because so far it’s mainly been “how can you oppose Labour when it went into Iraq?” etc. Of course I understand there are policy differences, but why is it difficult to imagine people part of Labour also have very different views? You’ve got people like Charlotte Gore and James Graham – both party of a party and they probably disagree on a lot of issues. So to that extent there is plenty of disagreement within parties as there is outside of them.

Sam, incidentally, may be part of Labour but he has been campaigns officer for Unlock Democracy for about two years – hardly a New Labour institution.

I’m not trying to present any false dichotomy. My point is that you can either throw rocks or change the system from within. Hell, I part of the rock-throwing commentariat since I’m not part of any party. And yet I’ve been a judge on the Libdem awards, given a talk at the Green conference and at the Labour party fringe. But I don’t sit here assuming:
1) That anyone part of Labour is a blood sucking vampire
2) That making snarky comments about what people have said is a constructive form of debate
3) That writing pitches for why you should be elected to a position is an easy task, given you have to impress a broad range of people to actually be elected.

If I was running for a seat, I’d also probably end up producing something bland because that’s the nature of the beast.

Sunny, when it gets to the point when you are swearing that much at someone who cares about you and this site, and is trying to help you to not torpedo it, it’s time to step away from the computer and cool down.

I’m not grinding an axe here. I am trying to get you to see why there is so much hostility to this post. If you don’t want to listen, that’s fine, it’s your site and your rules. But there really no need to rant and eff and blind at me. It’s not making you look like you’re in the right.

“I guess it’s too much to ask people to go through the policies and the history of a particular candidate.”

When it’s a candidate for a post most people reading this can’t vote for, and we’re given *no reason whatsoever* to in the body of the post, then yes it is.

I can guarantee that had you, instead of posting this, posted something under your own name along the lines of “Sam Tarry, a candidate for Labour Youth president, seems like someone we should support. He believes [progressive policies X, Y, Z] and has done [things A, B, C]. Here’s a link to his website” none of the people who’ve commented negatively here (with the probable exception of the couple of actual trolls) would have done so.

“I also know for a fact not everyone within Labour approves of all that agenda”

I know that to be the case too, but if someone is arguing for progressive change whilst seeking a leadership position within the party then it would help if they made it clear they opposed that agenda and put forward some suggestions for how it should be altered.

But like I said, even if he doesn’t do that, I don’t think it shouldn’t be not posted here. It’s actually quite an interesting insight into the political brains of Labour’s new generation of loyalists, and tells us a lot about how deference seems to be the order of the day even in these dark times. If there was ever a time someone genuinely young and progressive in Labour could openly criticise their government’s crappy record, surely now is it?

It isn’t difficult to imagine that people in Labour hold different views – it’s plainly obvious that they do. But it’s reasonable to ask them how they reconcile them with their support for a party that’s enacting totally different policies. And while people like James Graham and Charlotte Gore clearly disagree on many matters, they still both have substantial policy agreements, too (both would probably support the new Freedom Bill proposal, or something very close to it, from what I know of them). It is reasonable to ask what those areas are that this person shares with the government.

And while you were not *trying* to present a false dichotomy (and reading your later posts it’s clear that you weren’t, which I accept without hesitation), the fact is that is what you *did* do, unintentionally. Because people didn’t ask “Why did Mr Tarry join a political party at all?” but “Why join *this particular party*?” – so your response, while intended for a more general ‘system’, was actually to a specific question, and tarred all those of us who are not members of the Labour party with the same brush. It wasn’t Jennie misreading what you wrote – it was you not expressing yourself clearly enough in your initial post.

And as for ‘snarky comments’, what do you think all your “ZuNuLieBore” and “blood sucking vampire” comments are?

I don’t think it’s just “Labour bashing” (Nu-Mania excepted). Of course, any party – except those with entirely narrow, particular agendas – will be compartmentalised, and composed of numerous ideologies, motivations and functions. Even, I might add, the Republican Party, who I’m not sure you treat with the same nuance.

But if an American was attempting to chair the Young Republicans during the last Presidency and they warned of “the Democrat threat” and endorsed a third term, it wouldn’t matter how much they supported small government, negative liberty and non-intervensionism, you’d still want to know what they thought of Bush.

Now, as I said upthread, from looking through Sam’s website I’ve had a really good impression of him. He’s anti-war, he’s anti-racism, he supports the Trade Unions and, most importantly, he’s been extremely active in supporting these principles. As a chronically lazy bastard, I admire him for that, especially.

But I want to know how he can reconcile (assuming that he has) those views with the current Labour Government, who I consider to be a gang of, mostly, wolves in monkey’s clothing: ass-covering on torture, stifling their responsibility for a bloody war that they helped manipulate into being and imposing a range of grossly authoritarian measures. If he wants to change the party from within then very good luck to him, but I’d like to know how, because, as I’ve said, it seems an up-Everest task.

So, yes, in this context my position is still good guy, shame about the Government.

(Oooh, could we all cut down on the word ‘progressive’? There’s nothing intrinsically bad about it, but it’s so overused that it makes me instinctively vomeeeeeeugh…)

84. Read the small print

Progressive gets used because all the liberals shit themselves when they hear the word socialist! As they think it means you must be stalinist and not libertarian. Seems from this chaps record and activities he is a social democrat at least and very libertarian. If not a full blooded socialist. After all as campaigns officer for Unlock Democracy/Charter 88 as a google search revealed I imagine it would have been him and James Graham (Lib Dem blogger) who recently stopped the FOI MP’s expenses cover up? And perhaps him that helped get the Sustainable Communities Act on the statute books – the most radical deveolution of power to citizens and local government in half a century!

Was bang out of order for Sunny to post this as if it were a blog post as it made the guy look like a right doughnut. I’m no campaign expert but if I sent out a first warm up email of a campaign to win votes in an internal election – I wouldnt bang on about policy in the very fiirst emaill or shoot your own party down oin that same email. Just tactically that would make sense… That comes after as the camapign develops.

Seems to have quite a few concrete policies on the website to me as Joe points out quite bluntly above.

I thought this was an interesting endorsement on his website:

“With the crisis we face, people are crying out for a new way of doing politics. It’s not that young people aren’t interested in politics, it’s that they see no way of being able to make change happen. They might not be interested in debating internal party politics. For them, that’s like driving a car from the back seat with a stick. But they do care when they can make a real difference to their lives of their families, their friends and their neighbours.

Having worked with Sam on various campaigns, this runs through everything he does. When he gets young members of Labour and the trade unions to work together, it’s not to be seen as a good progressive, but to fight for fairer pay for apprentices and young people. When he campaigns against the BNP, it’s not to look good in Westminster, it’s to set up educational programs for children in areas that politicians don’t even go to anymore. When he took the Sustainable Communities Act all the way to get the law changed, it wasn’t to appear in the press, it was to give ordinary people the power to protect and improve their communities.

He knows that like him there are so many young people in the shadows trying to change the world around them. He knows that if we really valued our young members, we would give up control and give them power. Sam will bring young members out of the shadows, he will make sure Young Labour runs successful campaigns that actually change the law and he will support you to run campaigns that matter to you where you are.”

When he took the Sustainable Communities Act all the way to get the law changed

See, that one clause of one sentence?

That’s sold me on him more than the whole of the initial post.

I disagree with some of the policies highlighted above, not for their objective but for effectiveness.

But for those within Labour? If you’ve got a vote, this guy looks good, just on the strength of SCA alone, let alone some of the other stuff.

Don’s point about why he’s in Labour is well founded. I’m from Torbay. Only ideologues or fools join Labour in that area, that’s what got me to vote Lib Dem. Joining them took a bit more persuasion.

“But for those within Labour? If you’ve got a vote, this guy looks good”

Aye…

*Nods, sagely*

(Though I’m sorely tempted to ask, again, why are you all within Labour?)

89. Living Wage for all!

This seems like a pitch for a pretty concrete policy and how to organise from the botom up for it…

Some of the numpties above ought to check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfBev5BQOEk

Bob Bailey

Bob Bailey? Is there a curious coincidence here, or is some wag pretending to be Bob Bailey, BNP councillor from Dagenham?

Ben

Sam Tarry here, I’ll just be brief as I am only just going to bed now at past 5am because of working on my campaign. Yes I do have a real job and I have to get up for it. Must say I am pretty pissed off Sunny did not tell me about this until after he had posted or given me the chance to write an article on a specific topic or policy. The email that he posted up was an internal campaign email designed as a ‘warm up’ email for CLP Secretaries putting forward young Labour delegates and also young members the campaign had contact details for. It was deliberately designed not to go in heavy on policy or be aggressively anti Govt so as not to scare off moderates straight away. To post it out of that context is unfair and does me, the positions I take, my manifesto and platform no justice at all. Just read through all the posts above and it seems that it has dawned in some of the more astute commenters that a clearer picture emerges with actually reading the full website and also some google searches. At the moment I am putting in a massive organisational effort to get as many delegates as possible to the YL conference where the election takes place with a very pressured timescale. I don’t have the resources of Labour HQ and the arty machine on my side as I’m not the anointed candidate. Therefore I have to organise like crazy. But then that’s what I do, and that why I helped get radical de-centralising bottom up democratic laws on the statute book. By organising. When I have time I will reply to the comments on here in full and take them head in. In the meantime I have a campaign to organise.

Sam

http://www.samtarry.com

“Must say I am pretty pissed off Sunny did not tell me about this until after he had posted or given me the chance to write an article on a specific topic or policy.”

As I would be were I in your position. It made you look like a complete idiot, which from the things that are *not* said in the original post you clearly aren’t. Like I said before, had Sunny posted a very short list of what your policy positions are and what you believe, no-one would have reacted negatively at all. Some people, myself included, would have asked how someone holding those views could reconcile them with membership of that party, but we’d still in general wish you well

If I were you I wouldn’t bother with responding to the comments here – most of which are based on a false premise, or irrelevant. Just write something for the site about actual policy, and respond to the replies there…

In the circumstances, I think the only fair thing to do is to extend an invitation to Sam to put together something specifically for LibCon, in order to enable him to give a fair accounting of himself.

94. Alisdair Cameron

To be fair, that’s a good reply by Sam, and I must confess I rather like the logic of his approach, as it’s somehow fitting:
The Labour party was captured, taken over, and completely changed direction by that bunch (of bastards) called New Labour, who used entryist tactics. If sam’s true to his principles, then it would be a nice irony if those same entryist tactics were used to wrest the Labour party back to something left of centre.

“Sam Tarry here, I’ll just be brief as I am only just going to bed now at past 5am because of working on my campaign. Yes I do have a real job and I have to get up for it. Must say I am pretty pissed off Sunny did not tell me about this until after he had posted or given me the chance to write an article on a specific topic or policy.

To post it out of that context is unfair and does me, the positions I take, my manifesto and platform no justice at all.

Hmm…bad luck, and sorry if I drew unmerited assumptions. It must be vaguely perplexing to suddenly find oneself (or, at least, some vague image of oneself) being ruthlessly analysed.

Ben

And taking Labour back to the left is exactly what the Tories would like to see.

In the circumstances, I think the only fair thing to do is to extend an invitation to Sam to put together something specifically for LibCon, in order to enable him to give a fair accounting of himself.

Agreed. Sunny?

Yes I do have a real job and I have to get up for it.

Yeah yeah minority awareness through mime ?

99. Sunder Katwala

Second Unity’s point.

Thanks to Sam for coming on here. I hope you’ll contribute to LC beyond the election too. Can I just say that – having not followed any of the detail of Young Labour politics previously – that while there was lots of legitimate criticism of the piece, I thought the thread did in the end also show that Sam has put in a good deal of time, energy and efforts to trying to make a more bottom-up approach happen.

Sunny – Just about everybody (certainly everyone sane) thinks you have done a fantastic job getting LC into what it is: probably the best place for diverse conversations across a plural and broad liberal-left. Nothing like it has succeeded elsewhere to my knowledge.

So if this was clearly not the best way to approach a piece from Sam – as with hindsight it obviously wasn’t – then these things happen, and I doubt anybody thinks you need to start trying to run the place by committee or as a collective so that nothing ever happens.On this occasion, much of the criticism on tone etc was constructive from friends rather than enemies of LC, and no doubt that has and should be heard.

I understand your frustration at the idea that LC is a Labour front. It obviously isn’t. Nobody who is a Labour member could listen in and think that. Much of the centre of gravity seems to me non-party pressure campaigning, particularly feminist and civic engagement, mostly pretty frustrated with the Labour government on those issues. Some of of us probably hear much of what we find out about the LibDem blogosphere from here, especially Jennie’s round-up. There has been some good Green content, and more of that (both party Green and broader environmental) would be interesting. I think I am one of the few regular Labour centre-left voices (what used to be the Old Labour right, now to the insider left of New Labour, but critically engaged) with other regular Labour voices probably to various degrees mostly to my left (as Sam would be on some things, if he was giving a fair account of himself). I would like to see more Labour voices get involved here – but only if there was no attempt to capture the space (which would fail) or dominate the conversation.

I share your frustration with arguments which get stuck around “how could anybody with seriously bother to engage in Labour” (because they are NuLab) or the LibDems or Greens (because they aren;t going to win power) – where others felt you were saying the second to challenge the first, which I think wasn’t your intenton.

I feel that any political debate – and constructive and challenging broad liberal-left dialogue in particular – is deepened by accepting that we hold both different substantive views (and strategies about how and where we try to apply them) sincerely, unless and until that can be shown to be not right. Debating and understanding the differences is more interesting and more difficult if we accept our interlocutors are real, however much we might think them wrong or misguided. I myself do think that of most or all of the regular LC contributors, (partially excepting anyone who comes here just to bait lefties, even if that too is sincerely held).

Of course it is legitimate for anyone to personally see Labour (or the Greens or the LibDems) as never worth engaging with, if that is your view. I myself disagree (in each case) but the more important thing is to resist the view that nobody could seriously believe the opposite, without being a hack, stooge or a sham (Labour) or not serious about real change (smaller parties). That is obviously unfair, in all cases. More importantly, it simply closes down real dialogue. If we want to only repeat that we can, then we will just never gets to some of the conversations we could and should be having. Of course, we can all bring our party politics to the table, and interrogate and challenge and debate each other on substance. But always trying to evangelise for converts is anyway a self-defeating way to try to achieve that goal too: I don’t myself think it should be the only or primary goal in a space like this one.

Must say I am pretty pissed off Sunny did not tell me about this until after he had posted or given me the chance to write an article on a specific topic or policy. The email that he posted up was an internal campaign email designed as a ‘warm up’ email for CLP Secretaries putting forward young Labour delegates and also young members the campaign had contact details for. It was deliberately designed not to go in heavy on policy or be aggressively anti Govt so as not to scare off moderates straight away. To post it out of that context is unfair and does me, the positions I take, my manifesto and platform no justice at all.

Oh dear….

In the circumstances, I think the only fair thing to do is to extend an invitation to Sam to put together something specifically for LibCon, in order to enable him to give a fair accounting of himself.

I think that’s a very good idea. This is a bit of a snafu on Sunny’s part (I’m a little surprised Sunny’s normally a lot more savvy than this).

102. Alex Higgins

“And taking Labour back to the left is exactly what the Tories would like to see.” (cjcjc)

Because right now, New Labour is doing really well and the Tories are well scared of them.

In case you hadn’t noticed, cjcjc, Labour is already bactracking to the left by default in foreign policy and finance because its previous policies have been major catastrophes which have done massive damage in their own right and broken up the voter coalition that brought them to power in 1997.

Labour does actually need votes in Scotland and Wales, from middle class liberals and the working class to win elections. It can’t only base its strategy on appealing to middle class conservatives in marginals.

The left-baiting strategy of the Blairites may have once served the Labour Party’s electoral forutnes well enough. Right now, it is a clear liability in the face of impending defeat at the hands of the Tories.

On this occasion, much of the criticism on tone etc was constructive from friends rather than enemies of LC, and no doubt that has and should be heard.

Yeah, I get that. I should have done this thing differently. Oh well, mistakes get made I guess. And yes, Sam of course has the opportunity to come back with something different at another time.

Quote of the day for me at the Manchester Convention on Modern Liberty:

The problem with journalists is that they’ve no idea how to organise a campaign

Or words to that effect, anyway.

Having now met him and spent a lot of time in various discussions agreeing with him on mostly everything, if you do have a vote in this internal election with a small voter base, then vote for Sam, he’s good.

Sam, good luck Friday, I’ll be in touch when I’ve caught up with some sleep.

What Mat said. Sam’s a good’un. He’s got the right instincts , he’s got the policy details at his fingertips, and his extemporaneous answers to people’s ideas at the Unlock Democracy plenary in Manchester today (and indeed Mat’s, incidentally) were far more convincing than half the prepared speeches we saw from people in London. He also seems like a genuinely nice bloke.

I’d vote for him, and this is coming from someone who *loathes* Labour. This post doesn’t really do the man justice at all.

Sam, I am more impressed by your response here than your internal communication to CLP secretaries. It may yet do some good for your campaign.

I would say though, it is painful to see that you have to water down internal communication just to get anyone to listen. Perhaps it underlines the decline of internal debate and therefore the Labour Party. This a frightening prospect for the country. Given the scary climate we are all grappling with, the economy, foreign policy, communities, democracy, civil liberty …, it is distressing that you cannot open a debate within the Party by talking straight. Perhaps the stranglehold over CLPs from the centre is now so complete that you really don’t have a choice.

It is probably also an indicator that your job, if it really is a challenge to the existing New Labour orthodoxy, will not yield any appreciable results for another 10 to 15 years.

107. Muddassar Ahmed

Sam Tarry is one of the most talented and exciting politicians of his generation, with the potential to achieve a tremendous amount in politics and the Labour Party. His work countering far right politics and his principled opposition to the Iraq war are very commendable, as is his unrivalled commitment to Labour principles. Sam has worked tirelessly as the head of Compass Youth, promoting its core aims and developing ideas for a more equal and democratic world.

Sam recognises the importance of change when necessary and open and free debate in order to achieve the best solutions for the country. He is a realist, and understand that debate and progressive change take time, as should most readers considering that this politics. I believe that Sam is the best man for the job, particularly because of his successful de-centralisation policies that gives more voice to Party members as a whole. This is a development that is very welcome.

108. Jasmin Ademovic

I don’t understand why people are so annoyed about Sam’s posting on this site – open debate within Labour and politics in general is a welcome change.

We’ve played it safe for too long, and with the Party and Country in the states they are in it’s necessary to have more debate. Central control is not something we need; Sam is not HQs choice but that does not detract from his candidacy, but probably enhances it.

Sam has had great success from civil liberties to enhancing grass roots politics. This is something this country needs more of, and hopefully Sam’s continued hard work during the campaign will pay off, both short and long term.

Jasmin, as it’s buried deep in the comments, the annoyance is that Sam didn’t post this to the site. The above is an internal email aimed at a completely different audience. Sunny copy and pasted it without further explanation, and made it look like it was posted by Sam.

When I write a post here, it’s written in a different style (sometimes only slightly) to something I write on my own site, a different audience needs a different approach. This post does not suit the audience of this site.

And, specifically, it was posted here without Sam’s permission. I hope, especially having met him and read some of his stuff now, that he can post here more often.

Christ, this whole thread has descended into a massive rant against left wingers and liberals within the Labour Party. Perhaps, just perhaps, we think different means are appropriate to our shared ends than you do? And that’s not even worth arguing about. It’s obvious from person X being a Labour/Lib Dem/Green member shows that their reasoning in that respect if different from Y. I don’t see how that can generate arguments among people if they’re genuinely committed to issues politics.

For Sam’s twelve quid a year to Labour, the liberal left has got an awful lot of bang for his buck. The right kind of bang, too.

Wrong targets, folks.

You might think that whatever your route to social justice is better than Sam’s, but if being a Labour dissenter is enough to get you a ton of flack this might as well be an official Lib Dem site.

As an individual, and I accept that my perspective is a biased one, I think Sam is practically faultless. He never sleeps, and he has principles. Those things are vastly more important than any amount of ZOMGTEHNULABSlol1.

Gosh there are so many morons on Liberal Conspiracy these days, and that’s not included the Tory trolls.

Thanks for clarifying things Sam, hope the campaign goes well.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New blog post: Why I’m standing for Young Labour chair http://tinyurl.com/aoco5h

  2. Justin McKeating

    Christ, another nascent New Labour drone http://bit.ly/pcLmX Do they grow these guys in a lab?

  3. DonaldS

    Young Labour candidate knows so little about blogging he reposts his ‘About’ page ( http://bit.ly/NHX8C) at LibCon (http://is.gd/kY0K) Weird

  4. Liberal Conspiracy

    New blog post: Why I’m standing for Young Labour chair http://tinyurl.com/aoco5h

  5. Justin McKeating

    Christ, another nascent New Labour drone http://bit.ly/pcLmX Do they grow these guys in a lab?

  6. The Convention For Modern Liberty « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

    […] which could have been hugely embarassing (if you want to know why, see the comments thread in this post on Liberal Conspiracy ) but he turned out to be a really good bloke, and to be both right and informed on the […]





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