Why I’m running for National Policy Forum

After our defeat in the polls Twitter was ringing with ideas being thrown about. “More aspiration” said some, “Return to our core values” said others. It’s clear that we need to have a positive discussion on the future of our Party and the way we run it. With this in mind I want to put my name forward to be the Youth Representative for London on the National Policy Forum.

Certainly, it’s not as exciting as the leadership election or mayoral selection, but I believe the National Policy Forum has great potential: it can be as effective and important as we want it to be. Over the course of the past few decades, policy making has been severely centralised in the Labour Party. This has meant that our manifestos have become increasingly short sighted and wonkish, disconnected from people’s lives. It’s too easy for senior shadow cabinet figures to decry our last manifesto when in fact they have been suppressing any sort of positive policy debate in our Party.

What’s clear is that policy can no longer be written solely at Party HQ: we need a Party that is open to new ideas and welcoming to debate. This means devolving local manifesto writing to every level of government and it means giving more powers to the National Policy Forum.

The NPF can either be a talking shop, where what little is decided is ignored by the leadership or it can be a powerful engine of representation and change. I want it to be the latter, and that’s why I’m standing. None of us joined the Labour Party purely to doorknock, leaflet and phonebank; I joined, and I’m sure many others did too, to make my views heard in the only vehicle of progressive change in this country. It’s time to start listening to the thousands of young members in this city and more broadly, this nation. We cannot be treated as campaigning fodder all the time and as NPF rep I will make sure that all members’ views are heard, by running regular policy events across the city. I will fight for the ideas and policies democratically decided by London Young Labour members whenever the NPF meets. I will remain totally accountable to London Young Labour and Labour CLPs by publishing regular reports of what I am doing as rep.

If you elect me, I will not go to the NPF to push my own agenda, but rather the programme decided by the young members of this city.

Every member of the Labour Party has something to contribute, and I want to make sure that our experiences, hopes, dreams and ideals are a central core of any future Labour manifesto, whether local or national.

I joined the Labour Party to do my bit to bring about positive progressive change in this country, and, if you nominate me for and elect me to the National Policy Forum, I hope to continue helping bringing about a brighter future.

If you agree with me I would be very grateful if you could nominate at your CLP’s General Meeting, along with Peray Ahmet, James Murray, Alon Or-Bach and Marsha de Cordova. Nominations for National Policy Forum close on June 10th.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at pbffreeman@yahoo.co.uk