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Young Labour is hosting its first ever Political School this weekend in Birmingham. Here's a little of what you can expect from a jam-packed day of politics. 


What can we do to stop the rise of the far right?

How can we fight for secure work for young people? What is the role of trade unions in this?

What is the right response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria?

These are massive questions. There’s not one simple answer to any of them. But this weekend in Birmingham, Young Labour will be debating, discussing and learning about all of these issues, and many, many more.

Getting involved with Labour politics can open up a new world of international and domestic issues and ask your opinion on every single one of them. Our political school is a chance to hear from experts and people who have incredible experience, so that you can make your own mind up and take back something back to your own communities, letting it shape the activism that you choose to be a part of. It’s a chance for young members to develop their understanding of how politics works and how to respond to big challenges as community leaders.

We are delighted to be joined by organisations from across the movement. We’ll be talking with the Labour Campaign for International Development about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. We’ll be talking about what’s next for the NHS now bursaries are axed with campaigners from Unison. The Jewish Labour Movement will be talking about how we can combat anti-Semitism. We'll be joined by a UAF activist who saw the nightmare inspired by far-right extremism on Utøya in 2011. There’ll be the opportunity to learn about how to organise campaigns in your community with community organising pros.

Talking about politics is important. This is what Young Labour is for: a space for thousands of young people to come together and talk about things that interest them, but also talk about things they’ve never heard of. It’s okay to say, wait a second – what does that mean? Between school, uni or work, there’s not always the chance to discuss what something like universal basic income is and whether it’s a good idea for 2017. Learning about funding and policies for education and the NHS and other things that matter so much to us day to day shouldn’t be reserved for people who do politics at university. Here’s your chance to talk it over.

We can’t wait to see you at our political school in Birmingham on Saturday. If you’re not able to make it, follow the debate on #YLPS17


What's happening at our Political School this weekend?

Young Labour is hosting its first ever Political School this weekend in Birmingham. Here's a little of what you can expect from a jam-packed day of politics. 

This weekend at Young Labour's Equalities Academy, Jasmin Beckett will be inviting young members to speak out and 'Reclaim the Internet'.


The Internet has become a place where the public and the private now interact. We are now closer to celebrities and our elected representatives than ever before and this should be celebrated.  It has given a voice to the marginalised and allows fast, open debate on the current topics of the day, allows us to research and learn, and interact with our friends across the country.

Tim Berners Lee may have envisioned this growth when he created the World Wide Web almost 30 years ago stating “this is for everyone.”

But with the rise in popularity of social media, came the rise of people using it as a resource for misogyny and bullying.

Every day on social media I see a young woman’s opinion shut down or ignored, I see bullying and harassment, I see racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. This kind of behaviour is not only poisoning the internet, but its stopping people, our young members, from speaking out. 

We have to sit back and reflect on the way we use the internet when young activists are deciding not to voice their opinion, not to campaign online, and not to speak out because of the amount of abuse they receive.

Last year I attended the ‘Reclaim the Internet’ conference in London where we heard from women who had been chased off social media due to online bullying and rape threats, and teachers who were subject to online abuse from pupils and parents. 60% of teachers polled by NASUWT say they have received some form of online abuse from pupils or parents online leading many to change careers all together. Furthermore, young women are more likely to be targeted experiencing a huge scale of social media misogyny.

In the Labour Party and beyond, whether someone is looking to stand to be an MP, a CLP youth officer or an NEC representative we must make clear that online abuse is not part of the job description. We need to start reminding one another that ‘holding someone to account’ is not posting messages repeatedly on their personal Facebook, or threatening someone to ‘vote the right way’.

We would never accept this offline, so why do we stand by and allow it to happen online?

Whilst on the NEC I have wanted to help tackle the abuse received by the members I represent, especially those who are women, LGBT, BAME and disabled. In light of this we have successfully worked to produce a new online code of conduct which you can find here. Furthermore, the Labour Party has recently appointed a new Head of Safeguarding who I am looking forward to working with to look at how we can tackle online abuse in our Party.

This weekend we are hosting the Equalities Academy in Bristol. Amongst many other exciting sessions this weekend, I will be chairing the ‘Reclaim the Internet’ session which is a campaign aiming to reclaim the Internet from trolls and to make it a safer place for women. The online benefits of being anonymous leads to inhibitions being lost completely. That’s why we must use this campaign to teach people what is acceptable behaviour online.

If you are in Bristol for the Equalities Academy this weekend, I hope you can come along and participate in the Reclaim the Internet session.

Our young members deserve better, and they deserve to use their voices without fear. Together we can stop online bullies, and stand against online abuse together.



Jasmin Beckett

NEC Youth Representative


Tackling Online Abuse - Together We Can Reclaim the Internet

This weekend at Young Labour's Equalities Academy, Jasmin Beckett will be inviting young members to speak out and 'Reclaim the Internet'.

Callum Adams from the GMB Young Members Network writes about their campaign for a fair deal for young workers.



Imagine going to work. Imagine that you do the exact same amount of work as your colleagues but when your pay comes through you’ve received a completely different level of compensation for your labour. Now imagine you take this diminished wage home. You have to pay your rent; you have to pay your bills; you have to buy food and essentials. Your costs aren’t any less than those of your colleagues but for some reason you have been given less to meet them with. For many people across the UK under the age of 25 this thought exercise isn’t imagination. This is their reality.


In April this year the Government introduced their “National Living Wage” of £7.20 an hour. The inverted commas are important here because it is nothing of the sort. It falls short of the living wage calculated by the Living Wage Foundation which currently sits at £8.45 per hour and does not even come close to the £10 per hour living wage advocated by many trade unions including my own union, the GMB. More importantly however, all it ultimately does is add another tier to what was already a four tier wage system, further perpetuating the ridiculous notion that your age somehow relates to the value of your labour and your level of productivity.


The GMB Young Members’ Network is leading the way in campaigning for a real living wage for all workers, regardless of age, and for living wage week we have put our demands right on the Tories’ front doorstep. On Tuesday GMB members from across the country went to Parliament to meet with Jack Dromey, shadow minister for Labour and Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax, both of whom stand firmly with GMB Young Members and their Wages Not Based on Ages campaign. Jack stated that “It cannot be right for hard working young people to be denied a wage that they can live on.” and that “The time has come for pay justice for young people.”


GMB Young Members delivered the testimony of Rebecca who is 20 years old and states: “Because of my age the Government says I can live on £5.55 an hour whilst my colleague earns £7.20 an hour for doing exactly the same job. Rent and living expenses are exactly the same, so why aren’t the wages? Working in retail this unequal pay is common and earning less stops me from getting on in life. I can’t afford to study part time to get a better job, have driving lessons or even think about owning a car. I’m frustrated at the fact I am expected to live on so little, whereas if I was older I would automatically be paid more.”


Rebecca is just one of nearly 3.5 million people that could be affected by the government’s decision to pay hard working young people less than their older colleagues. This, along with zero and low hour contracts, lack of job security and increasing housing costs, sees that young people are trapped in a perfect storm that threatens to see them stranded within in-work poverty where it is a struggle to survive let alone live. They lack the means to socialise with friends or spend time with and care for their families; and the prospect of one day owning their own home seems like little more than a dream.


GMB Young Members are urging the Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, to take action and include workers aged between 18 and 24 in the implementation of the National Living Wage. Earlier in the year we launched a Parliamentary Petition that encourages the government to discuss this issue and put right the discrimination faced by those under the age of 25. If you haven’t already signed it you can do so here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131920


It is completely unacceptable that young adult workers under 25 can be paid up to 23 percent less than those over 25 who do the same work, with 18 - 21 year olds entitled to only £5.55 per hour whilst those aged 21 - 24 may receive only £6.95. Even former Conservative skills minister, Nick Boles admitted earlier in the year that no official statistics exist to support the idea that those under the age of 25 are less productive and yet the Government still uses this argument to justify their actions.


Young people must stand together against a government that clearly has no interest in the lives of young people in this country. GMB Young Members are making their stand and we urge you to stand with us. We deserve a wage not based on age. We deserve a wage that allows us to live rather than merely survive. We deserve a wage that will pay for our futures and not one that imprisons us in a perpetual present or in-work poverty. GMB has long called for a real living wage of £10 an hour and you should too. We do more than enough to earn it.


Don’t forget to sign our petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131920


Callum Adams

GMB Young Members Network


If you would like to find out more about how GMB is fighting for a fair deal for young workers or how to get involved please email gmbyoungmembers@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter at @GMBYoungMembers. If you would like to join the GMB today, you can join online here: https://www.gmb.org.uk/join/join-online

GMB Young Members: The Tories are no party for working people when it comes to young workers

Callum Adams from the GMB Young Members Network writes about their campaign for a fair deal for young workers.

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