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Labour_rosette_(2).jpgYoung members can often be put in a box and told we are the future, but why wait when we have young members with talent now? Young members are not the future we are the present and you can make a real difference today by applying to be a candidate for a parliamentary seat.

On 21st April applications will open to Labour Party members to put themselves forward to stand as a parliamentary candidate in June.

These seats will include seats from which sitting MPs have retired from and seats where we currently don’t have a Labour MP.

We often talk about the importance of young people participating in politics but when it comes to things like encouraging young members to stand for parliament we seldom practice what we preach.

That is why I want to put out a message to encourage young members to take the ultimate part in our democracy; you must be 18 or over and have 12 months continued membership to apply. If selected, you will be required to campaign hard for a Labour victory for the next 6 weeks on the doorstep.

Being a parliamentary candidate whether that be in a marginal seat or an unwinnable is also fantastic experience as you will be able to learn how a parliamentary campaign is ran. Even just going through the selection process is helpful if you see yourself as running for Parliament in the future.

Proper representation means having people from all backgrounds and ages in our Parliament, young people in the UK can often struggle to see past the benches of older white men and are put off from politics because of this.

Labour having young people standing as candidates will send the Tories a message that we are not prepared to just sit down and put up with Tory austerity targeting young people. We want to get out and fight for a £10 living wage, free school meals for all school children and an economy that works for the many and not the few.

So if you see yourself as a candidate in this general election, do not be put off by being told you are too young, Parliament needs people from all ages to be able to represent the country.

You have until Sunday 23rd April to apply to stand for Labour. What are you waiting for?

Jasmin Beckett

NEC Youth Representative

@Jasmin_Beckett

 

Your Chance to be a Candidate in the 2017 General Election

Young members can often be put in a box and told we are the future, but why wait when we have young members with talent now? Young members are not...

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. 

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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'.

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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

@Jasmin_Beckett

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'.


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