What I am looking for from the new Labour Party leader and Labour Party itself moving forward:

*OBVIOUSLY keep the policies. They are consistently, majority-popular regardless of the political party they vote for. It would be nothing short of insanity to abandon policies the majority want; the policies also happen to be WHY most of us are in the Party in the first place.

Very quickly realise ANY Labour leader (even slightly) to the Left of Thatcher is going to get destroyed by the media. This recent election changed because for the first time ever, broadcast media totally abandoned impartiality as independent reports show-plenty of evidence of this. In 2017, during the legally-obliged election period, did offer far more balance; the pattern being the more people saw and heard Corbyn in his own words, what he was *actually saying, unspun & unedited, they liked him/what he had to say. The broadcasters genuinely betrayed the country & democracy in the 2019 GE. They were a total disgrace and an abomination. The BBC has totally destroyed its reputation now…and for what…just more threats from the Tories?!

The huge mistake will be to think a new leader will get anything like fair treatment. They won’t. We know that when Facebook decided NOT to stop political advertising when they knew it was outright lies or misleading (which it was 88% of the time V 0% for Labour with the Tories), and shut down as many Leftie accounts as possible-ban after ban for no reason, with no explanation…that too was a huge game-changer this time. BUT, and this is very important, no-we should absolutely NOT shut up about this bias. It doesn’t matter if people are sick of hearing about us complaining-the media is betraying democracy & the country and must constantly be called out on it. Constantly expose it. Remember too, that the media darlings/elites have Tory producers/editors, while most of the presenters/commentariat are of the Lib Dem/Centirst mindset. So, the politics of approximately 10% of the population, has a massively disproportionate media platform-on all platforms. This means that Labour will face, as it has and does now, mass hostility from supposedly ‘progressive’ media like The Guardian, Peston, Channel 4 (to a lesser extent, but still there), James O’Brien etc. Encourage and support where laws allow, new media on various platforms…LOTS more to debate/discuss re media, but that’s a start…

*This will be seen as a controversial one, but it is absolutely necessary. The new leader needs to be unapologetically passionate about the policies, the members, the party and our ideals. They need to be very overtly passionate about them. Dennis Skinner-like. Unfortunately, we live in an era now of the ‘strong man’-Trump, Bolsanero, Putin, Modi, Johnson (perception, not reality, remember…). In order for Labour to compete in the face of such hostility from the media and, well, everywhere basically, we must be focused on not being afraid to release the ‘attack dogs’. Yes, I know, this will create an even more argumentative climate, but I believe we can be passionate, fair, but very strong. We must not be bullied. We currently are being, constantly. So, obviously not through violence or individual abuse, but we must absolutely let the world see the fire in our bellies. Unapologetically so. In debates, they need to insist on correcting lies, call out the BS media questions when they come, mention our great track record in many areas, and mention the absurd record of the Tories.

If a female leader is elected (and, TBC, I am all for that), this will be needed even more. Many hated Thatcher, but even some of those who did (not me though) respected her for her perceived strength and no-BS approach. TBC-I hated Thatcher, and still do. Our media and political system still bleeds sexism. A combination of basic social democracy (the policies we have), with a female leader in this f***ed-up climate will mean it will be even harder. Of course, and let’s be clear here, that does not mean you pander to this-far from it. But it does mean being realistic about what will happen.

*Totally change how data is collected, campaigning ‘old style’ is done. There needs to be a very urgent complete re-haul, especially within Welsh Labour, of how we campaign, how we engage, how we appeal. There is a culture that needs changing & changing fast. I can go more into this later, but just making the point for now. It is now clear this is essential, no matter what level of resistance is thrown at us.

*Another controversial one…but necessary. I know I am just repeating what I have said for years, but we need to re-frame Patriotism. We need to say things like “I am proud to be British/Welsh/Scottish/N. Irish, and this to me means…

-Paying your taxes
-Wanting to train, support & fully-fund UK citizens to do the jobs of both today & tomorrow
-Embracing all migrants, refugees, asylum seekers in the traditions of our ancestors. We are a compassionate country, and, for example, immigration where needed should be welcomed by all. This is not at odds with wanting to fully-fund training for UK workers
-Not starting illegal wars, not selling arms to terrorists (or anyone else!), no to imperialism etc

*Mandatory Re-selection. I was previously against this as we tried to ‘reach out’ to the critics within the party. There is a huge difference between everyone having a platform to be heard, disagree, put opposing views and actively trying to bring the party down at all costs. I now realise that I was wrong previously. Other parties have mandatory re-selection and, in the name of accountability & democracy, we should too.

*Further democratising of the party internally.

Those are just a few things for now. The list is not final, but it’s a start.

Adam Samuels

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