Compass Youth Hustings

Compass Youth were out in force last night (Monday, 16 January) if keeping a low profile at the London Young Labour Hustings for NEC youth rep. The candidates on offer came in three volumes - loud (Stephanie Peacock), quiet (Daniel Carden) and silent (Cat Smith, who unfortunately could not make it due to work commitments).

To be fair to all three candidates, including Smith who had a statement read out for her, they seemed sincere and committed to the values that brought us all (or most) to the party.

From what I've been told, Peacock has been the single biggest factor in energising West Midlands Young Labour. It now rivals the youth organisations in London, Wales and Scotland for vibrancy. That's quite a feat, bearing in mind there isn't a ready supply of legislative researchers or a Ken or a Rhodri about to energise the troops.

Meanwhile Carden, emphasised his union credentials as a TGWU stalwart, and committed himself to reviving the 'sacred link' between the Labour Movement and the party. That is vital if we are to get the activists on the ground to fight the next general election. With even turnout at 'the big one' perhaps dropping below 60 per cent, every election is a get out the vote election.

The only real bone of contention was whether to push for a funded national youth officer. While Peacock argued this was a must, Carden thought it was unrealistic. While I agree with Carden that it is not likely to happen with the party finances in their current state, it's still a case of 'don't ask, don't get'. The youth rep cannot go into the NEC meeting naked as it were, having already moderated their stance in representing us. They have to set the bar high, though be willing to lower it to make a deal.

Peacock shaded the vote for LYL nomination, which was probably the right decision. Considering the job she's done in the West Midlands, and being a bit of a sucker for a barnstormer who rallies 'comrades' to the cause, she just about won me over.

They both made the right-on noises. Trident ( Boooo!) Warwick (Yeyyyy!) Scrapping the cap on tuition fees (Boooo!) Liberation campaigns (Yeyyyy!).

The one sticking point I had with both candidates available for questions was a lack of original thinking. And the unions were given too easy a ride. Where the unions are good, they are very good (backing Cruddas in his campaign against the BNP in Dagenham springs to mind). But where they are bad, they are awful. In Brent, for example, the local trades council is organising a 'save our health services' event. The talk is that it will be a soapbox for Liberal MP Sarah Teather to take a massive swing at Labour.

If there is a hung parliament at the next election, Teather could help Orange Book Liberals go into coalition with Tories and then the unions will be stuffed. The youth rep cannot just snuggle up to the unions. Being on the NEC gives them a golden opportunity to send a message to the barons - urge your activists and rank and file to get back into the party, to fight for the values we all believe in, but also to get Labour elected.

-Post Contributed to Compass Youth by 'Laski'


BenS said...

To be accurate, Steph did not say Trident 'booo', but rather Trident 'yay'.

You can see Cat Smith's manifesto at

Owen said...

Re: describing trade union leaders as barons.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't barons unelected?

Sam Compass said...

London Young Labour Day of Action against the BNP!

Saturday 3rd of March 2pm Barking
Barking Constituency Office 102 North Street

Make a stand against the growth of extremism; the growth of the racist fascist BNP in Labour heartlands!

• Labour needs to regain credibility with grass roots people in Barking and Dagenham, as well as exposing the racist and fascist BNP for what they are. We need to be intelligent and offer a future narrative to people about what future benefit a Labour Government will bring to them.

• Young Londoners are the future of the capital – it’s our responsibility to champion diversity and a day of campaigning will aim to re-ignite the local Labour party and show our solidarity.

The day will consist of:

• Door-to-door canvassing with local party members in BNP target wards

• Rebutting the lies - delivery of information to mitigate the recent racist and untrue literature delivered by the BNP to 70, 000 homes in Barking and Dagenham

• Running information stalls at Barking station and leafleting, similarly for some of the key tube stations in Dagenham and in the Town centres.

• An evening meal and debate with special guest speakers for those who have been out campaigning provided locally by local supporters at Mahal Tandoori.

Guest Speakers (TBC): - Jeremy Corbyn MP, Jon Cruddas MP, Councillor Liam Smith - Dagenham CLP,
Councillor Rocky Gill - Barking CLP, George Foulkes - Union activist and former Ford Motor plant shop steward,
Councillor Mohammed Azam - Burnley Unite.

Please forward the attached flyer to all those who wish to support this event. Apologies for any cross-posting.

For more information on the day of action please contact:

Samuel Tarry

Personal Mobile +447971819830
Activist Hotline +447999961717

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

London Young Labour - Anti-Racism Officer

Travelling to Barking:

Easily and quickly accessible from all parts of London on Tube - District line or Hammersmith and City line.

Barking is in Travelcard and ticket zone 4 and can be quickly reached from all London main line rail terminals. It is a 15 minute journey from London Fenchurch Street Station by C2C trains.

Silverlink Trains also serve Barking station on the North London Metro line.

C2C Trains from Fenchurch street via West Ham (also interchange of Jubilee and District Lines) or coming in from from Essex via C2C.

For 'One' train services coming in from Essex change at Romford for the shuttle train to Upminster where the District line tube connects to Barking.

For 'One' train services coming out from Liverpool street change at Stratford for the Jubilee Line one stop to West Ham where the District Line connects to take you to Barking.

Becontree, Dagenham Heathway and Dagenham East Stations:

These are in Travelcard and ticket zone 5 and are served by the London Underground District line.