Young Labour’s Policy Conference: a conference for enthusiastic young members in the Labour movement aged 14-27, to influence policy, happened in Coventry last weekend and I was lucky to be elected as a delegate for my home region, Eastern.
The conference was attended by young labour members from each region of the country, socialist societies, trade unions and labour clubs. We all came together in one place to share ideas, build new relationships and hear from key people in our party; Jeremy Corbyn MP (Leader) and Cat Smith MP (Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement & Youth Affairs)
Jeremy was passionate about how young people need to turnout in general, not just voting for Labour (although of course, we would welcome voting #ForTheMany) and how we need to keep fighting, not give up, so that together we can take over from a disastrous Tory government, rejecting working people and the most vulnerable in society.
“The strong word is ‘we’, the weak word is ‘I’” – Jeremy Corbyn MP, #YL17
Cat Smith MP addressed Conference, and talked about how important it was for young people to feel part of the community they live in and the significance of the Votes at 16 Private Members Bill, which will go to debate in the House of Commons on 3rd November.
The motions session commenced with a sample motion titled ‘Jaffa Cakes are cakes, not biscuits’ and as expected, this was quite funny to watch, but set us all in the mood to debate potential policy, which would be passed onto the National Policy Forum. We debated 40 motions throughout the whole weekend and each one fit into one of the 8 policy commissions. These commissions are:
- Economy, Business and Trade
- Housing, Local Government and Transport
- Work, Pensions and Equality
- Health and Social Care
- Early Years, Education and Skills
- Justice and Home Affairs
- Environment, Energy and Culture
Breakout sessions also happened during this weekend and I chose to attend one on General Local Campaigning and one on Young Labour’s Campaign for Mental Health. We explored different campaign techniques like social media, media, door knocking, stalls and we concluded that using all these allows us to make gains within different groups in our society. The session on Mental Health was led by Miriam Mirwitch (Chair of London Young Labour) and we wrote postcards to Jeremy Hunt on how important it was that he should act once and for all.
It was a positive step forward for young members attending and I feel I can speak for the majority when I say we all left energised to make even more change in our local communities. This was my first Labour conference and I’m glad that I attended this event as it allowed me to talk to like-minded people, which I hope to keep in contact with and see at future events. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, and I had a great time representing you all.