I would agree that on their own there are no ‘ideal’ candidates for deputy leader like there is for leader, and although Jeremy Corbyn isn’t perfect, I think many would be happy to say that he is ideal for what the Labour Party, and society, needs right now. But for me, when I think of the best person to compliment Jeremy Corbyn as leader then I think it could be argued that there is an ideal deputy candidate – Stella Creasy.
Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll also agree, to an extent at least, that Stella Creasy is the ideal candidate to be deputy leader to a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party.
So why is Creasy the ideal person to be deputy leader of the Labour party? (Please also scroll down to the ‘comments’, after reading this post, to see my reply to a comment for further analysis/reasoning for why Stella Creasy is the ‘ideal’ candidate under a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party.)
Personally, my favourite attribute of hers is her passion and drive to engage and involve ‘ordinary’ people in politics, especially her ability to campaign, on issues such as legal loan sharks, unpaid internships, affordable housing, etc., and her genuine desire to cooperate with, and promote the importance of, grassroots movements. This seems to be what the very existence of the Labour Party is to her, she believes that it is through the people, not westminster, that we can bring about change.
Yes she has some views that I don’t agree with, her recent abstaining (as all of the deputy candidates did) on the welfare bill was more than disappointing, her overall voting record is mixed, although better than that of the other candidates, possibly joint with Angela Eagle. What I really like about her is that she is willing to listen to people and work with them, on its own this might not sound like much, but compared to most politicians that stubbornly ignore anything that others have to say that doesn’t fit in with the views they already have, then this is a trait that I, many of her constituents and supporters, highly value about her.
She doesn’t seem keen to label herself as either ‘left’, ‘right’ or ‘centre’, based on her voting record, interviews she’s given, her reasoning for running for deputy leader and from speaking to her and a fair few people about her, I’d say that her underlying principle for being a politician – her drive for political engagement and cooperation of all in society and of the importance of grassroots movements, means that she is to the left. It could be argued that her personal views on specific issues are a mixed bag, but what she does do that I (despite my very left wing views) find admirable is that she listens to all sides of a debate, she actively promotes the political involvement of people from all walks of life to debate. Ultimately for her it isn’t about ‘left’ or ‘right’, it is about the political involvement of society, it is about inspiring movements rather than about her own personal views – which is what a politician should do, they are elected to serve their constituents, to serve the people, not to serve themselves.
Before I talk more about Stella Creasy, I first wanted to talk a little about about Jeremy Corbyn as leader, what I look for in a politician, and what I despise about many politicians, and then explain why I’m supporting, and why I think it’ll be best for society to have, the Corbyn-Creasy combination.
I have read several articles on Jeremy Corbyn that highlight what plenty of people see as one of his greatest qualities – that he is principled, his main principle being that the government should always act in the interests of all in society, he isn’t swayed or influenced by big business and mainstream media, he sticks to his beliefs of doing what is right, fair and just for ALL in society. I too admire this about him, but what I admire most is how he goes about coming up with policies and ideas that are best suited to enable him to enact upon these principles and beliefs. He hasn’t just plucked policies/ideas out of thin air, he has researched, analysed, carefully contemplated, debated with various individuals and groups from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints within society, he has listened to a variety of possibilities and then come to sensible, well thought out, evidence based conclusions on how best to fulfil his beliefs and principles. If we take his view on energy as an example, he hasn’t just said – “I believe that the production and distribution of energy should be nationalised.” He’s not just acting on a selfish ideological belief, he’s looked at what will be best for all in society, he’s looked at different ways to go about ensuring his principle of ensuring the public are served over the interests of big business, he has considered different possibilities and come up with possible solutions to the problems we have with the current set up. Here is a piece containing a video interview with Corbyn regarding his plans for energy.
After the most important attribute of the principle of serving all within society, what I look for most in a politician is someone flexible in their approach of how exactly they can best serve all in society, someone willing to change with evidence, change after having reasonable public debate. Obviously I don’t want a politician that is easily swayed that is constantly changing their view on a daily basis, I want a politician that sticks to the principle of serving all in society but is willing/open to change on how exactly is the best way to do it. A politician that listens too, and debates with the public, one that is willing to put their hands up and say – “I was wrong, it didn’t work out as I hoped so I’m going to look at different ways to go about it”. Rather than a politician that stubbornly and in fear of looking ‘weak’ refuses to accept they were wrong and is unwilling to change despite the genuine, meticulously scrutinised and critically analysed evidence. (Ahem.. Ian Duncan Smith, Welfare Reform, Universal Credit)
Currently, we have a culture in society where it is difficult for most people to admit to being wrong, especially within the world of politics – where opposing parties and the media will exploit it as a ‘weakness’/’failure’ to try and convince the public that the individual is unfit for the role and to make themselves appear more competent. But this culture is ludicrous, it has led to many being stubbornly closed-minded, it halts progress, it stops us from moving forward, stops us from changing to other better possibilities, it has led to many problems and issues in society being at a stand still. Obviously it is important to have principles, of course it is, but what is just as important, if not more important, is being open minded and flexible in how to go about enacting upon your principles.
This is where I believe Stella Creasy will flourish within the role of deputy leader of the Labour Party. From what I’ve read about her, heard about her and from some brief discussions on Twitter, she is the type of person willing to listen, willing to engage, willing to debate, willing to work with a man of Jeremy Corbyn’s principles in returning Labour to its roots and returning Labour to the people. There have been some that have argued that her membership of ‘Progress’ is a reason not to support her, which was something that did initially discourage my support of her, however her response to this was that she is also a member of various other groups, such as ‘SERA’, ‘Fabians’, ‘Coop’, and that there are things within all of them that she agrees/disagrees with, but she feels it is important not to exclude any opinion or argument, whether from ‘left’ or ‘right’ leaning organisations. She prefers to instead consider the different views being put forward before coming to a conclusion.
On top of this she is highly active in promoting and participating in discussion and debate, not just within political circles or within the aforementioned groups, but with the public – especially the promotion of debate, movements and involvement of everybody in society. Stella Creasy has the belief/principle, and acts upon this belief/principle, that politics is for everyone to participate in, not just politicians.
“Politics has to stop being about a machine that turns up at election time, and become a movement where everyone feels welcome and able to participate.”
It seems to be a fundamental belief of hers that as a politician, as a public servant, that she engages with people from all walks of life, she is a Labour MP because of Labours history of being active within communities, active within social grassroots movements, active within challenging the status quo, active within (what should really be the role of every politician) engaging with and serving the interests of the public, of ‘ordinary’ people – not her own personal self-interests or of the 1% over the rest of society. Which is what the vast majority of politicians do, arguably less so in Labour than the Conservatives – they serve their own self-interests and that of the 1%.
I truly believe, with Stella Creasy as deputy to Jeremy Corbyn as leader, it will lead to a huge rise in the political engagement of society, a huge rise in the political engagement of the working class. I truly believe it will lead to a shift from a government that works for their own self-interests and the 1% to one that works for all in society and that looks to involve all in society in political debate and decision making (a tall and it could be argued a somewhat unrealistic order, but something the combination of the two will strive for).
The principles and integrity of Jeremy Corbyn with the passion, proactive-ness and belief in public engagement and debate of Stella Creasy will make for the best leadership of the Labour Party.
A leadership of Corbyn-Creasy will inspire hope, inspire involvement, inspire belief that change to a better system and society is possible.
The following is taken from this –
“Let’s be frank. Too many voters think Labour is no longer a movement of people across the country committed to social justice, but a machine that only kicks into gear at election time. Difficult though it is to accept, for millions who share our values, Labour is no longer seen as their voice for change or the vehicle for delivering it. Since Keir Hardie’s time we have fought the poverty, inequality and injustices that hold back too many.
This passion for social justice still beats strong within our members today. And as we watch this Tory government dismantle the welfare state, destroy the lives of our young people and demoralise the public sector, never more has Britain needed the fire for change and faith in an alternative.
I am standing to be Deputy leader of the Labour party to help restore that fire and faith in our party. This is about more than 650 people in Westminster – Labour has always been able to achieve change from the grassroots up, not just on the green benches of parliament. Too many people now see politics as an elite sport, for the few not the many. That means we miss out on their ideas and actions as they get put off taking part. I want to change that. Our members are our best asset. They are people who believe fairness, prosperity and opportunity is open to all, not just those with the money or means to buy success. And people who are willing to stand up and defend this principle in their own communities.
Since the election 30,000 people have joined Labour – if we ignore them until an election comes round, we do them and the cause we all serve, a dis-service But that doesn’t mean treating every day like polling day. To harness their passion for social justice we have to offer them more than a leaflet round or a three hour procedures committee.
I want to tap into the energy, enthusiasm and experience of every man and woman who wants to speak up for a different kind of Britain. Just because you join a political party, it doesn’t mean you stop campaigning for change. So I want us to get back to our roots in fighting injustice. Whether tackling legal loan sharks or taking on the twitter trolls my track record shows I know how to work with people across Britain to take on those who exploit or harass the vulnerable. Now I’m standing to be Labour’s deputy leader to ensure Labour is once again a movement and not a machine.
Labour has to renew and rediscover its voice in every community across our country. Together we can again be a force for good for Britain.”
– Stella Creasy
Here is a link to something Stella wrote in the guardian a few weeks ago.
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