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Someone I would support to be on Labour's National Policy Forum if I could

If I lived in the West Midlands Region I would be voting for James Watkins to be on Labour's National Policy Forum.


With Labour now in Opposition, I believe we must not waste time and must get on with renewing our Party.  That means not only the way the Party works (or the approach to existing structures) but fresh thinking on policy.  Last week I listed some criteria for future NPF reps.  These include having an understanding of how Labour's core values can be applied in practice.  They also include having experience of and/or understanding of how wealth is created and how business works.  We're still not as good as we could be in understanding business; we can do so while being strong trade unionists and supporting workplace rights.


I've known James for some years and I believe he fulfils these criteria.  For example, he has headed a regional economic development body for some time now so has a unique experience of how business works and what we need in future to help them generate more wealth (which means we can fight the 'cult of austerity' that prevails in the Tory/Lib government).  He is an active member of the Labour Finance and Industry Group in the West Midlands and he is also a committed member of Unite, chairing the regional political committee.


We do not have the luxury of time in Opposition.  We need to hit the ground running soon.  That means clear articulation of what we stand for and a robust policy agenda.  It also means we need experienced policy-makers.  James is one such person.  There are others too.  Their responsibility will be great but then so will be the reward - Labour back in government.


Stephen Beer, 23/08/2010

She will bring new thinking - and action.
Thoughts about a new approach.
We're voting in National Executive Committee and National Policy Forum elections too.