In 2015 I saw a light in British politics after years of darkness, a political party that was finally worth fighting for. That Party was the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. This time, I’m backing Nandy, because I want to fight for that radical agenda once more.
Many talk about Lisa Nandy, but very little credit her for the socialist values and principles that she holds, the very same socialist values and principles that brought me and thousands of others to the Labour Party. Her support for the Preston model, when so many within the party ignored it, is just one example of her understanding for the communitarian and socialist policies that this country both needs and wants. In fact, when we look at the work that Nandy has done with the Preston model, we should recognise that she has been a driving force behind the concept, by delivering talks on the model, and appearing on panels to promote it. It is this kind of thinking, this type of socialism, that will reunite Labour with the working class in the North and South of the country.
A simple skim over Lisa Nandy’s life, before parliament, shows you exactly why she is the leader that the Labour Party needs. From her work with homeless charities, to her work at The Children’s Society where she gained a comprehensive understanding of issues affecting young refugees before going on to utilise this knowledge in her role as an advisor to the Independent Asylum Commission. In our current climate this knowledge and experience should be welcomed by our party, not just because it shows compassion for those in these awful circumstances, but because it gives us, as internationalists, a way forward on this policy – with an expert leading the way.
One mustn’t talk about potential leaders without discussing the trade union movement, a movement that is embedded in our politics. It’s important to acknowledge where Nandy stands on unions, and as a member of Unite the Union, Nandy has gone on to become a member of the Unite group executive in parliament, serving as a vice-chair. But often, just being a member is not enough, and Nandy has been involved in many campaigns for the union, and even leading on some campaigns, showing Nandy’s willingness and readiness to stand with the membership.
What the Labour Party needs now, is someone who understands us, will fight with us, and will take our party back into government, that can only happen with Nandy at its helm.
Calvin Rodgerson is Labour councillor on Carlisle City Council.