We cannot win an election without
community organising. It was an absolute disgrace the attack that the community
organisers were under. It was a concerted organized attack against the community
organising team at Southside shortly after the election and right up til this is current day. The community organiser
team is a great idea. It’s only where we can get back into these communities who
would be deliberately left behind by deliberate political and economic
decisions and we’ve got a have people we’ve got a have community organizing in
these regions. What people really didn’t understand we only had 28 community
organisers. We had every MP saying ‘Well where was our community
organizer?’ Well quite frankly I wish and I hope in the future we’ll have a
community organizer in every community but we’ve just started this project about 18 months ago and let me tell you I’ve never met a community organizer
who wasn’t the most fantastically dedicated, passionate individual about
the party about the success of the party and who wasn’t prepared to get
out there night and day, seven days a week to try and make sure that we won
the election in 2019. The took up the campaigns and in certain areas you
know like transport, like bus links, like education, poor schools, like the closure of
factories, a closure of decent work. These people were fantastic in bringing
communities together in a common cause, under the Labour banner Now these were essential and as you
said before, this sort of thing takes years so you can have a demonstrable
sort of analysis but the the critique on community organising has been unfair.
It’s been an attack from certain individuals. I’ll tell you, we
cannot win an election without building the community organising team
and having lots more than 28 community organisers on the field. How else, what
better to win back a community than having somebody in that community
speaking to people building a team up there giving them that trust that
they want given them respect that they need and you know turning that into a
political advantage for the party. What worries me is that, I see it sort of
being criticized by the right of the party they don’t even know what it is.
The same thing happened with Arnie Graf when Ed Miliband brought him over ahead of 2015,
community organizer from the US. It was briefed to The Sun, I believe, that he
didn’t have the right work documentation and then you think so this is not just even
a Corbyn thing this is just about a certain kind of politics ‘we don’t want that, that’s not
welcome in the Labour Party I think this goes right
to the heart of what we are and I think look at the beginning of the labor
movement there were contending ideas about how we should structure ourselves.
We ended up with a Fabian structure it’s top-down hierarchy command and control
and people think that’s how you win the elections but we’re not it’s not like
with building an army to fight war this is about changing a country in the most
dramatic way possible but as well as that top-down command and control
culture there was also the guild socialist movement there was a shop
stewards movement the way ethical socialists there were you know people
building social Sunday schools and lots of other things was going on all of that
gradually was crushed away deliberately now I’ve always said you know they we
cannot succeed in a 21st century age which is horizontal and networked
character with a 19th century political structure I mean hierarchies in
horizontal world they don’t work. I remember when we were told under Ed
Miliband I know it wasn’t Ed, but it was the people who got rid of Arnie Graf
who said we instruct you to make 5 million conversations between now on the election they weren’t conversations there were
sales calls people were watching telly one
there weren’t conversations he wasn’t about building relationships it wasn’t
about winning confidence on leading communities it was a top-down kind of
sales salesman or sales persons call he don’t work that does not work anymore so
we got to understand if we’re gonna tackle labor ISM old top-down labor ISM
that we go do things differently and so the philosophy underlying the community
organizes it works with a zeitgeist 21st century zeitgeist and it any poly says
from the beginning we should have trusted the shop stewards movement and
the guild socialists and all those people that were pushed away the Marxist
and the others that were in the part of the Christian socialist none of them
wanted that top-down approach you

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