How can messages about social justice and an economic policy that will work for everyone be accepted?
How do we, in Hartlepool, counter such practices adopted by the opposition through lies and manipulation? First and most obvious is not to follow them in illegal malpractice, but rather be aware that this kind of activity can occur and report suspicion of it. This applies equally to elections involving UKIP MEPs who have, allegedly, illegally used European funding for their offices to support UK only elections.
Second we must establish and maintain credible contact with voters in Hartlepool. Councillors must be supported to hold regular street surgeries and across the town Labour supporters have to prepared to work together to follow up leaflet campaigns with door knocking. We must identify and support our voting base.
We must also ensure we maximise legitimate use of social media to engage with and maintain contact with people who share our Labour values.
We must also engage with those who have given up with politics through community based action, using action based approaches that identify issues and local solutions to problems facing communities and ensure the solutions get serious consideration as investment opportunities. Hartlepool Action Lab are supported by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, local businesses and the Council to do just that.
Our schools are facing heavy cuts over the next three years. Parents will respond to initiatives to draw the Government's attention to just how unacceptable this and to Labour's opposition to them. The NUT are supporting such parent responses & we must support them.
Women and young people have suffered more than most from this Government, yet they are the most under represented in our local Party's opposition to it. We must make what we do relevant to them, communicate with them and encourage their participation.
Overall the country is facing immense change, uncertainty and indeed chaos and crisis in public services. Most of this is down to the Tory Government. Hartlepool Council has a very good record in cushioning residents from the worst effects of this and so contributed to much needed stability. Getting that message across will ensure the town does not suffer unnecessarily.
Nationally we can only hope that the 'coup' culture by those in positions of authority wake up to what they are doing in condemning us all to a desolate future. They should give up the constant undermining of the leadership and instead support attacks on the Tories whilst striving to achieve a local presence that people in towns like Hartlepool can identify with.
There are many other things that we can do, but fundamental to them all will be cooperation and collective action. Get involved in the Labour Branches and through them the Constituency Labour Party.
A united and active Labour Party is the only way to counter the nasty neoliberal Tory Party, who apparently stoop to any method to maintain power. Community involvement and action is the way to convey the truth that will belie the Tory lies.