Practical solidarity: Labour must adapt the way it campaigns so it helps those most in need

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One day campaigns and calls for Theresa May to sling it are great at galvanizing support, but if the next election isn’t within the next six months, we run the risk of running out of steam.

Words have power that is clear, but words and actions working in unison will lay the foundation for the kind of change we need to see in our society. Which is why it is unsustainable in the long run to keep up momentum indefinitely.

Why? Because if there are no results, people will grow bored, people drop out, and slowly but surely the momentum slows to a crawl before going in to reverse. We have momentum on our side, at the moment, and no doubt the Tories will be trying to delay until the winds change in their favour.

So what can we do to help sustain activity, to keep our momentum up?

We need to adopt a more community minded, grassroots approach to our campaigning – non traditional forms of campaigning which seek to build up networks within communities, and effect real change within them.

It’s great marching to end homelessness, or against the harsh reality of the cuts, those kind of public displays of peoples anger, and dissatisfaction with the system are integral but you hardly ever see immediate results.

Contrast a march against homelessness with a Labour led drive to support the homeless within their communities, to alleviate the harsh realities of the cuts. When you see that a homeless man is going to get a roof over his head, or isn’t going to go hungry that night, you see a direct return on your political capital.

When you are bringing your politics to life through your work in your community and help stop a family getting evicted, or put food on a single mothers table, so neither her or her child go hungry that night – you see results. Politics in action effecting change on a community level, which feeds back into a national narrative.

Not only this but it is through these networks of resistance that we can sustain momentum, we see small successes, thus keeping people engaged politically. While at the same time engaging with the people that a) need our help the most and b) we need to have a political voice c) providing the apparatus/network for future political work

We need to be radical, we need to be innovative. Combine the social, community and the political, and provide cross community solutions – you have a presence, you are fighting back at the system, and you’re carrying out practical politics.

History is littered with examples of it being successful, and it is a political necessity in this country already. People on the bread line can’t wait to the next election, a disabled person house bound due to cuts, cannot wait to the next election. The people who are suffering most cannot afford to wait, and we shouldn’t leave them behind.

While momentum is on our side, while we have the Tories on the run, it is the perfect opportunity to expand our political activity and get out into our communities supporting those in need, with our actions and deeds.

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Food Crime Today, Thought Crime Tomorrow.

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The rising tide of food theft in Northampton an ocean that is on the rise across this whole country, is something our leaders should be completely ashamed of and if they were acting for the benefit of the poor and needy, no doubt they would be.

The Chronicle and Echo (Northampton Local Paper) publishes the details of the court, in an effort to name and shame criminals, to bring some form of justice or maybe because we all just missed the good old fashion medieval stocks.

So I was surprised, saddened and shocked to see the developments of our times, a man fined £70 for stealing MILK and CEREAL.

If someone, a HUMAN BEING gets to the point that they are forced to steal to eat, the response of any civilised society and any decent human being would be to tackle the problems causing it in the first place, hunger, poverty and of course politicians.

Our response, and this tells any watching alien civilisation just how doomed we are, our response is to fine them and give them a criminal record. Would our government, our high towered overlords prefer that these people just starve to death or lie down and die?

This is appalling and disgusting and I have read similar reports across the whole country. We are criminalising the poor and those suffering the effects of poverty, while the causes are left to fester like a cancer at the centre of our society and ultimately while those responsible for that environment live in luxury, this is a gross injustice and one that should make you feel angry.

The one saving grace and I doubt something you will see reported in the Chron (Chronicle and Echo) was the response by the people of Northampton and beyond. On the same day this was reported Bianca Todd from CCY (Community Court Yard) put a shout out on Facebook to raise money to not only pay off the court fine but provide food for the individual, which was met with great kindness and empathy.

What logic leads our law makers to the conclusion that those struggling to survive and those struggling to make ends meet, even those that are homeless should be fined for acts which take place directly because of that poverty. If you have no money, how can you pay a fine? If you cannot afford basic essentials and basic human needs, then how is a fine going to help that situation?

We live in a society where the poor feel the full force of the law, yet the wealthy can use that wealth to not only influence the law but to hide from it as well. How many bankers have gone to jail for their part in destroying the UK economy in 2008? How many people suffering from poverty have gone to jail as a direct consequence of their actions?

This has to stop, we need to act.