It’s time for a local discussion about what our representatives should do for communities, argues Fiona Gordon

Like many people I feel that I am still recovering from the strangest general election campaign that I have ever been involved in.  I helped organise the Birmingham Selly Oak campaign not only in the month of the short campaign but for 3 years leading up to it. We won –   thank goodness, not least because the candidate was my partner Steve McCabe.

So I say all this not as a armchair socialist but an active campaigning member of the Labour Party.

Don’t you think it is strange that there are rules and regulations about selections and elections  in our Party but nothing at all about what we should get from our Labour representatives once they are elected?

I understand why the Labour Party has followed  a key seat strategy, concentrating on the seats we have to win to form  a government. I have been a Labour Party staffer and have been part of implementing this. But don’t you think it is time for a change. Politics is changing and the Labour Party needs to too.

Don’t communities that elect Labour MPs deserve a basic dialogue and regular update as well as a regular advice surgery?

Shouldn’t Labour MPs be compelled to undertake some basic engagement with constituents?

Wouldn’t it be better if every Labour MP had a Listening Panel to hear directly from constituents on a variety of issues?

Surely these are the right things to do regardless of your majority.

I could go on, but I think you know that point I am making.  Isn’t it time for a debate about what it means to be a Labour MP, Councillor, MEP, MSP, AM etc and what you have to do and what the Party has to do to support you?

Not a one size fits all diktat about the number of contacts you need to make every month and the amount of leaflets you have delivered.

Something that suits the local circumstances but moves things on month by month and year on year. Some kind of agreement that is monitored in a meaningful way and that involves Labour Party members and supporters.

And………. if you are elected as a Labour Party representative and you don’t do any of these things even after support, training and encouragement isn’t it  time to say you had your chance, now it is someone else’s turn.

Fiona Gordon is a legendary Labour organiser

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