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LABOUR leadership hopeful Rebecca Long Bailey mapped out her “path to power” today, promising to “deliver the dreams, hopes and expectations” of working-class people.
In a speech at Salford’s Lowry Theatre, Ms Long Bailey spoke of her plans to transform Labour into a social force capable of changing the country.
She called on socialists to improve their political messaging in the 21st century, and “empower” the trade-union movement in heartland seats that the party lost to the Tories last December.
Labour under her leadership would create a “democratic revolution” to “break the hold of Westminster” in the political system and prioritise the fight for a green industrial revolution in post-industrial areas, she added.
Ms Long Bailey argued that too many working-class communities saw Labour as “part of the Establishment” attempting to overturn the result of the June 2016 referendum on Britain EU membership.
In a clear criticism of pro-EU Labour figures, she warned that it “didn’t help” that Labour MPs were “confusing” the party’s Brexit message in the press.
“Westminster feels as distant to many as Brussels did,” she added, pledging that Labour under her leadership would “empower our communities more so that they feel they have control over their futures.”
Ms Long Bailey warned against candidates promising an “easy option” to solve Labour’s problems, saying that “triangulation hasn’t worked for social-democratic parties across Europe and it won’t work here.”
She said: “I believe building [a] majority for change is a socialism that wins. Speaking in everyday language to people going about their normal lives.
“We have to understand that people want a better life for their children – that’s aspiration. But we can only achieve that together.”
Veteran Labour politician Ian Stewart, who represented Eccles in Salford from 1997 to 2010, praised Ms Long Bailey for delivering “one of the best socialist speeches” he had heard in “decades.”
He told the Star: “The city’s motto, that the welfare of the people is the highest law, must be the core value that any leader of the Labour Party has, and Becky lives that and means that.”
On her policies, Mr Stewart said: “The future of the planet, jobs, a democratic revolution – with real devolution and representation as close to people as possible – is something I have not heard a politician articulate in the last few decades.”
As the Star went to press, Ms Long Bailey was in second place in the Labour leadership race with 148 constituency party nominations.
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