Labour Yes Just another WordPress site Wed, 04 May 2011 17:18:59 +0000 en hourly 1 Help Get Out the Vote in London Wed, 04 May 2011 17:18:59 +0000 Labour Yes Can you spare some time tomorrow in London? If so we would appreciate as much as time as you can give us.

As you probably know London is expected to have lower than the national turnout due to there being no other elections happening at the same time. Labour Yes is organising a massive ‘Get out the Vote’ operation in London with hundreds of volunteers to make sure as many Londoners are informed and going out to the polls.

If you can spare any time on Thursday, May 5th please contact Amy Dodd on 07530 707515.

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Unions say Yes – on the traditional May Day March Sun, 01 May 2011 15:58:23 +0000 Labour Yes May Day is the traditional occasion for the Labour movement to celebrate the solidarity of working men and women, and to commemorate previous generations of struggle for a fairer society. From the Chartists to the Suffragettes and beyond, the fight for everyone to have a meaningful vote has been a cause close to the heart of this movement.

And so it is today. Just days away from the first ever UK-wide referendum allowing voters to choose how their representatives are elected, Yes campaigners joined up with the traditional May Day march setting out from Clerkenwell Green.

With figures from Tony Benn to Ken Livingstone all backing a Yes vote, along with official support from PCS and TSSA – who represent civil service and transport workers respectively – and many thousands more individual union members up and down the country, it is clear that the fight for fairer votes continues to resonate for the trade union movement today.

As Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) General Secretary Billy Hayes comments,

“many trade unions already use the AV system to elect their own leaders because it means the winner has to reach 50% to get elected and MPs should need that kind of support too…Trade unions should see this as an important first step in giving Parliament back to the people.”

Hugh Lanning also told us why he’s supporting Labour Yes:

“As a senior union official I understand the importance and value of being directly accountable to the membership, whether they voted for me or not. It’s only right therefore that our MPs should be made as accountable to the electorate as possible – AV will make MPs work harder for a greater number of their constituents. I therefore support the Yes campaign.”

But it’s not just about getting support from the union leaderships.  Labour Yes has made a point of speaking to union branches and listening to members: branches like the Plymouth and East Cornwall Amalgamated branch of the Communication Workers Union who are pleased to be recommending to our members that they Vote “Yes” to the alternative Vote in the forthcoming referendum.

Going beyond the national union’s position on AV,  the Central Committee of Plymouth and East Cornwall had no compunctions voting unanimously to actively recommend a “Yes” vote to it’s members.The branch have for some time actively campaigned within the CWU for electoral reform. Believing that it is necessary for a better political system and for a better Labour party.

Branch Secretary Tony Bouch explained.

“Too many of our local MPs are in safe seats. They don’t have to listen to their constituents and we have seen this in their behaviour. During our campaigns to “Keep the Post Public” too often we were not listened to.AV is a move that will make more MPs accountable to their constituents, and this means that working people and trade union members will have their voices heard in politics more.It is a question of what is fair, and what is right. Unions are all about fairness so this is why we are recommending a Yes vote”

Plymouth and East Cornwall Amal represents nearly 2000 postal workers across Royal Mail, Parcelforce and Post Office LTD in the South West of England.

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David Lammy Campaigns for a Yes Vote in Tottenham Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:35:19 +0000 Labour Yes David Lammy and Labour Yes volunteers

Volunteers joined David Lammy MP and Labour Yes volunteers to help deliver leaflets and canvas David’s constituency of Tottenham this morning. David’s constituency is one of the most diverse in the countries with residents representing many ethnicities from around the world.

Response on the doorstep was enthusiastic with many people having good knowledge of the referendum and many who intend to vote Labour and vote Yes on May 5th.

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Andy Slaughter Campaigns for a Yes Vote Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:56:33 +0000 Labour Yes Andy Slaughter MP was out in his constituency of Hammersmith in West London this morning handing out Labour Yes leaflets and to see the Labour Yes ad van pass through.

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Wipe the Smile off Cameron’s Face. Vote Yes. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 13:11:34 +0000 Labour Yes Labour Yes Ad Van Launch with Labour MPs

This morning Labour MPs, Lords and GLA members came out onto College Green opposite Parliament to celebrate the launch of the Labour Yes ad van in London. The Labour Yes ad van, which will be touring the country up until May 5th calls on Labour voters to ”Wipe the Smile” off the faces of Cameron and Osborne with a Yes vote.

This morning Hilary Benn, Ben Bradshaw, Peter Hain, John Denham, Alan Johnson, Debbie Abrahams, Nicky Gavron, Alun Michael, Andy Love, Malcolm Wicks, Lord Alfred Dubs, Murad Qureshi and Mike Gapes all showed their support for Labour Yes.

Labour Yes Ad Van

Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter said:

“The Tories are desperate for a No vote. They know a Yes vote will hurt Cameron and they know a Yes vote will tear apart the coalition”

“But most importantly, they are desperate for a No vote because the current system ensures that whenever progressive forces are divided, the Tories can still romp home with most voters against them”
“AV is a system that fairly reflects voters’ views, and rightly elects the politicians who are prepared to reach out to voters and earn the support of the majority”

As a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows, the Tories would have lost seats in every general election in the last 19 years if they were held under AV- That’s why the Tories are terrified of a Yes vote the big Tory donors are now bankrolling the No campaign. 99% of Tory donations are from high roller Conservative donors who have given £28 million to the party and a further £10.6m in loans over the last decade.

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Yes Campaign Launches National Poster Campaign Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:08:48 +0000 Labour Yes

Today the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign launched a new national poster campaign, the posters forgo the negative campaigning being conducted by the No to AV camp and focus on the simple change to AV and its benefits.

Katie Ghose Chair of the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign said:

“A Yes vote will make MPs work harder for your vote. It will cut safe seats. It will give voters more of a say. Politicians like to promise the world. We won’t. AV isn’t a silver bullet; it’s a simple upgrade on First Past the Post.

“We can make politics better, or it can stay the same. That’s the choice on 5th May”

All three posters launched today can be viewed here [PDF].

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Video: Trade Unions Say Yes! Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:09:57 +0000 Labour Yes Trade Unionists from across the county are planning to vote Yes on May 5th. The civil service union PCS is officially supporting a Yes vote and is distributing thousands of leaflets to its branches. Below, Gerry Doherty (General Secretary of the transport union, TSSA) explains why his union is backing Labour Yes:

Former TUC General Secretary (Lord) John Monks is supporting Labour Yes, as is Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) gives us personal message of support for the Labour Yes campaign:

“Every voter deserves to have their voice heard – but that doesn’t happen with First Past the Post. Trade Unionists are used to having to fight for a fair deal. The Labour movement has long battled against powerful Conservative interests opposed to change – a Yes vote on May 5th would be one more step in that journey”. — Baroness Maggie Jones (UNISON, personal capacity)

“A Yes Vote will break the Tory dominance in the south and east of Britain – that’s why Tory MPs dread it. Trade unionists and people who rely on our threatened health and social services can’t face another century when the Tories keep winning the south on a minority of the vote because of the voting system. This is a once in a generation chance – don’t waste it” — Daniel Zeichner, Former Cambridge Parliamentary candidate.

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Dossier: How Tories pull the strings of No to AV Mon, 18 Apr 2011 16:02:22 +0000 Labour Yes Labour Yes today publishes a dossier which outlines the extensive political, financial and organisational links between the No to AV camp and the Conservative Party.

As we reported earlier, leading Tory voices are already describing a Yes vote on AV as a “dagger at the heart of the party”, and “the most destabilising thing for the coalition”.

The extent of Tory desperation can be seen from the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been doing the media rounds to parrot false allegations about the Yes campaign he knows to be untrue.

But the critical question that Labour proponents of a No vote need to answer is, why are David Cameron and the Tories – along with their friends in the right-wing press – are running so scared of a fairer voting system?

Would the full weight of the Conservative Party establishment be deployed to fight against reform if they didn’t see AV as a fundamental threat to their political interests for years to come?

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Southampton: Yes to Labour, Yes to AV Mon, 18 Apr 2011 12:29:28 +0000 Labour Yes John Denham joined a team of Labour Yes volunteers who took to the streets of Southampton at the weekend to campaign for a Labour vote in the local elections and a Yes vote on the AV referendum.
The team received a really positive response from local voters.

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Democracy by Machines or Morals? Fri, 15 Apr 2011 09:40:16 +0000 Labour Yes Compass have today launched an important contribution to the debate over the stance that voters on the centre-left should take to the AV referendum on May 5th. In the pamphlet, entitled “Democracy By Machines or Morals?”, Compass Chair Neal Lawson argues

Of course all these politicians can see different party advantage in one system or another. But
the real differences between them are much more than tactical – they are cultural. The Yes and No
camps represent a different way of conceiving politics and power. That is why what is at stake
on 5 May isn’t just a different way of counting votes but whether Britain is going to start the process of embracing a new politics or will stick with the old”.

“For worthy but ultimately misguided ends the Labour ‘just say No’ brigade have a view of
politics and power that has remained unchanged for over a century and mirrors that of the Tories.
This view is essentially elitist – the party and its leadership know what is best for the people and
will administer change from the top down. Tory deference meets Labour statism and they co-habit
quite happily in the No campaign”.

“Elections fought under AV will force Labour to find common ground with others, to build
alliances, to listen and to debate constructively. It will punish those who seek to destroy others –
that is why the Tories and the BNP are against it. The AV referendum crystallises all of these issues and the campaign itself puts in the shop window two very different ways of being”.

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