I’m Lesley Price, elected last month as Equalities Officer for Eastbourne CLP. A Labour member since 2015, I moved to Eastbourne 18 months ago from Sheffield where against all odds, I helped elect Olivia Blake as our MP for Sheffield Hallam
Equalities, where to start?…
This time I’m starting globally. The world is unequal, but some issues affect us all. Climate change and what we can do about it, is a global issue that no one can afford to ignore. Younger people have engaged with this issue through Extinction Rebellion and Friday school strikes, where it has been important for older party members to support them. They’ve been inspired by Greta Thunsberg but also by the green policies drawn up by Rebecca Long Bailey as Labour Party policy in the 2017 and 2019 general elections. It’s crucial to re-inspire these youngsters with prominent green Labour policies, and to support them in the struggle ahead, where direct action is to be restricted or made illegal by the Tories up-coming Police Bill.
Climate change is going to become an increasing cause of large scale relocation adding to the already pressing refugee crisis. There will need to be a radical change of mindset to accept that every human being has the right to a safe place to settle. There is a fairly local issue here as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers land on local beaches. These people are arriving to a hostile environment which is going to be made worse by the Tories’ Nationality and Borders Bill. In LGBT+ week recently, Olivia Blake referenced above, brought to parliament the particular difficulties this Bill will bring to asylum seekers from the LGBT+ community. Imagine a situation where a person has been hiding their sexual orientation, their relationships and their very identity in fear of punishment, imprisonment or even death in their country of origin. In Britain they will have a short time to be questioned, to disclose and to prove they need asylum with evidence they have for so long been forced to hide. Under section 31 of the Bill the bar of proof will be raised much higher and they will likely be incarcerated in detention facilities whilst waiting to prove their claims, incurring further trauma. You can find full information on this important equalities issue on Olivia Blake’s website.
I hope this short article establishes the link from global to local to individual on issues fundamental to Labour’s policy decisions.