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Vote for Darren Williams for Labour’s NEC

5th June 2014

Vote for Darren Williams for Labour’s NEC

I am standing for the NEC for the second time, with the support of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance. I have been a party member for 25 years, have been a CLP representative on the National Policy Forum since 2010 and am a Cardiff councillor. I am also currently the acting Wales Secretary of the PCS union. I am proud to call myself a socialist and am the secretary of the left and centre-left group, Welsh Labour Grassroots, as well as having been a member of the LRC since its inception.
Politically, I believe that Labour needs to do more to offer a clear and credible alternative to the Con-Dem policies wrecking our economy and public services. Ed Miliband has recently taken some welcome steps in the right direction, by promising to scrap the bedroom tax, restore the 50p top tax rate and freeze energy prices. On the other hand, Labour shamefully backed the Tory benefit cap and has been too timid to offer the kind of policies that would inspire working people and those opposed to the neo-liberal consensus.

These would include: ending austerity and investing in job creation; re-nationalising the railways, Post Office and utilities; reversing attacks on social security; restoring trade union rights; and introducing a more progressive tax regime. We should also scrap Trident and promote peaceful resolution of international disputes, rather than military adventurism.
In Wales, democratic devolution has allowed Labour administrations to follow a different path from the Westminster consensus. In health policy, Wales has abolished the NHS internal market; scrapped prescription charges, rejected PFI, foundation trusts and independent sector treatment centres; and gone back to Nye Bevan’s model of a planned, integrated service, equally accessible to everyone. In education, Wales has defended the comprehensive model, rejecting academies, trust schools and free schools. Welsh Labour has introduced a foundation phase based on best practice in Scandinavia and has resisted the hike in university tuition fees introduced by the UK government. If elected, I would push for the Labour Party at British level to learn from the success of these policies.

I support greater democracy and transparency within the Party, including restoring the policy-making role of conference. I opposed the changes to the Party’s relationship with the unions which were agreed following the Collins Review. These have significantly altered Labour’s historic character as a Party based on the collective organisation of working people. We now need a massive campaign to bring thousands more trade unionists into activity in the Party.

If elected, I would provide regular feedback to members and Party units, as I have done for Welsh CLPs as an NPF member.

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