Open. Modern. Transparent.
This, increasingly, is the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
A second record-breaking mandate has laid the foundations for a new political trajectory; one where elections are not won by Party elites but by all members, across the country.
Visiting the Labour Party website used to feel like a chore. Bland. Stale. Boring. It offered nothing. Basic info. on MPs, Shadow Cabinet members and vague policy proposals were all it could muster.
Today, information has been replaced with interaction.
What’s recently been unveiled as a re-design has revealed itself as a treasure trove of campaign material.
Video icons, fact sheets, policy announcements; all linked to social media, enabling viewers to share info. with one click.
But it isn’t just information that’s being shared – it’s a perspective. A philosophy. An idea.
An idea that the Labour Party – far from being old and outdated – is a slick, modern, campaigning machine – involving and inviting all people, everywhere.
The creation of the “My Labour” app linking to policy discussions, digital membership details, events, constituency contact details and more is another exciting development in Labour’s digital transformation. There will even be a Labour “Doorstep App” which will link the current “Contact Creator” to individual accounts, enabling users to door-knock in their own time. (Members can register for the up-coming webinar, here).
The “Call-for-Corbyn” phone-canvassing app; used 110,000 times during the leadership campaign, is being re-developed into a new, Labour phone-banking app; aiming to secure crowd-funding of £25,000.
The launch of Jeremy Corbyn’s “Digital democracy manifesto” was a glimpse of what Labour’s priorities might be in government, and an insight into just how important the Corbyn team values the contribution technology can make not just in winning power, but devolving it, too.
The re-positioning of a Parliament-focused movement to a movement-focused Parliament is the necessary direction for a Party caught between the “wider-electorate” of non-social-media-using voters and the Party grassroots.
The plan is clear: involve everybody – inside and out – of the Party’s grassroots in a way that’s convenient, efficient and effective.
Today, if Labour announces a new policy: boom. It’s hitting your phone. No waiting for the BBC to announce it. No waiting for the Guardian to report it. The announcement is seen by millions within seconds.
Momentum has played no small part in this transformation.
The World Transformed was not just an event to discuss policy, celebrate art, innovation and achievement: it was – above all -a demonstration of what can be achieved when we work together.
The Jeremy For Labour campaign was no small feat.
Engaging 40,000 volunteers, 19,000 individual donations and 54 national events; Jeremy’s campaign set a new standard for British politics; much like the Sanders campaign in America.
We need to use this material. Use this opportunity. Create our own systems and improve existing ones where we can.
Coders for Corbyn (now Coders for Labour) has done a phenomenal job with its “Jeremoji” app, and we’ve been assured there’s more to come over the next few months (including “Rhizome,” a platform for “the foundation for a multitude of grassroots campaign tools.” (We’re very excited).
At Heavy Metal Politics, we’re providing a space for hope and solidarity to engage, motivate and inspire our readers, with the aim of ensuring the Left is represented in Parliament and beyond.
With the advances made in Labour’s digital campaigns, the ability to reach new and previously-disengaged audiences is stronger than ever.
The use of social media, of holding rallies (whilst often smirked at by the Right) results in more efficient dissemination of information and provides the opportunity to share content with other Parties and organisations. It allows people of all views to gather around specific causes and share their talents, skills and abilities.
As we wrote just a week ago; to cut ourselves off from other Parties – particularly when other other Parties want to work with us – would be foolish. It would be a colossal waste of the opportunities ahead.
The “My Labour” app could be used to vote on Party-policy. The “Doorstep App” could be used not just to knock on doors but organise meetings and events. The Labour website itself could be used not just to disseminate information; but to upload it too. It could function as an interactive database to allow all people – regardless of organisational affiliation – to upload their own ideas; to form part of a wider discussion of the Left; enabling us to move-forward together with greater understanding and solidarity.
Goal-congruence makes us stronger, not weaker. We have to seize these opportunities.
Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party is transforming into something more exciting than many thought possible.
Now is the time to Join. To fight. To work together. To help build the world we all want to live in.