After a gruelling few months, going all the way back to the last election, of internal wrangling, the Labour Party now needs to win the arguments.
This may sound easy or trite - it is anything but.
Within our party we have become locked into a war of attrition over internal power battles when our focus should be on developing and making the arguments to win the battle of ideas not just within but even more critically with the voters too.
The issue of the leadership of our party is now settled, as is our broad policy direction on the economy. There are other areas where much more needs to be done.
Facing outwards, though, with a desire to have the debates and the confidence that we can succeed takes a different approach and attitude. This is a challenge to every member of the Labour Party, from the grassroots activists taking our ideas onto the streets and into towns not currently Labour, through to the top of the party where we need to show that we have the confidence and the trust to come together, drawing on the best talents and different views to create a strong, well-evidenced, robust policy platform with a clear vision for the country. These are the hard yards of preparing ourselves for government and proving to the public we are ready.
It is a different task from the day-to-day combat of opposition, which is important in itself. Take, for example, on education. It is vital that we oppose the retrograde, divisive, and bad policy of the reintroduction of grammar schools and in so doing build a broad alliance. Once we have defeated it, which I’m confident we can, our task will be to develop our own strong policy platform for delivering even greater social mobility and standards within a world-class comprehensive system.
Our real task is only just beginning. Let’s not underestimate it, but turn to it with confidence, energy and as a united front.
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