Cruddas: We need to be electing the people who can rebuild Labour

Our guest writer is Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham. Here he outlines his reasons for supporting Diana Holland as Labour Party Treasurer.

Our guest writer is Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham; here he outlines his reasons for supporting Diana Holland as Labour Party Treasurer.

I don’t remember the last time Labour members were faced with such an array of ballot papers as the ones that will hit doormats this week. The big one is the Leadership of course. In London, I will be casting my vote for Ken to be our Mayoral candidate. We also have NEC elections and a couple of other key committees up too.

The Leadership rightly gets all the attention, but we need to make sure people cast their vote for the position of Party Treasurer too.

The next Treasurer will have a key role on the NEC. They will be vital to pushing the party nationally to think comprehensively about the direction of the party – politically and organisationally – and then put in place the resources to make it all tick.

Despite the valiant efforts of many staff, our party has been allowed to wither in the last 15 years or so. Just as Howard Dean’s 50 State strategy laid the groundwork for the Democratic victory two years ago, this election is crucial to turn that around.

We need someone with the experience and the passion to make it work – that’s why I will be voting for Diana Holland to be the Party’s Treasurer.

Her commitment to rebuilding Labour is second to none. Diana’s pitch is to think afresh about how we utilise the skills and resources of the whole Labour Movement.

The solution for the bind that the party finds itself in lies both with our members and our supporters currently outside of the party. Building the party as a movement of labour is a task that requires a lot of hard graft – widening our base is a crucial task. For the role of Treasurer that means deepening the donor pool.

Raising £1million from 40,000 people in £25 increments is harder than getting one rich fella to write a cheque, but we have to do it. And the advantage of that is that we don’t just get the resources we need, we also get 40,000 new people financially and politically invested in what we do. A Party funded by the movement is something more powerful than the sum of the donations.

I have known Diana for years, as a stalwart Labour campaigner, and as a solid Trade Unionist. Her passion for this post lies in making the party a more effective campaigning operation, and she would do that by bringing new ways of thinking to bear. She is ready to tackle the tough issues we face, and play a part in getting the party ready to take on the Tories and the Lib Dems in every area of the country when the Coalition faces the voters’ judgement in the local elections around the corner in 2011.

Members will come first every time with Diana, and I will be voting for her. I hope you will too.

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