A modest proposal

We’re back! Mel Benk on the return of Young Executives for Labour

The Labour Party is under New Management, and Young Executives for Labour (YXL) has been refounded to make the most of the situation, for a sensible Labour Party that supports business. Our recent Annual General Meeting has elected a new set of officers, with myself re-elected as Secretary (once the upper age limit had been abolished). And, of course, the relaunch party afterwards was an excellent networking opportunity to link up the movers and shakers in business with the new movers and shakers in the Labour Party.

And what a lot of shaking there has been! The Labour Party is changing in a sensible, business-friendly direction, and YXL stands ready to play its part in this transformation. Already we have put several potential high-value donors in touch with the new leadership. This is not just about getting extra cash. This is about a fundamental change in the balance of power, in a pro-business direction.

In the recent past, the Labour Party was totally dependent on lots of small donations from its members, with more from the trade unions. This created two problems. Firstly, a lot of the donations were small, and, obviously, a small donation is not as good as a large donation from a high net worth individual. Secondly, all these donations from members came with an awful lot of strings attached. If the little members are allowed to fund the Labour Party, then they will want a say in making the policies of the Labour Party, even though they do not, usually, have the expertise of the business community in understanding how the economy actually works. The result? Lots of silly motions in favour of increasing the National Minimum Wage and renationalising the railways. Nobody seriously believes that you can run an economy like that. And nobody seriously believes that you can win a general election like that, either. Yet these policies were allowed to get through, and Labour duly lost.

Here in YXL, we want to play our part in reconnecting the Labour Party to its business roots. Let’s face it, the Labour Party was carrying an awful lot of fat, in the form of excess members. This made the Labour Party unwieldy, unelectable and, worst of all, uncontrollable. By trimming the fat, and getting rid of the excess members, we can sort this out, once and for all. Once the membership has been brought down, the remaining little members can never hold the financial reins again, meaning that the only way for the Labour Party to be able to afford to win an election (or do anything much) will be through working through high-value business people. So, this is not just about the current leadership (however much we like it), but also locks in any future leaders to the business community, in case they start getting any funny ideas. Then the Labour Party will have no choice but to continue as the party of business, which so many of us want it to be.

Great strides have been made in reducing the Labour Party membership to manageable levels. But what of the future? Of course, this is partly self-regulating (‘invisible hand’, anyone?) as a lot of the dinosaurs realise that they are not welcome and lumber off to wherever it is that they go. But if we are to lock the Labour Party into being a small but professional organisation, then we need to go further. We cannot show the world (or the voters) that we are now business-friendly if members keep showing up looking scruffy and carrying ridiculous placards. So, we need to go further in getting rid of these people. And here the anti-business dinosaurs have shot themselves in the foot, once again. All these members with a sense of entitlement, thinking that they should make the policy, keep passing ridiculous motions attacking Israel. Of course, this is horrendously bad for business. Supporting business must include supporting the defence industry (what else are we going to export?) and that must mean supporting the Israelis, who have so much cutting-edge kit that they have developed. But, on the plus side, it means that we get to expel them all for antisemitism, and we can thin out the dinosaurs even quicker.

The Labour Party is being transformed into a safe, sensible party that supports business and, in turn, is supported and funded by business. YXL stands ready to help drive this forward. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. This year’s Annual Conference will be the first one since the dark days of 2019. There will be far more business exhibition stalls, and far more business-funded fringe meetings. There will also be far fewer irrelevant meetings organised by trade unions and “campaign” groups, which have nothing to say about business, and therefore have nothing to say about winning elections, either. The business of Labour is business, and we are well on our way!

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