Saturday 18 January 2020
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theguardian - 1 month ago

A Labour revival must tap into the energy for change on the ground | John Harris

The party needs to reconnect with community activists, as it has done with great success in PlymouthTen days before the election, I was in the Dumbiedykes estate in Edinburgh, a high-rise scheme a few minutes’ walk from the Scottish parliament, where a shrinking working-class community is hanging on in the face of gentrification. The neighbourhood, which had a Labour MP until 2010, is the headquarters of an organisation called Edinburgh Helping Hands, whose motto is “Solidarity not charity”: its work runs from giving children in the city free bikes, through football and boxing training, to basic help with the most urgent aspects of poverty.Its co-founder, Jim Slaven, was readying himself for a food-bank collection at Hibernian FC that would bring in huge amounts of provisions, donated by a constant stream of fans bringing bulging carrier bags. But before he set off, he walked us round his estate, and put its experiences in the context of politics. “Do you know who we never see round here?” he asked. “The left.” Continue reading...

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