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Labour Leader Election 2015

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Labour Leader Election 2015
#1
[Image: 1280px-Logo_Labour_Party.svg.png]


2015 LEADERSHIP ELECTION
For all events and leadership material for the 2015 Labour party leadership election
Edward
Special Advisor for the Treasury and Foreign Office
Advisor for the Labour Party

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." ~ Milton Friedman
Reply
Thanks given by:
#2
Fundraiser #1: Birmingham

Good Evening Friends,

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be here before you tonight seeking your support to become the next leader of the Labour Party, and hopefully soon the Prime Minister of our United Kingdom. When my parents came here, right here to Birmingham, in the 1950s they did do it to create a better life for their young family - but they couldn’t have fathomed that their hard work and dedication to their family and community would lead to their second son, still in the womb when they arrived, would one day be a Member of Parliament, a Cabinet Secretary, let alone possibly Prime Minister. Their hope was for a life free of nationalist violence, an expectation of safety and security and the opportunity to work hard and get ahead. Well, they did and here we are.

But as I look around at British society today, I am concerned that the opportunities my parents found through their hard work are so scarce that when their story is repeated, by Britons who have been here since time immemorial or by new Britons, there isn’t the same realistic optimism. Hard work doesn’t pay off the way it used to. Something has changed that has tilted the pitch and ordinary folks have to fight up a hill just to survive, let alone get ahead. And we’re all friends here so we don’t need to be coy about it - we know what changed. I was born in 1959, and for the first 20 years of my life my parents’ hard work paid off. It was the next 18 years that changed Britain. It was nearly 2 full decades of disastrous policies, of direct assaults on working men and women that changed our country. Entire industries were sold off for pennies on the pound and the workers, the families who depended on them were left out in the cold.

Some folks will say that was a long time ago and ask why I bring it up now. I do so not to spend our time together talking about the devastation wrought by Maggie and John - but to remind you that things were different once, and to demonstrate that with the proper leadership things can be different again. I want to change the course of Britain, I want to once again level our playing field, and I want to once again live in a country where hard work pays off. It’s not fair that so many people work so hard and gain so little. And while there are those who would roll their eyes and simply say “life’s not fair”, I didn’t get into politics to accept that maxim - I got into this to fight it.

If I am elected leader and, hopefully, one day soon, Prime Minister; I will do everything I can to restore that level playing field. It starts with our children - I will lead a modernisation of our education system. Now we have good schools in Great Britain, but we don’t lead the world in educating our young people and as time goes on we’re falling behind. We need to incorporate modern methods and do a better job of staying on the leading edge of technology in our schools. I will reverse what I believe to be the biggest domestic mistake of the last Labour government and remove tuition fees from our universities. One of the reasons I am here today is because a British University gave this son of immigrants a chance based entirely on the merits of my ability to study and not my ability to pay. I will work with the rest of the Labour Party to make sweeping reforms to the way workers are protected and paid - because I believe that it is fundamentally unfair for people to work full-time and still lose sleep because they are worried about their finances. We will end 0-hour contracts because if a person has a job that person should have a guarantee that they will have work.

Friends, there is much I hope to do, and I truly believe that it can be done. We can be the force that shifts the balance and levels the pitch. Britain can be a fair place to live, work and raise a family. But I certainly cannot do it alone. I need your help and support. So today I ask you, if you’re not a Labour member, join; sign up so that you can support this campaign with your vote - and if you truly believe in this vision of a fairer Britain, please make a contribution to this campaign. Your donations are what will empower us to take this message to every corner of the Kingdom and take our country back for people who want to see their children have the same opportunities my parents saw. Together we can create the Britain we envision, so please, join us today.

Thank you, and good night.
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
Reply
Thanks given by: Kane Peters (LAB)
#3
Fundraiser #1: Newcastle upon Tyne

Good Evening Friends,

I am thrilled to be here with you tonight, and humbled that I am doing so seeking the leadership of the Labour Party. I’m also honoured to be able to meet you directly, here, 250 miles from the bubble of Westminster where folks tend to forget about hard working Britons trying to make a life for themselves and their families. Down there it tends to be about big egos and men who just want to grab the next headline. But up here you understand that in the real world it’s not all about the contest, but rather about community. You don’t need to win at the expense of another - you come together and work hard to make life better for everyone. And there was a time when we had a level playing field and that hard work paid off, I am seeking the opportunity to bring Britain back to that place.

My campaign is built on the theme of a level playing field and of course that first and foremost refers to socio-economic fairness, but I also want to bring balance back to our politics. Part of the reason our society has gotten to the point it has is because there are too many professional politicians in parliament and it no longer represents the British public. We have hundreds of carbon copy MPs, who all went to the same exclusive schools, who got their degrees from one of two universities and have never held a job outside of their party office. And as much as I’d like to point my finger at the pretentious 3-named Tories - we’ve become just as guilty of that in Labour. This needs to change, and if I am elected leader I promise to increase the number of real Britons in Parliament. We will put forward candidates from all walks of life, you will have the opportunity to vote for someone who has worked with his or her hands. You will have the opportunity to vote for someone who went to a state school, like I did, someone who didn’t go to Oxbridge, someone who understands the ups and downs of everyday British life.

I also hope, perhaps with a bit of foolishness, that we can change the tone of politics. When all we do is focus on winning the media cycle, winning the election, winning the day - we forget that there is a bigger picture. Now I understand the irony of telling you that I’m running this race to create a political climate that’s not just about winning - but here we are. I didn’t get into politics to make George famous. I got into it to serve my fellow Britons. And that is why I am running for leader, to continue to serve. This country used to have a great tradition of public service, and I want to restore that. I want young people to have opportunities, to work hard and get ahead, and I want to lead a party made up of MPs who want to lift up their communities.

I believe that when we make Parliament look more like Britain we will start doing a better job governing for the people who live outside of the Westminster bubble. We’ll make hard work pay off again. We’ll support schools that prepare young people for the future and not an idealistic vision of the past. We’ll spend your collective money on your priorities instead of the priorities of a few bankers who also haven’t seen Britain beyond their square mile. But I can’t do this by myself. I need your support. Join the party, commit today to vote for me in the leadership election, and donate what you can so I can take the message of a level playing field across Britain.

Thank you, good night.
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
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Thanks given by:
#4
Fundraiser #1 - Nottingham

Comrades it is good to be here in the city I've represented for nearly 30 years in parliament and lived in since I came here at the age of 18 to kick off my campaign to become the next leader of the Labour party. We all remember that sinking feeling when the exit poll came out on election night, that feeling that it was going to be 5 more damned years of Tory government, ravaging our communities, victimising the disabled and demoralising our public sector workers. There are many lessons to take from such a defeat, one of them is we know that seeking to be Tory-lite and ape their policies does not work. Why would people trust us to enact Tory policy more effectively than the Tories? We now know the extent to which that path can take us and it's left us with a lot to do to regain power for those that need a Labour government. Instead of this approach what we must do is set out our own distinctive, positive, hopeful vision for what the UK can become and seek to change the terms of the debate both within our own party and the country at large. What I will set out here today is a fraction of what I envision as the path that our party needs to take in order to shift the debate and ultimately end this period of Tory government.

Let me begin by addressing what I think is obvious, austerity must come to an end. The Tories enabled by the Lib Dems have used their obsession with the deficit to enact policies whose effect is to redistribute wealth from ordinary people to those at the very top and shamefully our party did not take a clear enough stand against this policy which has blighted our nation and hampered economic growth. It is time that we as the Labour party embrace the anti-austerity cause and say loudly and clearly that you don't cut your way to growth. Many of us know someone who is the victim of austerity, it's the students who have been lumbered with unprecedented debts, those that have taken their own lives under the pressure of the benefits sanctions regime and the public sector workers who have endured years of real term wage cuts. It shamed me as it did many others that we had members of the shadow cabinet saying that we would be tougher on these people than the Tories, all this demonstrates is that we need a cultural change in the leadership and the attitude of many in our party.

We must also re-balance our economy for the millions of people in this country who have been left behind by the so called recovery we have experienced, a recovery built on sand. One way in which we must re-balance our economy is to look at the ownership models of various sections of our economy, anyone who, as I do regularly travels on the trains knows that the privatisation experiment has failed and that is why here and now I'm telling you we will fight for public ownership of the railways to end the great rail rip off we have been subjected to. Alongside this if I become leader we will support a National Investment Bank alongside a Green Investment Bank to re-energise our lost industrial base, to create new jobs and new infrastructure in an environmentally sustainable way. These banks will be made up of regional investment banks so that every region of this country gets the investment and the well paying jobs that they sorely need. Alongside this we must no longer be afraid to say to the rich and to multinational corporations that they must pay their fair share, that is why we must unashamed declare that we will raise taxes on those at the very top and we will close the loopholes that they exploit in order to shelter their money from the tax-man.

This my friends is just the beginning, we have a historic opportunity now to be on the right side of history. This is a platform that I believe will not just put us on that side, but bring those who out of desperation voted for other parties or didn't vote at all because we sounded too similar to the Tories. We can win, but only if we embrace our ideals and our principles and don't seek to run from them, that is why I felt it was essential that a candidate of the left stand and I'm proud to be the person for the job. We can change the terms of debate and we can win again, thank you very much. Solidarity comrades.

Fundraiser #2 - Cardiff

Friends it's good to be here in Cardiff to continue my campaign to become the next leader of the Labour party, some true giants of the Labour movement have resided here in Wales and it feels only right that I speak to you all today about the radical solutions we can put forward to shift the debate and ultimately to end the blight of this Tory government. As I said in Nottingham the feeling from the election is still raw and there is a lot of passionate debate around where we should go from here and I for one welcome it, in a lot of ways it is long overdue. This is a party rooted in the organised Labour movement, as is demonstrated by our close relationship with the Unions, that is why it has consistently disappointed me over my many years in parliament that the Labour party has seemingly treated them as an embarrassing elderly relative who only visits at Christmas. This is part of the timid attitude that I feel lost us the last election, we must be bold and proud of our movements history and its roots in order to shift the debate, win and ultimately bring about long term positive change. We must also own up to things that the last Labour government did wrong and that the current Tory government has continued, in this way we can grow ourselves as a party and a movement and become a large social movement that can win power.

In the spirit of our movements historical ties to the Unions it feels only right that I articulate where I think we need to go with regards to workers rights. Firstly let me be clear workers rights are human rights, it's a simple as that which is why if I become leader I will push for the repeal of repressive trade union restrictions that have been imposed on them all the way back to the Thatcher government that shamefully Labour governments of the recent past didn't repeal. We must also stand firm against the scapegoating of immigrants, it isn't immigrants or immigration which suppresses wages it's the actions of unscrupulous bosses who seek to exploit both migrant and domestic labour for maximum profit. We must also ensure that anyone who is in full time work is not suffering the disgrace of in work poverty, that is why we must fight for a real living wage that enables everyone in work to meet their needs. We must also remember that many women still suffer from pay inequity, that is why we must make it a core point to fight for and enforce pay equality with severe penalties for companies that do not meet this condition. One area Ed Miliband got correct was the promise to end Zero Hours Contracts, people deserve certainty regardless of their employment status and Zero Hours Contracts do not provide that.

Our party must also stand firm in its commitment to strong social services that meet the needs of the population of this country, but we must also acknowledge that mistakes have been made in the past. With this in mind if I become leader we will advocate for the end of PFI and we will bring existing PFI contracts in house, PFI was a mistake and a scandal on a large scale and we must make up for it. Another mistake we have made in the past is the implementation of tuition fees which has mutated into a monstrous system that lumbers our young with gigantic debts. That's why we must abolish tuition fees and not only that, we must forgive the existing student debt, if we can bail out the banks we can bail out the young people of this country who will be engine of its future growth. Our emergency workers, doctors, nurses and teachers do an outstanding job which is why it is a disgrace that they have had their pay capped throughout this Tory government under austerity, we will give all public sector workers a real pay rise so that they can be justly rewarded for their excellent work.

What I have said here today is only a section of the ideas and energy that will need to brought to the Labour party, this is a vision that can shift the centre and energise people across the political spectrum and bring us victory. We have a real chance to make ourselves heard and take the fight to the Tories with clear red water between us and them. If you haven't already, join the Labour party and fight with us to make this a reality. Together we can forge a party for the millions and not the millionaires, thank you.

Fundraiser #3 - London

Comrades it is good to be here in our capital today to speak with you all as part of my leadership campaign and alongside my good friend Lucas, the wound from the last election is still fresh and rightly so. The knowledge that those who need a Labour government will now not be able to have one hurts me as I'm sure it hurts all of us here today. London in a lot of ways symbolises what is wrong with Britain today, the city of London is the engine that lines the pockets of the wealthy meanwhile some of the most impoverished parts of the country are in the same city. Millionaires buy second and third homes here and leave them unoccupied meanwhile there is a housing crisis. As well as this our party must also recognise that austerity not only damages our economy it endangers our safety as a society and it prevents us from being able to have the flexibility to face problems of any size. Additionally we must become a party that stands for peace not just in the UK, but in the world and seeks to leave the planet in a better state than we found it.

As I mentioned earlier, we cannot protect our country on the cheap which is why we must ensure that our police are adequately funded and sufficiently compensated for their work, which is why as I said earlier we will under my leadership remove the public sector pay cap. Additionally we must also allow our police to spend the time and resources they have on worthwhile issues, which is why I believe we must move to an evidence based drugs policy that learns the lessons from other countries policies of decriminalisation and legalisation. In the same spirit we must end the Orwellian mass surveillance we are subjected to and restore the right to privacy. Ours is also a party of compassion and internationalism that is why I would like to see us embrace the cause of taking our fair share of refugees alongside a fair and proportionate immigration system alongside a fund to support areas that receive large numbers of these new migrants to alleviate some pressures brought onto local services. Alongside this must be our steadfast commitment to protect and fight for the equality of LGBT+ and other minority groups in this country so that we can all enjoy the freedoms of this country.

Alongside this domestic policy we must also look outwards as internationalists and embrace our role at the top table of world diplomacy, but unlike governments and shamefully the Labour party of the past we must become a beacon for peace. With that in mind we must re-calibrate what our armed forces purpose is, it should be for defence and peacekeeping primarily, the way we have misused them must come to an end. In the name of peace we must also end arms sales to repressive regimes who violate the human rights of their citizens countries like Saudi Arabia who have consistently treated entire swathes of their populations as sub human, how can we justify arms sales to such a nation?

On the note of foreign policy, we must acknowledge that the biggest security threat to us today is not foreign aggressors, but climate change. With that in mind we must fight climate change with the same ferocity as we would fight any other existential threat. Under my leadership climate change and the threats associated with it will be fought with that ferocity with measures such as a Corporate Carbon Tax to incentivise businesses to become more energy efficient. Direct investment from the Green Investment Bank in renewable energy projects and green industries to provide both high quality jobs and sustainable development to our regions. The UK is a nation with many potential renewable energy projects, we cannot let a single opportunity slip. We must also invest into scientific research into making renewable energy more efficient and into Carbon Capture technologies so that we can mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Friends under my leadership we can become a radical transformative party that can bring lasting positive change to this nation, by embracing our roots as a socialist party we can give hope to those who reached for other parties out of desperation or simply didn't vote. Those of you here who haven't I encourage you to join us in our fight for a fair and decent society and bring an end to this Tory government. I'll hand the stage over to Lucas now, thank you again comrades.
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
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#5
Fundraiser #3: Glasgow

Good Evening Friends,

It’s a privilege to be here tonight, in a city which is both the best of our history, and I believe, our future. Glasgow has an indomitable spirit and a tradition of standing strong. And until recently it has had a fairly strong record of electing Labour MPs, something I hope to be able to convince Glaswegians to do again. But folks I do understand that it is going to take some hard work to earn back the trust of Scottish voters - like many places across Britain we’ve taken the support of hard working men and women for granted and the results reflect the folly in so doing. And not just in our campaign tactics - we’ve done a poor job of meeting the needs of many people here in Scotland, with some of your poorest neighbourhoods being as bleak as anywhere we worked when I was with Oxfam.

But this is precisely why the Labour Party needs a renewal. We need to dedicate ourselves to not only talking about Britain’s poor and disadvantaged, but taking concrete action to help provide better services. We also need to reconnect with communities outside of the Westminster bubble, because we have lost touch. We need to rebuild bridges that we’ve neglected and that starts here and now.

I commit to you here and now that if I have the honour of serving as your leader that we will put a renewed focus on our work here. We will listen to your voices, we will take up your causes and we will deliver measurable change for your communities. I firmly believe that we are better together, but I believe the burden is on folks like me to step up and show our commitment to Scotland - and it has to go beyond the platitudes you’ve heard for far too long.

The Labour party of the future needs your voices and coming here tonight is only the first step toward reconciliation with voters who we made the mistake of taking for granted. I am committed to working hard to restore our reputation and I hope I can count on your support as I do it. So tonight, I ask you for your help. Join the party if you haven’t already. Commit to support my leadership campaign - and donate so we can continue to carry this message around the nation.

Thank you, and good night.

*late post thanks to Ed's grace and mercy
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
Reply
Thanks given by:
#6
Fundraising Day Over - Campaign Day one begins. Funds will be posted in the next 30 mins.
Edward
Special Advisor for the Treasury and Foreign Office
Advisor for the Labour Party

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." ~ Milton Friedman
Reply
Thanks given by:
#7
Funds Allocated to each campaign are as follows;
Clifton, James: £69,090.91
Cosmatos, George: £50,909.09

You may now begin your campaigns. Just a minor reminder that if you want your campaign to function a big chunk of this money needs to go on organisation. For each level of organisation you have, you get an additional half-point added when marking each event. This excludes basic level 1 which gives you no bonus; so if you produced an event worthy of 3/5 points and you had level 3 org it would be worth 4/5. However that does mean you can do fewer events; so it is your choice if you want to spend less on org and do more, or spend more and do less with a boost.

Good Luck!
Edward
Special Advisor for the Treasury and Foreign Office
Advisor for the Labour Party

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." ~ Milton Friedman
Reply
Thanks given by:
#8
Purchase Organisation Level 3:

Funds remaining: £69,090.91-£35,000 = £34,090.91
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
Reply
Thanks given by:
#9
Purchase Organization Level 2:

Funds remaining £50,909.09-£20,000.00=£30,909.09

Posters (all regions):

In portrait orientation, top third is a black and white silhouette image of a man working in a field with a shovel, bottom two-thirds is a red background with the words

Level Britain's Playing Field
Elect
George Cosmatos
Labour Leader

Funds remaining: £30,909.09-£5,500=£25,409.09
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
Reply
Thanks given by:
#10
Poster #1

To all regions

Top: Hope and Change for Britain

Middle: A picture of James Clifton addressing a crowd

Bottom: James Clifton for Labour Leader

Funds: £34,090.91-£5,000 = £29,090.91
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
Reply
Thanks given by:
#11
Leaflets (all regions)

Front Page:

Top Third, red background with the words "Level Playing Field"

Middle Third, a flattering black and white photo of George

Bottom Third, Elect George Cosmatos

Inside Left Page:
Text overlaying a headshot of George

When my parents came to Britain it was for the opportunity to work hard and build a safe and prosperous life for their family. Back then it was possible for hard work to pay off, but since then things have changed. Working Britons struggle to save and get ahead. More than ever the opportunities for work aren't there and thanks to the Tories you can even have a job and still no work. I am in this race to level the playing field, and I hope I can count on your support.

George Cosmatos

Inside Right Page:
Text on a red background

George's Priotities
  • Raising minimum wage to a living wage
  • Ending zero-hour contracts
  • Making social investments, ending austerity
  • Bringing education into the 21st century
  • Protecting and supporting the NHS
  • Ending tuition fees at universities
Back Page:

Top third, text
Level Britain's Playing Field
Elect
George Cosmatos
Labour Leader

Middle third, contact information for the Cosmatos Campaign

Bottom third, black and white silhouette of a man working in a field with a shovel.

£25,409.09-£5,500=£19,909.09
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
Reply
Thanks given by:
#12
Speech #1 - Glasgow

Comrades, I'm delighted to be here in Glasgow today to speak to you all about what I believe we need to do to regain the trust of Scottish voters and how we can truly become the best option for the people of Scotland once again. We were outflanked by the SNP who offered an unashamed anti-austerity platform and managed to paint us as an austerity-lite party, which wasn't an inaccurate assessment. This combined with Scottish Labour standing arm in arm with the Tories during the referendum campaign instead of running our own distinct Labour campaign that explained Labour reasons for remaining in the UK.

The first step to winning back Scotland is to simply acknowledge that Austerity is a failed policy that wreaks havoc on those most vulnerable people in this country. Austerity is not only a cruel policy, but it is a policy that does not make basic sense. We cannot cut our way to growth and jobs and it was the failure of the Labour party to embrace this simple truth that led at least partially to our wipe out in Scotland. If we end austerity we can restore our public services to a decent standard and make sure those that are the most vulnerable in our society are able to live at a decent standard. It also means that every young person who aspires to educate themselves can do so without being lumbered with debt, not just young people here in Scotland.

However it is not just enough to say that we will end austerity, we must have new method of delivering much needed investment into our economy and we must make sure that the investment is made into environmentally sustainable industries and enterprises. In order to do this we will form a National Investment Bank to deliver much needed investment into both infrastructure and into industry across the country. Alongside this we will form a Green Investment Bank in order to assist businesses in becoming more environmentally sustainable and invest in green industries to provide secure and well paying jobs across the country.

We must also acknowledge a simple truth, there is a housing crisis in this country and we must provide affordable houses for those who want to get on the housing ladder. That means we must get government investing once again in housing because clearly the private sector is incapable of providing the kind of decent, affordable housing that people sorely need. We must empower and enable councils to raise the fund they need to provide this affordable housing where it is needed the most. We must also stand up for people who rent and mandate that housing be fit for human habitation a requirement that is shamefully not enforced at this time.

We must also stand up for people who use our railways, I regularly use the trains and often the trains are overcrowded and expensive. There is a remedy for this and it comes in the form of nationalisation, if we go through with nationalisation we can once again run our railways in the interests of commuters and not in the interests of profiteers. We can protect commuters from exploitation due to the fact that the railways are a monopoly and we can have lower fares and better investment in the railways so we can once again have higher quality services run in the interests of the commuters.

Many people will say 'how will you pay for it?' well let me be very clear, the days of this party being cowed by the interests of the rich and the media are over. We will close all of the tax loopholes that are exploited by big business and the mega-rich and in doing so we can raise the money that we need to provide the kind of fair and decent society we all want. We will also after the closing of the loopholes we will raise taxes on those multinational corporations who exploit our workers and benefit from the government investment in the country, but who pay far too little in tax as well as those at the very top who hoard their wealth and remove their wealth from this country.

With this leadership election we have an opportunity to set our party on the path to recovery in Scotland with a strong, unashamed and clear platform that stand with the millions and not the millionaires. Many people say that we took Scotland for granted for generations, we saw what that attitude has got us, no more will we take Scotland for granted and we must fight to win back those that left our party and I hope that I have demonstrated the vision that we need to do just that. Thank you for having me comrades.

(Funds update: £29,090.91-£1,500 = £27,590.91)

Speech #2 - Sunderland

Comrades it's good to be here in Sunderland today, this leadership campaign will take me across the country to not just speak, but also listen to Labour members and supporters like yourself. Places like Sunderland and the North East form a bedrock of Labour support, but these are also parts of the country that have been left behind by the so-called recovery and have seen people reach for alternative and regressive parties. That is why if we are to better represent the interests of these communities we must acknowledge that more needs to be done.

It is no secret that I believe that we must end austerity in order to do this, but we must also realise that we cannot bring back the jobs of the past at least not in the way that they were done in the past. That is why we will form both a National Investment Bank and a Green Investment Bank so that we can provide decent well paying jobs across this country, but particularly in regions that need more investment. It is not right that the benefits of growth are geographically concentrated around London and we must deliver decent sustainable industries to parts of the country that have been left behind.

In the spirit of sustainability we must also deal with climate change and the threat to our way of life it is. That is why I have emphasized that we must always invest in sustainable ways, there is great potential in this country for many green jobs to be created. That is why I support investment in green industries and renewable energy initiatives to take advantage of the UK’s abundance of renewable opportunities. Not only will this mean our energy and industrial base will be more sustainable, but this program will provide much needed well paying jobs to regions of the country that often fall by the wayside in terms of investment.

In order to enable this we must invest into research into renewable energy in terms of efficiency and new ways in which we can generate energy so that we can continue to increase the amount of power we generate from renewable energy. As well as this investment we must look into what measures we need to take to mitigate the worst effects of Climate Change on our country and whether it is feasible for us to artificially as well as through reforestation remove the carbon from our atmosphere. That requires considerable long term investment and if I win and I go on to be Prime Minister this will be provided to the scientific community.

We must also meet our international obligations on carbon emission reduction, but also push for a more comprehensive and binding agreement among the international community. This will likely require us to take an active role in assisting developing nations and others in developing their economies in sustainable ways. On our end we must reduce emissions as a result of vehicles which is a massive proportion of the emissions that enter the atmosphere, with that in mind we must encourage the use of mass transit. This can be done in many ways and the policy of renationalising the railways goes hand in hand as the provision of a service that is both cheap and run in the interest of commuters will naturally encourage a move to mass transit. However that is not enough we must also create and strictly enforce fuel efficiency standards and encourage the purchase and use of hybrid and electric cars.

Other measures we can take is a Corporate Carbon Tax, this will have two effects. One is to raise funds that we can use to support research into solutions to climate change another is it will encourage large companies to become more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. This will give us a means to tackle the environmentally damaging practises of many companies within the UK and in our efforts to produce a more comprehensive international agreement we must push for its adoption across the world.

Comrades we don't have to choose between having high quality jobs and having a planet that is fit to live on, we can achieve this if we put our collective effort behind it and elect a Labour leadership who are willing to fight for it. The promise of jobs and investment is, I believe, the key to retaining and expand our support not just in places like the North East but across the whole country and I hope you will turnout and vote in the leadership election for me so that we can all make this a reality together. Thank you for having me here today and remember to join the Labour party to join in our fight for a fair Britain.

(Funds update: £27590.91-£1,500= £26090.91)
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
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#13
Speech: Barking, London

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters,

It's an honour for me to share this evening with you. I've spent most of the day today meeting many of you and your neighbours around East London, and if there is one thing I hear consistently it's that folks are tired and discouraged about the reality that life is getting harder and harder and their government is doing nothing to help. Housing is harder to find and more expensive than ever. Jobs are hard to come by, don't guarantee you enough work and don't pay well enough to survive. The wealthy few are getting richer and working folks are falling further behind. Schools aren't giving our pupils the skills they need to make it in the 21st century, and universities are being priced out of reach for many of our children. 

Friends, this is not the Britain my parents chose to come to. This is not the Britain I grew up in, and it's not the Britain any of us wants to leave for our children. I have a vision of a fair Britain, which is why I am in this race to level Britain's playing field. We can be a country where everyone has the chance to make a living and get ahead based on their hard work and determination. But it's going to take some changes for that to happen. First and foremost, I will put an end to zero-hour contracts. It is an insult to each and every one of you to tell you that even if you have a job you don't necessarily get to work. Then I will raise the minimum wage to a living wage; because no one should work full time and still be poor. 

And while a level playing field is a lot about fairness in work - it neither starts nor ends there. It starts much earlier, with education. Our schools have been neglected by the Tories and need investment and improvement. We aren't even in the top ten for primary and secondary education. We need to upgrade the technology we give to teachers and students, we need to use 21st-century methods, and we need to do it now. Where our schools have ground to make up, Britain is still home to some of the best universities in the world - but they are rapidly moving out of reach for so many of our young people. I will end tuition fees at our universities - because I believe that every young person should have educational opportunities based on their merit, not their ability to pay.

A level playing field also means lifting up the least among us. While the vast majority of us just need a good job that pays a fair wage - there are those among us who have greater needs. I believe that as a society we should be judged on what we do for those weaker than the rest of us. We need to do more to support our poor, our sick, our mentally infirm and others who don't have the ability to care for themselves. I will reverse the Tory cuts to social welfare, in fact I will roll back all of their so-called austerity. If anyone needs to tighten their belts it's not our poor, it's the exceptionally wealthy.

Friends, together we can build this fair Britain. We can level the playing field. I want to invite you to join me today. When you cast your ballot in this leadership election - vote for me, George Cosmatos and together we will achieve this vision.

£19,909.09-£1,500=£18,409.09
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
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#14
Leaflet #1

For Every Region

Front Page
Top: For a Fair and Equal Britain

Middle: Image of James Clifton addressing a crowd

Bottom: James Clifton for Labour Leader

Inside Left
Friend,

The last election demonstrated that the Labour party must change its fundamental approach to politics and which people it seeks to appeal to. There is a large untapped group of voters who out of despair at our similarities to the Conservatives either reached for parties to our left, desperately voted UKIP or simply didn’t vote, all while we ignored what the British people have been saying they want. Politics should not simply be about bending our principles in pursuit of a mythical ‘centre’ it should be about persuading people that our vision, a socialist vision for society is the best one. Let's stand together for our principles and bring about a fairer and more prosperous Britain.

James Cliftons Signature


Inside Right

James' vision for Britain:
  • An immediate and comprehensive end to austerity.
  • National Investment Bank with a regional obligation to rebuild our industrial base in environmentally sustainable ways alongside a Green Investment Bank.
  • Protect the privacy rights of people from mass surveillance
  • End the scandal of PFI contracts in the NHS and bring existing PFI contracts in house
  • Repeal repressive trade union laws to allow them to effectively represent their workers
  • make the primary mission of our armed forces defence of the UK and peacekeeping.
  • Action to protect the environment
Back
For a Fair and Equal Britain
Vote
James Clifton
Campaign logo at the bottom with #JC4Leader

(Funds Update: £26,090.91-£6000 (to make up for £500 I missed earlier)= £20,090.91)
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
Reply
Thanks given by:
#15
Leaflets (in addition to earlier, Scotland, Wales, NE, NW, W Mids, London):


Front Page:

Top Third, red background with the words "Level Playing Field"

Middle Third, a flattering black and white photo of George

Bottom Third, Elect George Cosmatos

Inside Left Page:
Text overlaying a headshot of George

When my parents came to Britain it was for the opportunity to work hard and build a safe and prosperous life for their family. Back then it was possible for hard work to pay off, but since then things have changed. Working Britons struggle to save and get ahead. More than ever the opportunities for work aren't there and thanks to the Tories you can even have a job and still no work. I am in this race to level the playing field, and I hope I can count on your support.

George Cosmatos

Inside Right Page:
Text on a red background

George's Priotities
  • Raising minimum wage to a living wage

  • Ending zero-hour contracts

  • Making social investments, ending austerity

  • Bringing education into the 21st century

  • Protecting and supporting the NHS

  • Ending tuition fees at universities
Back Page:

Top third, text
Level Britain's Playing Field
Elect
George Cosmatos
Labour Leader

Middle third, contact information for the Cosmatos Campaign

Bottom third, black and white silhouette of a man working in a field with a shovel.

£18,409.09-£3,000=£15,409.09
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
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#16
Speech: Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield

Ladies and Gentlemen it is a thrill for me to be able to spend some time with you this evening. As this leadership contest draws to a close I want to thank the thousands of people who have reached out and connected with me personally and this campaign. The idea of a level playing field is clearly resonating with folks all over Britain, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. But as the campaign ends, the real work is only about to begin. It’s one thing to inspire optimism in people who want a fairer Britain - it’s another thing entirely to make that happen.

So yes, tonight I am here to encourage you to vote for me, but I don’t want you to think that it’s all said and done when you mark George on your ballot. We’ve got a country to rebuild after a generation of neglect and I’m going to need your help in doing that. We’ve got bad policies like zero-hour contracts to overturn. We’ve got wages to bring up to levels that working families can survive on. We’ve got schools and hospitals to improve. We’ve got housing to build. Folks there’s a lot of work to do and I can’t think of people I’m happier to work for than you.

Now some have suggested that since I worked with the last two Labour Prime Ministers, somehow that makes me less suited to leading our party today. Now I’m not going to pretend like everything the Blair or Brown ministries did was flawless - there were mistakes. Iraq was a mistake. Tuition fees were a mistake. But there was good. Ending decades of the Maggie and John show was good. Developing and implementing world-wide development goals was good. And folks I was taught that you can separate the good from the bad. Some would suggest we throw the baby out with the bathwater - I think that’s sophomoric. I have experience in government and in the outside world that I want to put into service making Britain a fairer country.

Thank you, thank you all for coming tonight. We’re in the final stretch, and I hope I can count on your support, at the ballot box and in the days, months and years ahead as we level Britain’s playing field. I’m George Cosmatos and I’d like your vote.

£15,409.09-£4,500=£10,909.09
Rt. Hon. George Michael Cosmatos MP

Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shadow Home Secretary
Labour Party
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#17
Speech #3 - Plymouth

Comrades it's wonderful to be here today in Plymouth today to speak to you all. It is no secret that under the Conservatives our public services invariably suffer so we must expose the damage that has been done and offer real solutions to them. Everyone is one accident away from needing healthcare and I would like to see the NHS remain for the benefit of all regardless of ability to pay and that means we must begin to treat it and the people who work within it with the respect that they deserve. Labour is the party of the NHS and so it is our responsibility to make sure that it endures despite deliberate Tory attempts to weaken it.

Our workers in the NHS are some of the hardest working in the country and ensure that one of our nations treasured institutions continues to function. That is why it should alarm us that the morale of NHS workers has plummeted so much and is it any wonder that it has plummeted? They have had a real terms pay cut since 2010 and they have had to suffer from a lack of appropriate resources to deal with the healthcare issues of this country. That is why we must end Austerity so we can appropriately fund the ending of the public sector pay cap to give our essential NHS workers the pay rise they deserve.

With our commitment to end austerity we can restore proper funding to the NHS and take the pressure off our doctors and nurses by providing them with the resources they need. We all benefit from a healthier and more productive populace and without proper funding the NHS will begin to collapse as many suspect the Tories have desired for many years. With this additional funding we can also ensure that research into new treatments and observations of other nations health care systems to see what lessons we can learn to make our NHS even better and pioneer new treatments.

While we must correct a lot of the Tories mistakes we must also acknowledge that we didn't correct mistakes in our last term in office, we continued with the disastrous scam that was PFI. While it might have seemed like a good idea at the time it has ended up costing us absurd amounts of money in the long and at the end of it all the NHS won't even own the assets paid for by PFI. That is why I want to bring these PFI contracts and make a promise that scandalous things like PFI will never befall our NHS again with a Labour government if I win this contest.

Friends we can set the Labour party on a winning path at this election, by standing up for the NHS which everyone has the potential to need throughout their lives we can set ourselves apart from the other parties and begin our recovery from this election. At this upcoming leadership election please remember to vote for myself and if you haven't already join in our fight for the NHS and for a Labour party that fights for the millions and not the millionaires. Thank you.

(Funds update £20,090.91-£1,500=£18,590.91)
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
Reply
Thanks given by:
#18
Speech #4 - Liverpool

Friends it is good to be here in Liverpool a real core of our great movement, over the course of this campaign you will have heard a lot from myself and while I've enjoyed the time traveling and speaking I've also enjoyed listening and it's clear that Labour party supporters and members have a lot to say. Many of you are still hurting from that moment I think we all remember, when the illusion faded and we were faced with the reality of 5 more years of Tory government. That is why it's important that we ensure that we never allow ourselves to fall into the trap of chasing a mythical centre ground rather than engaging in the hard work of persuading people that our vision is the best vision for Britain

To begin with as I've said throughout this contest, we must end austerity and stand firm against it in opposition. That means we must all speak about the pressures it inflicts on this country, such as those who under the DWPs benefits sanction regime have become stuck in poverty and relied on food banks and some who have taken their owns lives. That is outrageous in a modern country and we cannot as we have done in the past fall into austerity-lite rhetoric. Alongside this commitment to end austerity we must also, as our party has done traditionally stand strong for workers rights. The nature of employment for many is changing, it is increasingly casual or part-time and many are on zero-hours contracts that lack the security and guarantees that everyone who is in work deserves. That is why I would ban zero-hours contracts so that everyone can have the security in work that they deserve.

In the spirit of ending austerity we must also realise that we cannot protect our communities or expect those that do to do so on the cheap, that is why with the end of austerity will come the funding that all of our police need to keep our communities safe. As well as this with the end of the public sector pay cap they will also get a much needed pay rise. This is only right as we all quite rightly praise the police during emergencies, but we need to match our words with actions. We should also allow our police to spend their time on more productive issues, there are lessons to be learned from other countries regarding evidence based drugs laws. In learning those lessons we can end the absurd laws we currently have an allow the police to spend their resources going after more serious crimes in our communities.

We must also ensure that everyone has access to housing that is affordable and suitable for people to live in. That is why we will ensure that rented accommodation is fit for human habitation and introduce severe penalties for landlords who fail to meet those conditions. We must also ensure that rents do not spiral out of control, particularly in parts of the country where the housing crisis is biting hardest. We can and must get government building again at all levels and we must stand for and enable the empowering of councils to build housing when they need it. This is especially useful as councils are often those on the front lines of our housing crisis and often know better than central government regarding where the housing is needed most urgently.

Alongside these domestic policies we must become a beacon for peace in the world, that is why we must hold our hands up as a party and admit that past leadership of the Labour Party have been complicit in foreign policy mistakes that have spiraled out of control into the various crises that we can see today. With those crisis often creating refugees, we must meet our obligation to take in refugees and provide support to the areas that take them in. We must also remain committed to international aid, as a wealthier country we must assist other countries in their development and particularly focus on sustainable development.

Comrades we have an opportunity to set our party apart and open it up to new opportunities. The path I have set out is one which can not only win those who turned to the SNP and the Greens, but our broad hopeful vision is one that can win UKIP voters and non-voters. By presenting a compelling and unique vision for the future of this country our potential and this countries potential is unlimited and we must make this reality. Thank you so much for having me.

Funds update: £18,590.91-£1,500=£17090.91

Poster #2
All Regions

Top: For a Fair and Equal Britain
Middle: Series of major pledges in large writing:
1. End Austerity
2. Protect the Environment
3. Abolish Tuition Fees
4. Greater Rights for LGBT+ People
5. Renationalise the Railways and Bring down fares
Bottom: Logo with #JC4Leader

Leaflet #2
All Regions

Front
Top: For a Fair and Equal Britain

Image of James Clifton speaking with member of the public

Bottom: James Clifton for Labour Leader

Inside Left
Friend,

The time for change is now, the Labour movement has a historic opportunity to set itself on a path to bring about great change. The pain of the last election is still with us, the thought of 5 more years of Tory rule fills many with fear. We must become a clear and distinct alternative that promises a hopeful future for all of Britain, people are sick of politics as usual and we must build this alternative not just at the top of our party but within our communities. By being out there in our communities and becoming a clear alternative at the top of the party we can win again and bring about great positive change.

James Cliftons signature

Inside Right
James Vision for Britain:
An immediate and comprehensive end to austerity.
Ensure multinational corporations and the rich pay their fair share
Mandate that rented accommodation should be fit for human habitation
Abolish Tuition Fees and forgive the student debt
Increase the Minimum Wage to a real living wage, to make work pay

Back
Top: End Politics As Usual
Middle: Vote
James Clifton for Labour Leader
Bottom: Campaign Logo with #JC4Leader

Funds Update: £17,090.91-£11,000=£6,090.91
James Clifton MP | Nottingham North (1987-Present) | Labour Leader (2015-)

"This idea that politics is all about charisma and spin is rubbish. It is trust that matters." - Tony Benn
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#19
Okay, your time is up for campaigning, now it's up to the Labour players and members.

Please submit your vote using the following template, send to all admins (Ben, James, Dan and i) and obviously only Labour players and vote once. All Submissions are to be made on the forum only, not telegram. Good Luck All!

Quote:Clifton, James []
Cosmatos, George []

Cross off your chosen candidate by marking them with an "X" in the appropriate box as such; "David Rackham [X]"
Edward
Special Advisor for the Treasury and Foreign Office
Advisor for the Labour Party

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." ~ Milton Friedman
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Quote:Laura Kuenssberg
Welcome to the Newsnight labour leadership debate live here from St. Nicholas’ Church here in Nuneaton. The rivals on the stage tonight don’t just want to be Labour’s next face, they want to be the Prime Minister. That doesn’t just mean convincing Labour members and those who sign up to vote in this contest to back them over the course of this contest, that is just the first step. In places like this it means winning back voters from the Conservatives, voters who left Labour for UKIP, and frankly those who stayed at home. Tonight they have an hour to win this crucial audience. They are; 60 Year old James Clifton; he’s been the MP for Nottingham South since 1987, a former teacher and union official… and 56 year old George Cosmatos, MP for Birmingham Ladywood since 2005 and former CEO of the charity Oxfam, as well as the Shadow Defence Secretary since 2015.

*applause*

Now in the next hour it is not me, but the audience who will be setting the agenda. Having been selected from across the country they are all either swing Labour voters or have voted Labour in recent general elections. You can follow the debate or comment on social media using #LabourDebate. Gentlemen good evening.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Our first question comes from Student Mr Noah Weaver from Newcastle, Noah take it away
 
Noah Weaver
After two successive defeats at the hands of the Conservative Party, how do you intend to regain the trust of the British people and win the next general election?
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Mr Clifton, if you want to start us off...
 
James Clifton
Thank you Laura, great to be here today. Noah, that's the most important question I think you can ask. I have represented my constituents for the past 28 years and have fought for the rights of oppressed people and for the protection of our national institutions like the NHS. many people think that there is no substantive difference between what the Labour party offered at the last election and the Conservatives offered, that should tell us that our party has lost its way. What we should do is we should return to the principles that the party was founded on, we should offer a clear anti-austerity alternative that offers hope, not fear and division and we shouldn't try to bend our principles until they break to satisfy the interests of the wealthy or of multinational corporations and instead stand with the people of Britain.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Mr Clifton, Mr Cosmatos, you may now respond
 
George Cosmatos
Thank you Laura, It likely won't surprise you to learn that I agree with what a lot of James said. Everyone in Labour values our social institutions, and everyone can take pot shots at the Tories for going on 4 decades as Britain's nasty party. But the question of what we can do to reconnect with voters is answered more by listening than talking in my view. Folks are tired of cloistered men telling them what is good for them. We need to bring voices from outside of career politicians, academics and solicitors to the table. I think we reconnect with the voters by having actual ordinary britons representing them. As leader I will push to bring greater diversity to our slate of candidates and our Parliament.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Gentlemen. You both have very individual styles, and as such a different attitude towards how Labour can win the next election. Is there anything that you feel makes you more qualified to lead the party into the next election than the other?
 
I shall leave the floor open to debate
 
George Cosmatos
Well, I don't think we differ all that much - we both recognize that we need to better represent ordinary Britons. The question is which of us is going to be more effective at doing it.
 
I'd like to humbly submit that my experience uniquely equips me to speak to people from every walk of life, and more importantly to listen to folks who haven't lived ivory tower lives.
 
James Clifton
I think a leader that seeks to expand democracy and build a strong movement is what the Labour party needs and as such someone who, no offence to George was very much part of that New Labour group during his early career is not someone with that track record.
 
We will win by making the Labour party a large, democratic and ultimately an organisation embedded in communities and that is what I will seek to do as leader.
 
George Cosmatos
Am I supposed to be ashamed of serving in Cabinet? I was the Secretary of State for International Development, I helped implement the Millenium Development Goals, which prior to politics I worked closely with those who drafted them.
 
There are certainly things from our last term in government that should have been done differently, but my department was not an example of it.
 
I mean, would you throw out the baby with the bathwater? Do a few policy blunders and a bad decision on war undo the good work we did?
 
James Clifton
It isn't the fact of working in cabinet, it's the fact that I believe and many others do that the Labour Party has been too centralised for too long and that largely came about because of New Labour and people want a clean break with that legacy. Now if you're coming to join the fight for a more democratic party I'll welcome you alongside anyone else who wants to join that fight.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Gentlemen
 
We shall now move on to our next Question
 
Our second question from the audience comes from social worker Alice Owens from Gloucester, Alice you have the floor
 
Alice Owens
Hi, in the last general election Labour campaigned on a platform of constructing 200,000 homes per year until 2020. But in the communities surrounding the city i live in, Gloucester, that i grew up in villages and small towns are increasingly being asked to bear a significant burden already on constructing often overpriced homes for local residents. If you were Prime Minister, what actions would you take to ensure that housing is built where it is needed and for acceptable prices?
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Alice, i will remind the viewers watching that Housing is a devolved issue in Scotland and Wales meaning the SNP and Labour administrations respectively in the regions are responsible for it there. Mr Cosmatos, you have the floor
 
George Cosmatos
Housing is an important issue that underpins so many of our social concerns. Without accessible and affordable housing the rest of it just doesn't come into place. So I agree that we need to do better at ensuring that it is there for folks all around England. You're also right to say that smaller councils have a harder task and I think that it becomes the responsibility of the central government to help. The reality is that it will require a bigger investment from us to make sure that people continue to have the access they need to homes they can afford. We need to put more money in and we need to do it soon.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Mr Cosmatos. Mr Clifton, you have the floor.
 
James Clifton
We have a housing crisis in the UK today, prices in some parts of the country are rising so far above inflation that people are using our housing as a financial investment rather than a place to live. We need to provide serious investment from the government into affordable housing and we need to empower councils in areas that are suffering from particularly high house prices to be able to initiate their own building as well. That is why I believe we need to get government at all levels building again to provide affordable housing and not the Tory definition of affordable in their meagre house building program. We also need to look at those who are using housing as an investment and intentionally keeping housing empty as this reduces the supply available to people and for those in the rental market we need to look at 1. Ensuring homes are at a standard fit for human habitation and 2. That their rents do not spiral out of control.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Mr Clifton, you may now cross examine one another's policies should you wish
 
George Cosmatos
Laura I don't think we're really all that different on this front - we could spend a few minutes patting each other on the back, or if James is OK with it, we could move on?
 
James Clifton
I think we should move on.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Excellent, we shall then
 
George Cosmatos
And people thought this would be a divisive debate
 
Laura Kuenssberg
The next question comes from Scarborough resident and retired fisherman Willie Lamb. Mr Lamb…
 
Willie Lamb
Good evening, with industries like my own steadily declining since the 1980’s and tens of thousands of potential British jobs at risk of going overseas or becoming automated as they have done in the last decade, what action do you believe must be taken to protect British jobs and industry?
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Mr Clifton, you may respond first
 
James Clifton
Thank you Laura, Mr Lamb makes a good point and its one that bites particularly in coastal communities and former industrial areas. I support the formation of both a National Investment Bank and a Green Investment Bank to provide investment into communities such as Scarborough in the form of infrastructure spending that will make areas more attractive to other investors and I want to see new green industrial jobs brought to those communities so that people can have decent well paying jobs regardless of where they live. I'd also like to see the minimum wage raised to a real living wage so that work can finally pay in the UK.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Mr Cosmatos
 
George Cosmatos
Willie, thank you for your question. You're absolutely right that things are getting tougher for industrial workers and it has been going on for a long time. Some of it is due to technology and won't change, some of it is due to greed and can be curtailed. The first things I will do are eliminate zero-hour contracts so that people who have jobs have work, and raise the minimum wage so people who work can afford to make a life. Second I believe that we need to invest in the future. We need to make Britain a tech leader, and create jobs in the industries of the 21st century. We need to level the playing field again so that working folks can get ahead, and that's been the heart of my campaign.
 
James Clifton
I'd also like to add that as well as eliminating Zero-Hours contracts we should also ensure that workers regardless of full-time or part time have security in their work.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Coming from different parts of the Labour party, what are the differences in the taxation policy between you? Mr Cosmatos, do you favour raising taxes on the wealthy and if so how high? and Mr Clifton, what are your views on corporation taxation? Too high? Too low? the floor is yours
 
George Cosmatos
I think we'd be here all night if we talked about everything we want to change from the wage-slavery regime the Tories have created
 
James Clifton
Corporation tax in my opinion is far too low, tax cuts to corporations only really line the pockets of those at the top and not the average person. It is not outrageous to ask that companies that benefit from our workforce and use our infrastructure that taxpayers have invested in to pay more in tax.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Even small family businesses Mr Clifton? what is your view on that Mr Cosmatos?
 
George Cosmatos
My view, both as a finance graduate and a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is that taxation first is a political point of view that doesn't work. I'm not going to campaign on higher or lower taxes. When we budget we need to determine the needs of the country and fund those properly, then we talk about taxes in the light of paying for what we need. But of course, I think the greater responsibility falls on those with more - so if tax rises are indicated, they should be on the wealthy before the working.
 
James Clifton
I would only see tax rise on companies that make large profits, small family businesses would likely not see any increase in the tax they pay.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Do you feel you are better suited to leading a Government due to your experience in the treasury over Mr Clifton's lack of experience in that department Mr Cosmatos?
 
George Cosmatos
Corporation tax on global companies certainly is too low - but on family businesses, like the one my parents built, isn't. We can't use too broad a brush when we talk about policy.
 
Laura, James has been in Westminster for 30 years, he's got more than enough experience in how government works to be up to the task.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
But do either of you feel more directly suited to leading the party as a result of your experience? Surely if you cannot advocate that you yourself are more suited to the position one might ask why we are here today?
 
James Clifton
It's about more than experience and personalities, it's about policies and it's up to the Labour party members, supporters and affiliates to decide which of us is suited on the basis of our policies. With that in mind I do believe that I have the best policy across the issues to lead the Labour party into government and through my years of campaigning plenty of ability to bring to the job.
 
George Cosmatos
I think it's my experiences outside of the bubbles that equips me, I've been in parliament for a decade, him for 3 - when it comes to politics we've both got strong credentials. But I spent my career prior to politics working with some of the world's most vulnerable. I know how to build change and improve lives. I also know how to work with people from all walks of life. That's what I think enables me to do the job.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Gentlemen, Our final question for the evening comes from Glasgow resident and lawyer Faye Yates; Mrs Yates…
 
Faye Yates
With the rise of radical or one issue parties in British politics taking many Labour votes, how best do you believe Labour should respond to increasingly anti-european and anti-union rhetoric in Scotland and the rest of the UK being supported by UKIP and the SNP?
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Mr Cosmatos, you have the first word
 
George Cosmatos
I think we have to do a better job making sure the benefits of Union, either within Britain or Europe at large, are felt by ordinary men and women. It's easy for people to appeal to outside boogymen when life is tough. We need to do a better job of delivering the bottom line benefits beyond boardrooms, and those shallow arguments will fade away. But as long as the rich get richer and ordinary Scots, Englishmen, folks all across Britain see no benefit the lies of closed-minded opportunists will resonate.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Mr Cosmatos, Mr Clifton...
 
James Clifton
A lot of the movement toward parties like UKIP, the SNP and to a lesser extent the Greens can be put down to the fact that we took a lot of voters for granted and didn't feel we had to make a big hopeful offer to the people of the UK. As I stated earlier a lot of people felt that we were too similar to the Conservatives particularly with regard to our position on Austerity and it's worth noting that the SNP and the Greens are anti-austerity parties, the simple truth with the SNP is that we have to show that we are the route to a better Britain. On UKIP specifically a lot of people reached out of desperation to them and left the Labour party and I think the way we win them back is not by succumbing to UKIPs attack on migrants, but on offering people real hope for the future. I'd simply say this it isn't migrants who suppress wages it's the actions of unscrupulous bosses who are extracting profit off the backs of decent people, both from the UK and from elsewhere.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
What are your views on the European Union and Britain's membership? Mr Clifton you come from a time when much of Labour opposed Britain being a member in contrast to Mr Cosmatos' election during the new Labour years of pro-europeanism?
 
Ed Miliband didnt back a referendum, would either of you?
 
George Cosmatos
I think decades of membership have demonstrated that we're better off in than out - and like I said, we need to do a better job of making sure that those benefits work for ordinary folks, not just old men in boardrooms.
 
James Clifton
I think that our relationship with the EU is not working and I think that we need to look at the ways that we can improve it. We can't improve the EU if we're outside of it, I would begin looking at ways we can make changes not just in our relationship with the EU but in all of the EU to see the creation of a Social Europe that puts working people and human rights above the desires of international companies and exploitative employers.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Would you consider seeking a renegotiation of our terms with Europe Mr Clifton?
 
James Clifton
Absolutely I would, if I was Prime Minister I would have to act in the best interests of all of the people of this country and I think that there are particular changes that need to made, especially regarding the EU's general push to enforce free markets on all member states.
 
George Cosmatos
Well the free market isn't inherently evil - it just requires the right regulations and controls to make sure it's free for everybody and not just the wealthy few
 
Laura Kuenssberg
and would you give the public the choice to vote on the issue of Europe after such a renegotiation, even if you then supported remaining?
 
Do you not think a renegotiation  as such as Mr Clifton suggests would threaten our relationship with Europe Mr Cosmatos?
 
James Clifton
After a period in which the changes have been implemented and improvements in the relationship had been achieved then I'd be happy to revisit that issue at that time, but as of right now that's hypothetical.
 
George Cosmatos
I don't think the British people are the only Europeans who would benefit from seeing the benefits of the EU reach down a few more rungs on the social ladder. I don't think greater concern for European society will weaken the Union, I think it will strengthen it.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Would you too seek a renegotiation of our relationship with Europe Mr Cosmatos?
 
George Cosmatos
I wouldn't describe it that way, because it's not the relationship I want to see changed. I want to see Europe evolve to be more concerned with social mobility and improvements to the supports we provide those who depend on them. It's Europe I want to see evolve, not the relationship.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you very much Gentlemen, we will now move to closing statements for the evening. First up is James Clifton, Mr Clifton go ahead.
 
James Clifton
Thank you Laura. Tonight, I have explained my vision for how we get the Labour party not just into power, but using that power for the good of all people. We have an opportunity to see the Labour party once again become a force for working people across the country and reconnect with its roots and apply our principles to the modern world. Together we can create a party that is democratic, dynamic and engaging in communities across the country. For those of you that haven't already I encourage you to join in our fight for a fair and equal Britain and join the Labour party and vote in this election. Thank you very much.
 
Laura Kuenssberg
Thank you Mr Clifton, Mr Cosmatos you have the final word.
 
George Cosmatos
First of all, I want to thank you, Laura, for moderating this debate - the work you do is vital to our democracy. Also, I want to thank James for the thoughtful and respectful tone of this leadership contest. I know that whoever wins, our party has a bright and strong future.
 
I am in this race because I want to level the playing field in Britain. This used to be a country where folks had a fair chance to get ahead based on their hard work and determination. The sad reality is that isn’t true anymore. Decades of Tory devastation have made it nearly impossible for working Britons to build better lives for themselves and their families, and actually impossible for the poor to do the same. When my parents moved to this country it was at a time when this wasn’t true and I believe it can be again.
 
I believe my strength is in my experience both in government and in the NGO sector. I have worked closely with world-changers from every walk of life and having spent my life in the real world I think I am uniquely positioned to reach people who exist outside the cloisters of academia and Westminster. We have become a party that isn’t representative of the people and one of my biggest priorities is fixing that.
 
We can build a level playing field again, and I hope those watching tonight have found me to be up to that task. I look forward to serving as leader, and someday soon Prime Minister. When the time comes - vote for George.
 
Laura Kuenssberg 
Thank you all for watching tonight. Soon you will have the chance to vote for who you believe is best suited to lead the Labour Party, and maybe even the country, we hope that this debate tonight has helped you make up your mind. From all of us here at the BBC, Good Evening.

 
------------------------------------------------------
Question 1 - the Future of the Party
Okay so what i got from this question immediately within seconds just form your first answers (and much of the debate in general) was that you virtually said the same thing. In a rather bizzare leadership election for some reason the "not left" candidate seems to think he agrees with the "left" candidate on a lot, and that struck me - and i imagine the audience - as odd. Clifton came out and spoke about how he believes that Labour has lost it's way, as many people also believe, and speaks about how view that the party needs to reject austerity and break big corporations; That certainly appeals to the Labour crowd who are annoyed about the last defeat. Cosmatos' response after that was rather similar, however either on purpose or accidentally he also managed to level a small slap down on Clifton with his comment that Britain does not need career politicians - which Clifton absolutely is - and then he speaks a bit about how he wants diversity yada yada yada. Overall the response from the audience is effectively "okay... sound great, why do you guys believe you are better than one another?" but unfortunately neither candidate really presented a reason why. 

Cosmatos does however move forward and say that he believes he is more suited to the position due to cabinet experience, and people appreciate that. Clifton responds to that by basically noting the association Cosmatos has with New Labour which pleases some of the left of the party, but the undecided middle isnt that phased. Overall this section was not very argumentative, nor convincing for a large section of the party; the moderates. They note that Cosmatos has experience, but they know that from the leadership campaign, and thus it doesnt really benefit anyone. But at least he stands up for himself and gains respect of the moderates, while Clifton's attack gains respect of the left.

Clifton +3
Cosmatos +3

Question 2 - Housing
So in the opening responses Cosmatos quite directly answers the question, noting that the question was mainly focused on housing strain on local communities as well as about the strain on the country. He responds clearly and straight to the point on that, but does not elaborate to cover how he would seek to expand housing in the country a whole which leaves people wondering if he has anything new to say or just stick with the labour policy as it is. Clifton then comes in and doesnt directly address the problem of local communities feeling the burden of mass housing expansion, but instead focuses on a slightly different angle of the debate which is more about what Conservatives consider 'affordable', rent controls and various other aspects rather in depth (or what he could do in the time he had). This i feel puts Clifton ahead with Cosmatos just behind.

Clifton +4
Cosmatos +3.5

Question 3 - Industrial Decline & Jobs
Interesting question because it could have gone into a variety of subjects, from automation, to immigration, to trade policy. Clifton starts off by relating to the local area of the resident and proposing a national investment bank and a green investment bank - this is an interesting policy because since the coalition both of these actually exist at this point in game. This leaves the audience who dont know about this impressed, and those who do (or google it) assuming Clifton just means increasing spending for it. Clifton also supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage which is popular among much of the party. Cosmatos then comes in and is really rather honest about some of the country's struggles, noting the technology cant be stopped while some areas of employment - security as you see in Zero Hours contracts - can be helped. He endorses a raise in the minimum wage, as Clifton did, endorses 'investing in the future' (whatever that means) but then speaks about how he wants to make Britain a tech leader to create jobs which people enjoy, especially combined with the belief that we need to 'level the playing field' which is a nice relatable slogan.

Clifton clarifies that he too wants to fix Zero Hours contracts - as he said in the first question - and then Laura attemps to spur some debate by speaking about Taxation. Both candidates agree taxes need to be raised, Clifton believes big business needs to have higher taxes, Cosmatos largely agrees but puts a tack on it by making it more about meeting the countrys needs than 'punishing' anyone specifically. This then goes on to discuss who is best suited for leading a major economy, which Cosmatos endorses he has experience... and then seems to endorse Clifton too. Another period of largely agreement, however in the earlier questions i felt Cosmatos came across better and responded to tricky questions more effectively.

Clifton +3.5
Cosmatos +4

Question 4 - Rise of Challenger Parties (SNP/UKIP)
This is an important question for the area and also because the country is quite legitimately alarmed by the rapid rise of the SNP and UKIP in the polls in Scotland and the UK as a whole, and Cosmatos comes out and goes straight for the root of the problem. He notes that the argument for the union has been difficult despite the win in Scotland, and then goes on to speak about how labour needs to address genuine concerns of real people to win back people. Clifton basically then responds in exactly the same manner, however he identifies the root causes of defections to each party directly - especially on UKIP where he argues that desperation has led to their increased vote shares. 

The Discussion then moves to the EU, with Clifton openly advocating some kind of 'renegotiation' of terms with Europe, and Cosmatos arguing a similar tack without saying he'd support an official negotiation, instead favouring 'leading'. Clifton then surprisingly indicates he'd be open to a referendum one day, but does not specify. Generally again this section is not overly surprising or argumentative, however i felt like Clifton carried this section, again marginally, due to his elaboration and interesting tack on Europe (even though this again alienates moderates).

Clifton +4.5
Cosmatos +4

Closing Statements
Clifton has a good closing statement, focusing mainly on what he has discussed in the debate and how the party itself needs to change, along with it's arguments for how the country needs to improve. All around it was a good closing statement - if somewhat brief and lacking in detail of emotive language.

Cosmatos then comes out and absolutely sells himself, speaking directly about why he is best suited to lead the party in a manner that would have been good to see in the debate. He sets out his vision for a better Britain that works for everyone, and people like that. He sets out why his experiences equip him best to deliver that change, and his experiences are appreciated by the audience who see he can justify his claims and aspirations. It was a solid response, and because it was pre-prepared it won.

Clifton +3
Cosmatos +4

Overall Marks
Clifton +18
Cosmatos +18.5

Points Awarded (Debate Points Divided by Number of Questions)
Clifton +3.6
Cosmatos +3.7
Edward
Special Advisor for the Treasury and Foreign Office
Advisor for the Labour Party

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." ~ Milton Friedman
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