I've spent the weekend in Hamilton at the first Young Labour campaign school.
It's been an interesting couple of days for a number of reasons. The turnout was fantastic — around about sixty attendees not counting presenters. There was a good broad range of topics, from elections to issues campaigning and thinking about messaging and communications.
Ten years after the first Summer School, which is a Labour Party event organised by Young Labour, a campaigning focus like this is well timed and much needed. Campaigning is core business for a political party and we don't make enough effort to teach people how to do it.
It is not for me to go into any specific detail about what was covered, but some reflections:
- issues campaigning is getting more important as a way to drive emotional connection between the party and various groups of voters — done well it is a strength.
- knowing the political context as it is, not as you sort of wish or hope it might be, should be obvious but isn't always.
- another reminder about the importance of repetition to get messages through. We are so, so, so bad at this in many ways and it's entirely down to us to get that right. Narrative is similar.
Again and again too, through the weekend, was acknowledgement of the climate change challenge we face. If any part of the Labour Party is going to lead a new approach here, YL is going to be critical to the effort.
Good event, continuing with local govt campaigning next.