Each year Progress organises a political weekend full of workshops, seminars and plenaries with Labour’s front bench and leading progressive thinkers. Held at the NUT’s Stoke Rochford Hall, the event has become a regular feature in the Labour political calendar. This year’s political weekend is coming up on 12 and 13 March. To apply for a bursary applicants were asked to write 500 words on:
‘Moderate and modernising members are leaving the Labour party, feeling they no longer belong. Write a letter to a friend in the Labour party who is considering leaving arguing why they should stay in the party we love.’
If you would like to donate towards a bursary to allow someone to attend who may not otherwise be able to please call us on 020 3435 9854 or email richard[at]progressonline.org.uk.
Tickets are still available on our website – book your place online now.
Britain needs a strong, competent, relevant and credible Labour party. For it was Labour at its best which gave this great country the NHS, the Open University, civil partnerships, and many inspiring and world leading programmes and policies which have made Britain an open and modern society.
Like you, I joined the party for all the great reasons tens of thousands have joined throughout its history. As it has always been, Labour party members and activists have enabled our members of parliament to change this country for the better, in office or in opposition. I joined the Labour party as the first act my British citizenship. I was not born into this party nor in this country, but I chose them.
Having fled my country of birth, Afghanistan, from the tyranny of the Taliban as a child, I travelled to different countries in search of safety, but found no place as safe and welcoming as Britain – a Labour led Britain. An internationalist Labour government gave me and my family sanctuary, a Labour created NHS helped me with my post-traumatic stress disorder, and a well-funded education system helped me learn English and my siblings to go to school – two of whom are now university graduates.
Having established a family of my own, I have relied on every institutions our party created. While holding a full time job on a minimum wage, Labour’s tax credit helped me and my family maintain a good quality of life, as I have been carrying on with my education with the Open University. The NHS delivered my two beautiful children, and I would have lost my eyesight if it was not for the amazing work of doctors and nurses, all for free. Having recently been made redundant, I have been real ying on the welfare state, a Labour legacy – but I hate what the Tories are doing to it. Britain needs a Labour government in order to put things in order again for the millions of working families and those aspiring to achieve great things in life.
Since the beginning of my journey as a refugee to full British citizenship, I owe the Labour party everything I have achieved. But our party is nothing without its members and activists. So I owe it to you and thousands like you who welcomed me and my family into our new country and the political party I grew to love and joined in, without knowing much about British life, society and politics. But with the help of friends like you in this great party, I can claim to know much about British life, society and politics, and I am confident enough to write about them. I owe all these to you. You know and I know, that throughout its history, our party has changed millions of lives for the better. I am one of them. If we stick together, we can continue to change Britain and the lives of millions around the world for the better. As it is us, members and activists, who make things happen on the ground, and as much disappointing the current direction of travel our party is taking is, we have to be there to put it back on track when the time comes, not just for ourselves, but for Britain and the world.
Rohullah Yakobi is a Progress member
Progressive centre-ground Labour politics does not come for free.
Our work depends on you.