Anne Thompson Reports on TWT

Anne Thompson smiles - CopyThe World Transformed report

At the beginning of the year you elected me to represent you on the CLP exec to focus on political education through my work with the national organisation, The World Transformed. I attended regular meetings throughout the year and was able to make a contribution to the programme as well as liaising on venues and sharing local knowledge.

Politics rather than politicking had long been left out of the Labour agenda at conference until last September when from beginning to end this dynamic festival of ideas, debates and visioning started with a huge rally of over 5,000 ordinary people receiving a message of hope from our leader, then merged into queues of eager truth seekers, journalists and conference delegates thirsting for economic, political and social answers and ended in one great big party attended by Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Politics is not usually an easy subject to enthuse people, but they came in their thousands to debate with the likes of George Monbiot, Russell Brand, John Trickett, Ed Miliband, Laura Pidcock, Dianne Abbott, Naomi Klein and many others. Brightonians mixed with international journalists, suited city types, ex Greenham Commoners, anti-frackers, feminist writers, trade unionists from all over, it was a maelstrom of fun, energy and optimism. I spent one wonderful afternoon making paper boats in memory of refugees who had drowned in the Mediterranean with a Newsnight producer, a rail union organiser, a journalist turned stand up comedian and a young socialist Israeli activist. Everywhere people were talking politics and their hope for a better future, not only in the nine venues and over two hundred events, but in cafes, in the endless queues, in the street and in the bars. The atmosphere was friendly, patient, enthusiastic and electric with promise. I have never spoken to so many strangers in such a short space of time.

It is impossible to summarise so many fascinating debates but a number of the events have been recorded and are available on YouTube for you to view, although I have yet to see the “Ed Miliband Quiz night” video displayed! Art, music and creativity were there to stimulate thought and raise questions, because it was an event that was meant to encourage grassroots involvement and ideas for a better future, valuing everyone’s participation equally, rather than top down pronouncements from experts.

The lasting legacy will be hard to measure, but will hopefully feed into the impending party “Democracy Review”.  One thing is very sure, if we are to truly embark on a new kind of political journey then The World Transformed 2017 is a great beginning.

Anne Thompson
Pavilion CLP