Momentum is attempting to lead a sophisticated campaign operation for Labour by combining traditional doorstep conversations with bespoke websites, a few borrowed ideas from the US and innovative use of WhatsApp. In just two weeks, the leftwing campaign group has raised £330,000 – more than its entire budget for the 2017 election – mobilised thousands of activists and deployed a range of technological tools to try to help elect Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. With more than 40,000 members, it’s also expanded from 13 paid staff to 56 for this election campaign. “This is a once-in-a-generation chance to change the country,” said Joe Todd, Momentum’s head of communications. Since it was founded in 2015 by Jon Lansman, Emma Rees, Adam Klug and James Schneider – the latter now head of strategic communications for Corbyn – Momentum has undergone a transformation from grassroots campaigning to influencing policy at party conferences, … [Read more...] about Momentum scales up for ‘once-in-a-generation chance’
How to create a social media strategy
I find it frustrating when reading profiles of artists how little attention is paid to discussion of practice. I have found there to be a tendency to encourage artists to pontificate on current affairs, sensationalising their experiences of craft and work. I frequently cringe at lengthy descriptions of what an artist is wearing, or how they are sitting. With this feature, I wanted to give seven poets whose work I greatly admire the opportunity to have a serious discussion about poetry, free from the usual angling of “page vs stage” or “new young star brings poetry out of the dusty library”. I asked each poet to come up with a question for other poets, then to answer as many of the questions as they wanted to, in whichever way they saw fit. I think you get to know the poets pretty well from a feature formatted in this way and I hope it will encourage readers to reflect on their own creative practices, whatever they may be. Kate Tempest Has a poem ever humbled or … [Read more...] about Seven questions for seven poets
Mike Brown should be alive today. He should be home from his first year at college, visiting friends and enjoying summer as he prepares to return to campus. The movement began one year ago as Brown’s body lay in the street of Canfield Drive here in Ferguson, Missouri, for four and a half hours. It began as the people of St Louis came out of their homes to mourn and to question, as the people were greeted by armed and aggressive officers. And the movement was sustained by a spirit of resistance that refused to be silent, that refused to cower, that refused to bow to continued hostility from the state. We did not know each other’s names last August, but we knew each other’s hearts. I will always remember that the call to action initiating the movement was organic – that there was no organizing committee, no charismatic leader, no church group or school club that led us to the streets. It is powerful to remember that the movement began as everyday people came out … [Read more...] about Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end
Raheem Kassam was the right-hand man who rarely left Nigel Farage’s side during the election campaign. He was there for the drinking sessions, the ups-and-downs of Farage’s mood swings and even accompanied him on a series of steam-room trips in an attempt to stop the Ukip leader looking so sweaty on television. But less than a week after the election, Kassam was pressured out of his job in one of Ukip’s periodic bouts of infighting. So what is his verdict on eight months at the heart of Farage’s empire? “I totally regret it. Every minute,” he says. “I don’t mean it was a horrible experience. But I’ve taken a big hit for nothing. The only good thing that’s come out of this are friendships ... But have I got anything else apart from looking at much of Ukip and thinking you are just a bunch of ragtag, unprofessional, embarrassing people who let Nigel down at every juncture? No.” The public feuding kicked off after Farage … [Read more...] about Ukip insider Raheem Kassam: ‘We had to lock HQ doors because some people were too embarrassing to be seen’
A series of stabbings on the streets of London has led to a renewed focus on knife crime and how to reduce it.One power available to the police is stop and search, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid has recently emphasised its importance in tackling violence:"If stop and search means that lives can be saved from the communities most affected, then of course it's a very good thing," he told the annual Police Superintendents' Conference in September.But what powers are available to the police and what is the evidence they reduce crime?The powersThere are three main acts that allow police forces in England and Wales to carry out stop and searches. Section One of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Sections 44/47A of the Terrorism Act 2000 Last year, 99.1% of all searches were carried out under Section One and what the Home Office calls "associated legislation", including the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These powers allow the … [Read more...] about Knife crime: Should stronger stop and search powers be used?