Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, August 26, 2013

Labour recruitment

Following the normal route to political power in the UK with some modern social media innovations. But she is an exception in the Labour Party.

A Political Star Rises in Britain, Helped by Twitter
Stella Creasy is young, female and very blond. But there aren’t many anecdotes about this British politician being mistaken for a secretary or an intern…

[M]ost stories told about Ms. Creasy these days are about her fearlessness, her connection to voters and, most intriguing, how she might be one of Labour’s best hopes to win back power. She is one of only 147 women in the House of Commons, which counts a total of 650 members.

Ms. Creasy has… a reputation as an effective campaigner who combines traditional politics with social networking savvy and a community organizing background that dates from her teenage days protesting on freezing shipping docks…

First she took on high-interest payday lenders in a drawn-out battle that forced the government late last year to give regulators the power to cap the cost of credit in Britain.

Then last month, in what might end up being remembered as the moment when she became a household name in Britain, she went after misogynist Twitter trolls — and Twitter itself…

Nicknamed “St. Ella” inside her own party, Ms. Creasy has no shortage of fans on the other side of the political divide. ConservativeHome, a Web site close to the government, called her “Labour’s most interesting member of Parliament,” applauding her “good sense” on public spending and government debt.

Currently the opposition’s spokeswoman on crime prevention, she may be appointed to a more prominent role in a reshuffle before the Labour Party conference next month…

Unlike the Conservative Party, which produced Margaret Thatcher, Labour has never elected a female leader. Ms. Creasy was elected from an all-female shortlist, but she acknowledges that her party still has “a road to travel” when it comes to gender equality…

A graduate of Cambridge University with a Ph.D. in social psychology from the London School of Economics, she has also been vocal about her belief that government should take an active role in regulating markets and stay close to people’s everyday concerns…

When she was 15 and had just joined the Labour Party, she had what she described as a “light bulb moment”: Shouting at sheep on a dock near her hometown of Colchester to protest their imminent export, she realized that winning local elections and gaining control over the port would be a more effective way of reaching her goal…

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