THE BLOG
02/09/2015 06:32 BST | Updated 01/09/2016 06:59 BST

Up, Up and Away: Labour's Journey to Reclaim Social Mobility

Waking up at four in the morning to go to work washing down machinery all day might not sound like the ideal day's work, but for me, aged sixteen, it was brilliant. The people were funny, the atmosphere was light hearted, the work ethic was gruelling and the pay... not great. Now a decade onwards, twenty-six (or 30 something with an indy hair cut according to The Independent) and sat in the Tom Watson for Deputy Leader campaign office, I think back to where I was - and smile.

It's been quite a journey.

Going from a string of dead-end jobs straight after dropping out of college at sixteen to ending up working for one of the most high-profile campaigns in British politics, I feel proud of where I came from and thankful to those who have helped me along the way. It might sound cheesy but if you had told me all those years ago, a truant from Horley doing his first day's work in a plant hire yard in Godstone that this is where I'd end up ... I would've laughed and probably taken your drink order.

But this is the British Dream - to be socially mobile.

This is why I am a proud member of the Labour Party and why I support the Labour movement. Throughout history, it has helped people climb up the ladder and catch them should they fall off. From Sure Start Centres to universal education, from the Welfare State to the NHS, the labour movement has protected people from all walks of life, from cradle to grave. Hardie, Attlee, Bevan, Smith and dare I say it Blair and Brown. We, as members and supporters, stand on the shoulders of giants.

But we must not fixate upon past glories and must remember that the movement must move forward, and that it needs to update and renew both its message and its method.

We live in a digital globe, not an analogue island. New Labour is dead, long live new Labour.

That our once-strong movement can be pulled apart with words and phrases like "Blairite", "Red Tory", "Trot" and "loony left" seems completely baffling to me. We, as Tom Watson has said, are part of the same Labour movement and we all believe in the same values - the same Labour values - of fighting injustice, protecting the vulnerable and ensuring social mobility in our society. To achieve that, we must be united.

I stand beside Tom - and all those who call for unity in the fight against the real enemy, the Conservative's. When I worked for Tom as his intern just a year ago I saw him take on the most powerful figures within our society and lead the charge against some of the most heinous cover-ups in British political history. He has taken on the establishment and he has faced the wrath of the media owning elite and rather than be beaten and down-trodden he has become emboldened. I saw just how good he is at waging multiple campaigns' at once on an array of subject's from Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to extra-judicial killings in Waziristan.

He has inspired me in time I have had the pleasure of knowing him. He can develop campaigns from the ground up and fight against injustice like nobody else in modern British politics. His experience and his talent is what is needed within the Labour Party.

But it is not just experience that the Labour Party needs but his integrity. I voted for Tom because he brings that to every campaign he works on. He came from humble beginnings and now stands to be Deputy Leader for the largest party in the UK, now with an electorate of over 550,000. That came from hard work and ability, not family connection's or money. From Kidderminster to Westminster, from West Brom to Brewers Green, he has lived the British dream - he has been social mobile.

Now he must fight to secure that dream so others can climb the ladder after him from where they are to where they want to be.

The British Dream is different to the American Dream. It is not the bipolar model of rags-to-riches fortune but instead it is something far more organic and simple. The British Dream is that we all have the chance to get where we want, no matter where that is, with hard work and effort. It is humbler, more rewarding, more British you might say.

Some want to just own their own home on a nice suburban street in the catchment area of the right school for their kids. Some just want a North London flat with a rewarding job. Others might opt for the freedom to live the good life - to work hard, and retire comfortably. But what is important is the freedom of choice in what we pursue.

But our dreams are under threat. Cameron's Conservatives want to break the middle rungs of the ladder whilst unstitching the safety net from under our feet. He has no interest in removing unfair tuition fees, expanding good education or helping those at the bottom rise up above their station. His interest lies in maintaining tax havens for the rich, destroying public services and making sure that his friends who run the banks aren't unduly bothered by those pesky regulators. As a Labour movement, we must stand united against these Tory attacks and campaign for the preservation of our British Dream - of social mobility in Britain.

Without the help of the last Labour Government, I would never have gone to college to do an Access to Higher Education Diploma with funding that is now no longer available. It was one of the first things to fall under the Con-Dem coalition knife.

The college doesn't even provide the course anymore.

If the Labour Party is ever to recapture the imagination of the country, we must first capture the dreams of the British people. We must make the British Dream our own again and become the party of social mobility. Only then can we say we are the party of those who want to get on in life.

In this country, after centuries of struggle and strife, we the Labour movement finally created social mobility - the realisation and entrenchment of the British dream.

Now it is our duty to protect it.