Winning general election - practical proposal (by contrast)

Posted on 23-05-20 by Tom Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 0

To be able to implement any policy, Labour must win a general election.
There is a potential pool of 2-3 million new voters who have never voted before.
Those are EU citizens, who never applied for British citizenship as they never needed it.
In the current circumstances, many if not all of them who are eligible (vast majority) would apply for a naturalisation (citizenship), but for an extortionate cost of ca. £1,500 per person.
It is well known that the vast majority of EU migrants is on a very low income and 'just about managing'. If there are children in the family, the cost of applying for citizenship is even higher and often simply not affordable for EU migrant families.
There is the EU settlement scheme in place, which provides EU migrants with some sort of security, but in fact makes them the second category citizens, who cannot vote in general elections.
EU migrants are en masse on low income and now, after this extraordinary coronavirus lockdown, the reality is they will be the ones hit the hardest, as they rarely have any savings, not mentioning spending those savings on 'unnecessary' things such as citizenship.
If there is no change in this appalling Home Office policy of charging ca. £1,500 (altogether, £1,330 just for the application) per person for citizenship, EU migrants (and among them many NHS and care workers, apparently so cherished and welcomed now) will never be able to afford citizenship.
The real cost of processing citizenship applications by the Home Office (according to media reports from last year) is ca. £300-400.
Labour should act now and propose lowering the citizenship application fees for EU migrants to the justifiable (and affordable for low income workers) level and start a campaign to gain public support for this, to force the government to implement it as soon as possible.
If the government implements it – it will be a victory for Labour, to be used in future campaign.
If the government refuses – to be used among EU migrants in future campaign (many of them will get citizenship and voting rights anyway).
Labour should do it first and foremost to defend and promote justice and equality of rights in the society, and generally out of ideological reasons.
But as mentioned at the beginning, to implement any policy, Labour must win a general election.
Labour has already lost a series of elections with current pool of voters.
EU migrants have a certain characteristic. For example, they are generally pro-European and don't like those who made the UK leave the EU, which mainly now means the Conservatives. Therefore, it looks like there is a good chance they will vote for Labour, particularly if they could see some effort from Labour leaders to defend their rights, at least from time to time.
Now, add 2-3 million of such voters to the pool and count again.
This of course should only be a short-term policy (hopefully), but it looks like to me there are not too many areas where Labour could do something here and now to greatly enhance the chance to win next general election.
Labour should announce this policy as soon as possible. Of course, Labour has no power to make it happen, but if the government refuses to lower those fees for citizenship, this will give Labour activists great argument and platform to campaign among EU migrants for support, as many of them are nonetheless applying for citizenship already, paying extortionate rates from their low wages, as they feel this is the only way to be fully secure after Brexit.

Referring to: Justice and Home Affairs

The Justice and Home Affairs Policy Commission examines Labour thinking on issues such as policing, the justice system, immigration and asylum, and political and constitutional reform.

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