Welcome to Breakthrough, a bit about us and what we’re planning to do next 15th July 2021 Welcome everyone, I thought I’d kick things off on our new ‘News’ page. Every week we will be getting our members to talk and comment on topical issues that they’re passionate about, as well as being a space to promote what we’re getting up to in the party and any mentions we get in the media. For those of you who know about us (or perhaps don’t), I wanted to explain in my own words why I started Breakthrough, what we’ve done so far and what our plans are for the future. On my personal Twitter I’m not incredibly active and am hoping I can fill in more of the blanks over the coming months of the inner workings of the party, but I thought this would be a good start. After the General Election in 2019 I was devastated by the result. I had been galvanised by Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, like millions of others, by his vision of a country that worked for everyone, rather than the 1%. It’s the first time I’d been truly engaged in politics, so to see Boris Johnson, the same man who hid in a fridge and took phones off journalists to avoid scrutiny being voted in to lead the country, broke my heart. I was wounded, but hopeful that a fightback would start immediately. I committed myself to Labour, I got involved in my CLP, as well as starting activist training before voting in the leadership election for Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon as deputy. Despite neither of them winning, I was willing to see what Sir Keir Starmer did with the party. He promised more of the same from the Corbyn era with his 10 pledges and promised to unite the party. It sounded reasonable at first, but as the months rolled on it was clear that his leadership campaign was built on a lie. The endless abstentions, calling BLM a ‘moment’, attacking and expelling the left, plastic patriotism, the pledges falling away one-by-one. It was no longer a party I felt connected to, so I left in the summer of 2020. So, where to go next? There was still a lot of soul-searching happening on the left and many were still mourning Corbyn and the loss in 2019, this is still being felt even today. A political vacuum existed and no-one was filling it. I have no real frontline political experience, so why I thought I could be the one to try and start something I have no idea, but someone had to do it, right? The idea was to create a party that represented the interests of the 99% and really spoke to those who’ve been abandoned en-masse by the Labour Party: ‘Generation Left’, marginalised communities and the most vulnerable people in our society. I chatted to a few mates about it, what kind of policies we’d have and what we could do and it kind of snowballed from there. It went from a small WhatsApp group and screaming into a Twitter void, to a party with thousands of followers and contesting a by-election in less than six months. All during a global pandemic no less. This simply couldn’t have happened without some truly incredible people who I’ve met over the last few months. From former Labour activists who have decades of experience advising us, to young, passionate people who’ve mucked in and given so much time and energy to this project and everyone in between. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far, but also understand the huge challenge that’s ahead of us. This won’t be something that will happen overnight, it will take years, perhaps decades to heal this country and the planet from 40 years of destructive neoliberalism. So what’s next for us? We are due to formalise our party structure later this year, with Leadership and National Committee elections due to take place in December. We are now in the process of building out our manifesto, having already published our 10 core policies, which were voted through by our members. Each week our members are holding Zoom meetings on a range of different topics, from housing, to work, to the NHS. These radical ideas are being discussed and then voted through by our members to become official party policy. This is democracy in action. Collaboration is also something that’s incredibly important to me and the party, an issue with the left for too long has been how fragmented and disconnected people are. Working with former Labour MP Thelma Walker and other left-wing parties and organisations we’ve started PAL (The Progressive Alliance of the Left).These are very early conversations, but important ones to have. If we want to get the Tories out and put pressure on Labour, the left need to be a united force and we’re excited to see where this goes. We also understand that this party needs to go beyond traditional left voters. We want to build in our communities, from the ground-up and engage people who’ve never been involved in politics, who are politically homeless and are apathetic about the current state of play. We will be announcing shortly where we intend to stand candidates in the next local and general elections and begin building a presence there. Our focus over these next few years will be starting up or getting involved with existing community projects, campaigning for real change. We don’t want to be a party that just turns up on people’s doorsteps every election cycle begging for votes, we want to be on the ground, fighting for people. It’s the only reason I wanted to get involved in politics in the first place, ‘doing good sh*t’, as a friend told me recently. If what we’re doing sounds right up your street, join us, and help us break through.