Posted by: John | November 23, 2007

LabourHome – it’s so painful

I quote from a post from LabourHome website from someone that went to a Compass Group meeting – my comments in brackets:

`As the largest progressive party in Britain any progressive consensus must have Labour playing a central role (well – that’s just a perceived truth!) . That means that the leadership must trust the membership more (yeh – like giving them a vote on the leadership). My party card says that the Labour Party is a democratic socialist party (gulp!). Who do I sue for misrepresentation? The ‘S’ word wasn’t mentioned once at the meeting and the party leadership also never utter the word (Haven’t done so for years love)

The last party conference also effectively brought to an end any semblance of democracy (the penny’s finally dropped!). So a progressive consensus must begin by renewing the party, making it once again a democratic party on the centre left. (no just vote lib dems)

Within political science it is almost axiomatic to say that structures constrain if not determine outcomes. If we want to build a consensus then we need structures that make that possible. That means, as Hilary Wainwright argued, electoral reform (HW is smarter than most of them). There will be fewer Labour MPs undoubtedly (hooray!), but those that are elected will be able to make a better and more progressive contribution (let’s hope).

On policies, I think we already have the basis of a consensus. Most progressive opinion is opposed to trident replacement, ID cards and the war in Iraq (no you don’t get out of it that quickly!). Add to that significant agreement on civil rights (repeat after me 25m 25m 25m), the EU and support for public services and we have a starting point. Without reform of the party or reform of the institutions of state, however, building that consensus beyond Compass talking shops and taking it into government may prove sadly elusive. (by jove he’s got it!)¬†

Best thing babes is forget all this nonsense,tear up that party card and call the Lib Dems and sign up!

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