Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Put The Cart Before The Horse

Next week the National Executive Committee should delay the election for the Leadership of the Labour Party and in its place instigate wide ranging discussions throughout the Party about how Labour should operate in the future and what its major policy objectives should be. It is only following such discussions by the membership of the Labour Party, its affiliated organisations, the Co-operative Party and the Parliamentary Labour Party that the leadership contest should be set in motion. The discussions do not need to lead to a firm policy programme, but we need to find out what views on Labour's future direction exist within the Labour Movement so we can then have a meaningful leadership contest in which the candidates and those voting understand each other.

Hat Tip - Next Left


The Plump said...

I am worried that the leadership contest will become a beauty pageant in search of the most telegenic. The leadership candidates need to represent distinct philosophies within the Labour movement rather than trying to sell themselves on their personal qualities.

So a re-evaluation of the direction, political economy and philosophy of the party is essential, but don't hold your breath ...

Harry Barnes said...

The Plump : I expect the worst, but argue for something better. I have pushed this item around, to two NEC members amongst others. A version was also passed by my local branch Labour Party yesterday evening, so at least a few of us had a serious debate. When it comes to the leadership contest it is like looking for Godot. At least Cruddas has also argued that moving straight into a contest is putting the "cart before the horse" and that we should "put the breaks on the leadership debate" so that the party could find its "centre of gravity". At the moment we seem to be faced on the one hand with either New Labourites in the mould of Blair or Brown (or as a clearer social liberal in Cruddas himself) and a probable hard left candidate who John MacDonald-style won't get enough PLP nominations to stand. I don't know if prior discussions on the way ahead for Labour would throw up someone who would give a opening for feasible democratic socialist leanings (or would shift slightly the stance of any of the likely contestants), but it would be good to have some political discussions in the Movement for once.