Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Labour Needs To Agree A Concordat
Easier said than done, but both the parliamentary Corbynites and their opponents amongst Labour MPs need to make an accommodation. Namely, that parliamentary policy should be based on the Manifesto which we stood on at the recent General Election, as drawn from Labour's Policy Forum procedure - plus any adjustments made at the last Party Conference. Positions should then only have to be adjusted as the policy shifts (perhaps under new procedures) at coming Party Conferences. This need not mean that Corbyn and others should not in the meantime recommend changes in direction, but that until there are any changes in party policies achieved via Conference they all need to vote in parliament in line with established party positions. New issues (such as the response to tomorrow's Chilcott Report) can be left as unwhipped positions – until a line is later taken by Party Conference.
If Corbyn’s critics force a leadership contest, then we need to press this concordat upon all the candidates. Those who do not agree should not get Labour Party members votes - even if this means members being obliged to make positive abstentions. Then if Corbyn remains leader without a contest, this is also how we (and he) should continue to act - with various ex-members of the Shadow Cabinet then accepting current vacancies under these conditions.
(See here for Labour"s Manifesto and here for links to 180 of Labour's current policy forum positions.)