Monday, January 08, 2007

Clicking for Democratic Socialism

Me and the ILP

Before I was ensnared by parliament, I spent a decade or so involved locally and nationally in the work of Independent Labour Publications (ILP). They published at least 60 articles of mine.

Although my links with them never entirely disappeared, I was invariably swamped by the usual M.P.s' passing trade. I soon, however, re-established closer contact with the ILP on retiring from parliament.

I am, therefore, pleased that my article "Iraq: The Third Big Issue" appears in the current issue of their journal "Democratic Socialism". I am equally pleased that it appears alongside such worthy contributions. The ILP prefers to present challenging material.

Peter and the Crud

The first person it challenges is me. I tend to have been using people's comment boxes to blow raspberry's at Jon Cruddas and his campaign for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party . Even christening him "The Crud". But now my old friend Barry Winter has set me thinking with both a serious interview with Jon and a thoughtful review of the pamphlet Jon wrote with John Harris, entitled "Fit for Purpose: a programme for Labour Renewal". Jon is using his campaign to centre upon a need to democratise and revitalise the internal life of the Labour Party. A point he hammers home by insisting that he is standing exclusively for Deputy Leader and not for Deputy Prime Minister.

We then have articles on the role of faith in public life, why anti-Americianism must not be a pillar of left-wing thinking, whether the Euston Manifesto is as new a political development as it initially appeared to be, plus how far the analysis by Compass in "The Good Society" was reflected on the fringes of Labour's Conference.

If that does not grab you, then what of its breathless tour of Labour Blogs?. That should get everyone clicking.

It is appropriate that my "Democratic Socialist" came through the letter box this morning, for I have arranged for Will Brown one of its regular writers to address our Local Labour Party Discussion Group this week-end on "Labour, the Left and the Leadership." I wonder what he will make of my "Will The Real Peter Hain Please Stand Up?".

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