Thursday, August 13, 2015

Labour Leadership Candidates Issue Manifestos or Substitute Material


The Campaign to obtain "Manifestos Of Intent" from the Labour Leadership Candidates (as shown here) received a limited success.

Andy Burnham has issued what is clearly a Manifesto, as he did for his campaign for the leadership in 2010. His current document is eight pages long and as he delivered this, it deserves to be examined carefully. See here. Then there is also his Leadership Campaign Web-site to examine here. Added Saturday 15 August. Also circulated via the post as an eight page booklet.

 Yvette Copper circulated a letter by post dated 3rd August, which is some 800 words long and probably qualifies as a "Minifesto". Her Leadership Campaign Web-site with more in it, is here. Added Friday 14 August. Today Yvette has circulated an 8 page booklet to members, on the penultimate page it provides an eight point programme.

Jeremy Corbyn has issued a number of policy documents in specific areas, which in total are much longer than Andy's Manifesto. But whilst detailed and important, they may be felt to cover less total ground than Andy's. They include "Protecting The Planet", "The Economy in 2020" and "Housing Policy". There are a further three documents which unfortunately are defective when printed off. But they can be read on the screen. These are "Housing Policy", "Northern Future" and "A Better Future For Young People". To seek out all these documents and other material, see his Leadership Campaign Web-site here. Added Friday 14 August. Today Jeremy has circulated material to members, it includes a ten point programme under the heading "Standing To Deliver". It can also be found here .

Liz Kendell had an article in the Independent on 2nd August, entitled "The five causes that Labour must put at the centre of our vision for Britain's future". See here. Her Leadership Campaign Web-site is here.

Looking ahead to the next Leadership Contest, there is a need for a requirement for "Manifestos Of Intent" being issued by the candidates, to appear in the Rules of the Labour Party. Amendments for this purpose can be submitted for the Agenda of the 2016 Labour Party Conference.   


Unknown said...

OBSERVER 6th September 2015
Harry - Taste of Things to Come

“Labour leadership election: MPs prepare to resist Corbynistas (and) MPs prepare to lay the foundations of a resistance to the Islington North MP and his expected victory in the leadership race.”

A One member on vote election, but some Labour MP’s don’t like the possible result so they plot against Corbyn before the result is announced.

Is it undemocratic and utopian to expect Labour MP's to respect a membership ballot? Did any of these Westminster malcontent's complain when they themselves were elected by Labour Party members? THOUGHT NOT!

Harry Barnes said...

Ernie : The move is to get the PLP to elect the Shadow Cabinet, as they used to in the past. Ed Miliband got the PLP to change the arrangement, ending Shadow Cabinet elections from 2011. It is a position which Corbyn earlier claimed that he would seek to re-introduce should he be elected to be leader. Is it a more democratic system than dictat by the leader ? Of course, the PLP could endorse such a change, then finish up with someone other than Corbyn as leader.

Who is exectly up to what will only fully be revealed after the result of the leadership election is announced on Saturday. When we then see what happens, we need to respond immediately. I don't, however, think that Labour MPs and others should jump the gun until we see what is what.

Unknown said...


Have you seen the ILP statement yet? To my mind it is a brilliant and thoughtful response to the shenanigans surrounding this leadership election and to the shameful name calling, bully-boy tactics and shear hysteria by the Blairites and other Westminster MP's who are so used to getting their own way, calling the shots and to membership hero worship and flummery that they simply cannot understand what is now happening.

Anyway, I hope this ILP statement of principles gets plenty of hits and viewing and also support from Labour Party members and voters from all wings and shades of opinion in the Party if not our wider society.

But as you know Harry, I simply cannot help being a bit of a dreamer.

Harry Barnes said...

Ernie : You will see from the ILP comment box and my blog item above this one, that I am fully behind the ILP statement. But does it not also mean that we need to handle those we fundamentally disagree with who are associated with the Labour Party in a more gentle way, without (of course) selling out.

Unknown said...

You are not wrong insofar as I believe it is important to listen and try and understand those who have a different perspective on issues we don't agree with. While we are a broad church that shouldn't rule out robust debate and the airing of strong opinions as long as it’s done in a courteous, civilised and fraternal way and that we all play by the same rules. After all if I want people to listen to me then it is incumbent on me to listen to others and to try to understand opposite perspectives and where others are coming from. And also because more often than not - time proves that I was wrong.
But personally, I draw the line at those who (over time) prove to be self-serving careerist and money grabbers. Labour leaders like Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Alastair Darling, who seem to use the Labour Party for personal gain and are adept as using the political machine and Stalinist style tactics to harm those who challenge their plans and behaviour,.
I experienced this kind of crude and cruel behaviour first hand when working for a local authority as Council Monitoring Officer in the 1980’s. Employed to monitor training and employment schemes (YTS and Community Programmes) it was my job was to visit training establishments and work providers (public, private and charities) to ensure that working people with no qualification and/or skills were treated with respect, got quality training and worthwhile work experience and to also ensure that they were not exploited as cheap labour and used for job substitution.
But my dream job proved to be a nightmare and when I submitted critical reports. When this happened, which was often, I was I told bluntly by my line manager and my director that it wasn't my job to wash the council’s dirty linen in public. All reports, except a very few that were positive or neutral, were spiked and I was repeatedly admonished and bullied and was told that senior management and councillors were not prepared to tolerate critical reports.
After about a year, things came to a head when I visited a care home and discovered that the manager was someone who liked a drink, that Community Service placements were substituting for permanent jobs and that elderly residents were being taken to the toilet with the doors wide open and that medication was being mixed with food because they found it hard to swallow and because some care-workers didn’t want to or weren’t allowed to spend time assisting these elderly residents take multiple forms of medication. Overall the level of care and the quality of training was so poor it was something that a monitoring officer simply could not ignore. My highly critical report resulted in calls for disciplinary action on the basis that I had exceeded my authority and job remit.
Instructed to modify my report, I refused and in turn threatened to go public. This led to my department being restructured and I lost my job, as did other innocent members of staff. Bit of collateral damage which upset me immensely. Sad to say, I got no support from the councillors in charge of both departments. A truly bitter and unhappy experience that affected my sleep patterns and my mental well-being and had it not been for Eric Preston and the ILP I would have been completely out of my depth and most likely unable to cope.
So politicians whose behaviour and/or rank greed is at odds with the Labour values they proclaim and the people that they claim to represent are not entitled to be listened too or to my respect. E.g. Blunkett and Darling earn hundreds of thousands every year via second jobs and on speaking engagement and are not shy when it comes to taking the corporate shilling and working with the very banks and financial institutions whose unpardonable avarice and unlawful and immoral behaviour triggered the world-wide credit crisis, quantitative easing and the excuse for austerity and the trashing of our welfare state, privatisation and attacks on wages and working conditions.

Harry Barnes said...

Hi Ernie : I am off to London in the morning for the Special Conference at which the leadership elections will be declared. I do not know if I will return a wiser person. But it will give me something to draw on when the ILP meets the following Saturday.