Saturday, February 03, 2018

Policies not personalities

As flattering as it is to have extracts from this blog quoted elsewhere, it is a shame when people treat debate about policies as if it were about personalities.

What matters about politics is how it impacts upon peoples’ lives, not who holds which political office.

What a local authority does is important. Who leads a local authority is much less important.

I wrote the last post on this blog in order to express my opinions (my personal opinions) about some policy issues in Brighton and Hove.

The separate question of who leads the Labour Group is a matter for members of the Labour Group.

More important than my opinions (or those of any individual, Councillor or otherwise) on substantive policy questions is the procedural question of how the Labour Group relates to the Labour Party. We have yet to get this right and we need to change.

Just as we need to work together in the local Party to develop a manifesto for the 2019 Council elections, so we need to find ways to work together to ensure that the policies agreed by our Labour Group reflect the views of Labour Party members.

We cannot undo things that have already been done, but from now onwards we need to ensure that – particularly where policies may be controversial within the Party – decisions are not made by the Group in isolation from the wider Party.

These detailed issues about how policy is made are much less likely to attract headlines, or interest, than a misrepresentation of policy debate as being about personalities, but these are the issues which should concern Labour Party members. 

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