Now -read the book!

Here is a link to my memoirs which, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can purchase online at
Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Thinking further about the Labour Party Democracy Review

Having fallen victim to “’flu’-like symptoms” I find myself laid up and that I therefore have time to think further a bit about the first phase of the Labour Party Democracy Review (about which I blogged a few days ago).

Perhaps the most entertaining feature of what could otherwise be quite a dry topic is the plaintive whining of those who used to call the shots in the Labour Party and who, without any hint of irony, complain about factionalism.

Whereas Progress have nothing constructive to say about the review, the faction about which they complain offers detailed suggestions about what to say concerning Young Labour and Women’s Conference.

For those who want to do more than cut and paste Socialist Resistance have published something of a historical perspective on Labour Women’s Conference and New Socialist gave some perspective on Young Labour (about which the NEC appears in any case to have taken some pre-emptive action anyway).

Whilst the BAME Labour site has nothing to say on the topic at present, Jewish Voice for Labour has published an interesting piece – which also highlights existing shortcomings.

Those who have lived their lives in factional struggle within the Labour Party (whether on the left or the right) will see the Democracy Review as being about control of the Party apparatus, as if that were an end in itself (because there are those for whom politics is about position).

However, the question of power within the workers’ movement is not irrelevant – it’s just that the answer to the question is never an end in itself but a means to the end of social transformation.

Therefore the Democracy Review offers those of us trying to build the Labour Party at a local level the opportunity to engage our mass membership in debate both about the nature of the movement we are trying to build and the transformation which we hope to achieve. 

Update on 4 January

I am indebted to a friend and comrade for pointing out to me that the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy have circulated some suggestions to CLP Secretaries to inform debate on the first phase of the Democracy Review.

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