Posts Tagged ‘Josie Cluer’

Ed needs to develop a taste for ripping up the old rules

05/10/2011, 01:00:59 PM

by Josie Cluer

Ed’s speech outlined his ambition to “rip up the old rules so that the country works for you”. To succeed, he’ll also need to rip up the old rules of Labour politics, so that the system works for him. From top to bottom, we need to move on from our old ways of doing things, to run a party fit to fight an election in 2015. So what are some of the “rules” he needs to rip up?

1. If you disagree with someone in another camp, brief against them. First, there should be no “camps”: every ounce of our energy should be spent rebuilding the party and fighting for the election of a Labour government. Anyone who thinks that there’s time to concentrate on anything else is deluded, and Ed should stamp out any such behaviour. But that is not to say disagreement should be stifled. The advent of coalition politics has enabled the Tories and Lib Dems to agree on the ends but disagree on the means in public. Labour must see robust public debate within the party as healthy and positive. And those participating in the debate should enter into it in those terms.

1. To get on in frontline politics, you need to work for the party. It is a well-trodden path: parliamentary researcher, job at the party, special adviser, MP, cabinet minister. It’s not that those who follow this path are bad politicians. In fact, quite the opposite; some of the very best of the 2010 intake have been special advisers (think John Woodcock and Emma Reynolds – fantastic spads, fantastic MPs). But the balance is wrong. A more diverse PLP, drawing on a broader set of experiences and expertise, would be able to engage with the public better, and ultimately forge a stronger government. (more…)

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