Posts Tagged ‘statue’

A statue of Peter Hain?

07/09/2011, 10:02:59 AM

by Dan Hodges

Can’t we just build Peter Hain a statue? Whack up a giant bronze monument to him slap bang in the centre of Neath and be done with it.

Refounding Labour started life as a good old fashioned vanity project. Peter’s reward for services rendered to Ed Miliband during the Labour leadership campaign. No more, no less.

Fair enough. Such baubles are handed out regularly. Part of the currency of politics.

But then things started to get out of hand. First the process, which was supposedly being driven by Labour party members, was outsourced to private contractors. Then some strange rumors began to circulate about what was emerging behind the closed doors of this open and inclusive consultation.

Non party members were to be given some say in superficial areas of the party’s activity. Like deciding its leader and its policies. At the same time, the role of the trade unions was going to be diluted.  The collegiate nature of this part of the  conversation was underlined by the “insider” who told the papers, “the union leaders are playing hard ball but they need to wake up”.

Members of the PLP were informed that plans for an elected party chair had been dumped. Calls for the refounding Labour submissions to be published were, in keeping with the transparency of the exercise, repeatedly rebuffed. It emerged that party conference was going to be ordered to either endorse the recommendations in their entirety, or reject them.

Then on Monday, via that traditional form of internal communication  – a leak to the Guardian – Labour members learned how they’re planning to transform their own movement. According to the report, the  party’s traditional aim, “to maintain elected office”, is now deemed outdated. Instead Clause 1 of the constitution will be re-written to “explicitly put the principles of community organising at its heart”.  An army of 2,000 “community organisers are to be recruited before the next election, and movement for change affiliated as a socialist society. At the heart of all this is the radical idea of “making formal [the Labour party’s desire] to be attractive to a far greater range of people”.


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