Wednesday, March 30, 2016
However imperfect Labour’s internal democratic procedures are, in the run up to the last General Election it adopted a promising set of National Policy Forum Reports which shaped its Election Manifesto. The problem is that it did not make any effective use of its programme either with its own members nor at the hustings. I summarized its programme (selectively?) in no less than 180 briefly presented points shown for access here.
Whilst many of the points were (a) generalisations and needed to have harder edges and (b) still had gaps despite their size and scope; there is only a very small handful which I feel that any of us should have had serious reservations about. Would it not, therefore, be helpful for the Labour Party to stress that (until specific items are subject to change via Party Conference) these points should stand and shape its parliamentary actions? I don’t see any problems in Jeremy Corbyn adopting such a stance. This can be done whilst still suggesting which areas need to be clarified, what needs to be added and where possible changes can be made (subject to Conference’s agreement).
This approach could be adopted in ways that would make it difficult for right-wing critics of Jeremy to create a groundswell of opposition within the Labour Party and it might help to reign in over-the top tactics from the hard left. Yet it could give us a clear opportunity for Labour to start out on a programme which gradually and realistically stood a chance of placing what many of the electorate could come to see as being acceptable and relevant moves onto our agenda.