Only a centre-left NEC can take Labour forward Print E-mail
Friday, 11 May 2012 07:50
by Andy Newman from Tribune

The forthcoming NEC elections for the Labour Party are critical. The Party is running high in the polls reflected by good local election results. But as George Galloway’s Bradford West by-election result shows, there is an element of fragility in Labour’s support.
The mantra that the Tories are cutting public expenditure “too far and too fast” is a clever soundbite, but it is confusing. Either Labour stands for austerity, or it stands for expansion and growth; the attempt to triangulate towards middle ground in the quest for mythical swing voters in marginal constituencies is being pursued at the expense of developing a credible economic policy.

The comments by Ed Balls and Ed Miliband that they would support public sector pay restraint both gave credibility to the Tory arguments, and also demoralised and disoriented a layer of activists and Ed Miliband’s allies in the unions. It also represented a genuine threat to the prosperity of millions of working people, and would be deflationary, reducing consumer demand.
The inability to articulate a clear alternative to the Tories is because there is a deep belief in parts of the Labour Party that elections are won be competing for the middle ground, and spinning for electoral advantage around minor differences. However, since 2008 the economic paradigm has shifted, and it is necessary to say clearly that there is a fundamental difference between the approach of the Con-Dem government, and the Labour Party.

To understand the problem we need to appreciate how it came about. Back in the 1990s, The bright and shiny clique of New Labour succeeded in winning the party not by becoming a majority, but by developing a convincing coalitional strategy for winning general elections. This involved both the now famous arts of triangulation and spin, but also hollowing out any distinctive ideological content of labourism. In the absence of any other electorally credible strategy they won over the centre right, and support from the traditionalist trade unions. In contrast, the left lost this battle because they seemed to be refusing to budge on a political programme that was increasingly out of tune with the voters, and were unable to convince the party centre that they represented anything but a one way ticket to oblivion.

CLPD on Local Campaign Forums Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 08:51

The party has circulated an Implementation Guide for CLPs and Party stakeholders concerning the setting up of Local Campaign Forums which replace Local Government Committees

Some CLPD Reflections on the Guide can be found here

CLPD AGM 2012 discusses trade unions Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2012 10:19

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), formed in 1973 by a group of rank-and-file activists, held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at Conway Hall in central London.

A report of the CLPD AGM can be read here

Jim Kennedy's speech on the trade union link can be found here


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