Labour members should no longer accept being bridled….
Mark Ferguson has a good piece on LabourList saying quite correctly that Ed Miliband must take the Party with him on Party reform. This is, after-all, what we were promised by this leadership. We were told the days of command-and-control, of the bureaucratic fix were over. Now it’s time for Labour members to take payment on that promise. It is our Party, the purpose of a leadership is to serve and represent, it is not their job to drag the Party places it does not want to go.
Refounding Labour started with so much promise. The cynics said it would be no different. They look like being proved right. Furthermore, our policy review looks like, if Liam Bryne’s interview is anything to go by, it is being pre-judged to say the least. Unity at the top is, at best, fragile and meanwhile the people who matter, the people who pay their dues, who deliver our leaflets are forced to watch the likes of Alistair Darling parade their wounded feelings without care of consequence. It’s not that Darling has major policy/ideological differences (if they do, they are somewhat unclear); it’s more that he is there to take part in the unspoken and continuing, hidden war the Blairites are waging on the leadership, embittered that Ed Miliband wasn’t their choice they simply cannot and will not accept his leadership.
Ed Miliband gets many things wrong. I am not about to stop saying when he does. One of the things he has thus far failed miserably to do is to trust the members that elected him. Had he trusted them he could have fatally damaged the Blairites through a radical programme of democratising this Party. My main frustration with Ed continues to be his inability to finish this conflict decisively and that he allows it to rumble on. to the detriment not just of his leadership but this Party.
Labour members have to rise-up and take what they want, if we want a more democratic Party, we cannot expect this leadership or indeed any to give us that. We should start demanding things like more constituency reps on the NEC because we ARE the Party, not the leadership. It’s time to cast off the bridle, for the good of the Party, and for the good of the country which needs its opposition to be strong now more than ever.