Problems of implementation….
It is not that far off being a full calendar year since Labour’s Conference adopted Refounding Labour. However, many of our CLP’s have yet to start the implementation process and others are simply lost. On one level this is understandable, we have just had a big round of local elections and obviously and correctly, as a necessity, the focus has been on campaigning; the time for the major organisational overhaul required of us by Refounding Labour has not really been there. The elections are now passed however and it really is time for us to sit down, consider and implement this document. Organisational limbo beckons for CLP’s who do nothing about the fact that, for example, their Local Government Committees are now walking political corpses, still living on despite the fact they have been abolished by a decree of a 93% vote of our Party conference. The current situation helps nobody. For example, those LGC’s that try to limp-on will probably have their moral and actual political authority rightly challenged considering 93% of the Party voted to abolish them, but this obviously leaves open the very real prospect of local parties becoming gridlocked and wracked by endless, unresolvable tussles.
It is the CLP’s that really are in the driving seat under Refounding Labour – they decide how their sparkly new, Local Campaigning Forums work and are composed (though the remit of LCF’s is pretty limited, the replacement for the LGC has lost the vast majority of its powers to either the CLP or local Labour Group) and can decided to take pretty much any organisational form they desire. However, it the CLP’s that need help and assistance now and I don’t think they are getting it. Firstly, they need to know exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Refounding Labour needs to be boiled into step-by-step bitesized chunks of steps to implementation. This means every CLP knows what it is doing and every member knows exactly what is what; this should minimise frustration and any issues that arise should be easy to deal with.
Secondly, resources that were promised, like template development plans need to be made available. Thirdly, and finally, it is not half a bad idea to have a Facebook group dedicated to this subject so people can share experiences and ask questions. I am aware alot of people don’t have Facebook but proportionally more do than ever use Membersnet. Overall, and this is what we need the most, a clear lead now needs to be given by the NEC on this issue. I did not support Refounding Labour, I still have misgivings, but when all said and done the decision has now been taken. If CLP’s drag their feet then potentially they will be faced with implementing Refounding Labour at the same time as a major reorganisation due to the impending boundary review and that really would be a nightmare, coming to a CLP near you, well before Christmas.