Labour’s National Policy Forum elections are due soon. That’s good, we need to be getting on with policy reformulation, so we can offer a real alternative to government by and for the rich.
But if all we do is start the same process again, we will lose again and let down the British people again. As Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Only one change is needed: to make the policy process subject to binding votes amongst members. We cannot again obediently receive meandering documents on subjects chosen for us behind closed doors, then submit comments that we all know are largely ignored, resulting in a programme bearing little resemblance to the wishes of Labour Party members.
Wanting to subject the Party’s policy process to binding votes will be condemned by the Right as risking showing damaging discord and disunity in public. That is a lie that the Right has successfully employed for decades to allow them to run the Party as a personal fiefdom. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being seen to work out policies by frank and open debate. Making policies in secret and acting as if we need the media’s permission to be elected clearly and emphatically failed.
Blairites, Progress will argue we need to move to the right to capture more Tory voters. That is clearly nonsense, acting like neo-Tories was a big part of our failure in the General Election. We should not again allow our leaders to treat the electorate as if they are fools.
I believe socialists in the Labour Party need to voice a collective demand that the policy process be democratised, so we can get on with the business of forming policies and a programme relevant to the people of Britain.