Blears article in today's Guardian
It was refreshing to see Hazel Blears recognising the importance ofparty members and local political activism to the renewal of the LabourParty (Guardian, 1 July 2006).The elections on 4 May showed that where there are strong localcampaigning parties, as in Lambeth, Islington and my own borough ofHackney, Labour wins. Labour needs its activists to win elections. But we are not just here aselectoral cannon fodder - members need to be given a meaningful role inpolicy formulation so that we feel ownership of the local and nationalmanifestos we are delivering leaflets about or canvassing in favour of. Blears was right to say that Labour can learn from, and recruit newworking-class activists from, existing community campaigns. We win inthe areas we are an organic part of local communities and campaigning onlocal issues street-by-street and ward-by-ward. As Party Chair Hazel Blears needs to focus on regenerating Labour as amass membership, campaigning party if we are to win a fourth term. Her article today was a good start and indicated she understands the scale and necessity of that task.