Dissent in Compass
Readers will know that although some of my best friends are members of Compass it is not my favourite political organisation.
A brief scan through the comments on its website reveals it is not even the favourite organisation of some of its own members, who feel Neal Lawson has taken it a long way from the "critical friend of Blair and promoter of whizzy new policy ideas" role suggested when it was founded.
Presumably those unhappy with having their names associated with the increasingly leftwards slide of Compass include Ruth Turner, now gainfully employed at No10 but then on the NEC, who was a signatory of its founding statement.
Leading the fightback inside Compass at its AGM last weekend was one Stan Rosenthal who ran for Compass' Management Committee on this platform:
"Over the past year I have been trying to open a debate within Compass on the democratic legitimacy of the leadership committing us to a strongly anti-Blair stance in the absence of this being part of the original Compass recruiting pamphlet or being included in the platforms on which MC members were elected. I also considered that such an excessively confrontational and divisive attitude towards Blair was counterproductive to our progressive ideas being taken up by this Labour government and by any future electable Labour Party.
The response of the MC was first, to stop the posting of these views on the old Compass website, then (after persistent challenging) to post, but bury, them in the deep recesses of that site and finally to censor any reference to the Compass democratic deficit on the more current sites.
Voting for me would send a signal that your views on where Compass should stand on political-positioning issues can no longer be taken for granted. If elected, I will continue my efforts to provide the opportunity for all members to have a say on such matters. Dare more Democracy…….within Compass! Be the change you wish to see… in Compass! Vote Rosenthal!"
Good to see such tolerance of dissent and such democratic accountability from Neal et al.
I am almost tempted to join so that I can vote for Mr Rosenthal but the prospect of contributing £32.50 to Gavin Hayes' salary is a price too high...