A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oh well.

I can't help thinking that all this stems back to Sir Ken Jackson losing the Amicus General Secretaryship by a couple of hundred votes a few years ago.

At least we know Harriet will follow instructions from Gordon.

Those of us on the right of the party need a serious strategic rethink - the two most left-talking candidates came 1st and 3rd so something was badly wrong with our campaigning or our organisation.

11 Comments:

Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

...the two most left-talking candidates came 1st and 3rd so something was badly wrong with our candidates or our campaigning or our organisation.

Not necessarily: I was prepared to overlook a lot about Cruddas in the belief that he would have done a better job, and with more enthusiasm and single-mindedness. Any faction that takes his strong 3rd as an endorsement of their favoured policies would (or rather, will) be wrong to do so.

As for Harman, I don't know what's going on there. Either way, I don't regard her as left-wing in any meaningful sense.

I don't think this is a great loss for Benn.

3:17 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Owen said...

As for Harman, I don't know what's going on there. Either way, I don't regard her as left-wing in any meaningful sense.

Neither do - but she postured to the left throughout the contest, not least over Iraq, trade union rights and housing.

As Luke has repeatedly pointed out, three candidates postured to the left throughout the contest. Between them, they received 53.64% of the vote. That's not including Benn who got a lot of votes from people on the left - including several good comrades of mine.

There is clearly an appetite out there for a real break with New Labour. I just think that it's tragic that this appetite could only be expressed through a non-contest over a non-job with six candidates with (on the whole) only subtle political differences.

3:51 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

... three candidates postured to the left throughout the contest. Between them, they received 53.64% of the vote. That's not including Benn who got a lot of votes from people on the left - including several good comrades of mine.

Talk about having your cake and eating it: if you regard this vote - to fill a vacancy for a specific task - into a proxy left-right/New-Old battle, you're miscounting, as well as trivialising the reasons I voted for Cruddas and didn't even place Benn.

As a general point, I take it there's more to rebuilding the Labour organisation than just saying "OK, we're just going to change national policy to what we think lapsed members might prefer."

4:52 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Owen said...

Andrew - judging by the YouGov poll a few weeks back, you're in a very small minority. Large majorities of Cruddas supporters backed left policies - whether it be Iraq or renationalising the railways or on public services.

As far as I can tell, the vast majorities of rightwingers (such as a Luke) who wanted what they saw as an "activist" deputy leader went for Blears. After all, she effectively postured as the Blairite version of Cruddas. Given Cruddas postured to the left on a range of issues, why would most Blairites vote for him over Blears?

4:58 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

Very happy to be in a small minority :-)

Given Cruddas postured to the left on a range of issues, why would most Blairites vote for him over Blears?

People should support the best/most appropriate candidate, just as if they were running a job interview, not the one most ideologically close - not least because it makes it harder for factionalists to organise. I guess that would be a bit of novelty for Labour membership elections (I've been guilty in the past). I tried to do so in the hope that, once elected, Cruddas would get down to the job in hand and avoid 'posturing'. His personal views on Venezuela shouldn't have carried any weight while in office.

5:51 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Dave said...

"Those of us on the right of the party need a serious strategic rethink - the two most left-talking candidates came 1st and 3rd so something was badly wrong with our campaigning or our organisation."

Heaven forfend it might actually be the ideas underpinning your platform. To paraphrase Chesterton, we are the party membership and we have not spoken yet.

8:18 pm, June 24, 2007

 
Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

...we are the party membership and we have not spoken yet.

If they haven't spoken yet we're none the wiser, and you're just as likely to be wrong as right.

12:51 am, June 25, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

// Those of us on the right of the party need a serious strategic rethink - the two most left-talking candidates came 1st and 3rd so something was badly wrong with our campaigning or our organisation. //

Luke, I agree that this needs to happen. But how?

9:56 am, June 25, 2007

 
Anonymous keepleft said...

Get over it. new labour is stuffed.

10:49 am, June 25, 2007

 
Blogger Chris Paul said...

I agree with keepleft. On this. New Labour IS stuffed. Shame the new has come back in the name style. Old and new has never expressed anythings much politically. Just Labour is what we want in both senses of the word.

The right of the party should have a rethink and come up with a climb down from unmitigated triangulation (= mirroring) and take in some principles (= leadership).

There is agreement across the party on what the objectives of our politics are. In fact these objectives are largely shared in our pomo times by a number of parties. In the so-called mainstream.

So the differences are often more in means to ends rather than the ends themselves. Our means should be recognizeably Labour means. Our priorities - what's that Bob Piper says?:

For a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people and their families.

Should be on our sleeves not hidden away. the Fabian chat after the set piece was surprisingly good and dealing with the cynical anti-politics was the big theme for reenergising and carrying on winning.

So is triangulation really part of or at least fuelling cynicism for the anti-politics?

6:15 pm, June 25, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was amazing to see all the people on the amicus platform looking so happy at the result. 5 years ago people like Goddard would have had no influence. How things change and for the better.

10:16 pm, June 25, 2007

 

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