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.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Partnership in Power Review

The Labour Party is carrying out a review of "Partnership in Power", the policy-making process we have had since 1997.

As a new member of the NEC who hasn't until now seen first-hand how the National Policy Forum works, I have an open mind about what needs to change with these structures.

I'd therefore welcome members' thoughts in the comments here.

The questions the review is asking are:

1. What do we expect from our policy making process? What constitutes a successful policy making system for our Party?
2. How do we best involve our members in policy making?
3. What can we do to support our members and local parties in debating policy?
4. How do we best do justice to the involvement of activists in policy making? How do we best communicate the work of PiP and feedback to those who get involved?
5. How can we reach out to and involve the public? How do we ensure the issues raised by members of the public with Labour canvassers are reflected in our policy making process?
6. How can we best engage with external organisations, businesses and other groups on a local and national level?
7. Is the current three year cycle of policy development correct? What do you think of our current system of circulating policy documents for amendment - is it the best way of engaging people or is there a better method? Is there an alternative to the current system which focussed on one large scale ‘Warwick-style’ NPF meeting at the end of the 3rd year?
8. How do we decide which policy issues to focus on? How do we deal with current and urgent issues in our policy making process? How do we ensure that the system is flexible enough to allow for speedy decisions where needed?
9. Is the National Policy Forum the correct focal point for our policy discussions? What do you think of the NPF? How could it be improved? What should be the role of NPF representatives?
10. How aware are you of the policy commissions and their role? How successful are they – could they be improved?
11. Does the Joint Policy Committee work effectively? What should its role be?
12. What should be Annual Conference’s role in deciding policy? What is the best way for Conference to debate policy and how can we ensure debates are topical and relevant?
13. How do we support policy discussion at regional and local level?
14. With limited resources now and in the future a reality, what should be our priorities?
15. How can be best use technology to support our policy making?
16. Do you have any other thoughts, comments or ideas not covered in the above?

If you are a party member and want to respond formally you can do so via the members' section of the Party website here: http://members.labour.org.uk/pip


Blogger Bluenote said...

Simple! Just do what politicians invariably fail to do - Listen!!!!

1:41 pm, October 06, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke - so much I could say here. I was initially enthusiastic about PiP and thought it had a lot of potential. I think that there are a number of problems. These are three....

1. There really isn't much in the way of structured links between the NPF and the CLP's. This means there is no obvious way of linking to the policy making structures. The NPF appears to exist in relative isolation

2. I think that CLP's are starting to debate policy more regularly (ours is ) but where does that discussion go? What is the procedure by which the discussions can feed into something wider? I think its too vague

3. Resolutions weren't ideal either. But I do think people felt a bit more involved than they do now whereas ideas now tend to disappear into a black hole

8:25 pm, October 06, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm impressed. A couple of days after an unelectable lefty is leading you lot and you're already policymaking on a grand scale.

Who cares. You lost. The country is bankrupt.

Please kick that talentless bully who damaged Britain if you happen to see him begging somewhere./

1:15 pm, October 07, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that there was no discussion of Trident at Labour's conference again. This is despite Tony Blair's admission in his memoirs that the replacement decision was a close call for him and was primarily about status rather than security.

"So, after some genuine consideration and reconsideration, I opted to renew it. But the contrary decision would not have been stupid" he writes.

Blair's comments represent a very good reason indeed why the replacement decision should be re-visited by the Labour Party. I hope it will have the courage to do so.

5:02 pm, October 07, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...


The National Policy Forum is too small and seems to be a training course for people who want to be MPs rather than people with a particular policy expertise.

The party needs to use social media and the internet to engage a wider range of members in policy making.

There should be more open commissions on major policy areas where the party looks for people both inside and outside the movement to inform the debate.

9:31 am, October 08, 2010

Anonymous phil harris said...

Hi Luke,

I think the constituency reps are not exactly balanced, given it's basically London region members who got elected.

I think this has to be addressed alongside reforms of policy making and engagement of members.

It is patently nonesense for there to be no northern representation for constituencies.

3:56 pm, October 16, 2010


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