Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Deputy Leadership: Cruddas/Compass Succeeding in "Articulating Idealism"?

Jon Cruddas speaking in Scotland
Be the ****** you wish to see in the world Not a caption competition is it?

Visiting Jon "the bloggers' friend" Cruddas' 49th blog since October 2006 (a month with nine posts and 55 comments in 13 days versus January 2007 with nine posts and 14 comments in 30 days) I read the objection of Anne McKeckin to managerialism and commented thus:

Hello Jon

I too am interested in Anne McKeckin MP's remark. "Articulating it's (sic) idealism" is certainly something Labour should do. This will be helped of course by improvements to party democracy as suggested in your pamphlet with John Harris. But in so far as that tract communicates your idealism it is a bit of a negative, actually a big negative, in reducing the Labour movement and affiliates input to conference.

Our parliamentarians already have enough input and are mostly cravenly under the rule of the calumnous whips. Together with the (also whipped, and by Labour employees) constituency delegates they will ALWAYS give the platform a majority - without their conceit of casually ignoring the LM vote anyway.

You have also presumably communicated your own idealism through your choices in the divisions? For the war, for foundation hospitals, against civil liberties. Hardly a left-wing firebrand.

Congratulations on persuading so many bloggers to back you. Despite the very low and politically bland output and low traffic here. And congratulations on most of the party democracy work with comrade John Harris who should incidentally get his NUJ membership renewed sharpish. And for fighting the BNP through the more considered route of dealing with their target voters issues instead of branding these troubled people 'scum'.

With Hain now struggling and Corbyn beyond the pale, for many in the centre left at least, the question will be "does Benn's DNA trump Cruddas' one significant rebellion - on top up fees - and his 'from the streets and hands on', or 'roundhead' as Akehurst might have it - positioning?"

All the best

Chris Paul

This comment is now in moderation. Is that really necessary Jon?


susan calder valley clp said...

Chris - your letter articulates precisely why I have a problem with Cruddas. The problem for people on the left is that there is no-one to vote for in the DL election.

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melanie said...

Ah. The same Susan Press who wrote on the Compass website: "As things stand, my vote on Deputy will probably go to Cruddas". Do you know what, Susan, if it pains you so much, don't bother.

Chris Paul said...

Melanie : there is such a thing as "Best of a bad lot" isn't there? And it is more responsible to vote on that basis I think than to let someone you really don't want to get in, er. actually get in?

I would consider voting for Brown to stop Reid for example if he appeared a serious threat. IF McDonnell (or alas Meacher) are on the ballot paper and Reid or similar is some people on the left WILL vote for Brown for this very reason.

So many of our votes these days have to be on the basis of least worse. And this is my gravest disappointment with Compass re leadership.

If there were a job of membership-builder and back-to-grassroots motivator - which is what Jon says he is going for - then he might well have my vote. But the DL and possibly DPM is a different kettle of fish.

I just hope there are some more candidates, particularly on the leadership.

susan calder valley CLP said...

Yes it does pain me and , actually, no, I'm not voting for Cruddas.I met him a couple of months ago and he seemed OK so I was open-minded but have changed my mind as the sheer hysteria of the Compass bandwagon a) destroys Compass's original raison d'etre as an independently-minded centre-left forum and is b) seriously misplaced.If you want "soft left" then Peter Hain and even Hilary Benn have far more history and credibility in the labour movement.Compass is doing them a disservice which is not justified given Cruddas's past track-record supporting New Labour.
The deputy leadership is a sideshow.What matters is getting a debate on the leadership and like many other Party members I hope to be able to vote for John McDonnell, who really is a credible left candidate ( as I understand it, the Meacher putsch is dead in the water).That really is something worth campaigning. for.

Chris Paul said...

John Denham? Kite flown in Guardian yesterday. Iraq rebel/resigner but otherwise loyal and Compassite.

susan calder valley CLP said...

For Deputy Leader , yes. In fact I e-mailed John Denham ages ago and suggested he stand (no connection there obviously). As John McDonnell and campaigners like myself have been slogging hard for the past seven months up and down the country my efforts stay firmly in his camp.Whatever else happens, his campaign has given the left back a voice as well as being a brave and admirable stand (unlike the Benn/Heffer fiasco in the 1980o's which in the circumstances was plain nuts abnd only served to make leadership challenges v, v difficult).