Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Luke Akehurst: Thinks the National Policy Forum is Great

Luke has (see last post) vented a pile of steaming doo doos about Labour Party democracy. Have commented at length over there.


Tim Swift said...

It seems sad to me that this issue has generated such heat (although I accept that Luke's post was deliberately provocative) when most people seem to accept that neither the NPF process nor contemporary resolutions are working particularly well.

Whatever your views on the specific contemporary resolution issue, Gordon Brown did not just propose changing these but published a package of suggested changes to the policy forum process which IF IMPLEMENTED would in my view strengthen and improve it.

Incidentally, how many of the CLPs that criticise the policy forum process actually ever try to make any meaningful contribution?

And how democractic is a CLP contemporary resolution that is probably passed by half a dozen people at the end of a meeting?

Chris Paul said...

I tend to agree Tim. To a point anyway. The platform's treatment of resolutions down the years has been utterly disgraceful. And many CLP GCs do work very hard to (a) draft sensible resolutions - be they on or off message and (b) send in stuff to NPFs and other consultations.

Manchester Central certainly did. I once Chaired a GC where we spent about 75 minutes taking recommendations from five comrades/colleagues that had been tasked with reviewing some final stage consultations.

Most had summarised the document in one or two pages and made recommendations. They spoke to this for a few minutes. there was discussion and the GC agreed their recommendations or something else to be submitted.

I don't think any of this mischieviously or stupidly timed to coincide with election activity was taken on board and according to the Peter Wheeler anecdote it may not have even been read.

So five comrades, chosen for expertise or intereste in an area, spend a couple of hours reading and a couple of hours writing up; delegates spend time discussing what has been gleaned and what could be improved; and then ... nothing.

Luke's childish barbs are almost bound to piss people off. Unlike Peter he has no "realism" button it's mostly just "my party right or wrong".

This is why IMO he is seeing his erstwhile NOLS comrades becoming ministers while he struggles to get on shortlists. He simply enjoys winding up, witch hunting, internal strife development, ya boo nonsense more than seeing other people's point of view and agreeing things democratically.

He sees a democratic defecit and he doesn't give a monkey's as long as it's rubber stamping his line.

Luke Akehurst said...

Luke has (see last post) vented a pile of steaming doo doos about Labour Party democracy.

Get real, you little dickhead. We talk about democratic control to satisfy the little people. If you take that seriously you are more stupid than I thought. Why is the Party now run by lawyers, PR consultants and what Guido like to refer to as Sith? So we can tell the truth? Pull the other leg. If you want democracy, you're in the wrong party mate.

grimupnorth said...

If half a dozen people are at a meeting and vote for a resolution, what's undemocratic about it? It's not the weight of numbers that's the problem,it's the lack of meaningful representation. Tim, you know full well that CLPs in your neck of ther woods HAVE spent ages discussing PiP documents ( some years ago granted before we realised just how pointless it was) and getting together submissions. What happens to them? According to good comrades peters Willsman and Wheeler, didlly squat. Ignored and binned mainly. Not all brown's document is bad - but just ditching votes at conference and reimitting back ti an already discredited NPF just isn't the answer. Why can't we just have contemporary issues on the agenda, contemporary debates wuth all views represented, and contemporary votes in good grace with no stitch-ups

Chris Paul said...

Probably there would need to be closed sessions for the party to be really happy with full and frank exchanges of views. And to be fair there are often short sessions each morning that fit that description where ministers get beaten up by angry hotheads. Trouble is this may be gruelling for 10 minutes or so. But it's just venting.

I can understand why the powers that be worry about having open and slightly out of control debates on telly. I really can. But I think that free exchanges of views could be effective in winning friends in the electorate. Which is why I got up and wearily suggested a reference back on the last morning in Brighton 05 so that Walter could be given a speech from the platform.

That would I think have completely overturned the negatives from his unfortunate expulsion.

Anonymous said...

Guess that "Luke" is going to suggest a party for good internal democracy? The SWP? The BNP? The RAF? The TWA?