But the Labour Party has lost its way. Its electoral strategy is driven by the imperative of power retention, with policy being formed out of an analysis of the preferences and prejudices of swing voters in marginal seats. This has led to the thesis that dominating the politics of the mythical Middle Englander is the only strategy to retain power. This ‘precision bombing’ of swing voters in super-marginals (about two per cent of the electorate) to win elections is creating a political vacuum elsewhere in the country.
This analysis is, as I see it, the fundamental and deep-rooted problem with the Labour party today. And guess who’s bold enough to say it?
The Party grew out of the working class and trade union movement, and has since lost its way in representing them. This is due in large part to the organisational form of the Party. Its centralised form means that the Party carries out their aims, but does it on behalf of the movement, telling the movement in effect to stay at home or convert itself to loyal supporter, or risk being marginalised.
I believe that in the right constituencies black and ethnic minoritiy shortlists should be introduced. But the problem must also be tacked at the root. The Party should make link with organisations representing Black and ethnic minorities. We should also tackle this inequality while black and ethnic minority people are at school.
If we don’t engage people when they are young, we are unlikely to engage them later on. We could take citizenship classes further. The style of politics turns people off across the board so fundamentally we have to change this.
Yes, I would favour having a written constitution. A written constitution would be a useful tool for maintaining checks and balances on a powerful executive. I believe in strengthening the position of parliament vis a vis the executive, especially on matters relating to taking our country to war. But more than this, a written constitution would be a unique opportunity to engage with the British people, whose input into the constitution and whose consent would be absolutely fundamental to the process.
I agree with almost all of that. The Labour party needs more than ‘a fixer’. It needs someone who will re-connect them to the electorate. Do people honestly see the others doing that? I don’t.
What I don’t agree with are ethnic-minority shortlists. I’ve debated this long and hard and have decided this is a poor strategy. EM candidates need to fight and win on their own merit rather than getting such shortlists. I do favour all women shortlists however. I think that should be a bigger priority for the country.
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