Word is that a senior Labour MP (who will go unnamed) has been lobbying National Council to put rules in place for party members who participate in the blogosphere. It appears they don’t like the idea that members might voice their concerns about the way their party is run. I can only assume that there would have to be some kind of a process whereby members who broke these rules would face a loss of membership or some other form of censure.
A cynic might feel compelled to point out the hypocrisy of such a policy. Especially when John Tamihere has compared the party to the head-hunters on national TV and then had the party leader intervene to get his membership approved. Double especially when Shane Jones gets to attack the Green Party on matters he holds no portfolio for and yet faces no censure. And that’s not even talking about the way caucus members themselves have brought the party into disrepute with their online antics.
But rather than be that cynical, I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party and that to try to introduce such a proscriptive and draconian policy would only encourage that number to sink even lower.
It’s also antithetical to every theory of organising in the modern age that I can think of. Almost without exception member and volunteer based organisations are opening up their discourse and flattening their hierarchy as they realise that in the age of social media people need to feel connected and that they have a voice if you want them to join your organisation and help build your cause. In this light, telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.