Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, September 14th, 2016 - 39 comments
Categories: democratic participation, greens, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, mana, political education, political parties, Politics, uk politics - Tags: Corbyn, labour, organising, participation
The following snippet has been snatched from an, as usual, negative piece on Corbyn in the Guardian.
On Tuesday he (Corbyn) said pledged (sic) to make the Labour membership an “even more active force for good in every single community, ensuring that Labour mounts the most successful electoral campaign imaginable”.
“The size of our membership means that the Labour party will be a visible presence in every neighbourhood, urban or rural, in every part of our country, not just at election times but all the time,” he said, claiming Labour was now Europe’s biggest political party by membership.
The Labour academies will be situated in every region of the UK, with accredited courses on media and communications, digital, politics and policies. The training will support members to listen to, engage with and persuade people.
So, just as happened in Scotland when something worthwhile popped up in the political sphere, people have become engaged and joined a parliamentary party. Unlike in Scotland though, where as far as I know, people found their own way to engage with one another and organise, the UK Labour Party is seeking to give members direct access to a formal range of skills that will benefit those involved in organising and ultimately, or so it’s presumably hoped, the Labour Party in parliament.
Now where is Labour in NZ? At best, I’d say it’s in an Ed Miliband phase (play the centrist game, under-promise and over-deliver). It could have been in a Corbyn phase if it was structured differently (more democratic) and if David Cunliffe had understood the need to organise on top of ‘talking the talk’. Of course, it’s also possible that post Cunliffe, we’re witnessing an Owen Smith phase for NZ Labour.
I know it’s a bit challenging to find anything in NZ politics that isn’t just a soggy lump of nothing these days. But if anyone claiming to represent labour (from whichever party) has a box of matches, I’d suggest they get them out and find something to set on fire. Something like ‘our imagination’ if they want something that would burn nicely. And then maybe take a leaf from Jeremy’s book and help the flames spread.