Last weekend LDN met to discuss its future and potential programme. We were in mixed mood, delighted at Labour’s showing in the local elections across the country and worry about the continued democratic drift of our Party.
LDN — and its predecessor organisations Labour Reform and Save the Labour Party — has always — been committed to practical partnerships and practical politics. We want to champion the cause of Party democracy but also actively explore how we can better facilitate policy discussion and debate.
Over the coming months we will be aiming to focus on two new initiatives both which are designed to commemorate the life of our sadly departed comrade and colleague Martin Cook.
The first initiative will be focussed around ITC solutions to debate, discussion and policy making and we will be working with some of those who have been leaders in this field. Low cost but powerful ITC solutions offer us the chance to revolutionise participative politics in this country and LDN is committed to supporting the development of new tools and products that could be utilised by Labour and by progressive campaigns across the country.
Secondly, we will be actively seeking to revisit the Save The Labour Party’s LabOUR Commission, Renewal — a to way process for the 21st century. While the Commission’s existing report is a substantive one it was always designed to be an interim.
New of these initiatives will be posted here but if you think either or both of these of interest to you we would be happy to here from you. Contact either:
Our old friend and comrade Luke Akehurst would regard himself as a prolific blogger. He’s recently penned one of occasionally strange pieces, “A dossier I compelled – and not anonymously“. I won’t bore you with the contents but this seems to be a repost to the anonymous dossier that has been going around and which focusses on Progress, to which comrade Akehurst is connected.
Luke’s dossier is really more of a rant and as such doesn’t really concern us. However, at one point he says of LDN:
This has now been replaced by the Labour Democratic Network – LDN which seems somewhat moribund as it last posted on its blog in November.
Comrade Luke, LDN is certainly not defunct. When the Party can’t manage to convene its own National Policy Forum for over twelve months, at a time when it is having a major policy review, there is clearly work to do.
But one thing. We are committed to action and pronouncements when we have something to say. Sometimes organisation is everything.
Comrade Akehurst would be rise not to confuse verbal diarrhoea with actual action. But then he is a prolific blogger!
It’s always quality that counts Luke, and not just quantity at any cost!
The Labour Democratic Network understands that full details will be sent to all interested parties by Head Office in December.
Nominations for the six NEC places elected by fully paid up members under OMOV have to be submitted by 30 March 2012.
Nominees require support of own CLP and two other CLPs from two different regions, and must have been in membership 12 months.
At least three elected candidates must be women.
We are still waiting for clarification of the precise dates for the issue of ballot papers and the close of the poll.
The meeting after conference is always a marathon, reviewing the state of the party and planning the year ahead. First up was Tom Watson, deputy party Chair and campaign co-ordinator, praised for his tactics in the famous Hodge Hill by-election. Tom saw his role as mobilising members, consulting on policy and raising funds. At my suggestion he included a working return address in his latest e-mail, and had already replied to 500 messages. I said again that members want doorstep ammunition, visible leadership and rapid rebuttal of Tory lies. Others added hope in tough times: pensioners are losing part of their winter fuel allowance, the council tax freeze will cost more jobs, youth unemployment is at record levels and Labour cannot be neutral as public service workers defend their modest pensions.