Three weeks after the NEC meeting significant gaps remain, and even NEC members will not see detailed proposals till September 15th at the earliest, with the conference debate scheduled for Sunday September 25th. I am increasingly concerned at putting such a complex project – the draft section on Young Labour alone runs to more than four pages – to a single Yes/No vote. However I also accept that another year of self-examination would be a distraction from taking on the Tories and promoting clear and attractive Labour alternatives. I hope it is not too late to rescue the baby from the bathwater, endorse the many areas where there is agreement, and defer the few contentious issues to next year, or perhaps to a special conference as Tony Blair did with Clause IV.
At this year’s Party Conference at Liverpool, delegates will be asked to vote on two major reviews, the Refounding Labour review of structure and process and the review of policy, A Better Future for Britain.
It is tempting to see these two reviews as seperate but in rality they are two sides of the same coin. One of Labour’s major challenges is to understand how members can have a meaningful role in policy review.
In her blog post Lucy Anderson. a London representative on the National Policy Forum, takes a first look at the Better Future for Britain review.