Reshuffle and Democracy

Posted: 11/01/2016 by zandtao in Corbyn
Tags: , ,

Democracy is at the basis of the shadow cabinet reshuffle. What is the democratic basis for labour party policy? Clearly Corbyn has been given a mandate by his election, by the increasing party membership, and by the Oldham result. But none of this is policy. Where does policy come from? Conference. It is now up to Momentum and other activists to remove the Blairite Bilderburg policies from the Labour agenda.

The other aspect of the public reshuffle was of course public unity. I remember back in the 80s and election being lost to some extent by Dianne Abbott who said that members of the Labour party were racist. Of course they were and are racist but why was she stupid enough to say it? She is still around and was bandied around as a name for the shadow cabinet, I hope she has learned.

The real issue here is public perception. There is nothing wrong with dissent behind closed doors but what the hell was Hilary Benn doing on Syria? I hope that the days-long reshuffle were about discipline, if it works it merits the respect that the establishment gave Harry Perkins. The media will always attempt to divide labour but take the lesson from Blair:-

“Publicly shut up, argue in private and let the Tories shoot themselves in the foot over Europe.”

Of course Blair did this by cherry-picking the cabinet, moving policy to a Bilderburg set, and promoting a right-wing war and defence agenda. Much of what Corbyn has to fight within his cabinet is to remove the cherries Blair picked. Again this can best be done at the grass roots level so let’s hope Momentum can be active.

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  1. zandtao says:

    I am concerned as to what Corbyn wants concerning democracy. It was a campaign pledge that he wanted people more involved. Excellent!! But how does he plan to do that? In this blogpost I assumed that he was trying to work through conference, but sympathetic articles suggest he might not. Is conference democratic? I assume it is because people can get involved at ward level, and put motions to conference. But is he looking for something that is less active?

    Is he looking for some kind of policy plebiscite? Interesting. I have no objection to all party members voting on every policy, but that would mean for me that all such people have to be exposed to policy arguments and not media bilge. Part of me feels people should be activists but alienation is so deep-rooted in neo-colonialism that the majority of labour people will never be activists.

    The CP part of me is concerned that as a Trot he cannot get his way over Trident with the existing party infrastructure so he wants to change it. Part of me says that is wrong but part of me says the issue is so important that shenanigans are acceptable. But if shenanigans start when will they stop?

    And more importantly, because every policy Corbyn has I agree with, will shenanigans alienate the mass movement?

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