Monday, March 31, 2014

And so we go on with the present unsatisfactory system

Fascinating look on the Left Futures website of the managerialist impulse within political parties (using the Labour Party as a case study):  http://www.leftfutures.org/2014/03/labours-significant-divide-between-renewal-and-decay/

The Conservative Party has solved the mangerialist problem by accumulating all decision-making power at the centre and relying on media advertising to win elections.  There are still local associations but they do not do anything, still less do they influence policy.  Eventually this high-handed usurpation will come to grief, but things seem to be jogging along well enough at the moment and will see the party through the 2015 election.

Labour has gone in the opposite direction - factionalism, fractionalism, fatuous febrile fumbling.  In part this stems from the party's origins in the non-conformist religious tradition.  They cannot help free-thinking, it is fundamental to who they are and what they do (you could offer the collective Labour Party an immaculate version of the socialist New Jerusalem, ready to implement and all tied up with a ribbon, and they would still pick holes in it and say it needed more ramps for the disabled and health & safety restrictions on the nirvana experience).

The only long-term answer for both parties is a return to mass membership (and please don't say this is not possible - it absolutely is possible).

Unfortunately the Labour leadership will not countenance mass membership as it will change dramatically the Labour Party they love.  The Conservative leadership will not agree to mass membership as it will take power out of their own hands.  And so we go on with the present unsatisfactory system, waiting for...

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