Consultation on Ed Miliband’s ideas for party reform will run until 24 December. The much talked-of special conference will take place on 1 March 2014, in London. Ray Collins’ interim report is has been available since conference here. We are now at the stage for further contributions and comments from members to be sent in.
These can be e-mailed to email@example.com or uploaded to www.labour.org.uk/onenationparty and please copy me in – firstname.lastname@example.org
The most far-reaching proposal is to change trade union affiliation from opting out to opting in. If 10% of individual levy-payers positively choose to opt into Labour at the current rate of £3 a year, the party would probably be unable to function without alternative funding. So key questions are:
- What proportion of levy-payers would join Labour at £3 a year?
- What proportion would join if the rate was higher than £3?
- If levy-payers acquired extra rights as associate members, how many full members would continue paying £45 a year?
I have no knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes. Tribune reports that there are moves afoot to dig the leader out of a
political hole, while at Progress, “The Progressive” columnist, says: “The change must be a real change, not a fudge… It must demonstrate decisive leadership and, above all, courage. And it must be a fight to the death.”
There are issues of principle here, but my over-riding principle – taken from Clause I of the party rules, which requires the NEC to organise and maintain a political Labour party – is that any deaths should not include the death of the party itself.