I have just published and backdated my first thoughts in response to Ed Miliband’s speech on “Cleaning Up” politics. This has been written over a six month period. It was started as I shaped my thoughts and was originally written as a contribution to what became the Collins Review but I decided it was insufficiently focused and made no proposals. It merely expressed my anger. The final version of the article was published today and backdated to near the point I started it. It was thus published after the closure of the Collins Review deadline, and before the publication of the Special Conference agenda. I took this time partly because I wanted to polish the words, and partly because writing something that truly represented what I wanted to say was hard and once again I am and was trapped in supporting the Leader so as not to wound him in the eyes of the electorate and saying what I felt. It’s always possible to be constructive. I also tried to insert some stuff which while it needs to be said, are more technical and even more difficult to express, such as how to build a “Freemium” membership/supporter offer which eventually didn’t make it to the final cut.
I was going to submit this to “Your Britain” but my thinking evolved and I drafted what became Lewisham Deptford CLP’s response to the Collins Review. So while written as a letter, it was never sent.
There’s a snide start and a pop at the New Labour bit-bucket, but I talk about the priority being membership rights, I question if individual members given the choice between individual and a more powerful affiliate membership will choose the latter. I approve of the ban on MPs having 2nd jobs and suggest that the Mayor of London should also be prohibited. I point at ‘Cabs for Hire? Fixing the Revolving Door Between Government and Business’ by Transparency International UK and suggest that the “Revolving Door” be fixed for MPs, Civil Servants, Police, HMRC staff and other regulatory staff. With respect to the proposal for a primary for the candidate for London Mayor, I oppose it since I see no reason why we should accept the advice from people who wont join. (I also discuss the membership offer and argue that a more democratic policy making process would encourage membership.)
Like a lot of my stuff, it’s a long read I hope you find some of it helps you make your mind up.