Maybe the bourgeois press isn’t that wide of the mark…
The AWL’s Sean Matgamna is surprisingly up-beat about recent developments and the prospects for the “reclaimation” of the Party:
What is new about Ed Miliband’s Labour?
That New Labour would be shaken up by electoral defeat, and that defeat would allow “old Labour” and trade-union discontent with what Blair and Brown had done to the Labour Party to emerge, has been obvious for a long time.
That the shake-up would within four months of the general election and New Labour’s defeat produce the transformations expressed in the election of Ed Miliband – the trade unions’ candidate – as leader of the party, and in his speech to conference on Tuesday 28 September, is nevertheless startling. The speed, scope, and (in a limited sense) completeness of the change is startling.
Although the press has not reported this, and as we write even the delegates have not been formally told the result of the card vote, we understand that the conference voted, on trade-union initiative, to restore to unions and local Labour Parties the right to send (a limited number of) motions to annual conference.
This reverses the decision of 2007 conference to end completely the old practice of having conference act as a forum and parliament of the labour movement, and to turn it into a rally instead.
That 2007 decision had been a sealing-off and completion of the rule changes introduced in 1997 that destroyed the structures that had allowed the rank and file and the affiliated unions to function – however inadequately – in politics.
The reversal of the 2007 decision (again, assuming the report is true) can be made the beginning of a reconstruction of the Labour Party, and its reclaimation by the trade unions and Labour Party members.
Read the rest here.