Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A proper choice

Despite the enthusiasm of those delegates who would walk over hot coals for Blair, and those who want a coronation for Gordon, I get the feeling the Party itself is up for a contest based on ideas. Not "Old" Labour versus "New" Labour (despite what a lot of people say, I do not consider myself to be Old Labour. The whole concept of Old Labour was based around a sexism, often racism and more often than not male, homophobic right wing agenda) but a party that wants a debate about direction. The Lib Dems are having a debate between social and economic liberal values, Cameron is at least on the face of it trying to drag the Tories out of the 18th Century... so we should also question many of the Blairite principles instead of clapping like demented seals everytime anyone says "three consequetive general election victories". Michael Meacher in The Guardian writes...
Domestically, we should end the obsession with privatisation as a panacea, not only in health and education, but also in housing, pensions, probation, rail and local government. We need a new leadership that will genuinely listen to the party and the public, with mechanisms in place so that it can be held to account. Conference should have a decision-making role, not merely act as an opportunity for the leader to grandstand, and nominations each year for leader and deputy leader would allow sentiment within the party to be channelled towards change. Parliament should take back much of the patronage and decision-making that No 10 has appropriated to itself.

and frankly, I couldn't disagree with a word of that.

This afternoon, for instance, the delegates supported a resolution opposing Patricia Hewitt's sell-off of the supply agency NHS Logistics to unionbusters DHL.... and in light of all that....this may prove very interesting.