sexta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2012

New Rules - Old Transgressions

Illustration for the blog: Bowalley Road
by CHRIS TROTTER (New Zealand)

"Impossibility Of Communication" - Paulo Zerbato/2011

New Rules - Old Transgressions: Some Thoughts On Labour's Proposed Constitutional Changes
Posted in friday, July 20, 2012

Let The Party Speak: Only by striking down the blatantly self-protective rules with which the parliamentary wing of the Labour Party has surrounded itself, can the rank-and-file and affiliate members recover their autonomy and rebuild their organisation into a political force capable of rescuing the nation. (Painting by Paulo Zerbato)

LAST WEEKEND, Labour’s governing body, the New Zealand Council, endorsed a comprehensive overhaul of the party’s constitution. These new rules have the potential to revolutionise left-wing politics in New Zealand – but only if Labour’s rank-and-file membership and its trade union affiliates summon all their courage and imagination to the party’s annual conference in November. That is the moment to reclaim the Labour Party from an ideologically suspect, intellectually moribund and morbidly self-protective Labour Caucus. If the moment is allowed to pass, then the Review Committee will be remembered only for giving Labour MPs new rules for committing old trangressions.

The rule changes on affiliation to the party, for example, could see a host of advocacy groups bringing political commitment, membership and, most importantly, bold, evidence-based policies, to the process of constructing Labour’s new election “platform”. Imagine Mike Smith and his Fabians as fully-fledged affiliates, with votes to cast, debating economic policy. But, why stop at the Fabians? If left-wing activists with interests ranging from the arts and public broadcasting, to urban planning and industrial democracy, decide to get their act together they’ll incorporate a society or institute, affiliate it to Labour, and feed their ideas directly into the party's deliberations.

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