It is hard not to wonder at the Labour movement. It is their party that is being destroyed before their eyes by the Brown regime. Since 1997 they have watched their party being saddled with every kind of infamy. Illegal wars, the reintroduction of the use of judicial torture, and information gained from torture used in court, the looting of savings and pensions funds and then the looting of taxpayers and the state, the dereliction into which education and learning has fallen, the killing of hospital patients from dirt and neglect, the mass unemployment, the steep increases in inequality, the encroachments on civil liberties.
To their credit they have joined the rest of us in protesting and opposing this corruption of their own beliefs and aims. They have demonstrated, written, sued, argued, resigned. But they have also continued their support as if each aberration were a special instance of wrong decision-making, or unavoidable response, or even believed that it all started in America.
If this last twelve years is what Labour does, what Labour is it has been achieved (if that is the word) in part by the enclosing of the PLP and more particularly the Labour Executive in defensive Party rules, embedded alterations to the Rule Book that make the mass Party unable to touch the Executive. Unable to affect any policy choice, or alter any decision once it has emerged from Executive secrecy. These last years have been a travesty of what Labour stands for and Labour supporters and Party members have a very short time indeed to remove this Leadership and its politicised administrators, and recover their political and moral claims to democratic support.
Until Brown and his cabinet have been removed from office and the Labour party chooses itself a new leadership our, including the Labour movement's, political democracy is enervated.
The effect of removing any answerability to the mass movement via Party structures evicts even the paid-up Party membership from what has come to be seen as Labour by the electorate at large. You have all been thrown out of the Party. And you all need to think how you are going to vote at the end of the week. Your choices are the same as for the rest of us. Do you want Brown and his Executive to continue in power? And, what is worse, in power most particularly in your name, on your local efforts, your commitment to Labour, real Labour ideals?
All you have, like the rest of us, all you have now is your vote. Who will you lend it to in joining all of us to demonstrate that Brown's regime represents none of us.
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