Friday 12 June 2009

Candidates for Change.

I have written an article for the Guardian's Comment is Free today and issued the following press release.

Labour Left threatens 'Candidates for Change' slate if policies don't change

The Labour left refused to be dragged into either the plotting to oust Brown or the positioning by others seeking to fill his shoes if he fell. Our line was straightforward. There is no point in changing the faces at the top if there is no change in political direction.

Now though Brown is on probation. The political crisis facing the party and the economic crisis facing Labour voters is too great to allow the debate to be dominated by a personality spat between Blairites and Brownites.

John McDonnell MP*, LRC Chair, said:

"If Labour is to stand any chance of surviving at the next election real change has to be visibly underway and progress demonstrated at the latest by the autumn. If we go beyond November without real change, what hope is left of Labour not only remaining in government but surviving as an effective political force at all?

"At that stage the only responsible act in the long term interests of our movement would be to offer a real change in political direction by mounting a challenge to the political leadership of the party and letting the members of the party decide but this route would almost certainly be blocked again by MPs failing to nominate. Then the only alternative is Labour MPs making it clear at the next election that they stand on a policy platform of real change as 'change candidates'."

These would be Labour candidates binding together as a slate, committed within Labour, setting out the policy programme they will be advocating as a group and supporting in Parliament if elected. Only in this way can we demonstrate to the supporters that want to come home to Labour that there is the hope and prospect of change.