UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Labour policy making 'too distant from members'‏

Peter Hain MP, newly appointed chair of Labour’s national policy forum, has called for the party’s policy making to be ‘rejuvenated’: "I would like to see interested outsiders have an input as well. I see Labour as being the natural focus for progressive forces in civil society from trade unions, greens, faith groups, anti-poverty organisations, community groups and women's groups. So I hope the policy forum will not be just an internal policy group." http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/22/hain-labour-policy-forum

Few in the trade union movement would disagree with Hain when he says that "we have to change and change big time, and recognise that parties need to change their style and learn how to engage in communities.". For example, Ed Miliband’s bipartisan support for maintaining a nuclear deterrent in the strategic defence review debate, on the eve of the Con Dem cuts announcement, will have disappointed many trade unionists promoting the welfare state over military expenditure:

It’s time the silent majority in the labour movement found its voice in Labour’s policy making structures - which should cease to be a domain dominated by professional politicians.