I received three messages from Labour Party activists yesterday. None referred to the G-20. All were reporting internal Labour Party developments that will undermine Labour's re-election chances. That is unless dealt with comprehensively by its National Executive Committee (NEC) pdq. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's re-election prospects were evaluated or commented on here, here and here for starters.
After six months of active service on the NEC. I'm beginning to understand why the Party's membership has fallen some 60% since 1997. Unlike 'civic' mass-membership organisations, there is no coherent quality assured offer to Labour Party members, or those who volunteer to provide local leadership either through the Party's organisation or as its candidates for public office. This is despite an annual membership fee of £38 that is in line with that charged by organisations such as the National Trust and the RSPB.
Skirmishes are on-going between the careerists and the volunteers. The UK is littered with the casulties (lost members) now numbering over 275,000 that have been recorded since Labour was returned to power in Westminster 12 years ago.
Yesterday's calls included one concerning postal vote farming in a high-profile selection of a prospective parliamentary candidate. Another reported threats to Labour Party activists engaged in a successful campaign to decide how their local council should be run. The third message was about how local Labour Parties can be forced to finance election campaigns, without any regard to local circumstances.
The vast majority of Labour Party members are loyal and don't like raising these sorts of issues publically for obvious reasons. I'm going to give quiet diplomacy a little longer. Gordon Brown has shown how to rebuild the world financial system. Now with the Euro-elections looming, the Party leadership would be well advised to ensure that the Party refashions itself to retain and recruit members.