Sorry, Ed but it has to be said. I didn't vote for you as Leader of the Labour Party to enable business as usual. I don't believe the vast majority of members and affiliates who voted for you in 2010 did either. Yet that is what you appear to be presiding over. If you want to know why you are not making headway in the polls, you probably need look no further than the National Executive Committee (NEC) agenda and the people sat round the table at today's bi-monthly meeting.
You will no doubt have given your Leader's report. NEC members will have put in a question or two, if they were lucky enough to be called by Chairman Cashman. But there probably wasn't any debate, and as for voting for or against any resolutions - perish the thought.
That takes me to the root of Labour's mess. The party has been corrupted by a culture of deference and mis-placed loyalties. it would be naive to suppose that other political parties don't suffer from the same afflictions. They do. But we are the Labour Party. Constituted as a federated body of individuals, affiliates and elected representatives, mainly to the increasingly beleagured Westminster Parliament, our values have been suffocated by careerism.
You had a opportunity to stop the rot, to save the Labour Party. Instead you allowed your fratricidal guilt to be eased by the machine operatives, having plucked the crown from your brother with what now seem nothing more than false promises.
We were expecting internal party reform. Submissions were garnered. It was branded: Refounding Labour. Electronic means were provided to enable members to submit contributions. They could have been published for all interested members to see, read and analyse. But no. Those clever scheming control freaks failed to put a check box on the electronic submission form enabling members to authorise internal publication. Earlier this month, I received a letter from Head Office dated 22 December 2011 setting out various deadlines. It includes one concerning the party's policy making process - now that we are in opposition - known as Partnership into Power. It doesn't even include an eMail address for submissions, let alone an option to enable other members to see any other submissions. It is the ultimate insult in a democratic socialist party of which you are Leader.
A key internal indicator of your success will be membership trends. I would be very surprised if membership nationally on 31 December 2011 was higher than on the same day a year earlier, and I would be even more surprised if it wasn't starting to fall sharply. Tell me I'm wrong.
The temptations of office have to be rejected. Use of the first person singular about collective business should be banned. Policy is collective business. As leader you can guide and shape. But having gagged our National Policy Forum representatives, all one can presume is that you are frightened of debate and as a result your policies are a mess. The public sense that. The only way back is to start behaving like a democrat. Debate has to be enabled. People have to feel empowered.