Catching up with friends and family over the festive season included lots of pointed reminders about why so many have either resigned or let their Labour Party membership lapse. Everyone has their own particular reason..too much interference in health and education, failure to take on the fat cats, obsession with private sector, nuclear power, nuclear weapons..I could go on. But one particular remark from a former Labour Party branch secretary whom I asked what would encourage him to rejoin struck me as likely to resonant. That was a commitment to a public inquiry into the second Iraq War.
The rest fit into a generalised category which will come as no surprise: no say, no pay. I see changing that perception of the Labour Party and rehabilitating the idea of party political membership as active citizenship as the challenge which our National Executive Committee must address in 2009 if it is to have a future.