Today the Labour Party's executive body responsible for policy, the Joint Policy Commission (of which I am not a member) meets to finalise plans for the General Election manifesto.
I have submitted my suggestions:
Restoring confidence in Labour's policy-making process 'Partnership in Power' with members and the electorate. We have to be seen getting out there and listening.
Steps to that goal:
Encourage each of the Policy Commission's to meet in January to undertake 'reality checks' with government represented at Cabinet level (possibly using opinion leaders on the most sensitive issues to test our ability to get key election messages across or reformulate to make sure we do)
1.a NPF linked to the planned Labour local government event 27 February (?) to consider the results of
2. an open and transparent consultation with party members to flush out key issues to help us get re-elected based on 'The choice for Britain' and Policy Commission 'reality checks'. NB. We have a volunteer pool of expertise capable of processing all this waiting to be mobilised. We just have learn to be confident and have trust
3. Key issues should be voted on by the NPF
4. A ballot of members should follow to prioritise and/or choose between short-listed options agreed by the NPF
5. A Clause 5 meeting should agree the manifesto after an election is called as per Rule.
We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being inclusive, open and transparent. (BTW this is not a rerun of 1983!) It's about winning back hearts and minds to Labour. We can only do that by proving to our members and the electorate we are listening.
There is a salutory reminder of why duffing up Cameron in the Commons is not enough and potentially counter-productive in the Spectators Coffee Shop piece here. Having won back public sympathy after the Sun lost it over GB's letter to a fallen soldier's Mother, we don't want to lose it by being seen to bully the rich and their representatives. They didn't choose to go to Eton. They were just born(e) to it.