Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn defied the predictions of the pundits. In the changed situation so many things are up for grabs. The myth that electoral advance is only possible when you hug the centre (or rather, the centre as defined by the rich and powerful and those who serve them) has been destroyed. So this is an important moment for British politics.
My suggestion is that the emphasis of Momentum now needs to shift from shoring up support for Jeremy Corbyn (he needs our support but now his position is much stronger) to (1) developing policy and (2) bringing in to active roles large numbers of Corbyn supporters who have still not got involved in Labour Party activity.
The Labour Manifesto was thrown together in a hurry and had little in terms of agreed Labour policy to go on. It was fortunate that it was, and was seen to be, a much better document than the Tory manifesto which seems to have been put together in the belief that it didn’t matter what was said because victory was already in the bag.
But to go forward to an election victory and then to effective government Labour’s current policy is, in my view, plainly insufficient. Far more work is needed on economic policy and many other areas. Even when much work has been done on housing little has been done to make this known to the party members. All that has to change.
And where there are well-known major differences of view as on, for example, Trident renewal, this needs to be opened up to an informed debate which will enable the party as a whole to decide the outcome. There is no way that such things can be resolved within the confines of the Parliamentary Labour Party. But if the membership as a whole determines the outcome then the possibility of in-fighting within the PLP over the result is significantly reduced. Even those who think that the party exists to serve the PLP rather than the other way round would have to note that opposing decisions of the membership is of a different order to opposing the views of a other members of the PLP.
Much time has been wasted on ineffective policy development in the last two years in which the declared aim of putting party members in charge of policy has remained little more than an empty slogan. Now that has to change and to change fast. There could be another general election within a year or so.
[Contributions from individual members do not necessarily represent those of Hounslow Momentum, unless otherwise indicated. We hope that such pieces will generate discussion.]