This was given to Labour’s caucus yesterday and leaked to Paddy Gower today:
- Who leaked it and why? It’s a ‘bad look’ for the party, which has been plagued by leaks and the perception of disunity. It could have been pretty much anyone, but I have a theory . . .
- The review seems to be a draft. There are review comments in the margins.
- The draft states – in a diplomatic way – that the affiliates, ie the unions, have an awful lot of power within Labour, but that they don’t do much during elections or give the party much money.
- Which I find interesting. Ever since the UK election I’ve been wondering about the role that unions play in left-wing politics there, in Australia, and here. Having these powerful external organisations running around stacking selections, picking MPs and playing kingmaker within the party, which then gets slaughtered when the public don’t like the candidates they picked doesn’t seem to be working out that well for anyone.
- But I doubt former EMPU boss Andrew Little would agree with that, or the implied criticism of the unions in the review. So my theory is that Little demanded that point be removed from the final draft and someone who felt strongly about the point – and, perhaps, the role the unions played putting Little into power – leaked the draft.
The late start under a changed leadership team left too little time to allow Labour to prepare and implement an effective campaign. In general, Labour’s campaign preparation was inadequate.
The campaign was undoubtedly hindered by a shortage of financial resources. The finance available was less than in earlier campaigns, though only a little less bycomparison with 2011. Labour must do better in this respect in 2017.Labour must build greater confidence in its ability to win and to form a successful government, and – in addition to building its database of online donors – it must use high-level business and other contacts, supported by a strengthened group of professional fundraisers on the staff team, in approaching the corporate sector and other potential sources of funding for donations
Action should arise from a review of the voter targeting and other work undertaken during the election to engage the “missing million”. Integrated with this, high quality research must be undertaken on patterns of non-voting and the best way to target those people. Labour’s input to the Parliamentary select committee review of the GeneralElection and Labour’s Justice spokesperson should focus on why 1 million people didn’tvote, and what could be done to address that
Labour must emphasise its values (fairness, social cohesion, freedom of choice and action) as it differentiates its values from those of its opponents, as values earn trust from voters
There is an urgent need to clarify the Party’s legal status, required not only for ethical reasons of increasing transparency, but also to enable the Party to more effectively use resources available to it, in particular funding. It could also clarifythe responsibilities and accountabilities of entities and individuals within the organisation. Labour needs to be proactive and agree a legal model that is realistic about the competitive nature of politics but also increases the effectiveness of the Party organisation.
The Party’s organisational structure should reflect the dual role of the Party – the maintenance of a viable disciplined political organisation and the need to develop a sustainable effective campaigning capacity to win elections. It requires clarity as to where the authority lies for what function.
The real question appears to be how the Party identifies candidates and then prepares and supports its candidates before, during and after the election. There needs to be greater central coordination of candidates . They are the advocates and the public face of the Party so much of the success of the election campaign depends on them. One of the tasks of the Executive should be to address this issue.