What is the nature of Labour’s dissent? January 18, 2012Posted by Tomboktu in Minor Left Parties, Social Democracy, The Left.
I’ve been wondering about the Labour Party’s dissenters. The public face of that dissent is Broughan and Nulty (I don’t count Penrose as dissent — he resigned the whip but he hasn’t inhaled, as his voting record shows), but there has also been the three councillors (now two with Nulty moving up), and more importantly, I would say, those members who are involved with the likes of Claiming Our Future and TASC, who have consistently critiqued current government policy (although not naming their analyses as attacks on the party to which they belong [belonged?]). Are we witnessing a period in which the Labour Party’s leadership has captured the party, relenting on woeful policies only on an issue-by-issue basis when the howls from backbenchers get too loud — e.g. DEIS cuts — or does the Labour leadership reflect the broader Labour membership, and had they (leadership and broad party membership) captured those “mid-Left” activists who have a harder edge to their analyses?
I don’t have an answer to my question, but I cannot see how the current set-up can continue, and I wonder what will give: will the dissenters walk or will they galvanise the party’s membership and call time on the leadership?