Letter No 64  by Mike Allott: back to directory

17 Dec 2015

Dear Sir or Madam,

Labour and the need for a new political narrative

It is reassuring to see pragmatic democracy perhaps beginning to work again through the Open Labour initiative (Letters, 10 December). Hopefully this will draw us away from the proposed reliance on democratic centralism, where settlement relies purely on a statistical majority.

We are surely unwise to deviate from our tried and tested practice of representative democracy. One where our minority views as party members – and citizens – are not ignored. Your correspondents are absolutely right. We need a space “free from the divisive and intolerant voices that have come to dominate Labour debate”. We already know that many of our elected MPs are unhappy with the current settlement. It is also now reassuring that a number of influential elected councillors are signatories to your letter.

It is particularly comforting that Ann Black, Labour’s most respected and longest-serving NEC member, is contributing to the argument. Ann is directly elected by the CLP members, and has, for many years, established a formidable reputation as a two-way communicator and as an informal reflector of all-party opinion. A spot-on model of representative democracy. And, in case we rely too heavily on statistical democracy, remember our current leader was elected by less than 50% of Labour party members.

Mike Allott
Chandlers Ford, Hampshire

See the online version of this letter at: