Sunday, 7 March 2010

activist blues

Budget Day is going to be on 24th March. So says Richard Willis, and I think he is right. Gordon will not want to go to the country on 1st April, for obvious reasons, and Richard Willis is right about that too. So Gordon will go on 6th April, just after Easter, taking advantage of the fact that Easter is relatively early this year, because campaigning has to stop for four whole days otherwise, which is far too long in a general election, and the general election will thus be on 6th May. I do hope Lambeth council get me my postal vote in time, otherwise Eurostar will be getting too much of my hard-earned. But notice something in Richard Willis' post - he says that the dwindling number of Labour councillors who want to hold on to their seats has reduced the pool of activists available to help Labour candidates. True enough. But councillors are in it for themselves as well as for the party. A truly active and vibrant party needs activists on the ground who believe in the cause and not just in their own careers. What the Tories call "the voluntary party", which I saw disappear from the Conservatives in the early 1990s and which has now all but disappeared from the Labour Party in many areas, is essential to victory IMHO. Richard Willis is making the assumption that to have activists you need to have councillors, in fact that they are the same people, with which I disagree. The activists have disappeared from Labour for several reasons, which require another post to discuss, though as always I would welcome views, this being an interactive blog.

And now off to see the bridge where the archduke (and his pregnant wife) were shot down. And to remember that Radovan Karadzic is on trial. And to be glad that there is an international judicial process, in fact there is more than one. And to wonder if Douglas Hurd and his friends and associates have ever acknowledged their own responsibility for some of what happened in the Balkans in the 1990s, and to remember, in the words of little Bobby Zimmerman "even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked."


Anonymous said...

I think Willis is on to something - generally speaking, I would suggest that there is a rough correlation between the number of activists in a political party and the number of councillors. Which one is "cause", and which one "effect", is difficult to say, but the increased activity of the Lib Dems in central Reading has occurred co-incidentally with the increase in the number of their councillors.

Anonymous said...

6th April is very unlikely for minority religious reasons (and some polling stations will not be able to be used) - 13th or 20th April are much more likely.
Some party branches hardly ever meet, and members are no longer able to have an input into party policy.

Anonymous said...

And for Tony Blair to acknowledge his responsibility for what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Jonny said...

It does depend where you are. The Labour Party in Plymouth is very active at the moment as our Tory council has sold off the bus company (pledge: no job cuts for 12 months; 14 redundancies 3 weeks later), promised no job cuts in this year's budget (150 announced last week), and promised to look after our 1,000 year old local archive (National archives have just taken it over as an emergency measure). This does tend to galvanise the comrades