This is our truth, tell us yours
Apparently, Arnie Graf was shocked by the state of the Labour Party when he worked with it. You can read his full article here. Along the way you can also read a phenomenally stupid article by Jon Cruddas that we’ll return to later that epitomizes what’s wrong with Labour’s organizing minds.
Returning to Arnie Graf though, here’s the point. Arnie discovered that Labour’s machine wasn’t working. Arnie got paid a lot of money to find this out. In 2014 we got paid fuck all to write
The Labour Party re-invented by Blair, building on the work of Kinnock, was designed for one function only; returning a Labour government in Westminster. Everything else was secondary. The party organization was hollowed out to divert all resources to the simple task of winning elections. The functional idea that Labour’s job was to organize and represent the working classes at all levels of democracy and in all our communities went by the wayside.
The result was that in all too many areas Labour, as an organizing party, ceased to exist. In North East England, the area we know best, the task of the Labour Party became one of disciplining and directing the local parties, making sure that nothing embarrassing or potentially divisive was allowed to emerge from Labour’s debates that might affect the outcome of parliamentary elections. Control of regional parties became the duty of regional boards who were rewarded with a power of patronage over local political selections in return for being upwardly accountable to the party centre.
Arnie, well paid, well regarded Arnie got around to writing, in 2015
organisers are not expected or assigned to grow the Party. They have no time to develop meaningful relationships with people in the communities where they are assigned to work; therefore, the Party remains out of touch with the vast majority of people throughout the country.
We told you so Arnie. We told you in 2014. We’re just a blog written by a clever woman who is sometimes a sexworker and an itinerant grumpy old man, trying to keep his shit together in one of Labour’s heartlands, but we could see it.
What Labour needs to embrace, to take away from Arnie’s ‘don’t blame organizers like me’ apology for leaving the rest of us to put up with another five years of Tory shit is that voters aren’t stupid. The things we can see, the things Arnie could finally see once he got out of the meeting rooms and the airport lounges, are things the voters have been able to see for ten years. And that’s why it’s ten years, nationally, since Labour won an election.