Monday, 16 September 2013

Organisation or Network?

I really am concerned at the Labour Party and its organisation. Recent experience, whether it concerns policy engagement or admin, suggests that the Party is still a monolithic, controlling body rather than the sum of its parts. Policy submissions require detective work just to establish where to submit them, covering swathes of issues under abstruse categories. The submissions then disappear into a black hole from which no feedback returns. On admin, the Party/NEC seems to be all about bureaucracy rather than stimulation, expansion or engagement. I recently paid to go to Conference but have still no ticket or programme despite apparently passing muster weeks ago - my money has been taken, of course. Every charity, cinema or festival does better with ticketing than this - because they treat the paying public as customers. On the other hand, as Members, we are still not in the 21st century. Social networks are so simple to create today, so why is the Labour Membership not one social network, engaging with one another, facilitated by the Party, instead of being kept in the dark as to which of our neighbours may be like-minded? Top-down seems to be the order of the day, whether in admin or engagement or policy - this is unhealthy, inefficient and demotivating. If things are this bad with 200,000 members and Ed is hoping for 500,000, it is time surely to loosen the Party's stays and join the new digital world?

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately to use an IT expression what we as party members may see as bugs are to the people who actually designed the system features.

    The whole purpose of the Byzantine policy forum system was precisely to end the ability of ordinary party members to propose any motion, submit them through a vote of their CLP or union branch, get them passed by a 2/3 majority by conference and then have them become official Labour policy.

    And God help us it was the CLPs and unions who step by step democratically voted to end all of that in favour of a sort of F├╝hrerprinzip where we elect the leader and hope for the best.

    So I am afraid that part of the system works exactly as its designers (primarily Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair) intended.

    The inability of the party to produce a conference pass is however probably just pure incompetence....