petej + participation   137

Can Labour forge a new, 21st-century socialism? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is that these ideas have yet to be turned into the kind of stories and messages that might decisively push Labour somewhere new. The party has been transformed, but it has a split personality – to quote the academic Jeremy Gilbert, Labour continues to be divided between a “decentralised political movement that would like to build a more democratic and cooperative economy” and “a top-down project focused entirely on maintaining Corbyn’s leadership, which is largely proposing a return to the statist social democracy of the postwar era”. The former demands deep thought, and the willingness to surrender old orthodoxies; the latter is a comfort blanket to which much of the party still instinctively clings.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  Fordism  postFordism  post-industrialism  neoliberalism  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  conservatism  nationalisation  decentralisation  welfare  housing  education  schools  Amazon  exploitation  automation  employment  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej
In his speech the other day Neil Kinnock reminded me of a peculiar tick the the Labour Party… — Medium
This tick then, expressed (and expresses now when Neil Kinnock uses it in a speech) two very different ideas of what the Labour movement was or could be. For the Bennites then (and the Corbynites now), the Labour movement is and was something that recruits as many people as it can and becomes the direct expression of their political aspirations, including their most radical ones. That is, if you want a say in how the party, a trade union or the country is run, you join and participate with the best ideas winning through. The parliamentary party are nothing more than the delegates of their CLPs and their primary duty is to agitate for the politics of their members. For those on the other side, the Labour Party is not supposed to directly represent the politics of its members, it is a not a tool for direct interventions in the political sphere by ordinary people. Rather it is a organisation in which the leadership should be trusted to develop (after consulting members) a programme for government which appeals beyond their membership to the country as a whole. The members' role is largely passive, a case of essentially promoting whatever it is that party leadership does as opposition or government — socialism as “whatever a Labour government does”.

This then is one key to the gap between the left and right of the party. The gap that the soft left and the moving softer left (hello Owen Jones) don’t really get. The distance here is not all about policy. When Kinnock says he wants his party back, he means it in a very literal sense. He doesn’t want just want the leadership to return to his wing of the party, he wants an end to this dangerous experiment in “syndicalism”, where Labour pretends to represent directly the political ambitions of its members. He wants it back from its electorate and for the PLP, for a kind of imagined “authentic Labourism" which is more pragmatic and speaks for (but not with) the British people as a whole.

And when it says it, he does so with all historical justice on his side, because that genuinely is what the Labour Party has been historically and what it was founded to be — a party of the left’s great and good, cheerled by an obedient army of leaflet deliverers.

He and the other 172 MPs on Kinnock’s side will only truly be happy if and when it returns to that. That means that those hoping for a sort of Corbynism without Corbyn or even for a more general re-engagement with the interests of the working class, should think long and hard about what those cheers mean.
LabourParty  KinnockNeil  tradeUnions  syndicalism  control  Bennism  paternalism  hierarchy  radicalism  socialism  PLP  participation  leadership  CorbynJeremy  TheLeft 
july 2016 by petej
The elites hate Momentum and the Corbynites - and I’ll tell you why | David Graeber | Opinion | The Guardian
"The real battle is not over the personality of one man, or even a couple of hundred politicians. If the opposition to Jeremy Corbyn for the past nine months has been so fierce, and so bitter, it is because his existence as head of a major political party is an assault on the very notion that politics should be primarily about the personal qualities of politicians. It’s an attempt to change the rules of the game, and those who object most violently to the Labour leadership are precisely those who would lose the most personal power were it to be successful: sitting politicians and political commentators.

If you talk to Corbyn’s most ardent supporters, it’s not the man himself but the project of democratising the party that really sets their eyes alight. The Labour party, they emphasise, was founded not by politicians but by a social movement. Over the past century it has gradually become like all the other political parties – personality (and of course, money) based, but the Corbyn project is first and foremost to make the party a voice for social movements once again, dedicated to popular democracy (as trades unions themselves once were). This is the immediate aim. The ultimate aim is the democratisation not just of the party but of local government, workplaces, society itself."
LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  leadership  PLP  democracy  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  politics  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=GraeberDavid 
july 2016 by petej
Tory victory means an end to wider participation in higher education | Peter Scott | Education | The Guardian
"Funding for research and for high-cost subjects, principally science, engineering and medicine, will be protected. Goodbye, support for widening participation.

The “top”, and other traditional universities will benefit most because they have the bulk of the research and science (even if they also happen to have the most privileged student bodies). Newer, wider-access universities, with more inclusive student bodies, will suffer because they have limited research and fewer high-cost subjects.

The result will be two-tier, two-speed higher education. The universities with least will suffer most, another sad example of the Matthew principle: “To him that hath shall be given.”

The most privileged universities will continue to be the most public in the sense they will receive the most public funding. Those institutions that have done most to widen the social base, and maybe the educational possibilities, of higher education will be left to scramble for business in the marketplace of the brave new world."
education  higherEducation  universities  funding  teaching  participation  marketisation  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=ScottPeter 
june 2015 by petej
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