Posted by blowing bubbles - everyday social democracy on 26 May 2008
Activists respond to Brown call that ‘communication is a force for good’. Save the Labour Party (STLP) today released internal Labour Party policy documents in a form enabling all Party members with Internet access to comment and see each other contributions.
This unofficial service is a collaboration between Save the Labour Party, Compass Youth and Comment on This – which has developed a facility that displays consultation documents in sections with a Comment area attached – enabling all respondents to see openly and transparently what others are proposing.
The initiative, which is opposed by the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee, coincides with a speech by Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Gordon Brown highlighting the power of communication tools such as the internet and their potential for uniting people and challenging
STLP Chair, Peter Kenyon, said: “If Gordon Brown wants to restore his political authority inside and outside the Labour Party he should institute an immediate inquiry. Why are party officers blocking the use of readily available communication tools to enable all Party members, or the public as a whole, to take part in Labour’s latest policy review?”
An Open Letter was sent to Brown last month signed by 10 leading Labour Party figures drawing his attention to the need for an open and transparent review. This call for support was rebuffed in a letter from Labour Party NEC, Dianne Hayter, who says that the process is already open and transparent.
STLP is seeking to reserve access to Labour Party members until a technical solution can be agreed to segment comments from the general public from those of Party members. This will enable Labour Party members’ view to be analysed separately and compared with those of the general public.
STLP has attracted support from all sections of the Labour Party. It has close links with other
campaigning organisations in the labour movement in England, Scotland and Wales, including the Campaign For Labour Party Democracy, the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, and Compass Youth.
The Labour Party policy documents have been released through the Party’s intranet, MemberNet, restricting access in the first instance to Labour Party members registered on the site. They are believed to number some 40,000 out of around 180,000.
Click here if you are a member and you will get access to the link to the open source version of the manifesto documents.
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