Lynn Prentice has posted a statement at The Standard saying that he will vote for the Greens next election. And Shearer can’t dismiss him as anonymous, Lynn posted under his normal pseudonym (lprent), but his identity is well known.
This is rather premature, being two years before the election, but I get what he’s trying to do. He’s using his gravitas as long time Labour Party member and activist, and the administrator of the biggest left wing blog, to try and get through to a seemingly deaf and blind Labour caucus.
This is a change of heart from Lynn, a couple of weeks ago he said:
The authors often care a great detail about what “politicians and the media think”.
But we just don’t care about what they think about us.
But times have changed, rapidly. Now Lynn does care what they think, because the future of the Labour Party is at stake. It really is. Someone has to try and get through. And new found fame and potential influence is one way to try.
I agree with quite a bit of Lynn’s assessment of the current situation. The Labour Party does desperately need to modernise, and the Green Party would be a good model to follow (the Maori Party have also got some good ways of connecting with their supporters).
But it won’t be easy. Some of the Labour remits are a move in the right direction, but some will prove problematic if they really want a fairer more democratic party system. Some of the changes strengthen their legacy of factions, like the 40/40/20 rule, and even to get that opportunity to have their 40% of say the rank and file have to rely on 40% of MPs to give them that chance.
And while it’s well meaning the ‘at least 50% of female’ requirement has practical problems, plus it’s not fairly democratic. Under the rule an electorate committee could have all female members, but no more than half male members.
But it’s a lurch in the right direction overall, to spread the party power more evenly.
I hope the Labour caucus does start to listen to bloggers like Lynn, and many of the commenters too. Many of their concerns are real and genuine, highlighting deepseated problems that don’t seem to have been recognised or acknowledged by the caucus cabal.
But there as still credibility issues that may detract from the message. Lynn said “I’m pretty sure from past conversations with Eddie” – which Eddie? It’s known there have been more than one. Is there one in the mirror?
To be a trusted grass roots influence there may need to be more openness and honesty at The Standard as well as in the Labour caucus.