All things being fair, today is the day that Open Labour should pass 1000 members. To mark that I’m allowing myself a self-indulgent post.
When people says you don’t exist or don’t matter, you show them that you do, even if this is the hard route. When you can’t rely on financial backing etc, if you have good people that you can rely on, then you come together and build it yourselves.
I’m missing a lot of people who were there from the start of it, and there is still a lot of work to do, to clarify the politics and adapt it to post-2020, and to get more organised in CLPs and trade unions. I hope everyone running for the internal elections gets how those things need to go big, at this point.
But I’m very proud of what OL has become and where it is going.
I’m proud of how it has stuck to its guns.
OL has kept fighting for democratic reform as part of socialist reform. It has stood by left pluralism and the fact that vibrant democracy means diversity and a right to be inclusion and respect. It hasn’t conceded to constant demands to dump its own independence, it hasn’t yielded to centralised top-down leftism and the call to dump open politics, or to demands to shift to Labour right and dump transformative ideas. It has fought for international responses to global capital. It has become nobody’s hobby horse or personal platform, and it follows its membership consistently.
To me, refusal to bend on these things makes us less ‘soft’ or ‘wet’ than most of the other factions, where the arguments change with the winds.
In a lot of ways, our politics has come to heavily influence some of the other traditions. I hope we can make our basic principles inescapable ones.
Most of all with OL, I am proud of some of the excellent people who have joined it on its way! They are all we have – and how fortunate that is for us.