Radical scheme that will anger left-wingers

Labour's leaked document addresses party deficiencies, reports John McKie
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The Independent Online
The strategy leaked yesterday in a secret Labour document will anger left-wing activists anxious at the influence of pollsters and spin doctors. But at the same time, it will be seen as exposing some of the most important deficiencies that Tony Blair has to make up before becoming certain of Labour's first election victory since 1974.

The Unfinished Revolution is perhaps the most radical document yet in its suggestion that Mr Blair's "New Labour" is not radical enough.

It sets several targets for Labour for which the party, it says, is "nowhere near ready", including a 6 per cent swing to ensure a working majority in 1997.

The document, which is thought to date from around seven months ago, also makes several criticisms of the then Labour Party. These include the suggestion that Labour is not "a cohesive, integrated political party sharing the same political ideology".

Neither, it says, has Labour "the political project that matches the Thatcher agenda of 1979, nor one that will be able to sustain Labour in government and transform Britain". Labour does not have a campaigning operation capable of achieving victory, it states.

The document says that Labour must be a "genuine" one-member, one-vote party.

It suggests that there should be "a unitary command structure" leading directly to the Labour party leader, who should also be "sole ultimate source" of campaigning authority.

The Unfinished Revolution says a definitive statement of Blair/New Labour policy, which it entitles "Labour's Right Approach", should be launched by spring 1996, with a "revolutionary new policy agenda" in place by the October conference of that year.

This agenda, it says, should focus on renewal and decline as its central message, and all campaigning should be structured around this message. The October conference should be structured around renewal: economic renewal, social renewal, political renewal. Economic renewal should be a priority for summer campaigning.

It adds that a central campaign meeting, chaired by Mr Blair and including his four-man campaign team, "must be ultimately responsible for all campaigning decisions". There should also be a weekly campaigning meeting in an "operations room/war room" in the leader's office. In addition, there should be a daily news management meeting.

It proposes that "all communications materials", should be subject to "an agreed approval process" at these meetings. It proposes other meetings including a monthly strategy meeting and a fortnightly polling meeting. There should also be a regular audit of campaigning progress.

Finally, it suggests "occasional wider meetings" intended to build morale and disseminate information.

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