Letter: Building trust between Labour leadership and the grassroots

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Sir: The proposals by the Labour Co-ordinating Committee are as confused as they are untimely.

To put local party democracy in the hands of a few elected activists is the antithesis of the mass party that Labour has successfully built in recent years, increasing participatory democracy at the expense of representative democracy.

The only willing representatives under the LCC proposals would be the same old activists, and in particular, aspirant politicians.

One of the strengths of Labour's local organisation, which far surpasses that of any other British political party, is that important functionary positions are often filled by those who do not seek to be representatives. The reliable secretary, the diligent treasurer and the unbiased chair are the unsung heroes who are often unlikely to put themselves forward in postal ballots against aspirant politicians.

This proposal would return Labour Party democracy back to the bad old days of the early 1980s.