I was pretty amused the other week to receive the following email from David Milliband. A couple of my SNP colleagues in the Council also received it - I wonder if perhaps he thinks Glasgow City Council is still synonymous with the Labour Party?!
Anyway, there's also a link to a survey, inviting me to give my views on the future of the Labour Party... ooooooh, where to start?
I’m writing to ask for your help, not just in my leadership campaign, but in building our party for the future. It is a strange time – great gains in local government, heroic successes in the general election, but our second worst defeat in 80 years. Learn the right lessons and we can repair and rebuild - and get back to power.
Many local Councillors know me from my time as Local Government Minister. I believe strong local government is a central part of our mission to spread power and opportunity in our communities. We must be a movement for change across the country, using power at the ward and council level as the basis for being an effective electoral machine nationally.
Last Saturday I set out the steps I think we need to take to achieve this vision of a renewed, living, breathing Labour Movement. I highlighted a number of commitments. If elected leader, I will:
1. Lead with Action, not words: offering training for 1000 party members as community organisers
2. Give a voice for Labour Councillors in the Shadow Cabinet
3. Return democracy to the Party starting with an elected Party Chair
4. Double Labour Party membership
5. Defend the Union Link and recruit trade unionists to Labour
You can read more about my vision at http://www.davidmiliband.net/2010/06/05/rebuilding-our-movement/
I believe the ideas in our next manifesto can be road tested in local government and by Labour Councillors. We need to make up for lost time on housing and anti-social behaviour, reclaim ground on education and welfare and forge new ground on jobs and political reform.
And of course I oppose the dangerous politics of the new government.
It’s a big task but a vital one for our country.
Last week, more amusement - a second email! Personally addressed too, I feel quite flattered (not least as I didn't bother to attend the campaign visit).
I wanted to write to thank the hundreds of party members and trade unionists who took the time to talk to me during my visit to
last week. Scotland
I came to
because I wanted to learn from your success. Labour had a great General Election in Scotland . We held every seat and achieved a swing towards Labour across the country. Scotland
We need to understand your success because, in truth, we had a really bad election result elsewhere in
. In the southern regions of Britain we won just 10 seats out of 212. We have now lost 4½ million votes and 180 seats since 1997. England
Scottish Labour has rebuilt itself since 2007 as a community party and as an effective opposition exposing the broken promises of the SNP. I believe that is the way back for Labour across
: renewing our ideas, rebuilding ourselves as a mass movement that can resist the Tory Liberal coalition. That is why I have put such an emphasis on renewing our organisation with ideas like an elected Party Chair and it is why I have committed to train 1000 members in community organising techniques during this leadership contest. Britain
The Scottish parliament elections are the biggest electoral test next year for our new Leader and our party. Defeating the SNP and Scottish Labour winning again is a priority for me. We have a strong team around Iain Gray and I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure that we return to power in Holyrood is the first step towards a return to power in
. To win we will need the whole party pulling together. Scottish politics has been transformed since 1999 but our party’s structures haven’t kept pace. That is why I have said I will support the creation of a specific place on the NEC for Westminster . Scotland
I have appointed Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander as Joint Chairs of my leadership campaign - I will keep working with, and listening to Scottish voices if you choose me as your leader.
You can listen to my thoughts on my visit, recorded as I travelled around
, here. I would really like to continue the discussions that we started last week and would encourage you to visit www.davidmiliband.net Scotland
Finally, I would like to ask for the support of your CLP. Your local party will have the opportunity to support one of the candidates for Leader. You have until 26th July to return a supporting nomination from your CLP. I would be honoured to have the support of your members. Copies of of a leaflet I have prepared can be found here. I would be grateful if you could send forward this email onto friends in local parties.
Whoever you, and your CLP decide to support I hope we can work together to build on
’s success and to rebuild our movement. Scotland
Who will I support? Well, I think despite his overtures, I'll still be backing the SNP government and an independent Scotland!