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I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “labOURinquiry”

"I will pay £5 towards an open inquiry into why 200,000 Labour Party members have resigned, and 4 million voters switched allegiance since 1997 but only if 4,999 Labour supporters will do the same."

— Peter Kenyon, on behalf of the LabOUR Commission

Deadline to sign up by: 12th November 2005
120 people signed up, 4879 more were needed

Country: United Kingdom

More details
An independent commission of Labour Party members chaired by Michael Meacher MP, a prominent backbencher and former government minister, has been meeting since the General Election in May to inquire into why Labour has lost so many
members since 1997, and more recently 4 million voters; and make recommendations.

As a first step a formidable academic team has agreed to undertake fresh research into Labour Party membership, and report on why Labour is finding it difficult to recruit and retain members when millions are willing, for example, to take to the streets in support of Make Poverty History campaigns and Stop the War.

Leading national polling organisations have submitted tenders to support this work. To do the job properly we need to raise £25,000 to pay for the first phase. This will focus on the aspirations of members past and present; both when they joined, during membership and if they are one of the 200,000 plus that have resigned since 1997, why they left and what Labour will have to change to encourage them to rejoin. We are also keen to find out more about the millions of politically active members of British society –
men, women, young and old - who are NOT members of the Labour Party, but, given their interest in the world we all live in, ought to being targetted to join the Labour Party.

Our aim is to publish the preliminary results on Monday 26 September - the eve of the Tony Blair’s speech to the Labour Party conference.

With your financial support we will be able to get a comprehensive, independently researched assessment of Labour’s chances of rebuilding active membership for a 4th term.

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Comments on this pledge

  • This represents a start in the rolling back of the black tide of 'monetarism.'
  • There are 200,000 ex-labour supporters you are not targetting with this pledge.

    "but only if 4,999 Labour supporters will too."

    I consider myself centre left on the political spectrum, and far left of Tony Blair and Michael Howard. Also, my being pro-democracy and anti-totalitarian, have other disagreements with Blair and Howard.

    I generally agree with Shirley Williams, Tony Benn and Simon Hughes.

    I would sign the pledge if it wasn't limited to Labour supporters.
    Nicholas Hill, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Face it people. It's too late!

    Join the LibDems as many of us have already done (myself included) - at least within that party we will be listened to and not ignored. And need I mention their left of Labour policies on tax, the environment, human rights, Iraq - the list goes on.

    Don't let your tribal loyalties blind you to the only feasible way forward...
  • The LabOUR Commission website is now live at:

    Richard may be disappointed as the Commission's Aims and Mission Statement are somewhat narrowly focussed (quite deliberately) and are certainly not going to stray away from Labour Party democracy.

    Nicholas, we appreciate your interest, but we want to put our party in order - hence the appeal to LabOUR supporters.

    As for Robin, well can you imagine a less fertile place to recruit than a site securing pledges from Labour activists prepare to divvy up some more cash to make labOUR party?

    Talking of critics, did you hear Michael Meacher on the Today programme? He was pitted against Pat McFadden MP, former Deputy Chief of Staff at No. 10. Mr McFadden claimed the Commission was partly flawed as it was only concerned with membership of the Labour Party! Mmm, yes that is what it was set up to do.

    You can listen to the interviews with John Humphries by going to:

    and scroll down to 0856
  • I just thought I should take the opportunity to dismiss the above, rather rich imprecation that I might be anti-democratic simply because I uphold traditional socialist values of defending the more vulnerable elements of the working class. I do confess to a liking for 'broad' over 'narrow,' on the other hand. ;)
    I feel loathe to comment at length on the destructive comment and the somewhat hypocritical one.
  • Perhaps it's because Labour are now the party of

    Destruction of liberty
    Sell out to the EU
    High Taxation
    No limit immigration
    Speed Cameras
    High Fuels Costs
    High Council Tax
    Imprisoning pensioner Vicars
    White elephant expensive ID cards
    Over regulation

    I could go on.

    Labour are a disgrace and the 1 in 5 people who voted for them at the last election are too. SHAME ON YOU.
  • If your UKIP idea of wooing the electorate is to browbeat us for past voting behaviour, Matt, I feel that you are not enough of a threat to divide the right-wing voters you are clearly more interested in - which is a pity, in some ways.
  • Join the Lib Dems? You're having a laugh ,any half active Labour member knows exactly what the LDs are all about and it ain't about being to 'the left' of Labour. It's about being to the left,right,middle of whoever their opponents are in whatever seat they happen to be fighting at the time.

    I'll admit it's a nice prospect being able to say whatever you want, when you want but most of us grew out of that when we lost the short pants.
  • I might have joined them by now had it not been against the restrictive British rules we (both parties) live under, preventing dual membership and effectively undermining freedom of association. Otherwise, your point is 'good in parts,' altho somewhat undermined by the sleazy link and the unwarranted attack on the adult short pant market.
  • Shame on you 'Matt Davies'. I'm Labour and proud, because Labour deliver policies for working people, such as tax credits, increases in Child benefit, Sure Start, the minimum wage, investment in public services, employment rights and the EMA. Your right-wing rantings are nonsense, and I think you're a disgrace.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • The Lib Dems are not to the left of Labour on a single issue. Every single one of their policies is focused solely on the middle classes; they may want to tax the mega-rich a bit more, but they would giver all the extra money to middle class students and middle class pensioners. Labour redistributes money to people at the bottom, not people in the middle.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Hello George
    Please tell me how to identify these middle class people. They seem to be masters of disguise, as I have never knowingly seen one.

    Given they are so secretive as to never tell me, perhaps there should be a law requiring them to identify themselves. Perhaps this information should be put on their identity card so I can immediately determine if they are worthy. Once this information is on the ID card database, it would be simple to round them up and come up with a final solution.
    Nicholas Hill, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Labour are the most right wing party in this country. You guys make me laugh.

    I don't back prememptive war, based on lies and shunned by most of the world. Doesn't the hundreds of thousands of lives play on your minds at night. Doesn't the fact Britain in now a terror target shame you.

    I don't back big brother, authortarian ID card schemes, designed to herd the people.

    I don't tolerate my party bringing in bogus terror laws, only to use them on pensioners who moan at Jack Straw.

    I don't pensioners to be thrown in prison, because they refuse to pay extortiante council tax, that hurts the poor most.

    I don't back a discredited tax credit scheme, that confuses the needy, adds loads of admin cost and costs the country a fortune. How about not taxing the low paid in the first place?

    I don't back a party that puts all it's cronies into the Lords and then still ignores them when they are pushinh their neo-Nazi policies through.

    Keep on voting Labour because your Dad did. Just ignore the fact you are backing a neo fascist party and keep fooling yourselves that you are voting for a party of the people.

    I voted for Neil Kinnock with my first vote. I voted for Tony Blair with my second.

    I will take that to my grave as a badge of disgrace.
  • Who can be more offensively 'right-wing' than someone who makes gross generalisations about everyone who votes a particular way (and our 'Dads'!)? What is more right-wing and cowardly than sniping from a position of non-involvement at policies which have arisen very often from necessity/force majeure, and blaming innocents for your own hit-and-run voting history?
  • Besides, anyone who accuses us of being soft on immigration, over-regulation, over-taxation, selling out to the EU and over-using speed-cameras sounds a bit of a Daily Mail reading Nazi to me anyway. 'Matt Davies' accusing anyone of being a Neo-Nazi sounds hilariously hypocritical to me.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • My, I have hit a raw nerve.The guilt of supporting the murder of thousands of people must be getting to you. I'm just glad there were 200000 Labour party members and 4 million voters, with more honour, integrity and morals than you bunch of sychophants.

    You wanted to know why you are losing people and then you get all upset when one of those ex-voters tells you why. What a bunch of jokers.

    Go back to your authortarian machine of a party, that has sold out on all it's principles for power. You sound like just the kind of guys they love.

    Oh and your pledge will fail, because those that have left are never coming back. You sicken them.
  • I got annoyed because you were offensive and personally insulting. I have no problem with you criticising the Labour Party, but when you are so overbearing, arrogant and abusive about it, that's when it's unacceptable. We are not sychophants anyway; we are quite happy to criticise the leadership, but we just believe that working inside the party to change it is the best way. Crikey, Peter Kenyon is anything but a hypocrite; he's a well known critic of the government. The only hypocrite here is you, who try to attack Labour both from a right wing and a left wing position simultaneously. You have no consistency, and no backbone either. This pledge is for Labour Party members, not bitter misinformed semi-fascists. Please go away and rant to someone who cares.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I am most grateful to Matt Davies for epitomising, and giving voice to, the false logic behind opinion which has, let's face it, become extremely widespread and popular regarding war and other recent Labour Government policies. It is simply irrational and unfair to blame individual Labour Party members and supporters for gung-ho policies, and to completely absolve himself, and millions of other former Labour voters, for adding surplus fuel to what we all here seem to agree to be a vessel off course. Don't presume to take the responsibility of adv(ert)i
    sing a new direction in British party politics, Matt, until you have come to terms with, and taken responsibility for, the the executive decisions which you, as a voter, have made in the past.
  • Yes that's it, pretend it is all the other peoples fault, and not your own. That kind of attitude should see Labour wiped out at the next election, which suits me.

    I said before I will wear a badge of shame for putting Blair in. To still vote for him after him and his yes-men took us to illegal war based on lies, robbed the future of us and our children by stealing 5 bn a year from our pensions, ban everything possible, back police killing innocent people and lying about it, introducing a scheme Hitler would be proud of (ID cards and centralised database), made it impossible for anyone to get an NHS dentists, building all over Britains greenbelt, handing over our laws to an unelected foreign body, putting more of our pensioners in poverty than ever before, increasing indirectect taxation by stealth effecting the poor the most, totally destroying our education system, sadling our students with massive debt by charging tuition fees, allowing our children to be fed junk for years, giving criminals more rights than law abiding citizens.

    Anyone who votes for a party with that record, just because they are not the Tories, well it beggers belief.

    I think champaigne socialism exaplains it nicley. Hooked on the tax credits stolen from others, rather than having to work for a tax free wage. Employed by a government that has increased public workers to unsustainable levels. Sod the future eh, must steal other peoples money to fund a reliance on the state system culture. Yeah the Soviets tried that too.
  • I find it ironic that you ask people why Labour has lost members and then when someone tells you what they think the reasons are you attack them.
    I cannot believe you want to waste money on what is blindingly obvious. The Labour party is no longer the Labour party (i.e. clause 4, privatisation).
    Labour sold out its members by adopting Tory policies and shutting up people like Dennis Skinner. If you really want to know what’s wrong ask Dave Nellis(Ex Coventry MP), oh you can’t because Tony Blair had him kicked out, he wouldn’t be controlled unlike most of the other Labour career politicians.
    I could go on but from your comments on Matt Davies I suspect my comments will fall on deaf ears.
    Brendan Padmore, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Both you lads show indications of some core Labour values, which is good, but it must make life difficult in your new political homes, I'll wager!
    Tho you share some of our frustrations you really mustn't get carried away by it, and start blaming us for what to me looks like right-wing intelligence and the corruption of office (will the effect of the latter be lessened if we all hive off into a more right-wing vehicle? I don't think so!). Mind you, you both then go on to express an intolerance which makes our boys in Whitehall look good, so perhaps it's all your faults, at bottom?
  • Labour was once democratic, and had a large democratic membership. Now it has become autocratic - virtually a dictatorship - so surely there is no point in being a member of the party? I'm speculating this is the reason for the dearth of members and the apparent popularity of the Lib Dems? I am a member of no party - just a casual observer who reminisces about the civil liberties we loved and lost...
  • Dear me, wishing people who don't vote Labour dead who don't like the Labour party, that just about says it all.

    I don't pigeonhole myself as left or right either no, that is true. I'll take that as a compliment, even if it is from someone who supports illegal war, authortarianism and wants people to die who don't agree with him.

    Here people, is the answer to who are the 1 in 5 people still voting Labour. It ain't a pretty sight is it.

    New Labour, neo fascism, laid bare for all to see.
  • We are just ordinary people, Matt, and our manners are not all that different from what you'd expect from a termite colony detecting a breach of defences by some determined ants. Kevin needs to look at the history if he thinks that the idea of a populist party sloughing its own roots is something new - we're going to need more profound thinking than that, and a bit less 'holier-than-thou' from our invaders wouldn't go amiss. ;)
  • Ordinary termites. Yes a very good description. A powerful group made up of small individuals of limited intelligence that undermines the house in order to build a tower of mud to live in. A very apt description of what the Lab/Con party is doing to Britain. When we are all slaves in your giant mechinical beauracracy will you be happy? No you'll just find another house to undermine or another termite mound to go to war with. Both pathetic and depressing!
    Matthew Faithfull, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Stunning argumentive skills from George. Personal insults and wild assumptions on what newspaper I read. Now I know it might be hard for a fascist to follow, as I understnd you need uncle Tone to tell you how to think, but I actually gave up reading newspapers sometime ago. I grew sick of being spoon fed propaganda and with the internet you get all sides of the story.

    No I like it here, as this place exposes more than anywhere why the Labour party has become the sick disgrace that it is.

    You just can't comprehend that Labours short term envy politics, pushed through with fascism and spin, is creating a fat bloated state that will collapse on our childrens futures.

    All you can see is the handouts and make-jobs, which you think is great. It's a bit like a crack dealer, getting the people hooked on drugs, while robbing everyone else and screwing everyone in the long run.

    You keep taking the crack George. You are a beacon to the British public why this Labour government needs to be removed and the sooner the better.
  • You don't even try to argue on the facts or issues at all, and have insulted me personally quite a lot. I resent being called a 'fascist', and saying that I follow everything that Blair says is ridiculous - I have made it clear that I want to get rid of Blair, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to the good the government has done. I oppose Blair on parts of NHS reform, terrorism legislation, some parts of education reform, trade union legislation and other issues. I've just realised that you're a UKIP person, from your blog, which makes it really really funny that you should accuse me, a Social Democrat, of being a fascist, given that it is well known that UKIP is full of ex National Front and BNP people. This link tells us everything we need to know about UKIP. I almost took you seriously before - but a representative of a hard-right party accusing a moderate left-of-centre person of being fascist is genuinely hilarious. You are comically pathetic.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Message from Michael Chewter

    - all socialists who are working within the Labour
    Movement are invited to join the discussion on Labour and Socialist Forum.
    Just send a blank email to

    George and others, social democrats and socialists need to find a way of working together to find a way forward for the Labour Party. STLP is trying to get some democracy back in the party which is great but come and join us aswell if you want to talk through all the current policy issues.
    Frances Kelly, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • George is obviously right about UKIP being right-wing, Matt, so who do you think you're kidding? Sorry the other Matthew chose to crap on my insect analogy, but at least it was original (and true). Will they let me in the Labour & socialist forum, Frances? I'm getting a bit old for all this virtual frisking. :|
    Love and Peace, not war & hate. Starting here, pls. ^_________^
  • Reading the conversation with Matt etc, it's suddenly hit me. I feel I am constantly defending the party for policies I was never consulted on, or were not in place at the time I joined. Many of the policies don't even apply in Scotland, yet we are getting grief because, for example, people up here think they are getting City Academies etc. By not properly including members in the decision making process there is a real risk that members will no longer identify with the party. Those who think that is ok so long as the party keeps winning elections are heading for a rude awakening.
    Stewart MacDonald, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I think Stewart has a good point. I often find myself trying to defend policies that were basically decided on by a very small group of powerful people, and then imposed on the party with little consultation. Clearly the tools of consultation and debate in the party such as Partnership in Power need to be given more teeth, and Labour members need to feel that the policies they're defending are ones they approved of or were asked about in the first place.
    George Owers, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Stewart
    It's a tough call. Members naturally want to be loyal to their government and leader. It's hard to tell when it has gone so far that being loyal is actually damaging the party.

    In a way it's easier with Tony Blair because he is becoming outrageous and continually daring someone to stop him.


    Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. But I don't think Partnership in Power can be given more teeth.

    I don't actually want the membership to be given power so that their decisions over ride the executive.

    But what I do want is the membership to be given a way of expressing a view. In my opinion this can't happen through a representative route which is discredited and easily manipulated by a control mad executive. Look at the NEC.

    On the other hand it would be perfectly possible to poll members on their views regularly and publish the results. This is open to some abuse in question selection etc. but is far less easily manipulated and the way to go.

    frances kelly, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I voted against Blair for leader and have consistently opposed New Labour. Now they are showing signs of falling apart. This is the opportunity for socialists to save the Labour Party.

    Join the debate on:-

    Michael Chewter
    Michael Chewter, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • At last some Labour members with some sense. The first step to recovery, is to realise you have a problem. The next is identifying what that problem is.

    Labour have been taken over by a cabal and it heartens me to see that some are seeing that now. The sooner Labour recovers it's pride and principles, the better!

    I'll leave you to sort it out in peace now.
  • Every party is taken over by a 'cabal.' This was shown by the discrepancy between member and MP preference in the recent Conservative leadership contest (and previous ones). The real problem arises when the cabal is wrong/out of touch (always, arguably) or whether it is just seeing things from a different perspective (again, always, arguably). We are talking about a complex sociological reality. Looking at the level of your expensive but 'Yah boo sucks!' website, I am not sure that you are yet sufficiently adult to make any valuable contribution to the discussion.
  • lol @ "Yah boo"
  • Hope that blair will withdraw and go away!

    we need peace in the world
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Peter Kenyon, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Dominic Sweetman
  • John Burnell
  • Barry Gray
  • Gaye Johnston
  • Chris Paul
  • John Sunderland
  • Steve Bullock
  • Alon Or-bach
  • Dorothy Macedo
  • Tim Sandle
  • Clive Summerfield
  • Jonny Garner
  • Alex Young
  • Bob Piper
  • Stuart Watkin
  • Frances Kelly
  • Mike Rowley
  • Vinothan Sangarapillai
  • Mike Hobday
  • Paul McLean
  • Mike Cordingley
  • Mark Schofield
  • Jean Wood
  • David Mawson
  • Richard Comaish
  • David MICHAEL
  • Tony Rea
  • Malcolm Clark
  • Julian Hudson
  • Mike Watts
  • Lawrie Nerva
  • Simon Macfarlane
  • Bob Thomson
  • Darren Williams
  • Lucy Craig
  • John Garvani
  • Ann Black
  • Dave Lambert
  • Pauline Hammerton
  • thomas oakey
  • Bob Wood
  • Tony Probert
  • Paul France
  • Thomas Neilson
  • Elaine Smith MSP
  • Michael Meacher
  • Anne Greagsby
  • Tim Ireland
  • Mark Flanagan
  • Dave Cross
  • David Floyd
  • Nick Howitt
  • Brian Barton
  • Peter Firmin
  • catherine Kenyon
  • Lilian El-Doufani
  • Frances kinsella
  • David Lister
  • Paul im Thurn
  • Barry Winter
  • Paul Martin
  • James Groves
  • Paul Skidmore
  • Andy Hansford
  • Meg Russell
  • Jo Kibble
  • Michael Chewter
  • Edna Stevens
  • Kevin Grain
  • Belinda
  • James Sorah
  • Tom Davidson
  • George Owers
  • Simon Clarke
  • Sharon Walsh
  • Emily Lomax
  • Irene Barton
  • Dave Boyle
  • Malcolm Clarke
  • Barry Camfield
  • Jerry Sutton
  • Tom Campbell
  • John Holmes
  • Andy Kerr
  • Neal Lawson
  • Trish Lonsdale
  • Barry Lambert
  • Billy Hayes
  • Roger Gillham
  • Chris Castle
  • Nick Parrott
  • John MacKay
  • Eddie Bernard
  • David Bell
  • james wishart
  • Robin T. Pettitt
  • Wayne Smith
  • Tom Wright
  • Edward Hart
  • Stewart MacDonald
  • Cookie
  • Ivor Gaber
  • Matt Donoghue
  • 17 people who did not want to give their names

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