Monday, July 23, 2007

Look Forward

Going through the old leaflets the other day I came across the sort of membership pamphlet we used to put out door-to-door - eight pages of text - A5 - no pictures.

The wording of the leaflet carries possibly the best short description of the Labour Party I've come across:

1) Labour is more than a political party. It is a faith and a positive force for good in the world. Constantly it campaigns for social justice throughout the whole range of human affairs. Its deeds are as impressive as its words - an unusual quality in these days of high-pressure economic and political propaganda.

2) Labour's strength in power and purpose is no accident; it comes from the people who make up the Party. People from all walks of life, of all ages, and from every social group. Men and women and young people who see wrongs around them and are determined that society shall put them right. They are people with consciences with ideas, with zeal. Together they add up to a force that can't be ignored.

3) The Labour Party was born sixty years ago. But its roots go back much further than that. Throughout the ages there have always bee men and women who struggled against tyrannies and injustices, visionaries who saw that life could only be really worthwhile if people worked together and not against one another. It was the evil conditions of the industrial revolution, and the continuing injustices which remain even today, that brought people like this together, inspired them to join in common causes, and eventually to bring their causes together in the Labour Party.

The Conscience of the People

1) We stand for justice. Not justice in any narrow purely legal sense, but justice throughout the whole of society - social justice. We realise that we shall not achieve it in the lifetime of the older among us; there is too much injustice - political, social, economic, racial - in the world for that. But if we do not start the advance now, the goal will never be reached at all. We are building for our children and for all children. We want them to inherit the society that we have dreamed of and striven for during these sixty years.

2) We need all the help we can get, for the forces ranged against us are powerful and wealthy, and their motive is an insidious one with a universal appeal to selfishness. Our task is formidable, but every new member who joins us lightens the burden on others and adds more power to our effort. We are not an army on the march, or a crusade with a single purpose: we are the conscience of the people finding its expression. If you think and believe as we do, your place is with us.

This was written forty-five years ago and is the sort of material we used to put through doors. The language might seem a bit archaic but it gets the message right - especially the second paragraph "Labour members - a force that can't be ignored."

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