We need to tap into the hopes and best instincts of our people, we need to encourage them to become involved and we need to get them involved in our regeneration.
When the open, honest governance of an organisation lapses or becomes of increasingly secondary importance, then it becomes open to short cuts, unprincipled compromise and eventually plain sleaze. And if democracy and honesty are of declining relevance in the party, then broader democratic belief and practice at a parliamentary level also suffers. If obfuscation and bullshit prevails internally, then equally vacuous spin prevails externally.
When I was a lot younger, I thought all you had to do was get up and utter absolute truths and everyone would fall in behind and say, ‘Yes, you’re right. That’s what we ought to be doing.’ Now I realise life isn’t quite as easy as that. Life is about ideas and getting them translated into a practical application, which people can understand and support.