Perhaps it really is "time the Tories learned to love the
24 April), but hopefully not in a love-triangle with Labour's
When New Labour presented its manifesto in 1997, it made
this unequivocal pledge:
"We have rewritten our constitution, the new clause IV,
to put a commitment to enterprise alongside the commitment to justice."
Yet 16 years on we still have a party rule book, rooted
in a Bolshevik delegate system, giving unions (with other minor
affiliates) 50% voting rights on party matters. We have permitted Unite
to use its new membership endowment to inflate its status within Labour,
including overtly influencing the selection of European parliament and
So, Labour's clause IV settlement in 1995 is no longer a
basis for future harmony. Should the 50% shareholding affiliates now be
allowed to wear Labour's trousers? Or is a divorce inevitable?
And what future part for compassionate Conservatives?