I found the survey results here on LabourList.org very interesting. When asked what the top political event for the Labour party of 2011 was the November strikes cam out top by quite some margin.
A number of things struck me. Firstly it wasn’t a Labour party event, it was a union event, indeed Ed Miliband didn’t back the strikes. To be fair he didn’t really oppose them either, he was a it on the fence. Secondly it beat things like the Euro crisis, the August looting and phone hacking all of which I feel confident sit higher in people’s minds than the (rather lacklustre) strike.
I have long felt that the Labour “movement” feel much more comfortable with opposition than government. Being in government means that ideas are tested against reality, it involves making decisions and implementing them rather than just talking and belly-button gazing. It involves being criticised rather than being critical. In short it is less fun.
Looks like Labour members are more happy being a mix of debating society and protest group than a credible alternative government. I’m happy with that.