Labour party in-fighting; calls for new direction, leadership

There is trouble in the PvdA. After three successive election defeats, a number of members are starting to lose patience with the course set by the party leaders. Some worried members have released a political manifesto titled Met vertrouwen linksom.

On Saturday the Political Council of Members of the party will have a mini-conference to evaluate the results of the regional elections. The topic is "What went well and what could be better?"

According to Gerard Bosman and Dick Kalkman, the authors of the manifesto, the PvdA lacks credibility. "Sometimes hard nuts have to be cracked about bad choices. That time has now come." they write. "The coalition with the VVD was established too immaturely, with too neoliberal policies, with a coalition in which too many things are exchanged and in which compromises content appear to argue. The nice talk and denial of the problem weighs heavily in our party."

In short the manifesto shows that there is little confidence in that cooperation with the VVD. The manifesto pleads for a more left-wing directions, not only in words, but also in deeds. The authors do not want a cabinet break or a change of party leadership. "The recent past has shown that a change of political leaders without a fundamental debate on the course and on the theory and practice, does not help structurally." they write. "The main thing is that the content of our commitment is essential and should be different," they conclude. "Our PvdA must not do its best even better, but above all else, do its best in a different way."

Some departments of the PvdA agree wholeheartedly with the plea and have prepared motions in the spirit of the manifesto for the general meeting on Saturday.