Speaking of clarion calls Peter Wheeler has a fantastic example of the sort of appeal my party used to make to try and get people to join Labour. Here’s a bit of it:
- 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.
- 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.
I think we may have lost some of the assuredness that the authors of that leaflet had in our current appeals for new members, but it’s good to be reminded of how it could be.