Revealed: That ‘dossier’ on Progress


2:53 pm - February 20th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

Someone in the Labour party has compiled and circulated a 20-page dossier on the Labour-right grouping Progress, in advance of the upcoming NEC elections. And you thought these things were boring huh?

Jon Lansman at Left Futures ran a post this morning with some excerpts. I’d heard about it over the weekend but hadn’t actually seen one (I’m not important enough *sniff*).

But a reader kindly scanned in copies and sent me the dossier. I haven’t read it fully yet – here it is.

However, I echo what Conor Pope tweeted earlier – its quite unfair to portray Progress as some shadowy all-powerful faction. Anyway, make up your own mind.

download all the files as a zip file here (3.5mb)

Update on reflection, it’s irresponsible of me to publish this without checking if it’s libellous. But I’ve done it now. I’ll check through it later or if anyone points out factual inaccuracies – I will list them or take this down.

I published this to just inform people of what was being circulated.

Update 2 Progress have now issued a response to this ‘dossier’

In recent days, CLP secretaries around the country began receiving an anonymous document entitled A Report Into the Constitution, Structure, Activities and Funding of Progress.

The report contains gross misrepresentations. Therefore, despite the author of the document not being willing to make their charges publicly, we feel obliged to set the record straight.

First, Progress has never claimed that membership of the organisation bestows rights other than to receive the magazine and attend our events. Those joining Progress do so to support our aims and values. We are not an affiliated organisation like the Fabian Society, but a magazine which organises events, like the ‘New Statesman’.

More here

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Don’t complain that you didn’t get it. I didn’t until midnight, and had a sleepless night writing it up!

Read about it here.

Yes, it is quite wrong to portray it as a “shadowy” faction. In fact most of the information in the dossier can be gleaned from publicly open sources, including the Progress website itself.

Progress is effectively a top-down organisation that you can support financially in the same way as any single-issue pressure group (like our great mates the Tax Payers Alliance) or even like a charity. Different people within charities or pressure groups give different amounts of money and therefore are afforded different levels of influence over the work of the organisations in question depending on the peculiarities of the organisations themselves. The point is there is no real mechanism to keep pressure groups or charities in check for individual supporters. Much like Progress it seems. It’s certainly not something I would join.

It is interesting to read the comparisons of Progress with Militant. Whatever you thought of that organisation, it was my understanding at least that individual members of Militant could at least exercise a level of democratic control of the organisation back in its heyday and influence its positions and policy. Certainly the number of Militant-supporting MPs at its height is nowhere near the vast number of Progress-supporters in the current PLP.

It may not be “all powerful” but I would certainly argue Progress as a group exerts far more influence and control over Labour policy than its actual size and support would warrant.

How this is dealt with is a more tricky issue. Does Labour ban internal pressure groups entirely? Even if it does, how would it enforce this? And what of groups like the Co-Op party? Does the left call for a witch-hunt against unelected Progress placemen in the same way the right did against the Militant leaders in the 1980s? Does it insist all pressure-groups are at least membership based and democratic themselves? If so how would that work in practice? There are no easy answers to this.

3. Sheila Taylor

I received this document as a CLP Secretary, and read with dismay about the lack of democracy and accountability and the dubious funding. But, although I regret the anonymity, I’m very glad to have the facts.

We should never fear openness. It’s helpful to know which political views are supported financially by which people, and who will benefit from those views becoming more influential. Then you can judge for yourself.

There’s a leading Progress activitist in my CLP, so we’re going to discuss it over a drink, probably after a voter-ID session. Let’s pull together against the real enemy!

Lawrence comparing them ,saying that there’s more Labour M.P.s who subscribe to Progress than to Militant, as pointed out Progress is A magazine, how many Labour M.P.s subscribed to the New statesman,what are these comparisons you talk of.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Billy Bowden

    Revealed: That 'dossier' on Progress that has been circulating in advance of Labour NEC elections http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  2. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Revealed: That ‘dossier ’ on Progress http://t.co/cWcoNZh2

  3. Aidan Williams

    Revealed: That 'dossier' on Progress that has been circulating in advance of Labour NEC elections http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  4. Hazel June Nolan

    Revealed: That 'dossier' on Progress that has been circulating in advance of Labour NEC elections http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  5. fauxpaschick

    Revealed: That 'dossier' on Progress that has been circulating in advance of Labour NEC elections http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  6. Jason Brickley

    Revealed: That ‘dossier’ on Progress http://t.co/SPvikLxd

  7. ?

    #UK : Revealed: That ‘dossier ’ on Progress http://t.co/cWcoNZh2

  8. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Revealed: That ‘dossier’ on Progress http://t.co/EbOW34Dv

  9. Left Futures

    @Rowan_Draper The version on Lib Con is better than ours. Download from http://t.co/dykn5kYK

  10. Liza Harding

    Revealed: That 'dossier' on Progress that has been circulating in advance of Labour NEC elections http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  11. sunny hundal

    Updated – Progress issue a response to the ‘dossier’ we published yesterday http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  12. BevR

    Updated – Progress issue a response to the ‘dossier’ we published yesterday http://t.co/ywLKff4P

  13. Simon Weller

    Who's funding the party within a party #Progress? http://t.co/0ZXMzYas

  14. Peter Kenyon

    Revealed: That ‘dossier’ on Progress | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UaP5u2E4 Pity there's not a single .pdf file. Time to go to Sainsburys

  15. Stephen Mann

    http://t.co/ClgxQGoN deeply worrying article on Progress. Personally feel they have too much influence but provide a useful forum.

  16. Jon Stone

    Love it: Progress claims to be a publication, not a party faction. http://t.co/iCBL7vVb Oh, so like Militant, which was a newspaper?

  17. memtitued

    Love it: Progress claims to be a publication, not a party faction. http://t.co/iCBL7vVb Oh, so like Militant, which was a newspaper?





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.