Earlier this week, the following email was circulated to members of Wimbledon CLP (constituency Labour party) by its largely pro-Corbyn executive (emphases by the SKWAWKBOX):
Weekly news for Wimbledon Labour Party members and supporters View this email in your browser
HARRIS LEAFLET CENSORED
We regret to have to inform members that 40,000 leaflets explaining to parents and residents why the Harris proposals for a new secondary school on the cramped Meranton Way industrial site are unacceptable, will not be delivered door to door as planned, and will be binned.
The leaflets reflect Wimbledon Labour’s policy, debated and agreed at three separate all member meetings, that the proposed school is on the wrong site, and is the wrong size.
Our policy in effect is being censored by the powers that be. The leaflets were printed at a cost of £1,000, but will not be used, and are destined for the re-cycling tip.
It would appear that someone, without informing us, contacted the national party asking for the leaflets to be stopped. We have received advice from the Party’s Governance and Legal Unit that the leaflets would be in breach of Labour Party Rules, with the implicit threat that Wimbledon Labour Party would be suspended if we went ahead.
We are astounded to have received this somewhat draconian advice, not least since the leaflet supports national party policy, which is against Free Schools. Contrary to allegations, it does not comment on, let alone criticise the Labour administration on the council, or any of the Labour councillors who, for their own reasons, support the proposed new school.
Nevertheless, given the formal advice from the Governance and Legal Unit, the leaflets will not be distributed. They will instead be binned. We are disappointed that behind the scenes manoeuvres of this kind are taking place within the Labour Party in Merton, and that debate is being stifled in this way. If you would like to read the leaflet for yourself, click HARRIS LEAFLET.
Here is the leaflet in question:
This is exactly the kind of campaigning and involvement that Labour needs to be doing on the issues that local people care about, if the party is to counteract the effect of Tory control of the media. Instead it’s begin used by self-interested politicians as a tool for party control and to protect the interests of local councillors – and, it seems, at least one local MP – who for their own reasons want the school development to go ahead even though it’s in an unsuitable local and only half the government’s recommended size for a school with its pupil numbers, as the leaflet points out.
As usual when self-interested, right-wing Labour politicians manoeuvre to protect their narrow interests, it is they who bring the Labour party into disrepute. The local press is covering this issue and an initiative by local Labour members instead looks likely to be used to reduce the party’s local election prospects:
There’s only one set of people that should be facing the threat of suspension – and it’s not Wimbledon CLP. Every time the Blairites take this kind of action, it becomes even more inescapably clear that Labour needs to drop the ‘dead weight’ – in fact, actively counterproductive – ‘old guard’ if it is to be the genuine alternative that people in this country need.
And would elect – in a dross-free form – at the drop of a hat.
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