Labour First‘s Luke Akehurst definitely wasn’t happy on Friday. But not for the reason he pretended.
Akehurst tweeted a whiny criticism of Bristol West CLP for their selection of delegates for Labour’s annual Conference in Brighton later this year:
Mr Akehurst was soon disabused of the notion that it was costing the CLP anything like £4,000 by one of the delegates themselves:
But self-awareness has never been an Akehurst strong point and he seemed oblivious not only to how it would look to be arguing against increased member engagement and participation but also making his real agenda absolutely transparent – and making his hypocrisy so clear he might as well have it tattooed on his forehead.
Of course, Akehurst is absolutely terrified of mass member-participation in the Labour Party, because any hope for his faction depends on preventing the vast pro-Corbyn majority of members from participating actively in the workings of the party. Which is why he became the latest in a series of right-wingers to name-check this blog – even if his spelling leaves a bit to be desired:
But he’s also been frantically working behind the scenes – as have anti-democratic Labour MPs – to rig CLP (constituency Labour Party) Conference delegate selections to try to defeat the McDonnell Amendment that will ensure the pro-Corbyn majority always have a candidate worth voting for in any future leadership elections – and to push through a ‘return to the bad old days’ motion to take Labour back to the days when a few MPs commanded a third of the votes in leadership contests.
His faction’s hope of achieving his aims will be seriously inconvenienced by CLPs sending their full complement of delegates to the Conference. He’s correct that a CLP’s vote is weighted according to its size regardless of the number of delegates it sends to the Conference.
But that only comes into play in a ‘card vote‘, where cards allocated to delegates with their vote weighting printed on them are used to calculate the result of the ballot.
Akehurst is almost certainly banking on the Conference Chair repeating the trick used last year to win a vote to put two unelected extra members onto the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) to hamper the members’ wishes: unlawfully ignoring calls for card vote and insisting on a ‘show of hands’ vote that those on the platform could call any way they saw fit.
And, of course, in a show of hands, the size of a CLP that a hand comes from doesn’t matter – only the number of hands that CLP has at the Conference to put up.
This is exactly why Momentum’s Jon Lansman was arguing for the need to get delegates to the Conference – for which he was ludicrously attacked by Akehurst’s chum, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson.
And it’s exactly why Akehurst only wants left-CLPs to send one.
So Akehurst is being disingenuous – but you’d hardly expect him to come out and admit why Bristol West’s excellent organisation and commitment upsets him so much. No, instead he dresses it up as being about ‘fighting the Tories’, one of the right-wingers’ favourite ‘go-to’ diversions.
And he won’t worry that it makes him totally hypocritical.
At the beginning of the year, Akehurst showed how he ‘takes the fight to the Tories‘ – by trying to raise not £4,000 but £40,000 – for a new employee whose job description has absolutely nothing to do with Tories:
The image is from a poor-quality scan, so if you’re having trouble reading it, it says that the new worker’s,
primary duties will include initiating and supporting local Labour First groups, organising for the elections for Labour Party Annual Conference delegates and improving our profile online.
So, Bristol West are ‘wasting’ four thousand pounds (even though they’re not as the delegates are largely paying for themselves) electing 19 engaged delegates to the Conference – but Akehurst and Labour First are delighted to spend forty thousand pounds on someone to get Conference delegates elected?
You’ll have to do better than that, Luke – you just can’t help giving the game away.
The upshot of all that is, if Akehurst says sending full delegate entitlements to the Conference is a waste – you know that’s exactly what’s needed.
Let’s get it done.
The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please do click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.