It’s a matter of record that, while talking about unity (to try to take credit for a Labour surge that has nothing to do with them) and demanding that Labour’s left-wing members (the vast majority) abandon ‘sectarianism‘, the Labour right is busily trying to organise to tighten its control of party structures and processes at this autumn’s annual Conference in Brighton, as it did by ignoring party rules and procedures during last year’s debacle in Liverpool.
The (laughably-termed) ‘moderates’ are trying to lever as many of their preferred candidates as possible into the Conference delegate count in order to vote down the democratic ‘McDonnell amendment‘ to ensure that members always have the option of a left-wing candidate in future leadership elections so that Labour remains a genuine alternative and doesn’t return to the pale imitation of the Tories that it became under Blair and worse still after 2010, as it abandoned its principles and embraced the austerity narrative.
A situation that ended with Corbyn’s election as leader but to which entrenched ‘red Tories’ long to return.
Factions such as Labour First have been advising right-wing CLP officers on how to prevent left-wing delegates going to Conference and there has been a general drive by right-wingers to limit CLPs (constituency Labour parties) to a single delegate, to facilitate right-wing control of Conference votes.
And now the SKWAWKBOX can reveal that at least one CLP has resorted to outright disenfranchisement of its members to prevent them having a say in whom (and how many) they send to the Conference to represent them.
This blog has obtained an email sent out by the exec of Enfield North CLP – the seat of a notoriously anti-Corbyn MP – informing them after the fact that it has appointed a delegate.
And deigning to offer them the chance to ‘advise‘ the delegate – but not to ‘mandate‘ (instruct) as they’re entitled to under the party’s rules:
From: Gina Needs
Date:25/06/2017 20:14 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: Events and Meetings
May we please advise you of the following events and meetings:
1. Saturday July 1st – National Campaign Day. We will be having two street stalls – one outside Lidl Ordnance Rd / Hertford Rd, EN3 and the other at the corner of Brick Lane, Enfield, EN3. Both will start at 10:30am. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise which stall you will be attending.
2. Contemporary Motions Meeting – There will be an All Members Meeting on 31st August 2017 at Celbic Hall, 77 Lancaster Rd, Enfield, EN2 0DW at 8pm to receive and debate contemporary motions which can be submitted for debate at the National Conference of the Party. Contemporary motions are those relevant to issues which arise from 1st August 2017. At this meeting, members may advise the CLP Delegate to Conference (Ms XXXXX XXXXX – Women’s Officer) who with the approval of the Conference Arrangements Office, was appointed by the EC in order to meet the conference timetable.
In 2018, the delegate shall be elected at the February/March All Members Meeting.
[removed for brevity]
Lastly, may we take this opportunity to inform you that on Friday 28th July 2017 from 7pm at Celbic Hall, 77 Lancaster Rd, EN2 0DW, The Mayor of Enfield’s Charity Quiz Night with Fish & Chip supper will be taking place. Tickets are £15 per person (teams of 7, but if you don’t have a whole team, don’t worry, we’ll team you up). Alcohol will be available to purchase as will soft drinks. There will also be a Raffle with some fabulous prizes. Seats are limited, so book yours early to avoid disappointment by 21st July 2017 with Gina. Email email@example.com
It would be much appreciated if all future CLP correspondence from members be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Lamb Gina Needs
Chair of Enfield North CLP Secretary of Enfield North CLP
The excuse of lack of time to complete a proper selection of delegates does not stand up – Labour extended the deadline for selections to 9 July in order to give every CLP the opportunity, after the 8 June General Election, to hold selections at its monthly meeting.
Instead of observing proper process and respecting the democratic rights of members, a CLP has simply appointed one – and one only, even though the CLP will be entitled to send several – with the collusion of Labour’s Conference Arrangements Office.
As one Labour member in the constituency succinctly put it:
What the f***?!
But they can go for fish and chips – at £15 a head – so that’s some consolation.
This frank abuse of democracy is unlikely to be limited to a single CLP, so eager are right-wingers to prevent Labour’s pro-Corbyn member majority having its say effectively at the Conference. If your rights have been similarly bypassed, let the SKWAWKBOX know.
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