The contest for the three additional NEC (National Executive Committee) places agreed at September’s Labour Conference in Brighton is vital for the smooth continued impetus of the Labour Party in a direction that is in line with the vision of Jeremy Corbyn and the majority of the party’s membership.
It’s essential that all three places go to the ‘slate’ supported by the grassroots left, to ensure that the newly-achieved pro-Corbyn majority, still tenuous pending the result of the Scottish leadership election, is consolidated – the loss of even one of the new places is a serious threat .
And that threat exists.
The candidacy of Momentum founder Jon Lansman has been a matter of discomfort among some pro-Corbyn members because of controversy surrounding the reorganisation of Momentum early this year. This has been reflected in the CLP (constituency Labour party) nominations for the respective ‘slates’, with Lansman lagging behind left candidates Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham.
And that lag has increased, as the chart below, depicting the percentage of nominations going to Lansman in each week since nominations began, shows:
Although the overall slate nominations are running at around 2:1 in favour of the left slate, a tweet by campaigns expert Charlie Mansell suggests that the overall split in nominations between the slates indicated a tighter division of the actual vote than many might expect:
If the vote is this tight, then there’s a realistic possibility that in a 3-seat election, the strongest of the ‘right’ slate might beat the weakest of the left’s – in this case, that comedian Eddie Izzard could beat Lansman.
Izzard, who achieved around 70,000 votes in the 2016 NEC election, is supported by Progress and Labour First, two organisations that Corbyn supporters consider the hard right of the party. However, the relatively low-profile nature of their support, together with the comedian’s personal popularity and his campaign statement claiming he will support Jeremy Corbyn, may persuade some Corbyn supporters to swing behind his campaign.
Possibly – based on available indicators so far – enough to threaten Lansman’s chances, especially if turnout is low.
The SKWAWKBOX has already endorsed the full left grassroots slate of candidates, including Jon Lansman. For any who are considering a vote for Izzard, it’s essential to remember that the impending NEC vote is far from being simply about the candidates involved.
Whatever the personal qualities of any candidate – and Lansman’s are substantial regardless of the history of Momentum – this election is about strengthening or weakening the power of Jeremy Corbyn to carry through the vision for the Labour Party and for the country that have so inspired his supporters.
A vote for any but the left-slate candidates – Dar, Garnham and Lansman – will be a vote to weaken that ability. Any members who are behind the Labour leader cannot afford the indulgence or distraction of a protest vote or to be dazzled by the celebrity status of a candidate from the other slate.
The big picture – the vision and the goal of a Labour Party in step with its leader and members for the good of the country – is far too important.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.