Welsh Labour disenfranchises members – again – via freeze date


Informed Welsh Labour members are outraged by the Welsh party machine’s continued attempts to prevent them having a proper democratic say over the candidates supposed to represent them.

The SKWAWKBOX has already highlighted Welsh Labour’s decision not to give its members the same rights recently given to members in England to control the selection of their parliamentary candidates – and to suspend even the difficult ‘trigger ballot’ process that allows Labour members a chance to remove a poor candidate.

Now, with elections to the ‘CLP section’ (constituency Labour party) of the Welsh Executive Committee (WEC) due in 2018 Welsh Labour has also announced a ‘freeze date’ that will prevent newer members from voting.

The Welsh party has sent a letter to CLP secretaries advising them of the date by which members must have joined in order to vote in the WEC CLP election:

wec 2

1 July 2017.

The UK-wide election of three additional CLP places on the NEC (National Executive Committee) begin on 30 November 2017.

The freeze date for that election? 19 November 2017.

Yet again, Labour in Wales – still dominated by the right and recently accused of bullying of left-wing members even at Welsh Assembly level – feels free to impose on its members conditions far worse than those enjoyed by members in England and Scotland.

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  1. Surely a mistake in the last paragraph. Should wales and scotland read England and Scotland?

  2. It is a supreme irony that the argument Iain McNicol and his right wing faction in the party make for freeze dates is that they prevent vote rigging, whilst at the same time using freeze dates to rig internal elections.

    It is time to abolish freeze dates from the Labour Party.

    It is time for full rights for members as soon as they make their first payment to the party and until they fail to renew their membership.

  3. There is a possible grass roots response to this, in the form of a campaign asking eligible members, who might otherwise not have cast their vote, to do so in support of the overwhelmingly left-leaning members who have been disenfranchised by this abusive procedualism.

    It would be a victory made all the sweeter, to have routed Welsh Labour’s trollish incumbents, in spite of their last-ditch chicanery.

  4. As a recent member of Welsh Labour, and fully-paid-up member of the UK Labour Party, I’m disgusted to find myself in a party led by such trollish thinking!
    It should be one person, one vote and, as Internal Affairs so aptly stated, we should all have a vote from the moment we become paid-up members 🙁
    I remember the rigmarole I went through when joining to vote in Jeremy Corbyn as our new Leader, and being forced to pay even more money in order to have my vote – when will the labour party come into the light of day, and acknowledge that times have changed, and we all have a say in how our party goes on into the future? 🙁

  5. There is an interesting difference in the wording between the Welsh Rule Book and the national Rule Book on voting for the CLP section of the respective Executive Committees that makes me wonder if the early cut-off is compatible with the rules.

    The national Rule Book 2016 says:

    “III.A.i.c The ballot for these places shall be conducted among all eligible individual members of the Party by means of a national one-member-one-vote postal ballot …”

    The Wales Labour 2017 Rule Book (one I found online on an unofficial website – not guaranteed authentic or up-to-date) says:

    “ Election of Constituency Labour Party representatives shall be by a one member, one vote ballot within each of the five electoral regions. …”

    So the national rule book says “eligible individual members”, permitting some eligibility criteria such as the 6 month cut-off rule. However the Welsh Labour rule book I found online simply says OMOV without the caveat of “eligible”. I would have thought this wording precludes the imposition of a rule to disenfranchise some members, such as the 6 month rule or 1 July 2017 cut-off. I would have thought this wording implies that the membership at the date the election is called would be the electorate for the CLP section by this wording.

    I’d be interested if someone who has a proper up-to-date version of the Wales Labour 2017 Rule Book would check this, and give a view on my take on the interpretation. There is a rule:

    “ The elections shall be conducted under Procedural Guidelines and a Code of Conduct agreed by the Standing Orders Committee.”

    but I would not have thought any valid Procedural Guidelines could impose an eligibility criteria not given in some terms the rule book, beyond anything absolutely essential for the practical conduct of the election. A ~5.5 month cut-off is not essential for the conduct of this election. (I can’t find a copy of these Procedural Guidelines etc.)

  6. Welsh Labour are really old fashioned and right wing. Very poor government in Wales over the years too, almost colluding with austerity instead of fighting it. Will take a lot to dislodge such ingrained systems.

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