Excl: ‘Left slate’ crisis as LRC working group reject Momentum choice massively

The LRC (Labour Representation Committee) is one of the key left-wing groups, alongside Momentum and CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) with input into the composition of the ‘left slate‘ of candidates for key Labour Party elections, such as the recent contests for places on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee NEC).

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The process of selecting slates has been obscure, seeming largely to consist of back-room discussions and horse-trading until a final approved list of candidates is announced for left-wing Labour members to back for the optimum chance of success – and for the last couple of years, success has been achieved almost without exception.

But the SKWAWKBOX can exclusively reveal that the left slate entered a crisis today with the decision of an emergency meeting of the LRC’s executive to overwhelmingly reject the recent left slate put together primarily by Momentum for this summer’s elections to Labour’s NEC.

There had been contention among left-wing groups about the slate, with some feeling that Momentum had acted unilaterally to bypass other groups, while others felt Momentum had to act because of delays in other groups’ decision-making processes.

That all came to a head today. An LRC committee member passed the following statement to the SKWAWKBOX:

The LRC’s emergency National Executive Committee today rejected by a huge majority the Momentum slate for Labour’s NEC and decided to back a statement from a meeting of representatives of LRC, Red Labour, Grassroots Black Left and Jewish Voice for Labour calling for new candidates to come forward, particularly Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and other people of colour and women.

There was a groundswell of revolt against the Lansman/Willsman Momentum-CLPD “stitch-up” slate that senior reps from Unite and the CWU denounced as the old machine politics of the right-wing not Jeremy Corbyn’s new politics 

NEC – and 2018 slate – member Darren Williams told the SKWAWKBOX:

As long as you have several different organisations deciding the slate as a coalition it’s very difficult to have a purely democratic process. That’s not to say the process can’t be improved, but people should understand that it’s not the simplest process and it wouldn’t be easy to reselect a slate from scratch now, especially on an open, OMOV basis.

With only three months until nominations for the NEC elections close, the SKWAWKBOX calls on all these key Labour groups to meet as a matter of urgency to thrash out their differences and agree an efficient, transparent process for as democratic a selection process as feasible in the time available, so left-wing Labour members can unite behind a single left slate for the NEC.

If they get it right, the process for selecting this and future slates will be far stronger, more representative and much better able to express the popular left movement that has the Establishment in turmoil.

The results of the meeting have been communicated to Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum founder Jon Lansman, so the process for deciding how things progress from this point will be under discussion imminently.

Edit: a Jewish Voice for Labour spokesperson has stated that while JVL participated in the meeting referred to in the LRC statement, the group did not approve the statement and its formal position is still to back the existing slate.

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  1. FFS these groups better get their act together.

    The objective is to return a Corbyn led Government.

    Get it sorted and agree a plan so we don’t have the same cock up next time please.

  2. In view of recent events, with the pernicious attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, and those MPs that regularly display their intent to support the Tory line in preference to our renewed Labour Party, we should be particularly careful to only elect genuine left members on the left slate.

    I don’t expect perfection in the short term as we have already witnessed mistakes made such as Ann Black, but it must be said where people slip through the net, we should remedy that at the next opportunity.

    We do need to be ever vigilent, and until we are totally secure in the knowledge that the people elected onto Labour’s various bodies do represent the views of the membership, we should be prepared to ammend and rectify as time goes on.

    Hopefully this time round, if there are glaring mistakes, then we can find out sooner rather than later.

  3. If there are two ‘left’ slates, there is a fair chance of splitting the vote. In the current democracy review, that sounds like a risk which is beyond foolhardy. As Internal affairs says ‘FFS these groups better get their act together.’

  4. What’s going to be done about manchester labour? They are run by neoliberal Tories and we only got two momentum Cllrs selected. No one is helping us.

  5. Oh dear, and I am I think a member of all 3. As a Left Wing Democratic Socialist I think instead of top down recommendations of the Left ‘Great and Good’ perhaps we should (like my union) ask interested people to submit statements on their ideas and then we choose and then perhaps new and dynamic plus diverse Left Wing Socialists will emerge. Time perhaps not to be afraid of letting go of power and sharing it. We need leaders who bring their independent critical Left Wing Democratic Socialist thinking to the table. Solidarity.

  6. think Bazza has a point – isn’t it time to do a little less back room dealing, and a little more genuine democracy?
    Isn’t that what Jeremy Corbyn is all about?

  7. One has to unpack what “diversity” means and to what end. Does it stop at economic and foreign policy? For New Labour it was a strategic mask to unseat Left members and pack anti-Left candidates with diversity credentials into safe Labour seats. Anti-Left in foreign policy as core as domestic: Labour Friends of Israel came into being at this point, which non-Jewish society more accurately should have been called Labour Friends of Nato. All foreign policy in tandem with America en masse agreed, en masse agreed that any dissent would be “anti-semitism.” No matter where in the Middle East bombing “had” to take place. Thus a BBC reporter reduced a marcher in Berlin to tears in 1990 marching against the bombing of Iraq. In Scotland the result was no place for a Left anti-Iraq campaigning woman like Maria Fyfe; and a charismatic MP like SNP’s Mhairi Black having as she put it with Tommy Shepherd, found the the Labour Party lhad left her, not the other way round. Mhairi Black happens to be a gay woman which would supposedly have suited the New Labour gender progressive inclusive message that was supposedly now topmost priority. To question such could only be misogyny, of course, and probably homophobia too. But Mhairi is a leftwing Socialist. No bloody way!!!

  8. Whilst this type of ‘back room’ deal continues, no matter how good intentioned the parties involved are the leads to people to distrust politics in general and so called Left Wing politics in particular! For someone like me, a lifelong Labour voter and and avowed Commie bastard, it all smacks of position chasing and self aggrandizement which is very much like the politics of all those Right wing bastards who infest Parliament as members of both the Tory and Labour Party. Look closely at too many of those throughout the Labour Party Machine and the PLP and tell me that there’s not an amount who are in it to win it for themselves and not in it for a Socialist Country nor a genuinely democratic Socialist Labour Party! Unfortunately, such backroom dealings tend to be closed and elitist and exclusive leading to the unhealthy spread of ‘king makers’ which tend to forget the masses who vote and treat them just as voting fodder rather than an active political movement!

  9. I’m a member of LRC and have posted on their Facebook post (the statement) that I feel this is not the time to do this. We can’t confuse left leaning members. We need one left slate. Maybe the system can be improved for future slates but it feels self destructive to try to force this issue now. We have Jennie as GS and a democracy review underway. We’ve waited decades to be in this position.

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