Liverpool Riverside CLP (constituency Labour party) has a dire recent of right-wing machinations to keep a grip on the structures of the local party since the national resurgence of the left.
The CLP was forcibly switched by Labour’s regional office to a branch/delegate structure to enable right-wingers to maintain control – delegate-based CLPs offer more opportunity for unrepresentative control via branch registrations from affiliated organisations with, for example, the right grabbing five delegate places allocated to the tiny Co-op Party.
The pretext for the delegate change was allegations of ‘abuse’ that members vigorously denied – and which were quietly dropped after the change went through.
The CLP’s recent history has been chequered, with the left achieving some gains but not managing to win overall control – in spite of the recent resignation of the CLP’s chair after members voted to affiliate to the left-wing Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL).
But it seems that the right in Riverside may be using organisational manoeuvres to try to ensure that the party’s approaching AGM (annual general meeting) goes in their favour – by arranging the meeting to optimise their chances.
An email has gone out to all members advising them of the arrangements for the AGM:
30 June is a Saturday – and Saturdays mitigate against the participation of lower-income and ethnic minority members, as the NEC’s Claudia Webbe recently pointed out, so this would tend to work in favour of the right.
Not only that, but a huge pro-NHS march takes place in London on the same day – and left-wing members and delegates, who are intrinsically more deeply opposed to the government’s ongoing privatisation of the NHS will be more likely to have arranged to be participate.
The move appears to be an attempt to swing the odds in favour of the right – and there is more bizarre news emerging from the CLP which will be reported shortly.
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