The rule-change campaign every left Labour member needs to support and promote

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A new campaign has been launched to promote awareness of a vital rule-change that has been proposed by Labour International (LI) CLP (constituency Labour party) for a vote at Labour’s annual conference this autumn in Liverpool.

The Open Selection site describes its aims:


This campaign is being organised by a group of Labour Party members to support the motion on candidate selection put forward by Labour International. It’s due for discussion at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool from 23rd to 26th September 2018.

If passed, this rule-change motion will provide for regular open democratic selection of all Labour Party parliamentary candidates by the members of their Constituency Labour Parties, regardless of whether they are sitting MPs or not. This will be on a One Member One Vote basis.

Improving the Labour Party’s democratic arrangements is a vital step forward in renewing the Party’s ability to form a radical government. Nowhere is this more necessary than in the process for MP selection. We do not think this should be a process of angst and acrimony. Rather it should simply be a normal regular part of the Party’s democratic processes.

We believe the best chance of securing this is to support this motion from Labour International.

The solution to the issue of CLPs stuck with MPs they disagree with, don’t trust or find themselves fighting against is a common one, with a rump of around fifty MPs who represent the intransigent remnant of the Labour right that still can’t reconcile itself to the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the party’s policies under him.

The ‘trigger ballot’ system for removing an MP is unfit for purpose and far too easy for local right-wingers to rig. Some MPs have stacked CLP structures with their supporters, often including family members, making it difficult for left-wing members to challenge them. Questionable union branch affiliations are a phenomenon the SKWAWKBOX hears about frequently and appear primarily aimed at overwhelming potential trigger ballots in favour of incumbents unpopular with their members.

The LI motion will resolve those problems and make MPs genuinely accountable again to their local members. The SKWAWKBOX asks every member to familiarise her/himself with the motion and the campaign – and to ask your local CLP/Momentum and/or your union to mandate its conference delegates to support it.

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  1. MP’s have far too much power and often fail to represent Labour Party members. If this rule had been changed before, then Labour could currently be the Govt.

  2. The RW need to ask themselves who’s interests they are serving by their continual opposition to the OMOV democratisation of the party. Why are they so afraid of the membership of the party they claim to represent. There is absolutely no logical reason to oppose the regular open democratic selection of all Labour Party parliamentary candidates by the members of their CLP.

  3. It’s a start…But you good people know what needs to be done. Make it happen; for all our sakes – make it happen.

    Now then… Skwawkbox says around 50 MP’s: ‘Who represent the intransigent remnant of the Labour right that still can’t reconcile itself to the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the party’s policies under him.’

    I reckon closer to 80, perhaps 90. I can hear their arses going from here! We’ll find out.

    But I digress. This should not only be the tool that will reveal the charlatans you already knew about, but those who perhaps you weren’t sure of; maybe one or two surprises, too.

  4. I was a member of the Labour International section until I was booted out by Matthews and McNicol, presumably for supporting Jeremy Corbyn. I couldn’t agree more with the aims of this motion and the implementation of something along these lines is long overdue. I am however slightly sceptical of treating OMOV as the answer to all our prayers. The TU link is utterly fundamental to the Labour Party (without it, it becomes indistinguishable in form from any other bourgeois party) and whilst it has clearly been abused in the past by machine men and apparatchiks, it would be disastrous IMO to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need to find a way round this in the future, perhaps by setting up work-place branches of the party (anathema to enemies of socialism, including some in the LP). If OMOV replaces every other form of democratic control in the party, it is in fact just as open to abuse as we’ve seen in certain places like Tottenham and, in fact, someone with enough money could buy the results they desired if one wasn’t careful. The rightwing, Zionist chair of Young Labour was recently elected by OMOV ballot on a turnout of around 7%, so be careful what you wish for. Let’s have a system that works and that is fair but one that doesn’t downgrade the hyper-important role of the organised working class in the party.

  5. ….and ask your local CLP/Momentum…well that says it all. Nothing wrong with the trigger ballot – if enough are unhappy with their sitting MP then the trigger ballot is an adequate means to start deselection

    1. Please enlighten us all. In the context of the whole paragraph what does it say?

    2. Wrong!! Obviously the present system of deselect is not working cos NO MP to my knowledge has yet been deselected .
      As can be seen by the unscrupulous actions of the RW in CLPs its easy to rig and stop any trigger ballot
      BTW Momentum membership requires you to be a Labour member and as such we have every right to input to Conference as we ARE Labour members

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