Astonishing, barely-coherent committee application exposes Enfield selection debacle


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As the SKWAWKBOX revealed last weekend, Labour members in Enfield have demanded that the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) investigate the deeply-flawed process for selecting candidates for May’s local elections, pointing a finger at then-Secretary of the LCF (local campaign forum).

That same official was subsequently elected as leader of the council, ousting an incumbent who was highly regarded on both left and right of the party – by councillors including some who had been selected via the huge ‘irregularities’ in the selection process that she had overseen.

The council leader is close to right-wing Labour MP Joan Ryan, who employs the leader’s mother. She is also the sister of a candidate on the right-wing Labour First/Progress slate in this summer’s election of nine member-representatives to the NEC.

The extent of the failure – or abandonment – of Labour’s rules regarding the contribution to the party and communication abilities of applicants approved to stand as Labour candidates is shockingly illustrated by an application subsequently submitted by one of the councillors for an important planning committee position.

The councillor in question was one who had benefited from one of the ‘anomalies’ that allowed candidates to stand who had not been asked two ‘essential‘ questions – including one designed to test applicants’ ability to communicate. The application is barely comprehensible:


Closeness to collection”; “This region is long as a long time life“; “House first issue should discarded” – along with one paragraph repeated verbatim and “after training the last punisment you should know” – stand out in a barely and sometimes completely incomprehensible application.

The investigators of the selection issues submitted a report of their findings to the local party. It includes a description of the two “essential” questions that were supposed to be asked of every applicant, but which were omitted from the interviews for some candidates, as the subsequent council leader admitted she had ‘guided’ the interview panels to do:

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Is it conceivable that the now-councillor who succeeded in reaching the candidates’ list would have passed the ‘essential’ communication question if it had been asked during the interview?

The investigators’ report also details what interviewers are declaring when they approve an applicant to go forward as a candidate:

5. The assessment of Yes / No / Potentially is made in response to the following question: ‘Having conducted the interview with the nominee, observed the exercise, and considered all the information available to you, are you confident that this nominee would be a good Labour Party representative, who would contribute as an effective member of the team within the Labour group and the party’?

The decision to leave out two ‘essential questions’ from the interviews makes a travesty of the whole basis of the selections.

It also raises questions about why such vital questions would be omitted, allowing incapable and unfit applicants to become candidates and then councillors.

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  1. What the bloody hell is going on here?

    How has a candidate who wrote gobbledygook on the application form successfully progressed through the selection process?

    The only possible explanation is that the selection was compromised by corrupt individuals overseeing the process.

  2. What the Hell? His can someone who wrote that bollocks get chosen? There needs to be some serious heavy weight investigation here

  3. Almost as if the answers were Goofle trubslanted drojm a dipbrent langouiji.

  4. I’m having second thoughts.
    If we want to be a truly multicultural society and a BAME community’s Labour voters have a leader they respect – maybe someone whose English isn’t yet great – shouldn’t we at least allow such a person a translator to help them compete on equal terms? The community needs representation it respects and the person might be a great asset.
    UN communication seems to work perfectly well through translators.
    I’d seem an idiot completing such a form as that application in any language other than English – I know no-one called anyone an idiot but might not the community concerned still feel slighted?
    I realise the circumstance I outlined may well not be the case here – but how would we know?

    1. An admirable thought David, however , may I suggest this is not the main issue here ,it is the outright corruption of a Labour party process put in place to ensure the best candidates are offered to the public to vote for.
      In this case I believe the public have been deceived by the corruption of this process and by the candidates offered as a result of that corrupted process. I can’t help wondering if there is possibly some election law which may have been broken by this action ……
      In any case the protagonists of this need to be expelled from the labour party at the earliest opportunity and the whole process rerun to offer all candidates a fair chance that they were denied in the first place.
      Based on the evidence seen so far the new leader of that council does not appear to be the right calibre of person to hold such a highly important and influential position
      She should be removed forthwith and expelled from the Labour Party.
      The link toJoan Ryan is worth investigating to clear any impression of undue influence or wrong doing

      1. Completely agree that it’s not the main issue and that the process was as corrupt as they come – my only thought ‘~’ is that maybe our process could better address BAME communities’ needs.

        Nomatestype said, “The problem is, we can never trust the translator’s version of events.”
        I think we would be obliged to – a translator must necessarily be someone trusted by the candidate and the candidate must necessarily accept that her/his performance will be judged on the translation.
        I see lots of potential problems but I don’t think that’s one.

    2. Notwithstanding the Enfield shenanigans, I agree. Is there a distinction made between oral and written communication in the interview process?

      SB asks “Is it conceivable that the now-councillor who succeeded in reaching the candidates’ list would have passed the ‘essential’ communication question if it had been asked during the interview?”

      Yes, it is conceivable – being unable to communicate in writing but able to come across as adequate at interview is something that will be found alongside cultural and class differences and shouldn’t be a barrier.

      1. From my own experience of writing and speaking french it is actually easier to communicate well in writing in a language not your first than orally – simple reason being that you have time to consult the dic and don’t feel flustered because someone is waiting for you to reply or because you’re worried about your accent or mispronounciation. Also because you have access to dictionaries and thesauri.

        Someone standing to be a councillor should be able to communicate very well indeed. They are, after all, expected to communicate on behalf of other people.

    3. It appears they already have had a “translator” to help them compete. They have been helped to become a councillor.
      The problem is, we can never trust the translator’s version of events.

      “The councillor says they support the translation and votes to approve everything the translator says”.

      There are myriads of Labour members of non U.K. heritage who are articulate in English who can adopt public roles.

      Of course people who have learnt English as a second language should be supported in gaining fluency, but should probably wait until they have that fluency to fill senior positions shaping public or party policy – roles which by definition involve evaluating documents of dense legal text.

  5. This is Joan Ryans personal fiefdom and she plays the ethnic game very well. Turks and Cypriot Turks help her, in return she helps them. Reading the above, I cant help but wonder how long this will all last for.

  6. Even if you forgive the illiteracy, I can’t forgive the obsession with bottles. Only showing a interest in one issue – forget housing, I want punishment for poor recycling habits – is a surer sign of low intelligence than the terrible English.

  7. Putting aside the supposed merits of the individual candidates it is the corruption that’s gone on and the corrupting of the process that needs to be focused on and kept Uppermost in one’s mind .
    The characters and individuals who have perpetrated/ enabled it need to be expelled as they have most definitely brought the Labour Party into disrepute!
    This type of corrupt behaviour one expects in tinpot dictatorships and banana Republics but certainly not in this country and most certainly not in the Labour Party.
    If Mark Wadsworth can be expelled for his suppose crime of tackling and criticising a labour MP then for goodness sakes this corruption here must result in expulsions up to and including the highest levels

  8. Interestingly the new Mayor is related to more than the half of the chose labour councillors, as they are all to one another- bi like family reunion. Joan Ryan, attends most of this communities events and have even could be said to won the election on their backs!

  9. They’re all related and vote for one another- MAYOR, her crew- that lift up likes of Joan Ryan since they are needy of approval…total joke but that’s not the point as it will be the way it will be.

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