Grassroots Black Left backs unified slate, calls for black voice in future slate-making

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This morning, CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) and Momentum announced that they had agreed a unified slate of candidates for Labour’s elections to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC).

Since then, CLPD-affiliated Jewish Voice for Labour has backed the unified slate and another affiliated group, Grassroots Black Left (GBL) has now also given qualified backing to the slate – but has combined its statement of support with a call for black voices to play their role in the making of future slates:

It’s good news for Left unity a united slate has been agreed for the election to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) of the Labour Party. We welcome the fact it includes Jewish Voice for Labour and Grassroots Black Left (GBL)-backed Stephen Marks, which is a victory for the pro-Palestinian cause, of which Jeremy Corbyn has been a champion in parliament for more than three decades.

It is a pity that three Black candidates came off the slate, reducing the number to two out of the six. If GBL had been given a say, which as the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy’s Black affiliate it should have been, we would have liked Corbyn-supporting Iqbal Sram, an ex-Manchester city councillor, lawyer, medical doctor and past Labour Black Sections and Anti-Anti-Racist Alliance leader in the North West, included. He’s a Momentum member and an executive committee member of Momentum Black Caucus.

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy has indicated GBL will be consulted over the Left’s slate making in future and Iqbal, who is well-qualified to be on the currently not fit for purpose NCC, will be considered as a future candidate.

We agree with the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), on whose National Executive Committee GBL is represented by our co-chair Deborah Hobson, who have said: “The LRC continues to have serious concerns about how left slates are constructed, whether by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, or parts of it, particularly the way in which Black candidates are hand-picked by predominantly white organisations with no reference to organisations of Black members.

We welcome Momentum’s support for the long-overdue reform of the discredited, undemocratic slate making process for Labour’s ruling NEC, NCC and all other party bodies.


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  1. I have no clue what the percentages are of the different ethnic groups in Britain and I can’t be bothered googling it – but if our slates were chosen to reflect the population presumably there’d be far more BAME candidates and far fewer Jewish ones.
    Seems like it would be more democratic, so a reasonable aim?

    1. Can’t be bothered on facts on sensitive issues shouldn’t mean you posting

      1. Tim Draper. Do you dispute my assumptions regarding the comparative populations or my conclusion?
        Perhaps you’re offended by my lack of academic rigour in neglecting to google the blindingly bleedin’ obvious?
        Either way… do one.
        I’ll post whatever I wish and Skwawkbox permits.

  2. Democracy by numbers logic. Defining quotas is the favourite game played by the bourgeoisie with an ‘O’ Level in Sociology. What is the ‘Black Voice’ & who says? My family are of mixed race & just because somebody else is a black lawyer/medical doctor/member of Momentum doesn’t give them the right to speak on anyone else’s behalf. See me; see my colour?

    1. Absolutely, just as there is no collective ‘white’ voice there is no collective ‘black’ one either, and further what is meant by ‘black’ or ‘white’. Both are exclusionary and heavily loaded which mean different things to different people, depending on the situation. Politically, these words seems to be always used negatively, to pit one set of people off against another and only leads to otherness and oppression. Speak as yourself, understand the intersections of your life and use that
      to acknowledge the problems people of any size and shape face to help further their cause and people’s rights but never claim to be speaking in a unified voice for a particular set of people unless you know for certain that you do, which is highly unlikely

      1. Yeah, just like there is no collective ‘men’ and no collective ‘women’ voice.
        WTF kind of cult have you been kidnapped by?
        More gobbledegook, anyone?

  3. Democracy IS by numbers Steve so not sure exactly what you mean by that.
    We elect people we hope will speak on our behalf – quotas might sometimes deny a position to the most talented applicant but I do believe that we’ve been badly served by rich old white men for far too long – and that we need people who better understand and can articulate OUR priorities.
    Yes, our priorities are mostly the same but sometimes those particular to a group will be neglected without group representation.
    Once we understand that society has been and is still unfairly biased despite equality legislation – how can people of goodwill fix that but with quotas?

    1. Democracy IS by numbers Steve so not sure exactly what you mean by that.

      Fairly self- explanatory, David, See ‘community leaders’ , then ask who elected them.

  4. So do you guys think we should also dispense with all-female lists?
    If not, please explain to me the difference.

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