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Right-wing Labour First group calls push for BAME, young and working-class leaders “ridiculous”

Anti-Corbyn group’s secretary fails to recognise issue with comment when asked

Right-wing Labour group ‘Labour First’ has described a Momentum call for more MPs from black, Asian and ethnic groups, young or working-class people as “ridiculous”.

The organisation was responding to a tweet by campaign group Momentum, which said:

We will support our members to push for open selections across the country and open the door to a new generation of young, BAME and working class leaders.

The tweet also contained a statement by Momentum that identified an issue with wealthy white people predominating in politics and the need to bring in people from diverse communities and backgrounds:

As two privately educated millionaires battle for the votes of an overwhelmingly white, wealthy Tory membership to become the next prime minister – the rising stars of the Labour Party must look and sound very different.

People feel deeply alienated by our broken political system, and campaigning for open selections across the country will help surface a new generation of young, BAME, working class leaders who will take on the political establishment and provide a genuine alternative.

We must remember that our strength lies in knowledge and talent of Labour’s half a million members who live and work in every community.

Labour First’s response was to say it will do everything it can to prevent this “ridiculous process”:

When asked if he had any comment on the Labour First response, the group’s secretary Luke Akehurst appeared not to recognise the issue, responding to the initial request with “In what sense?”

Responding to a follow-up question, “You don’t see the obvious?”, he answered simply, “No”.

After the SKWAWKBOX pointed out the problem with describing a push for more equal representation for people from black, Asian and other ethnic or working class backgrounds as ridiculous, Akehurst denied that Momentum is interested in improving representation.

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  1. It’s either “Put America First” or “Put Labour First” with our All-White West Midlands Neoliberal Party!

  2. Momentum’s intentions are good, but the reality is they only what their ideas to be delivered, and not listen to all members of the Labour Party, and Labour voters. What do you think, Toff?

    1. Not being as fickle as a 90’s man city fan, I wouldn’t know.

      Moral promiscuity isn’t my forte.

      1. Toff, you seen to have little idea what you’re talking about most of the time!

  3. This IS racist. MPs should not be selected because of their colour, rather on their ability to do the job. It is utter stupidity to specify that somebody should be preferable for a job because of he/she is asian or black/chinese etc.

    1. ‘This IS racist. MPs should not be selected because of their colour, rather on their ability to do the job.’ Who more often than not turn out to be white middle class, it seems. The Harriet Harmans etc privately educated from privelidged backgrounds will tell you that they are best able/qualified to do the job, ensuring others outside of that profile are less able to gain experience.
      ‘a push for more equal representation for people from black, Asian and other ethnic or working class backgrounds’ – What’s racist about that? Doesen’t the party want to be more representative of those it is hoping will vote for it, and indeed has enjoyed a higher proportion of these communities votes over the years.

    2. Two points in response.

      First, people have an in-built tendency to think that the “right” answer in an interview is “the answer I would have given”, and thereby exclude anyone who, because of different life experiences, background, education or policy positions gives a different answer. This leads to a self-fulfilling definition of who has the ability to do the job.

      Secondly, when you are talking about a body of people, sometimes that body of people will be unable to do its job effectively unless it is representative of broader society, regardless of the individual merits of individual applicants. Judges, MPs, police, the individual qualities are only a small part of the story, and if they don’t reflect the nation at large, they will fail.

  4. Wow. A tweet attacking fellow Labour members, in which they say “join us if you believe we should be attacking the Tories instead of fellow Labour members”.

    No irony or self-awareness at all.

  5. The issue isn’t the need for better representation of under-represented groups – it’s how to achieve it.

    Unfortunately, simple quota systems have a poor record of addressing the problem – they’re too often used as a means of anti-democratic manipulation of the numbers in favour of political interest groups. See ‘all women shortlists’ and their emergent results. Excluding half the electorate is a great means of control.

  6. The problem with quota systems & seeing the world from the pov of a failed Sociology student…… see me, see my colour; see my gender; see my age; see my sexual preferences, but you can never see me as a person.
    Quota systems are discrimination in action; a system imposed by bourgeois elites on those least culpable, to maintain their preferred privileged positions of power. If they truly believe in quotas, let them be the first to show us plebs how it’s done. When John Smith died, Tony Blair developed sharp elbows.

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