Analysis comment

Burgon takes huge step toward final ballot with Unite endorsement. Here’s how he might get over line

Final hurdle still be to crossed

Richard Burgon, the only candidate in the deputy leader contest to have nominated Jeremy Corbyn in both leadership elections, took a huge step toward qualifying for the full ballot of Labour members, supporters and affiliates this evening when the giant Unite union backed him, together with Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader.

Burgon now has nominations from Unite and the Bakers’ union (BFAWU) and needs just one more union or socialist society nomination to qualify.

However, with most Labour-affiliated socialist societies long existing essentially as Blairite fronts, Burgon’s most realistic hope of qualifying via affiliate nominations lies in winning the backing of either the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) or the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

FBU’s executive meets next week to decide its nominations, while CWU will announce the result of its process next Thursday, with today the deadline for candidates to respond to its questions.

The Socialist Health Association (SHA), one of the few left-run societies – at least for now – is undertaking a full ballot of its members, which closes next Thursday.

If Burgon and Dawn Butler – who both impressed at last weekend’s opening hustings in Liverpool – do not get over the line via affiliate nominations, both will need to win the backing of at least 33 local Labour parties (CLPs).

It’s essential for this contest that both are on the full ballot.

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    1. It is very probable that in the contest for Deputy Leader it would be decided on second votes. So the idea is that DB supporters will transfer their second votes to RB and vice-versa.
      Hence we double the chances of getting a decent Deputy Leader. If RB is the only candidate clearly on the left, he could get fewer second votes.
      Hence, even getting most first votes he could be sort of a 50% straight. Then AR or RAK can win on second votes. We need to play smart comrades.

  1. RLB and Burgon are the last chance saloon for left wing democratic socialists in Labour or to quote John Lennon “The dream is over.”
    Both have a proud record of standing by workers in struggle and it is time for Labour’s first left wing democratic socialist female leader.
    They will be a great team, both are very well read and have a socialist analysis.
    Good cop, bad cop.
    I’m Backing Becky!
    I’m Backing Burgon!

  2. Personally I think that Becky would not be a good leader and that Burgon is just plain dim.

    But I will still probably vote for them because if Starmer becomes leader that would consolidate Labour as a party of the middle class and go down like a barrowload of cold sick in the working class parts of the midlands and the north.

    Starmer was architect of the calamitous second referendum which lost us the 50 Leave-voting seats. Talk about rewarding failure!

    His being a very successful, very well-to-do southern-English lawyer merely underlines the class base to which the Labour Right wants Labour to appeal.

    A Starmer Opposition would mean that we can kiss goodbye to economic radicalism. Unless the Tories screw up big time we would lose even more midlands and northern working class seats in the next general election.

    I hear that presently a lot of middle class people are joining Labour to vote Starmer. However there aren’t enough middle class people willing to vote Labour to elect a Labour government. We have to rely on the working class for that. And we won’t win the working class back by perpetuating their political exclusion which is what a Starmer leadership would represent.

      1. The assumption that voters in leave voting constituencies trust the Tories is ridiculous… the problem appears to be they don’t trust Labour party either and to top it off LP put 2 big fat, anti-democratic fingers up to the value of their EURef vote by going full on EURef 2. LP has the gall to blame voters for their own misery when LP has been chief enabler of where UK is now. How can LP expect votes when it only values and respects the votes it likes?

      2. The problem in the wrongly named ‘Labour Heartlands’ is that a lot just subsitute SunMail headlines for intelligent thought.

        Don’t idealize it as a rational perspective. It wasn’t in the majority of cases – it was submission to a long exposure to Tory propaganda – and the election was just clear proof of the fact.

        Tackling the media problem is the key to Labour success – and it might be an idea to have a look at how the Right managed this over the years : it’s no secret.

    1. Danny Sir keir Starmer.Lets give him the proper title he grabbed .Now he wants to be the leader of the peoples party .The democratic socialist Labour party…..Titled privileged and popular with the bus loads of new member’s…,or were they bused in?.ITs as if the last four years never happened and peerages all round for the democratic socialist Labour party….shame!

  3. Can someone explain how it’s going to be possible to persuade sufficient numbers of the voting public in any electoral contest, from Local Authority through devolved assemblies to Wesrminster, to vote for any group of politicians led by those who have enthusiastically endorsed demands (not requests, but demands) which in practical effect trash the due process and GDPR rights of its own paying volunteer members?

    You can just see it the media and the vox pops:

    “You what?”

    “You’ve systematically and publicly humiliated people who’ve given years of their lives to your cause on the basis of opinion based accusations with no recourse to proper due process or evidence based objective judgement.”

    “You’ve thrown out the principles of innocent until proven guilty in your own internal processes and you want us to give you decision making powers which would give you carte blanche to do the same to us?”

    “Pull the other one kid. It hath got bells on!”

    1. I don’t think the GDPR legislation is the legislation which applies – maybe I’m wrong – but I do agree with the thrust of what you are saying. It is absolutely vital all our complaints processes are open and transparent and due process applied with the onus being on the complainant to produce evidence to substantiate their allegations.
      I also think many people would find the idea of any racial or ethnic minority group or the elected body of any religious group dictating how our internal processes should operated totally acceptable.
      All ethnic minorities and all faiths should be treated equally . We would not tolerate the Muslim Council of Britain , The Roman Catholic or Anglican Bishops or the Hindu leadership interfering in our internal disciplinary matters and I think it would create a very unwise precedent to allow the Board of Deputies elected by and representative of 40% of British Jews ( many of whom are not and never have been members of he Labour party) to do so.

  4. When do Labour Party members get to decide who gets on the ticket, or is it just Unions & Affiliated bodies? Still Labour Party democracy is the ability to vote for someone else’s choice.

    1. Steve, before it even gets to the unions and others, if the only way a potential candidate can get on the short list is to get a certain percentage of PLP votes then that’s where the process fails. Fill the PLP with your nominees as Blair did and you can have any view as long as it’s ‘mine’.

  5. Well – at least the Deputy Leader contest has credible candidates.

    The Leadership contest hasn’t, and the knee-jerk endorsement of RLB misses the key litmus test of her actual endorsement of the BoD’s outrageous demands, and employment of Lansman far outweighs any theoretical radical pretensions.

    All equally fail on that test.

  6. RH, “have a look at how the Right managed this over the years : it’s no secret”

    Correct, it was ‘conditioning’ and the knowledge that the electorate are largely under-informed and to a certain extent lazy.

    1. Jack T & RH – do you guys think ownership of the media by the tories’ biggest supporters had anything to do with Labour losing?
      Got a plan to fix that?

      1. A Labour government will ensure a healthy future for all our public service broadcasters, including BBC Alba and S4C. We will protect free TV licences for over-75s. A free and fair press is vital to protecting democracy and holding the powerful to account. We will address misconduct and the unresolved failures of corporate governance raised by the second stage of the abandoned Leveson Inquiry. We will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership and to put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations. We will take action to address the monopolistic hold the tech giants have on advertising revenues and will support vital local newspapers and media outlets. We will consult media-sector workers and trade unions to establish an inquiry into the ‘fake news’ undermining trust in

      2. Oops – I missed a bit off the end of the above

        media, democracy and public debate, and on a legal right of public interest defence for journalists

      3. David. Yes, it was intrinsic in my comment, it was the right wing media which carried out the conditioning.

        What do we do about it? Because we are not in power, there is very little we can do about the majority of the print MSM, apart from calling upon our supporters not to buy their papers.

        However, we can and should be ruthless with the BBC and not be afraid to call them out whenever we see bias, either in their output or lack of output when important stories are being ignored.

        The BBC’s Question Time is a case in point. For how long have many of us recognised the bias in the panels selected, the selection of the audience and the questions which are chosen? Yet what has Labour done in an official capacity to monitor and make representation to the BBC about it?

        We need a media team which is second to none in it’s ability to monitor the media and call out bias, using social media and whatever other outlets are available to us, whenever it is detected.

      4. David
        Yes we have a plan
        Divide and conquer, start by referring to them collectively as the billionaire MSM and toilet papers, work on individual owners, shine the light on them, same for worst reporters
        Happy to discuss policy all day long,
        Uncle Festa and his cheap and nasty Tory party are,
        Take your pick from a long list
        Forget protocol in parliament, call out the lies and the racism
        Give scumbags regular doses of their own medicine
        I believe it’s called propaganda, brainwash the population, they would not do it if it didn’t work
        Uncle Festa lost the campaign, tories dont do policy, no matter what the question it was JC’s and Labours fault,

        ‘ I cant vote for Corbyn, been Labour all my life’
        Who did you vote for in 2017
        ‘Labour of course, I always vote Labour’

        You have to admire the scumbags, they are very good at this shit, we are not in the game
        When they go low, take the gloves off

      5. Steve, you missed off a bit at the beginning too 🙂

        It’s great having a plan to fix the media once Labour’s in power – the party will have had thoughts along those lines forever – we’ve got to win the next election with today’s Tory media though.
        We could always turn into half-Tories like dear old Tony, that’s worked before – my MP Mark Hendrick was already punting that a week after the election when he RT’d a piece of shit by Andrew Rawnsley about Labour having to “break the cold grip of the hard left” – as if it was obvious and everybody was already agreed Labour had to turn right to be electable.
        Seems to me I’ve heard that before somewhere.
        Media’s talking up a surge of up to 100,000 new members joining to vote in the leadership election, 70,000 of whom Phillips is claiming joined because of her – hooray for centrist self-promoting fishwives, everybody.
        We’ll probably never find out how many new members stay on after they’ve voted.

      6. Doug, shine WHAT light on them? The light of our disapproval? In what mass media organisation does the ownership not have their hands on the light switch?
        We don’t have a single TV channel or a single newspaper on our side.
        Leaflets or the Daily Worker to get the word out? Gimme a break. YouTube maybe if we catch a break.
        Activists using their unlimited minutes phone deals to run phone banks? For five years?
        When I was young and innocent I used to write letters to influential people or their agents in hope of nudging them a little to the left – with no measurable effect.

      7. David McNiven
        No shine the light on owners, the billionaire Murdoch MSM and toilet papers
        Nothing they say has value because it is dictated by a fascist, far right wing media mogul who has his own agenda
        You are being brainwashed by this man and his media empire
        Spread dirt on him and his hired scumbags and no matter what the question it is Uncle Festa and cheap and nasty Tory party’s fault
        And on and on and on and and on and on
        Call them out for what are

      8. David, “we need our own TV channel”.

        Agreed, however it is illegal for political parties or groups to have their own TV channel. It would have to be a non-political channel, like the BBC??? 🤔.

      9. Jack T, 10:17pm.
        The Labour Party not being able to own the channel itself isn’t actually an obstacle if you think about it.
        Ownership of companies is often of labyrinthine complexity.
        It could even be called Labour TV (if we wanted – I wouldn’t) and be a completely separate entity.

    2. “do you guys think ownership of the media by the tories’ biggest supporters had anything to do with Labour losing?”

      Of course, David. But ownership is not the whole story – although an important one (the shift of Tory – Labour support in newspapers was about 50-50 in 1950 and had become 78-22 by 1984).

      Have a look at the way in which the Right (both here and in the US) have used organised attrition to push broadcasting in their direction by organised lobby groups and ‘monitoring’. We have starkly seen the effects of this pressure (over 50 years) in the election. Labour has not been good at organising the same sort of operation.

      ‘The BBC – Myth of a Public Service’ by Tom Mills is a good read in terms of detailing and analysing this manufactured bias.

      1. RH, don’t be dull – of course ownership is the whole story.

      2. No, David – you’re being ‘dull’ here. As I said, ownership of the printed press is a key issue, but the BBC – massively and subliminially influential – is not controlled in the same way by ‘ownership’ – unless you stretch the meaning to breaking point.

      3. Of course I was stretching the meaning of ownership in the case of the BBC, that was obvious.
        The Tories currently own the BBC – government only has to suggest it might review the management structure to “end the obvious left wing bias” or review the licence fee for the BBC to roll over.
        That’s effectively full control.
        I don’t know if the security services still keep an office actually in the building but vetting will certainly still be thorough.
        It’s only “not” owned by the Tories in the narrowest sense of where the profits go – and even that’s debatable.
        If the government can sell or privatise it who else could be said to own it?

      4. It’s not the Tory Party that ‘owns’ it even in this sense. The Blair hierarchy had the same level of influence; it’s about an oligarchic network that operates above government (I’m avoiding the term ‘elite’ because it’s got so much abused by those who don’t recognize an elite if it agrees with them).

        You’re absolutely right about the mechanisms of control and the close relationship with the security goons as part of this.

        The other thing to note is that it actually seems to have got worse over the years.

        If you’re interested, that Tom Mills book is fascinating on the detail.

        But what I was particularly thinking about was the aspect of continuous pressure, wt which activity, the Right has been much more consistent and persistent.

  7. Two distinct but parallel strategies
    Policy and the Dirty War
    We campaign on 5 key policies on pledge card from here to next GE,
    We take the gloves off and fight our enemies on their own turf, give them an overdose of their own medicine
    And FFS let’s have some fun with it, that’s an order you will enjoy doing the dirty work whether you like it or not

  8. Meanwhile:

    In the light of personal experience of the gerrymandering and fixing which takes place; up to and including consistently putting the legal liabilities of volunteer members at risk and deliberately and systematically fixing complaints to ignore breaches of illegal acts for favoured pre- selected candidates; this comes as no surprise.

    It’s sickening to have to agree with Mandlesons observation last October about it being no good replacing one form of authoritarianism with another.

    Time to clear out the stables otherwise this Party is going nowhere other than disappearing up its own backside

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