CLP stands up to Stalinism
Ceredigion constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Wales has joined the growing number of CLPs to vote no confidence in Labour leader Keir Starmer – but members didn’t stop there.
The CLP passed four motions on Friday evening, including the no-confidence vote. Other motions criticised the conduct of the party’s general secretary David Evans, Labour’s high-handed and arrogant treatment of Young Labour chair Jessica Barnard – and condemnation of the treatment of former party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in spite of Labour’s escalating war on free speech and attempts at public intimidation by right-wing figures.
The principal motions read:
- This CLP notes the General Secretary’s numerous emails to CLP and Branch Secretaries and Chairs informing them that several areas of Party business are “not competent business” for CLPs or Branches to discuss.
This conflicts with the Party’s long-standing custom and practice and tradition, whereby both affiliates and CLPs have the right to engage in discussions and adopt positions on matters across the full range of party business and policy.
One reason our Party is among the largest in Europe is because internal debate has always been encouraged. Members/CLPs have always been able to freely express their views to the NEC and the Leadership. This apparent break with that democratic tradition within our Party is a matter of grave concern.
We accept that on occasions there will be genuine legal reasons that could necessitate restricting open discussion on certain matter(s). This restriction should be approved by the NEC (or its Officers) after consideration of the relevant legal advice. This CLP believes that it is for the elected NEC to decide on those matter(s) that should be restricted. The General Secretary should not be making unilateral decisions of this nature.
We therefore call on the NEC to defend the right of CLPs, Branches, and affiliates, to discuss the full range of party issues as per established custom and practice.
- Ceredigion CLP notes with concern the decision taken by the Leader of the Labour Party not to restore the Party whip to its former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn was reinstated as a member of the Labour Party on 17th November and we believe the Labour whip must also be restored.
We call on Keir Starmer to review this decision immediately and restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
- This CLP believes that members have the right to discuss, debate, speak out and show support and solidarity with comrades in the party. Freedom of speech and democracy are precious to us, it is our core and our strength. We feel that democracy and freedom to speak out is being threatened and our rights are being undermined.
Regretfully and after much consideration we have decided that we have no confidence in the Labour leader. We have arrived at this conclusion because:
· It feels that we are barely functioning because of a dictatorial style of leadership, leading to an oppressive atmosphere. People are no longer confident to speak out in case they are disciplined or suspended.
· The leadership demonstrates that it does not value the members and priorities are skewed. Our work for the party is taken for granted, and we are not appreciated. We are used and abused. We are indispensable when canvassing at election times, but we are disposable at other times when bigger donors are being courted. We are labelled and derided for our true socialist values. We feel unwelcome in a place where we should be valued.
· It feels that our party under the leadership of Mr. Starmer is taking us to places that are an anathema to our standards and expectations. The whipping of the PLP to abstain on the ‘Spycops Bill’, the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, commenting to the media (Andrew Marr) re the disciplinary matter and generally not providing an effective foil to the incompetent Prime Minister.
· We were promised unity, we get the opposite. We should be supporting ‘Black Lives Matter’, BAME members of the PLP are receiving no visible support. Mr Starmer seems to have some issues with women which has been demonstrated by the treatment of; Rebecca Long-Bailey and Nadia Whittome amongst others.
· Mr Starmer appears to be distancing himself from all forms of oppression bar one. On the issue of antisemitism, which we agree is a problem and deserving of action, he appears to be ignoring the valid contribution of Jewish Voice for Labour. It can only be assumed thatthis is because of their support for Jeremy Corbyn.
· Mr Starmer authorised compensation without court action for individuals who may yet be found culpable in losing the 2017 election. The Forde report is yet to be published and our members are suspicious that findings will be swept under the proverbial carpet.
· The latest action, denying Jeremy Corbyn the whip, is a betrayal of us all.
This CLP therefore declares that it has no confidence in Keir Starmer as Leader of the Labour Party.
Ceredigion CLP utterly condemns the attempts by the Leader, and Labour HQ to silence both Young Labour and specifically its new EC, chaired by Jess Barnard after a stunning success in the recent YL elections.
The CLP notes that
- As a direct result of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party experienced an unprecedented surge in youth membership in the past five years.
- Jessica Barnard achieved an amazing 71% of the YL vote, on an unambiguously socialist platform.
- These successes were repeated all across the country by the Socialist future platform.
- The new Young Labour EC has a stromg mandate from members, and faithfully executed that with their statement on the 21st of November, in support of Jeremy Corbyn
- The attempted political interference by the Leaders office is in direct opposition to the reccomendations of the EHRC report
The CLP utterly condemns
- The Leader’s attack on the left, and on the young left more specifically
- The leader’s attempts to politically interfere with Young Labour and to gag Young Members.
The CLP resolves to
- Issue a statement in support of Jessica Barnard and the rest of the Young Labour Committee
- To continually act in solidarity with the Young members of this CLP and others
- To encourage the growth, strength, and ability to self-organise of Young Labour locally in this CLP
- To condemn political interference by the leader wherever it happens.
- To send this motion to the General Secretary and the leader of the labour party
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