Party wants money spent on leaflets for centrist mayoral candidate after members deprived of left-wing option to vote for. Could anything better sum up Blairite view of politics?
The SKWAWKBOX has recently covered the Labour Establishment’s attacks on member democracy in the south-west of England (and elsewhere), where elected officers have been suspended for carrying out the will of members who want to vote for the reinstatement of former party leader Jeremy Corbyn – and, in the case of Bath constituency party (CLP), members had to cancel a meeting after they were barred from electing new officers or even discussing any motions apart from one to mark the anniversary of George Orwell’s death.
But yet another scandal in Bath speaks volumes about the priorities and worldview of the so-called ‘centrists’ who currently hold sway in the party, because members have been banned from spending their own money – on a donation to poor children, foodbanks and the homeless.
Bath members were due to vote through a donation totalling £3,600 to three charities:
- Bath Food Bank £1200
- Mercy in Action – a charity that helps poor children £1200
- Julian House charity for homeless people £1200
A party official wrote to the CLP officers banning the vote – and threatening action against the CLP if the vote went ahead:
Thank you for getting in touch about the proposed motions at your upcoming meeting.
The aim of Motion One is to donate a significant amount of CLP Funds outside of the CLP and in a way not supportive of CLP Campaigning. This is not an appropriate use of CLP funds nor in accordance with Labour Party rules which state;
Chapter 7, Clause 2.A.2 which states the responsibility of CLP’s to “secure the return of Labour representatives to Parliament and local government bodies, by promoting the policies and principles of the Party throughout the Constituency”.
Therefore this proposal for inappropriate use of party funds should not be tabled, considered, or discussed at your meeting.
If I become aware that the CLP has voted on and in support of this proposal I will instruct the CLP Treasurer that the funds should not be released and then seek guidance from the Governance and Legal Unit on possible further action.Emphases added.
According to ‘centrist’ Labour, spending £3,600 on helping the homeless, poor children and those in food poverty is not ‘promoting the policies and principles of the party’ and helping the local community in the most practical possible way is not a form of campaigning that helps to ‘secure the return of Labour representatives’.
Instead, Bath CLP was told that it must put forward a plan to prove how it will support the party’s campaign to elect its candidate in next year’s election for the south-west region’s mayor – and if the regional office likes the plan, only then might the party approve the spending on homeless people, poor children and the hungry.
Bath CLP is one of the country’s wealthiest, having built up investments over the years worth more than £1.3 million pounds. The £3,600 was budgeted 2020 expenditure for the CLP’s conference delegation – in other words, it was never going to be available for campaigning in the mayoral election. And many members in the south-west region believe they were disenfranchised by the party when a panel presented members with potential candidates only from the Labour right to choose from.
But the people in need who would benefit from £3,600 can wait – if they’re lucky – during the coldest and hardest part of the year to receive help that Bath Labour members would like to give them from their own funds, until party officials are good and ready, assuming they decide even then to approve the donation.
Leaflets good campaigning; helping poor children, homeless people and those who can’t afford to eat bad campaigning. Could anything better sum up the diseased worldview of so-called ‘moderates’?
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