Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: Beckett’s letter to Evans takes on exclusion of BAME NEC members

Unite assistant general secretary and Labour National Executive (NEC) member Howard Beckett has written to acting party general secretary David Evans about the scandal of this week’s exclusion of Black and ethnic minority members from key party selection processes.

Both Yasmine Dar, a Labour councillor and elected NEC member , and Walsall-based Mish Rahman – also an elected member- were blocked from representing the NEC on a panel to select local election candidates for Sandwell, in favour of two white men.

Around one in four residents of the West Midlands Borough is BAME.

Beckett’s letter addresses this scandal – and also the general abuse of NEC processes by the party’s leadership:

Dear David

On reflection I feel compelled to email you about the debate around Sandwell yesterday.

I do have a number of other concerns about how the NEC is currently being conducted, in particular around the question and answer sessions with the Leader and Deputy Leader, but the nature of the debate around Sandwell needs to be considered in isolation of other concerns.

As you know I was Unite’s Regional Secretary in the West Midlands for 18 months. I am familiar with the problems of Sandwell and would be naturally sympathetic to the difficulties in resolving those problems.

Sandwell is of course a diverse community. I would hope that the majority of our members are from Black and Ethnic Minority communities. To this end I was pleased with your commentary thanking both Mish and Gurinder for the work they have been involved in. However that commentary was, in my view, entirely undermined by the Chair accepting, without explanation, that this work then debarred both from sitting on a Sandwell panel as NEC representatives. No explanation was given as to what potential conflict could exist, the narrative of Wendy Nichols was simply accepted by the Chair without question. I should not need to say that the reality of that decision, given absent reasoning, meant that two BAME members of the NEC were excluded on the reasoning of two white members.

The subsequent debate about whether Yasmine should be added to any selection panel from the NEC is troubling to say the least. There should have been no need for debate whatsoever. Instead the Chair again accepted Wendy’s account that the region would provide the necessary BAME representation. I am unsure as to whether this is in fact correct and would be grateful for more detail on this, but in any event it is simply unacceptable for the NEC to oppose a BAME member sitting on a panel for Sandwell, more so given the diversity of the Sandwell community. The upshot of the NEC yesterday is that two BAME colleagues have been excluded as ineligible and one BAME colleague has been voted down from sitting on any panel, in favor of two white males and following the narrative of two white females.

How anyone could raise an argument against a BAME member sitting on the panel is beyond me, but in addition the methodology of reaching the decision for two white men to represent the NEC seems to apply uniquely with Sandwell.

The NEC must be judged by actions not words. For us to talk about inclusivity and being an anti racist party means that we must actively empower the BAME community.

Yesterday the NEC failed by any measure to empower either the BAME members of the NEC or the Sandwell community.

Yours Sincerely

Howard Beckett

Assistant General Secretary
UnitetheUnion

Labour’s current leadership is abusing party members and undermining Labour’s effectiveness as a force against racism.

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26 comments

  1. WELL DONE TO HOWARD BECKETT✅✅✅
    More, please more where that came from🎉🎉🎉

      1. Ignore the discouraging frauds
        🎉🎉🎉

    1. Wendy Nichols again. She the one who suddenly couldn’t count at conference. Jenny Formby had to intervene when she interpreted a vote the wrong way, Starmer’s prefered way.

      1. Carlene – Firstly it is questionable whether Jennie had the authority to overrule the chair. We’ll never know whether she could count or not because JF refused the numerous requests for a card vote. So much for democracy.

  2. Down with those who have NEVER said what we can do yet only moan and whine like useless pathetic victims.
    🌹🌹🌹

      1. Signpost will do Elizabeth. Name in tribute to the great Tony Benn. He urged that we be signposts and not weather cocks. 🌹🌹🌹

      2. signpost is an Establishment black propagandist shill Elizabeth posing as a left-winger BUT constantly – and I mean literally hundreds and hundreds of times during the past sixteen months since he first started posting on here just a month or so before the 2019 GE – denigrating and trashing the left – ie Jeremy Corbyn, socialist MPs, the left membership, and the left-wing members of his alleged CLP. And it’s precisely because he IS a shill that he would never-ever post under his real name, and he of course omits to name the CLP he supposedly belongs to.

        And I really can’t imagine any other left-wing blog on the planet letting an anonymous poster denigrate the left-wing members of a CLP they refuse to name, even ONCE, let alone again and again and again and again. As for cococting the Big Lie about Robin Lees pursuing legal action against Dominic Cummings so that he could then denigrate Jeremy Corbyn by comparison…..Any othe left-wing blog on the planet worthy of the name would have permanently banned them for doing so, precisely because only a paid black propagandist would do such a thing:

        https://skwawkbox.org/2020/05/24/video-cummings-heckled-by-own-neighbours-over-disregard-for-lock-down-rules/#comment-147121

      3. Elizibeth Ramsden…I post under my own name.The UVF tracked me down to my home.The installation of security devices cost thousands and checking under the car daily.Intimidating of relatives and even combat 18 jumping in to help them out.I eventually left the country.Now my situation was not the same as windchimes whos mainly concentrating on comments in a left wing blog.But the rise of right wing groups in Britain is happening in every town in the uk and unless you have been on the receiving end of real terror,not just threats then you will not realise that their are some seriously dangerous people around you.With lunatics poping up everywhere maybe using an alias just the one time is sensible.

      4. Okeefe having a laugh I see! The point being that ‘signpost’ is himself a right-wing fascist/black propagandist, and Joe knows it!

    1. How will identity politics kill the LP? It’s the racism that is killing the LP. Blacks and Asians will not help racist MPs during this election with doorknocking or leafletting.

    2. It’s not a defeat for “identity politics” to insist that only antisocialist white men be in these positions. There’s no way a white male in those positions will be anything but far less concerned about the need to right racism, especially if that white man is more likely to back Starmer than the Left.

      BTW, you can’t seriously be arguing “labrebisgalloise”, that what Starmer & Evans & Co are doing is somehow good for the socialist cause?

  3. We CAN act. Those with no positive contribution who are NOT members of the party, my posts are not for you. You say you don’t read. Good!!! Don’t!!! My post are suggestions for those who BELONG to the party on the “Left” re how we can improve. Not for defeatist. Not for frauds. Not for those who provide no practical suggestions of what we CAN do to change the DECADES of being defeated by the Tories in poor disguise.
    🌹🌹🌹

    1. His explanation will condemn “antisemitism”…AND “the wrong kind of Jew”.

  4. The right control the NEC now, the left would have done the same had they been in control, I doubt race came into it for one second, it’s all about control.

    I can’t but help have some doubts about Beckett, he was pushed v hard on Twitter before the United Left and still lost to Steve Turner, I’d think a lot more of Beckett if he pledget to work with Turner to make sure Steve carried the flag for the left rather than splitting the vote but that seems like a forgone conclusion now (unless Len changes his mine and stays on).

    1. Agree
      Unison was lost because the left are not a serious or credible force in the party
      GMB will go same way
      Wolfie or the Black Night springs to mind

  5. Skwawkie, Labour’s current leadership is indeed abusing party members and undermining Labour’s effectiveness as a force against racism, and I am disheartened to note that in addition to losing 70,000+ members, the surviving membership is, for the most part, thoroughly demotivated and dispirited.

    This is no longer a party with any fighting spirit and energy.

    Under Starmer it is the anti-Labour party, a drain, a discharge, a party sapped of its life-force.

  6. For many years those that left Ireland found new homes in foriegn lands and settled were considered as cowards and traitors to leave Ireland to “Starvation and Oppression by the colonialist Britain..The 8million Quickly became 3million through starvation and forced emigration.The sons, daughters and grandchildren and great grandchildren never forgot their Irish roots and returned to the home of a independent nation and rebuilt the country to be the most prosperous country in all definitions in the world.Sometimes an impossible situation means drastic measures and leaving can mean a positive result against Tyranny of the establishment.

  7. Identity Politics? How can you vote for a white; male bourgeois baby boomer; with a beard? He doesn’t tick any boxes. No wonder the Guardian dislikes him so much. Could be worse, he could be a socialist who supports Palestinians.

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