Scandalous assault on and abandonment of democracy
The Labour right’s changes to the party’s rules on leadership elections have scraped through 53%-47% at its Brighton conference this evening, driven by a ‘backroom deal’ between Starmer and Unison’s right-wing management to back the plan – in direct contravention of the union’s official democratic policy of always backing ‘one member one vote’ democracy.
A change to a 20% nomination threshold for candidates to stand in leadership elections even where there is a vacancy, combined with the increase to 50% for local members to make even the most appalling right-wing MP face a selection contest, effectively rules out the chance of a left-wing MP ever standing.
As Skwawkbox’s Steve Walker put it in a video released this afternoon before the vote, the Unison and Labour right have colluded to deprive members and the public of any option to vote for in a leadership election or general election except those put forward by the Establishment creatures that control Labour:
Scandalously, Unison’s delegation followed the union management’s instruction to support Starmer’s power-grab, even though the union’s official policy is to support OMOV democracy, ignoring the call of the democratically-elected officers to vote against it in line with union policy:
The statement, issued when it looked like Unison would abstain – which was bad enough but would still have allowed the rule changes to be defeated, reads:
We the undersigned are the majority of elected delegates to UNISON’s National Labour Link Committee.
We oppose any increase to the threshold for MPs to nominate candidates for future leadership elections.
A member-led union like UNISON should not approve rules intended to reduce the choice of candidates in future leadership elections.
The National Labour Link Committee previously supported the rule changes that led to the reduction of the nominating threshold from 15 to 10%.
UNISON also opposed the original proposal in the Colllins Review that the threshold would be 20% on the grounds that this would not only deny members a voice but would reduce diversity of candidates, decreasing the likelihood of women and black members being on the ballot.
The National Labour Link Committee is the sovereign body for Labour Party-related matters within UNISON, according to the UNISON Rulebook and Labour Link Operational Rules. It is not permitted under UNISON Rules for the UNISON Conference delegation to overturn established National Labour Link Committee policy and the delegation would have no mandate to do so.
This is no time for backroom deals or stitch-ups to abstain on fundamental matters of democracy and equalities, when UNISON has clear established policy through its National Labour Link Committee. UNISON must oppose this proposed rule change on the conference floor.
Dan Sartin, Andrea Egan, Jane Wilcox, Tony Wilson, Libby Nolan, Lilly Boulby, Andrew Berry, Carl Greatbatch, Billy Stewart, Steve Milford, Mark Fisher.
Even with the Unison management’s collusion, the rule changes would almost certainly have been defeated without the Evans war on Labour members – saving his own skin as well – that barred a large number of left delegates from attending conference by means of summary suspensions just ahead of the event.
Analysis of previous leader elections show that only the hardcore Blairite right would have been in the contest under the new rules.
Shoddy backroom deals and a war on democracy have carried the day, demonstrating again just how diseased the Labour party under Keir Starmer has become.
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