Labour elites are crushing party democracy in an attempt to ensure that they get to choose Jeremy Corbyn’s successor.
The battle for Corbyn’s successor
At the Labour Party conference in September, delegates representing local branches across the country will vote on major issues. One such vote will be on the ‘McDonnell amendment‘, which seeks to democratise Labour leadership elections. At present, 15% of MPs must nominate a candidate for that person to stand as leader. The problem is that the views of most Labour MPs are much further to the right than the majority of the party membership. That meant it was incredibly difficult for Corbyn to get enough nominations to even run for Labour leader. Despite this, the membership elected Corbyn on the biggest landslide of any UK political leader, twice. Then, Corbyn went on to increase Labour’s vote share in a general election by more than any leader since the end of WWII.
So the McDonnell amendment seeks to make sure that party elites don’t stop ordinary members selecting the leader they want. It would reduce the threshold needed to run for leader to 5% of MPs.
Labour elites, however, are desperate to stop the amendment passing. Because it would transfer power from themselves to the membership (ordinary people), in the long term.
And they now appear to be crushing local democracy to stop that happening. One Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has arbitrarily blocked two delegates from attending the September conference, as first reported by The SKWAWKBOX. The local membership elected a youth and a women’s delegate to represent them at the conference in Brighton. But executives at Don Valley CLP have overridden the democratic decision of the membership and stopped both delegates from attending. Instead, only one right-wing delegate will attend to ‘represent’ the local membership.
The elected 16-year-old youth delegate first received this email, which The Canary has verified:
Citing ‘insufficient funds’, the Don Valley CLP Chair said that the youth delegate would have to fund her own trip. So she applied and paid on time.
But then, the CLP sent her another email, entirely reversing its position:
Now, the CLP has claimed that self-funding the conference trip would ‘discriminate’ against other party members. This apparently means only the right-wing delegate can attend the conference.
One of the youth delegate’s parents told The SKWAWKBOX:
They stated that there had been a meeting of the executive committee (consisting of the secretary, Caroline Flint [the Labour MP for Don Valley], her husband, the Progress delegate and Caroline’s paid assistant). At this meeting they made a decision not to allow the youth and women’s delegate to go because it was discriminatory against other members because they were self funding from our ward despite being told self funding was the only way they could go!
So the CLP denied the two other delegates party money and forced them to self-fund. It then exploited the fact that the elected delegates are self-funding to block them from attending conference. There is nothing in the Labour Party rule book that says members cannot self-fund.
When given the opportunity to defend the moves, neither the Don Valley CLP Chair nor Vice Chair responded.
The party elites seem to be hoping they can stop the McDonnell amendment passing by blocking pro-Corbyn delegates from voting at the conference. Then, they can make sure the successor to Corbyn comes from a narrow selection of elite-approved candidates. This brazen attack on democracy must be stopped.
We have to democratise the Labour Party before we can democratise the country.
– If you’re a Labour supporter, contact the executive committee at Don Valley CLP to express your views.
– Contact Labour to ask about the move.
Featured image via Wikimedia
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?