Labour NEC election: Grassroots Voice team ‘fighting for the future we need’

Grassroots Voice team
The Canary

On Monday 19 October, Labour party members can begin voting for the candidates they want to see on the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The NEC is the Labour Party’s governing body, making key decisions, such as who can run as a parliamentary candidate, as well as having a key role in deciding on the party’s manifesto. Those who are standing are competing for nine seats.

“Britain needs socialist policies more than ever”

Six left-wing candidates standing for election have formed a slate called Grassroots Voice. This team of candidates said: “who gets to sit on [the NEC] and what their political beliefs and motivations are is extremely important.”

They state that:

We need to give young people hope for the future, and fight for rent controls and the abolition of tuition fees. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Britain needs socialist policies more than ever. It’s time to build a Labour Party that can fight for the future we need.

Who are the candidates?

Mish Rahman is one of the six Grassroots Voice candidates standing for election onto the NEC. He says:

As a working class man of Bangladeshi heritage whose father campaigned with the Anti-Nazi League against the National Front, I’ve always been a committed anti-racist activist.

Rahman says that he will prioritise LGBTQI+ rights:

I will stand in solidarity with the entire LGBTQ community in proudly demanding their rights, including trans rights. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non binary. Labour must continue its support for reforming the Gender Recognition Act and stand up to the Tories’ attempts to fuel prejudice against the trans community.

“We need to provide the fightback”

Another candidate is former Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights Laura Pidcock. She says the economic crisis is “set to be the worst any of us have experienced”, and believes that:

we urgently need to build the fightback and movements necessary to argue for transforming our economy and society to ensure that people’s jobs, livelihoods and health come before private profit.

Pidcock argues that the Conservatives’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic has failed the population. She says:

Their priority of protecting profits has already led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and has not contained the virus.

Candidate Nadia Jama explains why she is a good choice for the NEC:

I grew up under Thatcher’s government on a council estate near Orgreave, the daughter of a Somali steel worker and grand-daughter of a Liverpool docker. The authentic voices of working-class Black women must be central to our movement. I’ll be a strong voice for members and party democracy.

What do they stand for?

The candidates are pushing for a Green New Deal, stating that:

By 2030 we need to create a zero-carbon economy that works for the vast majority of society, not the billionaires.

Pidcock argues that:

We can’t wait to tackle the existential threat of climate breakdown. This can only be done with an ambitious Green New Deal that prioritises jobs and improving people’s living standards.

The candidates also stand for “transformative socialist policies” and “liberation and equality”. They say:

We will make sure our party is unified in the fight against racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, Afrophobia, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, ableism, sexism, sexual harassment, and the scapegoating of migrant and Traveller communities.

Single Transferable Vote

This election will be the first time that the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system has been used. Previously, First Past The Post, or ‘bloc voting’, was used. According to the Electoral Reform Society:

STV allows voters to rank candidates based on their preferences. If candidates reach the minimum ‘threshold’ of support, they’re elected. If a candidate has more support than they need, those voters’ second preferences are taken into account to fill the other spaces.

However, the STV system could result in fellow candidates being knocked out of the election early. To avoid this, Grassroots Voice is keen to explain that the order in which Labour members vote for their preference in positions 1 to 6 is important and depends on the region you live in.

Labour party members should find their ballot in their email inbox. If in doubt members can contact [email protected] Votes must be cast before Thursday 12 November and the results will be announced on the following day.

Featured image via Grassroots Voice

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  • Show Comments
    1. Labour members can vote, except those who are suspended. That’s a few thousand, most from the left. In limbo because the bureaucracy wants rid of them (as does the leadership), they are paying their subs but are denied participation in the Party’s democracy. The bureaucratic ploy is to let them stew till they get fed up and resign. Starmer promised during his leadership campaign that he would have the outstanding cases across his desk in a week. Tush. He won’t do it in a century. The bureaucracy is hurrying towards totalitarianism: CLPs have been told what they can and can’t discuss. No discussion of the IHRA definition; no discussion of the allegations of anti-Semitism; no discussion of the ban on discussion. This doesn’t come from the members. No one has voted on it. It has been imposed by an unaccountable bureaucracy. The Party is in the hands of the bureaucrats. Evans sounds like a true Stalinist. The suspended members have experienced no due process, no right to representation, no right of appeal. They have been asked to answer questions, have done so and have then been cut off. Not a word from the bureaucracy. Labour does not stand for justice while it denies it to its own members. The leadership has handed over members’ money by refusing to defend a legal action it would almost certainly have won. In doing so, it has given credence to the manufactured claims of institutional racism, given succour to Zionists who have no respect for democracy, and lined up with those who have despicably portrayed Corbyn as a racist. Make no mistake about the enormity of this: the State of Israel, through its UK proxies, has intervened in a UK election, has suborned the Labour Party, has spread lies (look at the case of Audrey White)which the media has slavishly repeated as fact. Meanwhile, thousands of dedicated socialists have been hung out to dry while Mrs Hodge goes on counting her millions. Labour today does not stand for justice, nor for democracy; it stands with Israel. Remember Flapan’s words: “Israel’s myths are located at the core of the nation’s self-perception. Even though Israel has the most sophisticated army in the region and possesses an advanced atomic capability, it continues to regard itself in terms of the Holocaust, as the victim of an unconquerable, bloodthirsty enemy. Thus, whatever Israelis do, whatever means we employ to guard our gains or to increase them, we justify as last ditch self-defence. We can therefore do no wrong.” This is what Labour believes: Israel can do no wrong. On the other hand, socialists who criticise Israel or Zionism have to be expelled or suspended and Zionist apologists for the oppression of the Palestinians welcomed to the heart of the Party. That is not a Party which can stand for any kind of justice. It is a pusillanimous capitulation to brutality, dishonesty and racism. Flapan again: “There always was an orthodox, fundamentalist current in Judaism, characterised by racial prejudice towards non-Jews in general and Arabs in particular.” Try saying that in the Labour Party. You will be hung, drawn and quartered.

      1. Why don’t all you anti semites just go and set up your own party, then you can howl at the moon, see the hand of Israel in every ill in the world and leave the non racists to carry on with their lives.
        Clue; if the members of a racial group perceive your actions to be racist….you’re a racist. The Jewish community sees many members (not all) of the Labour party as being anti-semitic. Instead of owning the issue, we hear the kind of drivel that you’ve written above. It’s no different to white nationalists and the tripe that they spew. There is no place for it in modern society.

        1. So it appears we have an anti-semitic labour party and an anti-muslim tory party. Is it then a choice between entrenched prejudices? If the labour party was anti-semitic during Mr Corbyn’s tenure then it must have been before his term as leader and therefore must still be an enemy of those people and their history. Surely that is how prejudice works. DRS, it seems to me that you are very selective in your non-racism, given your verbal vandalism over BLM. The Jewish community you refer to does not exist as ‘a racial group’. I imagine the homogeneity of thought that you suggest exists among people of the Jewish faith is a ‘racist’ illusion. The sort of illusion that justified ‘a final solution’.

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