Labour’s NEC just underhandedly voted to disenfranchise the members. Here’s how

160920-luke-akehurst-nec

Thanks are due to Steve Walker and his Skwawkbox blog for an article so important to the Labour party that I reproduce it here, almost in its entirety, with apologies to the author:

The anti-democratic section of the Labour party, laughably referred to as ‘moderates’, has today attempted a second ‘chicken coup’ – and its success or failure hangs in the balance.

You are extremely unlikely to hear it mentioned in the mainstream media.

The Labour NEC, which includes several imminently-defunct members who will be replaced by Corbyn supporters at the weekend, has voted by 16-14 to increase its number by two – one member each to be nominated directly (i.e. unelected) by the leaders of Welsh and Scottish Labour.

This is the equivalent of an outgoing government calling one last session to make a law that the overwhelmingly-elected new government has to appoint a majority of its opposition to its front benches and halving the voting power of the MPs of the party with the democratic mandate – a hideous and brazen move designed to make itself near-impossible to overturn while disenfranchising the millions who had voted in the new government.

It is unclear whether ‘frontbench’ means the Westminster front bench or the Holyrood/Cardiff equivalents. If the former, Corbyn can look to counter it by stacking his front bench with his supporters; if the latter, it allows anti-Corbyn Kezia Dugdale and anti-Corbyn Carwyn Jones to effectively annul Labour members’ democratic decision to elect Corbyn supporters to all 6 ‘constituency’ positions on the NEC. This would mean that Corbyn would need to ‘shuffle’ certain MP members in order to retain a functioning majority.

The move must still be ratified by the Labour Conference, which starts this weekend – but the outcome of that vote is unclear, as the party machine has been busily suspending (and therefore disqualifying) Corbyn-supporting delegates, so the likely balance of votes is not known (except perhaps to those behind these machinations).

If the measure passes a Conference vote, Jeremy Corbyn must take any actions necessary to negate it, whether that be shuffling people like Jon Ashworth, who has voted against Corbyn in every NEC vote, out so that they are removed from the equation and replaced by a better MP, or by withdrawing the whip to disqualify right-wing members so that the post-Conference NEC can overturn it or bring in rules that negate this deeply, shamelessly anti-democratic tactic.

It will go against the grain to take such steps, even to correct such an egregious and underhand wrong – but turnabout is fair play and the anti-democratic faction in the Labour party must not be allowed to succeed. They have used dirty tricks to open this door, so they can’t complain if a firm hand is used to close it (though without question they’ll bleat like goats).

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Get mad and even.

Source: Labour right just attempted ANOTHER, silent coup. It must not be allowed to succeed | The SKWAWKBOX Blog

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29 thoughts on “Labour’s NEC just underhandedly voted to disenfranchise the members. Here’s how

  1. Sven Wraight

    Corbyn should be using every legal, if “dirty” trick at his disposal. While he twiddled his thumbs, the country suffers because of a tiny number of extremely dangerous traitors. Some will not live to see his victory.

    1. Tony Greenstein

      yes it is but that’s no reason to leave the election of Scottish and Welsh reps in their hands for one minute. It will take time, assuming there is the inclination or means, to dispose of them. Meanwhile Corbyn has lost his majority on th eNEC

  2. shawn

    I’m not sure whether readers have read Owen Jones’ extremely lengthy piece on what the Labour Party needs to do after Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as leader. There, is plenty in the piece to disagree with, both in terms of logic, fair play and fact. However, it is evident that he’s spent a great deal of time and effort putting together a series of ideas and in planning how we might win the next election. One of the glaring errors in his piece is his inability to appreciate and understand the nature, motivations and actions of leading anti-Corbyn PLP members and the NEC. One proposal is that Mr. Corbyn should offer an olive branch to these members of the PLP by placing some within his cabinet. Just how can anybody trust this bunch of power mad rogues.
    Yes, it would be easier if both members and the PLP could come together, adopt a common aim and policies – with respect to strategy and certain details Owen has set out some worth while ideas – but it’s just not going to happen. This is not a matter of vengeance, but practical politics. Their, policies are not anywhere near those of most party members, their handling of the ‘chicken coup’ so undemocratic and botched and their behaviour so disloyal as to make any agreement made with tem worthless. They have to go, now. Perhaps, the where and the who may be something that could be discussed.

    shaunt

    1. Tony Greenstein

      I haven’t read Owen Jones but I’ve read enough of his stuff to know cowardice dressed in doom and gloom. The problem with the PLP is not Corbyn’s personality and/or capabilites but what he represents. This whole ‘anti-Semitism’ stuff is a wholly manufactured crisis dreamt up in think tanks, lobby groups and the US/Israeli embassies.

      Why? Because the idea of having the second major part in the US’s closes ally in Europe in the hands of someone anti-NATO and anti-Trident is unacceptable.

      The PLP refusal to accept Corbyn is policy driven above all – renationalisation, austerity etc. It is unfortunate that Corbyn has backtracked on a lot already. Even were he to make it as PM he would be on the road to major reversals of his policies. Not because he is a bad or person but because he has already taken the road to compromise.

  3. b2df

    “It is unclear whether ‘frontbench’ means the Westminster front bench or the Holyrood/Cardiff equivalents. If the former, Corbyn can look to counter it by stacking his front bench with his supporters; if the latter, it allows anti-Corbyn Kezia Dugdale and anti-Corbyn Carwyn Jones to effectively annul Labour members’ democratic decision to elect Corbyn supporters to all 6 ‘constituency’ positions on the NEC. This would mean that Corbyn would need to ‘shuffle’ certain MP members in order to retain a functioning majority.”…Where did we flip from the Labour Party NEC to MP’s in the Shadow Cabinet? This article seems to have flipped at some point. Otherwise I have become dyslexic, or just plain sick, whatever…………….

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There are shadow cabinet representatives on the NEC. If Mr Corbyn is faced with a majority against him and there is no other way, he could arrange for those members to be entirely supportive of him. Personally, on reflection, I’m not sure that’s possible, depending on when these people are normally nominated and what would happen if he reshuffled the Shad Cab for no other reason than NEC support.

      1. Tony Greenstein

        It’s perfectly possible and I understand he now has done this but 4 a time he didn’t even do this. U want evidence of his compromises – look at his recent statements on Israel – given his record previously of support for the Palestinians they are disgraceful. I am blogging on this at the moment but I refer to his answers to a Q on ‘what do u most admire about Israel’ at the JW3 debate 2 nights ago

  4. Rupert Mitchell

    The best thing that could happen to the real Labour party would be for these people working behind the scenes to destroy it are removed as soon as Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected and in the unlikely event of their treachery being temporarily successful, all true Labour members and would-be members need to get together with Jeremy to form a new CLEAN Labour party.

  5. Tony Greenstein

    Yes I agree but the political stupidity of Corbyn is endless. The man is his own worst enemy. Just as he walked out of the NEC before time and allowed them to debar 130,000 members so he agrees to this. I am still furious over his appearance at the Zionist JW3 debate this week where he twittered on about all the things he admires about Israel and forgot to mention torture and shackling of (Palestinian) children as young as 12, land confiscations, ‘death to Arabs’ marches etc.

    To allow this through is bonkers. If there are to be 2 Scottish and Welsh members fine. They should be elected by all the members in Scotland and Wales NOT Dugdale and Jones. Singlehandedly Corbyn has deprived himself of a majority. No wonder Luke Akehurst is crowing. People must flood the idiot with messages asking him whether he is serious about winning the election, because his inability to think on his feet is letting everyone down.

    It is bad enough that the Grassroots Alliance contains people like Ann Black who suspended Brighton & Hove LP because Progress lost the local elections without Corbyn giving the right an extra 2 seats.

    It’s about time the Left stopped this stupid personality cult and demanded some accountability from Corbyn. That was the watchword of Benn – accountability and it applies to Corbyn equally.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Jeremy Corbyn can’t do right, as far as Israel/Palestine is concerned. First he is attacked for apparently supporting Palestine, now you’re knocking him for apparently supporting Israel. Does it never enter anybody’s mind that perhaps – just perhaps – he might want peace?
      Remember, this NEC still has a majority of members who are generally anti-Corbyn. It is entirely possible that he could do nothing to prevent their latest affront to democracy as his is one vote in more than 30.
      I agree with you that the Scottish and Welsh representatives should be elected by all the members in those countries, not nominated by the leaders.
      And you are right about accountability. Mr Corbyn is popular because he supports policies the rest of us hold dear, but we all know he cannot stay forever and we need another strong left-wing leader to take his place.

      1. Tony Greenstein

        This use of ‘peace’ is utterly vacuous. There is no peace because one side – Israel – wants to colonise what is left of Palestine with Jewish settlements and the other side, a peasant based population, is trying to resist. To talk of peace is absurd. You have to oppose the war makers, those who demolish hundreds of house for settlements. Those who IN ISRAEL ITSELF are busy demolishing Bedouin villages in the Negev to make way for Jewish settlements.

        When 48% of Israeli Jews, a plurality support the physical expulsion of Israeli Arabs, when its new Defence Minister Avigdor Liebermann openly talks of transplanting Israeli Arabs to the West Bank we have people like u refusing to make the basic distinction between the oppressed and oppressor.

        Perhaps we should not have supported removal of Apartheid in South Africa. Just campaign 4 peace instead. Pathetic.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I see you support an attitude that has led to the current situation.
        And how well is that working for you?
        (I think we can all see how well it is working.)
        It’s past time to try something different.
        Or are you just after payback?

    2. John Harris

      This concerted campaign to support Corbyn seems so well organized by the new left wing group who have signed up to Labour it smacks of conspiracy. As an 88 year old labour supporter I feel sick to the teeth of this so called populist movement which is more concerned about taking control of the party for their own ends than appealing to the broader millions of past Labour voters who will turn away from Labour in droves.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        You seem confused. It is the movement surrounding Jeremy Corbyn that has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to join the party and has led to electoral success even when the right-wing media have been working hard to prevent it, in order to make the narrative you describe seem true.
        Right-wing Labour – the politicians who have run the party since Neil Kinnock (if we’re honest) achieved its greatest victory in 1997 by pretending to be something it wasn’t. Between then and 2010 it haemorrhaged 4.9 million Labour voters.
        So you see, it was the right-wingers who have turned past Labour voters away from the party in droves and Corbyn who is bringing them back.
        If you really can’t stand Mr Corbyn or Momentum, ask yourself which is worse – them, or continued Conservative government?

  6. John Watson

    There can be little doubt that both the Welsh & Scottish parties should be represented on the National Executive. They are independent and need a voice on the executive.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s fine. But with most of the members – certainly in Wales – supporting Jeremy Corbyn, why would we want to allow an anti-Corbyn leader to send an anti-Corbyn representative?

      1. Bob Munchon

        Lol. Well they have a leader in both Wales and Scotland… both with mandates. So i think really you should respect their mandates and decision to send who they like to represent their voice. Who are you to dictate they shouldn’t send a representative/or even who they should send? Respect the mandate! They have a right to a democratic voice on the NEC. If in the next leadership contest in Wales and Scotland they vote in a JC supporter i’m sure you would be calling for people to respect their mandate to send who they like

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        They’re not sending people to the NEC to represent them, though – they’re sending people to represent the Welsh and Scottish members.
        I know a majority of Welsh members currently support Mr Corbyn. If Carwyn Jones doesn’t, and sends a representative of his view rather than that of the members, then the members have been disenfranchised. Who is he to overrule the will of the members? Welsh Labour does indeed have a right to a democratic voice in the NEC. That voice can only be chosen by Welsh Labour members – not by the leader of the party in Cardiff Bay.
        I’m sure the same applies in Scotland.
        No – my principles remain the same no matter who is in the top job. I take it yours would waver in accordance with the behaviour you have just failed to attribute to me.

    2. Joan Edington

      Why do you say they are independent? I don’t know about Wales but Labour in Scotland is no more than an accounting unit of The Labour Party. They may pretend to be independent, granting themselves a leader, but they are no different from Unite the Union, say, where they have a Scottish leader but are just a region of the UK. Do the separate regions of England each get special representation on the NEC? I don’t think so.

  7. Barry Davies

    One can only hope the the constituency parties do the right thing and deselect those Mp’s and indeed council members who seem to want a different labour party to the mainstream members.

  8. Joan Edington

    “It is unclear whether ‘frontbench’ means the Westminster front bench or the Holyrood/Cardiff equivalents. ”

    In Scotland’s case, if this latest fiasco comes to pass, it would make no difference. Our MP, Ian Murray, is as anti-Corbyn as Kezza and was one of the first to resign from Corbyn’s cabinet, leaving us in the rediculous position of an Englishman as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.

  9. Bob Munchon

    Amazing stuff; telling Welsh Labour and Scottish Labour they shouldn’t have a seat at the NEC; just wondering how you justify that to your democratic principles…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Democracy has nothing to do with it. The article clearly states: “One member each to be nominated directly (i.e. unelected) by the leaders of Welsh and Scottish Labour.”
      The proposal is undemocratic.
      If you want my personal opinion, then if Welsh and Scottish Labour are to send their own representatives to the NEC, those representatives should be democratically elected by the members of Welsh and Scottish Labour, not chosen by the leaders.
      So my democratic principles are quite fine, thank you.
      Yours seem a little tarnished, though.

  10. Pjay Mac

    The Traitorous Watson and his Cabal, the PLP and most of the NEC should without further ado be Expunged from the Labour Party on the grounds of bringing the Party its Grassroots Members and integrity of said Parties Name into Disrepute, The behaviour of these MPs and Panels opposed to Jeremy Corbyn has been atrocious the Lies, the Smears, the Leaks to Right Wing Media and Tory Politicians, Slanderous Comments and illegally obtaining money from new members who were promised a Vote in the Leadership Election then purging said new Members for no other reason than they were NOT Voting the Way the Cabal wanted them to Vote, what Idiot said Democracy is Dead in this Country.

  11. Adrian Horne

    It just amazes me a group that considers itself to be keeping the main body of the Labour party ‘on track’ could well be the one that derails it completely and leaves it a complete train wreck.

  12. shawn

    I agree with those who state we must not get caught up on personalities, nor on the idea that only Jeremy Corbyn can lead a truly democratic Labour Party and one that has the interests of the electorate; as opposed, to the corporate lobbyists that ‘grease the wheels’ of our present parliamentary parties. In this rather limited sense it is the policies that matter most. The very great caveat is that members, and the electorate in general, must be able to trust the person who leads the Labour Party. This is Corbyn’s strong point, not only for how he’s behaved over the last year, but also because of his long history of following the interests of the electorate and not the corporate ‘gravy train’.

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