The promotion of members of Scottish Labour and Welsh Labour to the NEC means Jeremy Corbyn will lose the support of the majority of the committee – not because a majority of members of those organisations oppose him, but because their leaders do.
I’d say it was shocking that these entitled characters have put their own interests ahead of the United Kingdom, but it is no more than we have come to expect; they’ve been doing it throughout the summer.
Kezia Dugdale, an outspoken Corbyn critic, has already leapt at the opportunity to join the NEC herself, denying Scottish members the chance to elect somebody who genuinely represents their interests.
And Carwyn Jones has said he will nominate the Welsh Labour representative. This means that, even though a majority of Welsh Labour members support Mr Corbyn, their representative is likely to vote against their wishes?
Is that democracy? No. Of course not. As Vince Mills said, it’s patronage. Wales and Scotland have been robbed of their voice by the privileged elite.
And it means two people will be able to disenfranchise more than half a million Labour members, whenever Ms Dugdale and Mr Jones’s puppet decide they disagree with Mr Corbyn.
The vote was rigged – I don’t care what Paddy Lillis has to say about it; there should be a ‘no confidence’ vote heading his way in the immediate future. He deliberately denied members the democratic right to vote on whether the measure should be part of a package of 15 rule changes, or whether they should all be part of a single package.
His action, coupled with claims that left-wingers and supporters of Mr Corbyn were either suspended from the party under suspicious circumstances before conference or simply refused entry when they arrived, casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of the vote.
Amazingly, Mr Jones has described this denial of democracy as a “significant step forward”. Perhaps he would like to explain how it is a “step forward” for him to choose an anti-Corbyn representative on Labour’s decision-making committee, in spite of the wishes of Welsh Labour?
Ms Dugdale said she would be a loud, passionate voice for “Scotland’s interests”. Perhaps she would explain how that is likely to work, considering she’ll be just one voice among more than 30. No, her contribution will be in joining others to backstab her leader whenever she can.
It is a terrible decision and must be overturned at the first available opportunity. When can that be arranged?
Jeremy Corbyn has lost his majority on Labour’s national executive committee after a fierce debate at the party conference, where there were accusations of attempts to rig the balance of the party executive.
Conference voted on Tuesday to adopt controversial rule changes to let Labour leaders in Scotland and Wales nominate one person each to sit on the NEC. The Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, will now join the committee as a full member and the Welsh first minister, Carwyn Jones, will also choose a representative.
NEC members wanted better Welsh and Scottish representation at the top of the party, but the extra NEC seats are a key win for the anti-Corbyn faction in the party.
Dugdale and Jones have both been critical of Corbyn. Giving them each the right to sit on, or nominate someone to sit on, the NEC meant Corbyn’s allies lost their majority support on the committee, despite six leftwing candidates being elected to the executive this summer.
At the conference debate, some delegates had earlier called the process a stitch-up and gerrymandering, but the motion was comfortably carried by a vote later on Tuesday.
During the debate, the Momentum activist Max Shanly, a Young Labour delegate, tore into NEC members on stage in the conference hall, saying the party was “attempting to rig the discussion”.
Shanly accused moderate MPs of trying to curb Corbyn’s power and undermine the leadership election result. The change would “gerrymander the NEC”, he said, deriding MPs as “not accountable to this movement”.
Leigh Drennan, the chair of North-west Young Labour, also gave an angry speech, saying the rule change was “essentially a stitch-up of the NEC” to loud applause and cheers from supporters in the balcony.
“It disenfranchises members because it is the leaders who appoint themselves,” he said. “All members should be able to put themselves forward to represent their nation. It’s common sense.”
David Flat, another constituency Labour party delegate, said he was “appalled at the lack of democracy and gerrymandering that’s going on in our party”, which he said was being “bamboozled” into changing the rules.
The leftwing Scottish Labour group, the Campaign for Socialism, condemned the decision on Tuesday and said a new Scottish representative should be elected by members. Spokesman Vince Mills said: “Having a leader place someone on the NEC is an exercise in patronage, not democracy.”
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