Patronage beats democracy as rule change means Corbyn loses majority on Labour’s NEC

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have protested against the rule changes over NEC nominations [Image: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian].

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have protested against the rule changes over NEC nominations [Image: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian].

The right-wingers have achieved their aim and “stitched up” Labour’s National Executive Committee.

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.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn loses majority support of Labour NEC | Politics | The Guardian


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21 thoughts on “Patronage beats democracy as rule change means Corbyn loses majority on Labour’s NEC

  1. Fibro confused

    When Jeremy won the leadership battle again myself and I expect many others sat back to wait what the establishments next move would be. This is the one we knew was going to come and get voted through. What I would like to see now from Jeremy & Co is a drive to respect democracy and really investigate those who were purged from the vote and were therefor unable to attend the conference.

    The need for a clean up in the parties machinery is very much needed, trying to convince the electorate that Labour is a party to be trusted no matter who is the leader has to be high up on the agenda, how on earth voters can be attracted to vote for a party who’s hierarchy has no respect for democracy at all.

  2. autismandate

    I understood that the recent election of the new (pro Corbyn) NEC members would take effect after the Labour conference. So that would mark the start of the New elected NEC committee. I would therefore suggest that these latest un represented members nominated from the old outgoing committee will not be valid from the date the new elected committee commences.

  3. Joan Edington

    Thet’re welcome to Kezza. If she carries on at the NEC like she does in Holyrood the CLP will be regretting their idea and begging us to take her back. She changes her mind more frequently than most do their knickers.

    1. rockingbass

      yes everything is “BAD” according to Kezza . and that course she did in America has just made it worse .Thet best thing she has done in Holyrood was not to press the red button.

  4. mohandeer

    The real losers are the membership – specifically the 60% who voted for Corbyn. In the end though, the Labour Right wingers have truly shot themselves in both feet. It is now almost certain that Labour will not be a cohesive and united party with enough members to pose a threat to the Conservatives in 2020. I won’t vote for a party run by people that could show such contempt for it’s membership and I won’t be the only one. Labour lost millions of voters because of what they had become and they will lose them again in 2020 with many voting Green or not at all.
    They really are elitists with their heads up their behinds and unless Corbyn can pull the irons out of the fire I will leave the Party.

  5. Pauly

    I think Polly Toynbee, a lifelong Labour supporter, has got it about right in her recent Guardian article.

    “On his office balcony Jeremy Corbyn has a small olive tree, and he once promised branches for his opponents. But the little tree need not fear being stripped bare: not one branch has yet been proffered. The man of peace shows no magnanimity in his great victory. Instead his gentler, kinder politics is bent on securing an absolute grip on the party, seizing all levers through control over the party’s rule-making body – the national executive committee (NEC). His calls for ‘unity’ are only a call for capitulation and obedience.”

    Corbyn has all the makings of a tyrant.

    God help Labour if Corbyn and his Momentum acolytes and bullyboys ever successfully seized absolute unswerving control of Labour, stifling debate and suppressing dissent. Democracy? Don’t make me laugh. Democracy doesn’t exclude people who don’t support the status quo from sharing power. How funny it would be after all this hot air about “democracy” and “transparency” the kernel of Corbyn turned out to have more in common with thuggish totalitarians like Mao or Kim Jong-il than Labour forebearers like Keir Hardie and Clement Atlee? MPs challenge Corbyn’s authority? Deselect them! Committees fails to bow down to the new order? Try to replace doubters and questioners with the faithful and credulous! You people don’t know what real democracy is so busy are you worshipping your new idol.

    You poor, sad, deluded things.

    (I write this knowing in advance that it will never appear.)

      1. Pjay Mac

        Two Weeks locked in a Padded Room with K. Dugdale should make him realise the error of his ways. Kezia Dugdale is a Total Embarrassment to My Country Scotland as is all the Wha’s Like us Brigade.

    1. Fibro confused

      Bless your cotton socks Pauly, there’s quite a few things you don’t understand, democracy being the main one and Labour party rules the second important item.

      Democracy must be at least seen to have been done, except if your a member of the Labour party, you will have your vote withdrawn, especially those who were to be delegates at the conference. Delegates have the right to ask for a show of cards vote, which was refused reason being it would take to long, a show of hands was the only option after the refusal of a debate on the NEC motion all 15 rounded up into one vote, delegates all round the room then witnessed a show of hands carried to accept the motion when those against out numbered them.

      approx 230k members were either purged or didn’t receive their ballot via email or post such was the extremes the party hierarchy tried to gerrymander the vote.

      The leader of the party no matter who they are cannot deselect a MP only the relevant CLP can do this.

      Jeremy Corbyn a tyrant lmao!
      As a 52 yr old disabled Momentum thug/bullygirl/woman it is you that is deluded

    2. Kenneth Billis

      ” But the little tree need not fear being stripped bare: not one branch has yet been proffered”.

      From where I’m looking it’s more like: “But the little tree need not fear being stripped bare: not one branch has yet been grasped”.

    3. Zippi

      I’m sorry but “de-selection” is not up to Mr. Corbyn but the members, if they feel that their M.P. does not represent their interests. As far as I am concerned, that IS democracy. Too many of our M.P.s seem to represent nobody but themselves; that is NOT why we elected them. We elected them to represent US. £ike aybody who does not do the job for which they were employed, every employer has the right to render their services null and void.

  6. Edward Welch

    The brilliant writer C P Snow wrote “The reason that I do not trust Communism is that it puts too much power into the hands of too few people”. What do we have here with Watson,Lillis and McNicol? It’s time to replace these communists with democratic socialists.

  7. Richard Bove

    Its time to fight fire with fire this is how it will end so lets start now while we are strong we must win through now or these coop chickens will slowly get rid of Jeremy Corbyn by hook or by crook its now or never.

  8. bevchat

    I watched this mornings Labour conference and have been watching since it started ..I heard and saw all the objections to this rule and the fact there was not going to be even a debate /discussion it was all to be done without the delegates being give a chance to vote on the motion….disgraceful and very undemocratic…. It is a stitch up and I wonder how much say Tom Watson as well as Iain McNichol had in all this….????

  9. safi Ibrahim

    What the hell is going on,!! We’ve voted for our leader. If you don’t like the result then p### 0ff & join the Tories,bloody traitors,if you don’t like democratic result tough.

  10. Pjay Mac

    I have no more anger disgust or olive branches left for the Tyrants of The NEC and PLP the Deputy Leader Watson and all involved with his Power Grab. If any one person decent or otherwise outwith the Labour Conference believes what took place Yesterday was in the words of Paddy Shady Liliss a step forward I would suggest you suffer the same fate as Pauly. I have nothing but a deep seated Hatred for all involved in the attempted Destruction of the Labour Party, Begun with Lord Kinnock and the baton picked up by Blair then Brown and Milliband. Then we finally Elect a Good Honest Decent Leader and what happens the right wing neo liberals dislike our choice immensely and will not stop until they eventually do what Blairs Brigade has always done bully browbeat threaten LIE through their teeth wear us down until they like the European Parliament get the Result They Want. My Message Brothers and Sisters is this we stand Strong Beside our Elected Leader Elected by Us not once but twice and we Rid our Paty our Movement of the Corrupt Self Serving Members of the Blairite Faction every Backstabbing one of them including the Traitors in the NEC and PLP but especially the Devious Treacherous Deputy Leader Tom Watson. “Get Them Out or they Will Destroy Jeremy John and their supporters and our Movement” Out Out Out.

  11. casalealex

    Political patronage is a situation in which a person is rewarded for supporting a particular politician, such as campaigning or voting for them.
    Political patronage can sometimes include the exchange of money for political support.

    For example, if Mr. Jones was running for President of the United States and told you he would give you $1,000 if you publicly endorse him, he would be engaging in political patronage.

    Political patronage can be a complicated topic to understand because it works in many different ways, and in many cases it is against the law. As a matter of fact, the example of buying support for $1,000 is a form of political patronage, and in the United States, most people would also consider it to be corrupt and a violation of the law.

    Why Use Political Patronage?
    While most cases of political patronage are against the law in the United States, in other countries, it is not only entirely legal, but also an important part of the political process. Whether it is legal or illegal, political patronage can become more or less complicated, depending on where it is being used and why.

    Another reason that a person may use political patronage is for economic gain. Direct financial compensation, like buying support, isn’t very common. However, corporations and other business entities may sometimes support a particular candidate with the understanding that they will get something in exchange.

    If Mr. Iha was a director of a corporation, and he wanted to have certain laws changed so that the corporation could make more money, he might offer to publicly support a candidate with the understanding that, once elected, that would try to change the laws.

    Opponents have long agreed that patronage is acceptable at the highest levels of government. Presidents, governors, and mayors are entitled to select their cabinet and department heads. However, history indicates that patronage systems extending far down the organisational chain are susceptible to inefficiency and corruption.

      1. casalealex

        Basically I was trying to show an example of political patronage, and how it works, eg ‘….in other countries, it is not only entirely legal, but also an important part of the political process….” and, “However, history indicates that patronage systems extending far down the organisational chain are susceptible to inefficiency and corruption.”

        I will try to find a better example….

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