The enemy within Labour is still very much alive, it seems, despite all the false pledges for unity we’ve heard since the end of September.
The latest scheme, if you can believe it, involves infiltration of Constituency Labour Parties via third-party organisations such as – in the example suggested by the Skwawkbox blog, SERA (Socialist Environment and Resources Association, now styling itself SERA Labour Environment Campaign).
The idea, it seems, is to pack this organisation, which is affiliated to Labour, with people who oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, policies and followers – and then embed representatives of it into each CLP in order to obtain an automatic seat on the CLP executive.
This would give them influence over, for example, the selection of council and Parliamentary candidates.
Labour is an umbrella organisation with many different unions and socialist societies (like SERA) affiliated to it. It is possible to be delegated to a CLP from local branches of these affiliated organisations.
SERA is already packed with members of Progress, the representative organisation for Labour’s hard right-wingers.
So instead of harmless, uncontentious environmentalist members, it seems SERA may be a front for the right-wing, pro-austerity, anti-Socialist Progress party-within-a-party.
Skwawkbox has this to say:
‘Forewarned is fore-armed’, as the saying goes. With a huge majority among Labour’s grassroots membership supporting Jeremy Corbyn, Progress’ successful use of SERA as a ‘trojan horse’ to access the levers of local power and selection depends on those members remaining ignorant of the plan. If they can pose as harmless, uncontentious environmentalist members looking for influence for wholly benign purposes, there is little to prevent SERA CLP affiliates from winning approval for attempts to gain permanent places on CLP executives.
But if those same members are aware that SERA is becoming/has become a front for the right-wing, pro-austerity Progress ‘party within a party’, those attempts can be fought and defeated.
So two things are key: inform and combat. Share this information so that people are ‘forewarned and fore-armed’; and if/when SERA initiates moves to gain influence over local Labour groups and committees, prevent them.
An additional article adds:
To counter this, it is important that Corbyn supporters in the party also do this. Go along to your local union branch and get yourself delegated to your constituency party. Some CLPs have regular delegate-based General Committees that run the CLP and select the MP. Others have ‘all member meetings’ that are open to any member, with just one delegate-based AGM per year. But that AGM is vital to electing the CLP officers and ONLY DELEGATES from Branch (ward) Labour Parties and affiliated unions and Socialist Societies can vote or select the MP.
If your union is NOT affiliated to Labour (mainly white collar unions like NUT), the traditional route for getting delegated to your CLP is via one of the Labour-affiliated Socialist Societies such as SERA. Join one of them and get delegated to your CLP from the local branch. For example, members of the NUT cannot get delegated to their CLP because this union is not affiliated to Labour. NUT members traditionally get around this problem by getting delegated to their CLP via the Labour affiliated society the Socialist Education Association which IS affiliated to Labour.
To find out if your union is affiliated to Labour see here:
A full list of Labour-affiliated Socialist Societies is here:
Practical steps that supporters of Labour as a genuine alternative to the toxic right-wing consensus can take to neutralise yet another Progress attempt to commandeer the party away from the burgeoning democratic movement.
This may be a false alarm.
But if you are a left-leaning member of Labour, can you afford to ignore it?
As the Skwawkbox says, forewarned is fore-armed.
If you are a Labour member, please share this with your colleagues.
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