It was not even on the agenda. At a stroke, Labour Party NEC disenfranchised over 100,000 party members and hiked the fee for registered supporters from £3 to £25.
Yesterday, Labour NEC agreed to allow Jeremy Corbyn on the ballot.
Why did it take nearly six hours, and threat of legal action, when the rules were crystal clear with no wriggle room?
As Jeremy Corbyn left the room, to tell supporters outside of the good news, and a few of his supporters also left the meeting, NEC slipped through rule changes, at a stroke disenfranchised over 100,000 members from taking part in the ballot, and levied a charge of £25 for those wishing to register as supporters.
These rule changes were not on the agenda.
All Labour members who joined after 12 January have been disenfranchised.
Contrast with the big push to get people to register to vote before the EU Referendum.
What we are seeing is an illustration of all that is rotten within the Labour Party.
We have been here before. We saw the same gerrymandering of the leadership election last year. People who tried to register as supporters were blocked on quite trivial grounds. Lists were sent to local Labour Parties to strip out any possible Corbyn supporters. Many people never received their ballot papers.
A few years ago, Labour Party rules were changed, no longer Bloc Votes by Trade Union bosses at party conferences. Now, Trade Union members may vote as individual affiliated members.
It is possible join the Unite union as a community member, paying 50p a week until becoming an affiliate member by 8 August 2016. Downside, have to sign a Direct Debit.
Lunchtime on Wato, a tearful member of Labour NEC complaining they were intimidated. And what was this intimidation? A threat of legal action if they failed to comply with the rules and let Jeremy Corbyn onto the ballot. This is not intimidation.
She also wanted a secret ballot, and claimed Jeremy Corbyn was encouraging intimidation by opposing a secret ballot. Jeremy Corbyn has consistently opposed any intimidation.
She was not questioned on why they had disenfranchised over 100,000 members, why the £25 registration fee, why those who have previously registered as supporters are not entitled to vote.
No one else from the labour NEC was granted a platform.
What happened on Wato is just one of many examples of BBC bias. It has now become almost a daily occurrence on Wato. Last night on World Tonight, Blair chum Charlie Falconer, they shared a flat together, granted a platform to give his views on Labour Party split (there is no split, but according to BBC there is). Paul Mason gives another example.
Owen Smith has thrown his hat into the leadership race. He says he wishes to help heal the wounds in the Party, says he respects the will of the membership.
It is the likes of Owen Smith, Angela Eagle and other coup plotters, who have caused the wounds in the party. Will Owen Smith be speaking out against the action of Labour NEC to disenfranchise any Party member who joined after 12 January 2016, demand the reduction of the £25 registration fee for supporters, and to extend the period of registration beyond a few days?
Owen Smith is a former special adviser and lobbyist for a US giant pharmaceutical company, background in PR. Is he the type of person to lead the Labour Party?
As Theresa May returned from Buckingham Palace having accepted the invitation to form the next government, she gave a speech on social justice that could have done justice to Jeremy Corbyn or John McDonnell. Even David Cameron in his last words as Prime Minister, highlighted his achievements in terms of social justice. And yet the coup plotters still do not recognise the world has moved on, still cannot get their heads around why they lost the last election, want to return the Party to the dark days of war criminal Tony Blair.
The Labour leadership campaign should be used as an opportunity to turn Labour into a mass social movement, that engages with people at every possible level. That is no longer about people like Owen Jones and his ego and ambitions, it is about engaging with many people, of involving many people, at all levels. It is not about power, and obsession with power, which is all that motivates the coup plotters. It is following the example of Barcelona, Frome in Somerset. It provides the opportunity to engage with people, to reach a broad consensus of what they wish a Post-Brexit future to look like.
In Barcelona, the activists who now control City Hall, recognise democracy is far more than ticking a box in a ballot paper every few years.
But if the coup plotters want war, then deliver them war. Ordinary people should take control of their local Labour Party. Labour NEC needs a clear out, as does the Labour head office. And when a General Election is called, every single one of the coup plotters should be de-selected and replaced not by Party automatons (we have had enough of them), but with people who are capable of independent thought, who will act for the people who elected them.
- Party Animals
- Corbyn: the summer of hierarchical things
- Jeremy Corbyn is on the ballot but NEC rigs the ballot
- The elites hate Momentum and the Corbynites – and I’ll tell you why
- Labour leadership contest: How you can vote without paying the £25 fee