Labour NEC contempt for democracy

Labour NEC has nothing but contempt for the demos, the people.

Two days ago they met to decide whether or not Jeremy Corbyn should be on the ballot for leader. The rules are crystal clear, no ambiguity, and yet it took them almost six hours and threat of legal act to reach an agreement, that yes, he would automatically be on the ballot.

They went into secret session. Are they not accountable to Labour Party members?

Then, as Jeremy Corbyn left the room to let supporters know the good news, and a couple of his supporters also left, NEC pulled a fast one. They decided anyone who had joined the Labour Party after 12 January 2016, would not be entitled to vote.  They also decided that to register as a supporter there would be a fee of £25 (last year it was £3). The window of opportunity to register is very small, a couple of days only within which to register. Those who registered last years, apparently cannot vote (though this need clarification).

This ruling, which at a stroke, disenfranchised well over 100,000 members, was not even on the agenda.

A check of the Labour Party website this afternoon, no information on the leadership election, no information on how to register as a supporter.

Labour Party changed its rules a couple of years ago. No longer could Trade Union leaders cast a Bloc Vote at Party Conference on behalf of their members,  individual members  had to register and vote as affiliated members of the Labour Party.

This offered an alternative route to vote in the leadership election, for example register as a community member of Unite.

Today, Labour NEC blocked trade union affiliate members from voting. Affiliate members who registered after 12 January 2016, will be disenfranchised.

What is particularly insidious about these rulings, is that they are retrospective.

Member who joined in good faith, have found that they had a vote, and now it has been taken away.

There has been no discussion, no debate, within the Party, to bar members from voting, or to hike the supporter fee to £25.

None of this is new. Last year, people experienced problems registering as supporters. Lists were passed to local parties and names scrubbed off the voting register. Many people did not receive ballot papers.

Labour NEC has suspended Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party, strong supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

The Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party has been suspended and its recent election results annulled, according to its new secretary.

On Saturday (9 July 2016), the city’s Labour party voted for its new executive committee and Corbyn supporters took the top jobs.

But the recently-elected secretary Greg Hadfield said this afternoon the branch received a letter from Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which said the local party had been suspended.

Please sign the petition demanding that Brighton suspension is lifted and the elections at their AGM honoured.

Labour NEC has suspended all local party meetings until the leadership election is over at the end of September.

Local parties are defying the NEC ruling.

In Wallasey, the Merseyside constituency of Angela Eagle – one of the two challengers to Corbyn – members booked a hall for a meeting of the New Brighton branch on Wednesday night. It went ahead as an informal meeting of Labour members rather than an official event.

At the end of the two-hour meeting, a vote of no confidence in Angela Eagle was passed by 54 to 9. In a second vote, they unanimously rejected the £25 membership fee, which one of those in the hall denounced as “a surcharge on democracy”.

Members at the meeting accused the labour NEC of trying to exclude the tens of thousands who had joined since the attempt to remove Corbyn a fortnight ago. Kathy Miller, secretary of the Wallasey constituency party, said 369 new members had joined her branch since 24 June , bringing the total to 1,221.

Local parties across the country should hold meetings in defiance of Labour NEC. What are they going to do, suspend every local Labour Party in the country, disenfranchise the entire labour Party membership?

What we are seeing is gerrymandering on an industrial scale.

If this level of gerrymandering and vote rigging was seen in Iran or Russia or Zimbabwe, there would be international outcry, call for international monitors, questions raised as to the validity of the election.

The behaviour of Labour MPs is little better.

They mounted a coup against Jeremy Corbyn. They had no mandate to do so.

Two Labour MPs have tossed their hat into the ring, to challenge Jeremy Corbyn.

Monday, Labour MPs will decide behind closed doors, which of these two MPs will stand, one will drop out. Party members are not allowed to participate. The only policy the Candidate will have, We Hate Corbyn.

If coup plotters, Labour NEC, Labour head office, want war, then let us give them  war.

There should be meetings across the country in defiance of Labour NEC, pass a Vote of No Confidence in NEC.

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.



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4 Responses to “Labour NEC contempt for democracy”

  1. Simon K Says:

    I call on all challengers tothe leadership of the Labour Party to decry this blatant affront to democracy. How can Britain ever criticise another country if it condones this behaviour.

  2. keithpp Says:

    Excellent point.

    Next time we criticise rigged elections in another country, they will simply point to the level of corruption in the Labour Party.

    Come the General Election, this will be used by other parties as to why Labour is unfit to be a party of government.

    Labour NEC has disenfranchised around 130,000 Party members.

    Labour has votes for sale.

    Local parties are barred from meeting.

    We do not know why Brighton has been suspended, as the local party has not been told, but the suspicion has to be, because they are pro-Corbyn.

    Local parties across the country must meet in defiance of Labour NEC, or if they are not prepared to go that far, hold an informal meeting, and pass a Vote of No Confidence in Labour NEC.

    If local parties are unable to meet, how can they hold leadership hustings, how can they decide who they wish to back?

    It is Labour NEC that must be dissolved and fresh elections to Labour NEC.

    Labour NEC would do credit to Robert Mugabe.

  3. Roy Badami Says:

    I think (though not 100% sure) that registered supporter status was always something that only applied for the duration of the particular leadership election that people registered for – although I agree it was never made clear.

    You’ll note that Momentum – the pro-Corbyn group – has always offered these options for Labour Party membership status:

    * Member
    * Affiliated supporter
    * Former registered supporter
    * Not a member of any party

    So I think it’s always been in the rules that registered supporters lapsed once last year’s leadership contest was over.


  4. keithpp Says:

    I do not know if it is on the rules or not, I have not checked, but Labour NEC appear to be making it up as they go along.

    Those who registered last year as one-off supporters, did not do so in the belief that it was a temporary position. It was not register for casting vote in leadership election.

    And, worth noting, supporters have continued to receive communications, as recently as the EU Referendum.

    But what is now extremely bad, those who joined as members, find they are disenfranchised, if you want to vote in the leadership election being told have to pay £25 to be able to do so.

    Labour NEC should be suspend, fresh elections called, as they have not only brought the Party into disrepute, they have turned it into a laughing stock.

    Anyone who joined, should be able to vote.

    The only cut of date should be a reasonable date before the election to allow administration of the election.

    The same would apply to registered supporters, and they would be charged a nominal fee as before.

    Local parties should be free to hold meetings as and when they choose, with the proviso due notice is given and the meetings are properly conducted. It is not for Labour NEC to dictate to local parties they cannot hold meetings. Are they acting outside their powers?

    What we are seeing is not Left v Right or Jeremy Corbyn v Labour MPs. What we are seeing is the members v Labour Establishment.

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