Neither right nor left slate for the NEC…..
Earlier, I wrote about Progress and its foray into the NEC elections. Over the course of the next few weeks I will episodically looking at the rouges gallery of backers that lurk in shadows, vested interests that see Progress as their Trojan Horse within the Labour Party.
However, its the left I want to look at in this post. The Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance has notched several victories in the Constituency Section of the NEC elections and the individual comrades have made valuable contributions. Is it the case, however, that the wider membership have been empowered by these victories, is Labour more left-wing, when we were in government, were disastrous decisions (like the scrapping of the 10p tax band) stopped by the NEC?
The answers are no, no and again no. So, these victories have been ultimately empty ones. Amazingly, the CLGA has allowed the Labour Representation Committee three out of the six nominees for its slate which is totally exclusionary of the rest of the Labour left, (no Next Generation, Labour Left, etc). The LRC continues to behave like the sect it is and show it hasn’t got the right politics to face-down Progress et el. In all good conscience I can not say this slate deserves to be successful.
So, what is the solution? Firstly, I would urge each and every Labour member to look within themselves and consider standing. You have something to offer your Party and your Party needs you. If you decide to stand as a embodiment of the grassroots then I would make an honest assessment of where you stand and hopefully be able to offer you whatever limited support I can.
Some of the best NEC reps over the last two years have been those free of any slate. They show you can be the difference this Party needs. Its time to move beyond the Orwellian conflict between the slates and look to a future where the grassroots really are represented at the highest levels within Labour.