Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was never welcome amongst some in Labour.
This will not come as a surprise to many people.
Ever since before Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party multiple groups of people have been attempting to devise the best way to make sure that he does not have a successful run as Labour leader.
If you don’t believe this, listen to this podcast starring Labour’s own John McTernan
These groups, which include the erroneously named “Saving Labour”, “Labour First” and “Progress” attempted to use the media initially to destroy Corbyn’s leadership. They chose to do this at a critical time for the Labour opposition, and at the expense of actually opposing the Tory government. Members of the shadow cabinet resigned to ensure that Corbyn did not have the team necessary to continue opposition.
They chose to sabotage the Parliamentary Labour Party’s ability to oppose the Tories when we could have defeated them
Now, they are at it again. Media smears have failed to topple Corbyn, and many people within the right wing of Labour believe that he will defeat Owen Smith in the Labour leadership challenge. They are not willing to accept Corbyn’s unhindered leadership of the Labour Party, even if he wins.
The new plan
The group Labour First recently sent out a mail to all of its members. I have reproduced it below, edited for brevity. The full mail can be forwarded to interested parties upon request
As you can see, Labour First are asking CLPs who have nominated Owen Smith to have official meetings, and suggest Contemporary Motions for submission to the Labour Party prior to the conference.
The choice of using Committee meetings was the same tactic used to lock party members out of CLP nomination meetings by some local parties that chose to nominate Smith. I can provide another message from Labour First’s Luke Akehurst instructing CLPs to consider this tactic, if requested.
I was interested what was contained in those proposed Contemporary Motions, so I downloaded the document. There were four motions contained inside. Due to my deletion of the tracking link, I reproduce them here for you verbatim
MOTION 1: Ensuring Working People Don’t Pay the Price of Brexit
Motion 2: Building a Health and Social Care System for All
Motion 3: Tackling the UK’s Housing Crisis
Motion 4: NATO
If those motions seem familiar to you then rest assured, you are not going mad. They are precisely the arguments that Owen Smith is putting forwards in the Labour Leadership debates.
You could reasonably surmise then, that the purpose of organising all of the Smith-supporting CLPs to pass motions containing Smith’s policy to the Labour Annual Conference is to ensure that whoever wins, Smith’s ideas are enacted by the party in the future.
This could be seen as innocuous, as they are not terrible policies.
I personally would argue that the NHS has been slashed heavily by the Tories and that 4% year-on-year increase in funding will not make up for the 60% of planned and executed cuts that have occurred after the 2015-2016 financial year, but the policy does not specify a maximum.
I would not be happy with the winner of the leadership challenge being constrained to build the arbitrary figure of 300,000 houses, or the specification that 50% of them do not need to be “genuinely affordable”.
I would prefer that the houses built belonged to local councils and kept in public possession.
The rotten core of the fruit
Contained within the mail was this line:
You can read my preview of party conference here: http://labourlist.org/2016/08/luke-akehurst-labour-rule-changes-mean-conference-is-the-first-big-battle-for-new-leader/
I looked at that article, which was also written by Luke Akehurst, and found it troubling.
Here is another excerpt. You can read the full text by following the link above
It’s the middle of a leadership election but Labour’s rival wings are already focussed on what happens when annual conference starts, literally the day after the result of the leadership race is announced.
Damage their term of leadership in the first week? Is that really the plan?
This troubles me greatly. I respect democracy, and want to see the Parliamentary direction of our party chosen by it’s leader as much as possible. I totally oppose any action which is expressly taken to damage the incumbent or the candidates term of leadership.
What should we do about this?
Beats me. I think that everyone should get intouch with their CLP to findout if there is a meeting being held to discuss conference business, and whether or not they are allowed to be a part of that democratic process.
I would like to see other motions proposed to shape the future of our party, such as:
When people who understand more about these issues pass on more information to me, I will either post it here or make a link to a more useful information source.
Many thanks to J Simpkin
Check out his own blog here https://bladeofgrassuk.wordpress.com/
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