NCC elections – a follow-up

JVL Introduction

Since our post yesterday with the JVL-supported CLPD slate for the NCC elections, a whole series of articles have appeared on Skwawkbox chronicling the almost minute-by-minute attempts to reach agreement on a unified slate in the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance. As things stand now, the Labour Representation Committee has thrown its weight behind the CLPD slate but Momentum has chosen to promote a different – but overlapping – one.

We carry a Campaign for Labour Party Democracy account of the problems encountered and, below that, extracts from some of the Skwawkbox posts.


12 October, 12.53pm.

CLPD alongside all the other organisations that have been taking part in the CLGA discussions, aside from Momentum, are calling for support for the same slate of candidates.

That slate is backed by the following organisations: the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), Labour Briefing Co-op, Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (LCND) and Labour Representation Committee (LRC).

The key political difference between the two slates is that Momentum are not backing a Jewish candidate who supports Palestinian human rights. That candidate is the main difference that was discussed within the CLGA, with a representative from Momentum strongly opposing him.

All the organisations that have been participating in the CLGA discussions, aside from Momentum, have included the pro-Palestinian Jewish party member on their slate, as they do not agree with excluding such valuable pro-leadership comrades from positions in the party.

Labour Conference last month overwhelmingly supported a pro-Palestine motion, that strongly endorsed Palestinian human rights.

It is necessary to correct inaccurate statements that, regrettably, some comrades on the left have made about the CLGA discussions..

No CLGA organisation pulled out of CLGA negotiations for a united left slate for the NCC elections. The CLGA regrettably could not reach an agreement prior to organisations needing to circulate slates.

The CLGA organisations met on three occasions to discuss achieving a common position for this election. Unfortunately even at the third meeting, on Wednesday 10 October, agreement on six candidates was not possible.

Many on the left, including the Skwawkbox blog had been led to believe that Momentum was backing Gary Heather, one of the candidates that CLPD is supporting.

All the organisations at the 10 October CLGA meeting, including Momentum, participated in the discussion that different left slates would be being circulated from after that meeting. Claims that Momentum was unaware that organisations would start promoting their candidates are entirely false. There has been nothing underhand in CLPD circulating its slate of candidates.

The question of geographical coverage is not at all the issue that dominated the CLGA discussion. The key issue that divided the discussion in the CLGA, was the attempt to block the Jewish candidate from a CLGA slate.


Here, are links to and soem extracts from a few of the Skwawkbox stories of recent days.

Exclusive: left-slate impasse as one group refuses to back JVL member for NCC

10 October 2018


Extracts…

The right-wing ‘slate’ for the important elections to fill additional positions on Labour’s NCC (National Constitutional Committee), the party’s supreme disciplinary body, was issued last week – and serves as a useful guide for which candidates to avoid.

But the left slate has not yet been published. A meeting took place on Monday night that was supposed to finalise the slate, but nothing has yet been announced.

The SKWAWKBOX can reveal that the decision-making process is at an impasse, with the stalemate centred on the presence of a member of Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) on the slate.

The CLGA (Centre-left Grassroots Alliance), the body consisting of Momentum, CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy), the LRC (Labour Representation Committee), Left Futures, JVL and others is currently deadlocked, with CLPD determined to see the JVL candidate on a balanced slate that will – if constituted as they propose – consist of three women and three men, with three BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidates and one Jewish candidate.

A senior Momentum figure has reportedly objected to the JVL member – one highly regarded by the Labour leadership – on the supposed grounds that ‘the Jewish community’ will not tolerate a JVL representative. This raises a number of questions, not least that there isn’t just one Jewish community – as recent events revealed by the SKWAWKBOX have underlined.


Breaking: LRC endorses CLPD slate for NCC


Extracts…

There was talk earlier today that the LRC (Labour Representation Committee) might also propose a slate, but in breaking news the SKWAWKBOX can confirm that LRC has decided to endorse the CLPD slate in full.

Announcing its endorsement, the LRC also said:

In doing so, the LRC is agreeing with Jewish Voice for Labour, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and Labour CND. We are disappointed that Momentum refuses to support Stephen Marks as a candidate because of his JVL membership.  

The LRC continues to have serious concerns about how left slates are constructed, whether by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, or parts of it, particularly the way in which Black candidates are hand-picked by predominantly white organisations with no reference to organisations of Black members. We will persist in our promotion of discussion of a better, more inclusive and democratic procedure in future, something not possible in the short time span given in which to nominate and elect candidates for this election only decided at conference.

It’s hard to argue – the process for the construction of left slates has been problematic ever since the left has been ascendant in the Labour Party and it urgently needs genuine democracy and inclusion – but the endorsement of yet another group for the CLPD-backed slate is a significant boost for the prospect of the candidates on it.


Corbyn’s positive comments re two candidates excluded from Momentum NCC slate

12 October 2018


Extracts…

Momentum’s slate contains three candidates who also appear on the CLPD version – but omits a highly-regarded JVL member and two others, in favour of three other candidates.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is, of course, not backing any candidates publicly. But the SKWAWKBOX understands that he has talked positively about at least two out of the three candidates omitted from the Momentum slate.

Momentum founder Jon Lansman had objected to the inclusion of JVL member Stephen Marks during Wednesday’s discussions with CLPD and other organisations about the proposed left slate. However, he subsequently told the SKWAWKBOX that this was a personal view and that Momentum as an organisation was set to back Marks before talks broke down.


Comments (2)

  • Paul Hubert says:

    As a member of Momentum and Co-convenor of a local group I can only pronounce myself mystified by all this. It is said that Momentum has decided this or that, but apart from what we read in places like this we in Momentum are completely in the dark. I’m all in favour of political differences being articulated and worked out in building a united front, but this seems to be something else.

  • Sean Thompson says:

    Spot on. When reports say that ‘Momentum has this or that position’ it should actually read ‘One leading Member has adopted this or that position with no reference to the rest of the organisation’.

Comments are now closed.