Posts Tagged ‘NEC elections’

Why the Labour Party still has a problem with black men (and it’s getting worse)

19/11/2020, 11:05:15 PM

by Paul Wheeler

Back in 2014 I wrote a comment piece for Labour List. I was criticised then for an ‘unhelpful contribution to the debate’. Well it wasn’t meant to be helpful it was a warning that without action the existing problem about black male representation in the Labour Party was likely to get worse.

The recent elections to the NEC are a classic example of how the last six years have been wasted. Terry Paul and Jermain Jackman were excellent candidates who would have added much needed experience and knowledge to our National Executive. Neither were elected. Whilst we rightly congratulate the progress of black women to become Labour MPs at the last General Election the applause is missing for any new black men in the PLP. It’s shameful to our party that we now have more black men as Conservative MPs than on the Labour benches. The position in Labour local government is even worse with precisely two black leaders of Labour councils. Recent events in Southwark where a talented black councillor was rejected as Leader shows that the situation is not likely to improve either. We can criticise the Conservative Party for its politics but it’s record of promoting black men to positions of influence in Parliament and the party organisation is one that that we conspicuously lack.

For a party that believes in planning and social justice we display a remarkably ‘laissiez-faire’ approach to candidate selections. As a consequence, we have a ruthless free market with considerable advantage to those of insider knowledge of the process and networks built up over years at University and within parliament and favoured think tanks. The problem has been compounded as our membership becomes more middle class and an implicit tendency for many members and councillors to select in their own image. The problem could have corrected in the last six years if the Trades Unions (many who have large numbers of black men as members) had made serious efforts to sponsor talented black male candidates but they haven’t. In fact over the last three General Elections several Trades Unions, including my own Unite, have made the situation worse by endorsing privileged white men as favoured candidates in safe Labour seats such as Ilford South and Leeds East.


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The nuts and bolts of what we need to do, by Peter Wheeler

13/09/2010, 12:56:09 PM

Over the next couple of weeks, Labour party members will get plenty of voting practice as we vote for a new leader, national executive committee members and members of the national policy forum. In London, members will also be voting for a candidate for mayor.

The key vote will obviously be for our new Leader but that leader is going to need a party behind him which is strong, dynamic and well organised. A party which encourages the efforts of members to build support in their communities and recognises the central role our members play in winning for our party.

It is the national executive which is responsible for ensuring that happens and that’s why the elections are important.

CLP reps are elected for two years and the next two years will be crucial for the party. The conservative coalition could last five years but it would be a big mistake to count on that. The Lib Dems are not exactly known for discipline under fire and it wouldn’t be impossible for Cameron to decide that they had served their purpose and ditch them for an early election if he thought he could win it. I am not saying it will happen, but it could, and we need to factor the possibility in. (more…)

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Pete Willsman in the Plumstead Badlands IV

10/07/2010, 01:12:21 PM

Latest update on comrade Pete Willsman’s last ditch attempts to get himself validly nominated for this year’s election to Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC).

At the Erith & Thamesmead executive committee (EC) last night, Willsman’s Plumstead branch (he still appears on the Erith and Thamesmead membership list, though he has now transferred to Oxford East) moved a resolution for the next general committee (GC) that Erith and Thamesmead’s NEC nominations be reopened. It was defeated.

It was said that Willsman had been branch secretary for 15 years. His recent move to Oxford was not cited. (more…)

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Willsman nomination shenanigans III

08/07/2010, 01:45:17 PM

It seems that Uncut was right: Pete Willsman is fulfilling a long standing ambition to move from south east London to east Oxford.

Sources in both constituency Labour parties (CLPs) have confirmed that the veteran left-winger yesterday transferred his party membership from Erith and Thamesmead – the south east London suburb in which he has lived for years – to Oxford East.

Cynics are suggesting that this move has been prompted by Erith and Thamesmead having declined to nominate Willsman for re-election to Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC). Without such nomination from his home CLP, he is ineligible to stand.

On this occasion, cynics are right. After failing to be nominated at their meeting two Fridays ago, Willsman tried to persuade members and officers in Erith and Thamesmead to reconsider their decision. Having failed, he decided to “move” to Oxford East, the (real) home CLP of national Labour party chair and fellow grassrooter, Ann Black. (more…)

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Shenanigans at the grassroots alliance II

07/07/2010, 02:42:25 PM

Strange developments over at the grassroots alliance. We reported last week that the savagely-wrought left slate for the CLP section of Labour’s ruling national executive committee has been imperiled by Pete Willsman’s failure to secure the support of his home CLP. Without which nomination you cannot stand.

Strangely, the name of Willsman’s home CLP has now disappeared from the online version of the grassroots alliance NEC election flyer. All the other candidates’ CLPs are listed, according to the rules. Willsman’s, weirdly, is not.

Uncut’s hard copy of the original is in the post. It will be interesting to see, when it arrives, whether it is similarly and bafflingly blank, or whether it says “CLP: Erith and Thamesmead”. We’ll post it up when it gets here.

Cynics are speculating that Willsman intends to attempt a last minute rebirth as a member of Ann Black’s Oxford East CLP.

This would require fast-track help from head office and a pyrotechnic interpretation of the rules. The world (or our little Labour corner of it) awaits with affectionate concern.

Anyone who may be able to help Pete with information or documentation should email Uncut and we will do our best to facilitate.

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