Posts Tagged ‘OMOV’

Yes to OMOV. No to registered supporters. Ed Miliband’s party reforms are killing Labour

25/08/2015, 10:49:12 PM

by Daniel Charleston Downes

We can now forget the Ed Stone and the bacon sandwiches, we now know for sure the most damaging thing that Ed Miliband did for the Labour party. The recalibration of votes among members to one member one vote was essential and the right thing to do, but then this was extended too far into a new concept of registered supporters.

It makes sense to take the selection of leader away from just MPs. MPs have maintained their right to select who makes it to the ballot, but even then they seem to have done everything that they possibly can to misplace that power. Once the ballots are out it is correct that the PLP should have the same weight as those delivering leaflets and running campaigns.

The fact of the matter is that registering to support a party was always going to result in some mischief. As it happens it has meant that there are those in the Conservative party that have sought a vote in order to pick what they consider to be the least desirable electoral option for Labour and it has encouraged those from the far left to sway the ballot.

Both pose their own problems. Opening yourself up so that your opposition can infiltrate your leadership selection is foolish, particularly if MPs are nominating a candidate whilst denouncing them as a suicide ticket. This should never be allowed to happen and unless the NEC can guarantee that not one vote has been cast by an individual for the sole intention of disrupting the party, the vote should not go ahead. I would be amazed if they can do this with any confidence.

The second issue is that it has exacerbated and even created divisions within the party that weren’t prevalent before the election. There were a great many members that wanted a deeper anti-austerity message but many were able to assess that need against electoral pragmatism.

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Young Labour descends into early 80’s style infighting

27/02/2014, 12:26:34 PM

by Renie Anjeh

The events that took place in Bradford last weekend should be a warning for every young member in the party.

Acrimonious divisions and infighting at the heart of Young Labour were exposed, something that was very disheartening for young activists across the country.  I have to confess that I did not attend the conference because it was too expensive but the fact that a vocal minority have successfully managed to embarrass Young Labour members should be of grave concern for us all.

One of the big issues was the rather obvious matter of Labour Students and OMOV.  This has often been the topic of heated discussion in certain Young Labour circles. Personally, I think that Labour Students have other priorities but I also accept that there may well be a case for OMOV to be discussed and it is not unreasonable for people to want that debate.

However, what is completely objectionable is the sheer hypocrisy of some people on the Left who constantly attack Labour Students not having OMOV when their house is not in order.   Trade union reps on Young Labour National Committee are not elected by OMOV and they have often been elected unopposed due to their ‘support’ from union officials rather than young trade unionists.  How on earth is that fair or democratic?

Many of the people, who boycotted Labour Students meetings and threatened to disaffiliate from Labour Students over the issue of OMOV, voted against OMOV for Labour leadership elections.  It just goes to show that for all their faux outrage, their commitment to OMOV is skin deep.

It’s about time the Left are honest that their real problem is not OMOV, or even Labour Students, but about their disdain for moderates in the party.

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This is bigger than Clause IV

31/01/2014, 11:42:55 PM

by Jonathan Reynolds

One thing more than anything else strikes me when reading Ed Miliband’s final proposals for party reform – when he told us he wanted a new politics, he really did mean it.

What Ed is proposing is genuinely a chance to bring trade unionists into the core of local Labour parties. For an active local MP like me, it offers a tantalising opportunity to expand the number of people involved in my local campaigns, my events and my community work.   In future, when I speak in the Commons in support of manufacturing, industrial policy or the NHS, I could have the chance to send my message directly to more of the people I am speaking up for.

I want to make clear that I know, under the system we have now, there are a great many trade union officers and members who work night and day to spread the Labour message in their unions.  They should never think we don’t appreciate them, because we do.  But I have always understood that all politics really is local – if I want people to vote Labour in my area they need to know what I am doing and believe in, not just the collective Labour message. This is a chance to do that.

Because it is such a substantial change people will inevitably describe it as a ‘Clause 4’ moment.  But actually this is something even more radical than that. Clause 4 was a huge and important change, showing the country we understood the world had changed, but it was essentially a cosmetic issue – an issue in how we were perceived.  Ed’s reforms are more radical because they are about power, shifting substantially more of it away from the centre towards the grassroots of the party.

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Exclusive: One-off rules for next Labour leadership election mean OMOV electorate to be dominated by 2.3m union members

31/01/2014, 11:43:26 AM

Update 18:43: Uncut’s source are now telling us that the only trade union voters in Labour’s next leadership election will be those who have opted-in as associate members. Events have been fast moving and over the week and the shape of the final proposals is thought to have been evolving in the past few days. Given the potential for a contest in 2015, this would likely mean that only a small number of trade unionists would take part.

10% is often cited as the proportion of trade unionists that will opt-in, but many suspect the reality will be lower. The comparatively short time period between when the rules are ratified at the special conference in March and a potential leadership election in late 2015 means the unions will only have a narrow window to recruit associate members from the ranks of their 2.3m affiliates.

Estimates of the potential number of trade union voters for a 2015 leadership election that have been suggested to Uncut range from 25,000 to 80,000. This would mean trade union votes would be below the third guaranteed by the electoral college and if so, would represent a major concession from the leaders of the trade unions.

Had the 2010 leadership election been run with the electorate likely in 2015, David Miliband would most probably be leader of the Labour party today.

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by Atul Hatwal

Uncut has learned that the next Labour leadership election, expected in 2015 if the general election is lost, will be conducted under a one-off mix of existing and new rules. The result will be that this electorate will be dominated by 2.3m union members – over 13 times the number who are full Labour party members (180,000).

At the special conference in March, a new set of rules on trade union members’ relationship with the party will be passed. A new category of member, “trade union associate” will be created. This will be for trade unionists that actively opt-in to supporting Labour and will be phased in over 5 years.

New trade union members will be given the choice of opting-in to the Labour party and becoming an associate immediately with discussions ongoing on how the existing base of affiliates will be transitioned over – if at all.

The big change to be passed straight away will be the move to OMOV for the Labour leadership election. The difference in timing between the roll-out of the associate member category and the shift on leadership election will have far reaching implications for Labour.

It means that the at the next Labour leadership election the electorate will be the same as at the last election, but the rules will be OMOV.

Just as at the last leadership election, the Labour party will not have any access to the 2.3m affiliates membership details and candidates will not be able to communicate with these voters directly.

This is because the affiliates will not have had a chance to opt-in to supporting the Labour party and so, under data protection rules, their personal details will not be allowed to be passed to Labour.

Everything will have to go through the union.

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