Posts Tagged ‘factions’

Bullying, intimidation and walkouts – A review of Young Labour and Labour Students’ conferences

03/03/2014, 05:12:12 PM

by Cameron Beavan-King

The Labour Students conference began the Friday before last with a co-ordinated effort by several clubs, threatening disaffiliation over the issue of One Member One Vote (OMOV) for elections to the Labour Students National Committee.

In the run-up to conference, the clubs had sent a letter protesting the decision by Steering and the National Committee to block three motions asking for a further debate on OMOV at conference. However, as delegates had already voted on this issue at National Council and agreed not to discuss it until after 2015, the three motions were blocked.

This tension continued into the conference with a mass walkout by several clubs over this issue and a poorly worded motion in favour of stopping censorship and inference from National Council. The motion as a whole would have done nothing to progress their aims and was rightly voted down by the remaining delegates after the walkout.

It is important to note that the walkout was bound up in the politics of Labour students – it was led by supporters of Tom Phipps for National Secretary, though Tom did not walk out himself.

To be brutally honest, I cannot see what the walkout or the whole disaffiliation threat will achieve at all, other than dividing us in the crucial run-up to 2015.

I cannot understand what we will achieve as a divided organisation. On the back of our membership cards, it said “Through our common endeavours we achieve more than we achieve alone.”


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Stop shouting at me – I’m on your side

16/07/2011, 02:00:18 PM

by Emma Burnell

I regularly read the blogs of people I disagree with. I think it’s vital to do so not only to challenge your own perceptions, but also to work out how best to frame your arguments. I also regularly read blogs of people I agree with. Sometimes these are the same people. Politics can be a bit like that. Some days the person I’ve had a blazing Twitter row with about the necessity of trident, the very next day I’m nodding in agreement with about the campaigning future of the Labour Party. Modern communications are both fun and confusing that way.

Like real life, people have different moods online. Some days I’m feisty and argumentative, others I’m contemplative and receptive. Sometimes I just want to have a laugh. Because I’m political that laugh will often be at the expense of the Tories or their allies.

There has grown up on all sides of the Labour party a filtered response to all other parts of the party. I know because I get both sides of it. Those on the right of the Party get called Blairites and those on the left Trots. Then they all go about their business with not a single idea improved through debate, a mind changed or a voter won over.  This leaves me in despair when people I know to be interesting and highly intelligent are losing the opportunity to actually try to change a mind. (more…)

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Beware Labour’s rainbow warriors

11/05/2011, 07:15:41 AM

by Kevin Meagher

SO let’s get this straight. New Old Labour, in the shape of so-called Blue Labour, wants the party to return to its rosy red roots while new New Labour, in the shape of the soon-to-be Purple Bookers, wants the party to mix red and blue (but that’s old blue, not new Old Labour’s new Blue Labour blue).

Meanwhile, some of the old New Labourites remain green with envy at last year’s leadership result, hoping that Ed Miliband ends up in the brown stuff.

At the same time, old Old Labour sees things in black and white and simply wants to put clear red water between the party and the true blue Tories and their yellow Lib Dem sidekicks.

Have I got that right?

Labour’s efforts at renewal are starting to resemble a Jackson Pollack painting, with tins of political ideas hurled across the canvass.

But beware. The abiding lesson of Labour’s fraught history is that internal groupings have always been little more than artillery to support the militias fighting the party’s periodic civil wars (an oxymoron, to be sure, given the incivility of Labour’s periodic bloodletting). Their very existence is evidence of competing groupthink within the party, usually wrapped around titanic egos grappling for control.


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