Posts Tagged ‘Organisation Sub-Committee’

Labour’s new way of selecting parliamentary candidates makes a mockery of calls for more working class MPs

08/02/2013, 07:00:08 AM

by Peter Watt

Class is back on the agenda.  Bashing the posh “Eton” Tories has become popular again for many in Labour’s ranks.  Personally I think the “posh” attacks are pretty appalling.   But the Tories don’t really help themselves and I guess you could argue that they invited it with the “we’re all in it together” nonsense.  But it’s a long time since the Labour party was stuffed full of working class members or representatives.

Nope, Labour may not have quite the public school quotient of the Tories but our ranks are still drawn from a narrow pool.  We are pretty much wholly middle class and there are an awful lot of teachers and lawyers at most party meetings!  The same is true of our MP’s except that there are also a fair old number of political professionals from the ranks of trade unions and political advisors.

The party has though made some real strides over recent years in increasing the numbers of women.  There’s a way to go, but the progress is clearly good news.  And you’d think that the recent signals that the party was looking to diversify its ranks in Westminster further, by recruiting more working class MPs for instance, would be the start of further progress.  But I fear that it is in fact just hollow words that will come to nothing.

Those who really know the Labour party know that real power is in the hands of those who control the organisation.  And that means that you need to understand the rules and procedures.  Better still, mould them to your own ends.

It is why the Organisation Sub-Committee (Org Sub) of the NEC is the committee that every member of the NEC wants to be on.  And it’s why the Trade Unions fight so hard to make sure that they have plenty of reps on it and generally chair it.  You see, the Org Sub controls selections, discipline, the rule book and internal elections.  And the reality is, that it is the wording of the rules and regulations for the selection of Parliamentary candidates, approved by the Org Sub that determines whether fine words are translated into reality.


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