Op-ed: WE the supporters, voters and members of the Labour Party are the PARTY. WE all need each other and right now with local elections weeks away it needs all willing and able hands on board.
But WE also need the best people for the job elected to the party's NEC, national executive committee.
Divisions between the left and the right of the party mean that some who want to be elected to the NEC openly oppose Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Thanks to Kev Minnette, a prospective Labour councillor, for sharing the following:
For what is probably the first time the right wing slate for the NEC put together by Progress and Labour First is getting far more CLP nominations than the Centre-left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate (excepting Ann Black).
Progress is a very well-funded organisation with millionaire benefactors and probably has paid employees phoning round CLP’s to get backing for its slate.
The CLGA of which CLPD is one of the main organisations, relies entirely on unpaid volunteer party members like yourselves.
Therefore, we ask you urgently to do your very best to get CLP’s to nominate for the CLGA slate of Ann Black; Ken Livingstone; Christine Shawcroft; Claudia Webbe; Darren Williams; Peter Willsman.
This is a vital task as control of the NEC will decide the future direction of the Labour Party.
Yours in socialism
Asst Sec CLPD
PS Comrades are also encouraged to press for good Annual Conference delegates from their CLP’s and where possible to stand themselves.
Tory Party in crisis?
This morning the BBC and the rest of the media are taken up with the very sudden resignation of Iain Duncan Smith.
So, has the former DWP boss suddenly developed a conscience in a Damascus-like conversion or is it a move to support the Brexit movement and destabilise Cameron et al?
Let us remind ourselves of the oeuvres this man has been responsible for over the last 6 years.
Bedroom tax, welfare “reforms”, PIP and the devastation these measures have wrought on the impoverished and vulnerable; his failure to publish the figures on the lives torn apart or tragically ended by his heinous policies, presided over by the incumbent and equally responsible PM.
Indeed, there are far too many stricken to do justice to in this piece.
In order to honour them we must continue to fight for justice and equality and against this government’s so called “reforms”.
On Marr’s BBC show this morning, Iain Duncan Smith is distancing himself from this and claims that he is for social justice for all – even all those of us who would never vote for the Tories. He has kindly shed some light on the manner in which the elite 2, the PM and his chancellor, run government.
He states there’s no collegiate discussion and ministers have found out about last minute policy changes via the media rather than meetings with each other.
He went on to say that he is proud of what the government has achieved, much in the manner that the football board declare confidence in a failing team’s manager!
Let us concentrate on the fact that the Tories are in disarray; the MSM are kindly informing the public for us and it is time for us to unite as the Labour Party and capitalise on this!
It’s the first day of spring, local elections are almost here let’s go out in teams, ask the public what they want from their councillors and Police and Crime Commissioners; let’s show them that we are rebuilding the fabric of society, first rent asunder by Thatcher.
This is not achievable by simply nodding and offering words of comfort alone; action and positive change is what is required and it is easily achievable - especially now that we have Momentum groups which actively support local communities and their Labour candidates.
Who works for the NHS
David Cameron's response to Mr Duncan Smith's resignation
Thank you for your letter this evening.
We are all very proud of the welfare reforms which this Government has delivered over the last six years, and in which you have played an important part.
As a Government, we have done a huge amount to get people into work, reduce unemployment and promote social justice. There are now more people in work than ever before in our country’s history, with 2.4 million more jobs created since 2010.
I regret that you have chosen to step down from the Government at this moment. Together we designed the Personal Independence Payment to support the most vulnerable and to give disabled people more independence.
We all agreed that the increased resources being spent on disabled people should be properly managed and focused on those who need it most.
That is why we collectively agreed – you, No 10 and the Treasury – proposals which you and your Department then announced a week ago. Today we agreed not to proceed with the policies in their current form and instead to work together to get these policies right over the coming months.
In the light of this, I am puzzled and disappointed that you have chosen to resign.
You leave the Government with my thanks and best wishes.
While we are on different sides in the vital debate about the future of Britain’s relations with Europe, the Government will, of course, continue with its policy of welfare reform, matched by our commitment to social justice, to improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged people in our country, and to ensuring that those who most need help and protection continue to receive it.
Ahead of NEC elections 2016 interested parties are trying to gather support and shore up defences for different agendas. The following was received early February and relates to the election campaign of Luke Akehurst; a man who is not a huge fan of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
"This is what Luke Akehurst has been sending out to CLP's in January. When reading it I found it very offensive. Please think carefully before you re-elect him onto the NEC...........
"From Luke Akehurst
I hope you have had a good break over the Christmas period and wish you a Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2016 is a better year for Labour than 2015, which must rival 1931 as one of the worst in our history.
All of us were hoping that the New Year would mean Labour refocused on party unity and preparing for the electoral challenges we face in the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Mayor and Assembly, local government and police commissioner elections.
Instead, the Hard Left clique around Jeremy Corbyn has thrown us into a sectarian, divisive and wholly unnecessary reshuffle. We are disgusted by the sacking of Michael Dugher from the Shadow Cabinet and proud that Michael will be keynote speaker at the Labour First Annual Meeting on 16 January. Michael was an excellent Shadow Culture Secretary and one of the most effective Labour spokespeople in taking the fight to the Tories. He agreed to serve in the Shadow Cabinet in the interests of party unity. His sacking by Mr Corbyn seems to be for the “crime” of speaking out against the pernicious influence of Momentum and defending hard-working colleagues from threats of deselection.
Our primary focus has to be working hard for Labour victories at every level in May, but there are also two key internal processes starting now where we have an opportunity to fight back against the Hard Left and reassert a strong moderate voice within the Labour Party. We need your help with both:
Annual Conference Delegate Elections
We need the maximum number of mainstream delegates to be elected by CLPs to this year’s Labour Party Annual Conference so that we can win key votes on any policy or rule changes that come forward and for the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). The 2015 conference where we won the votes on whether to debate Trident and for the NCC shows the importance of having the best possible delegates.
CLPs send one delegate for the first 749 full members they had on 31 December 2015, and one further delegate for every additional 250 individual members in the constituency or part thereof. At least every second delegate from a CLP has to be a woman; where only one delegate is appointed this must be a woman at least in every other year. Where the individual women’s membership in a constituency is 100 or more, an additional woman delegate may be appointed. Where the individual Young Labour membership in a constituency is 30 or more an additional delegate under the age of 27 may be appointed.
CLPs can elect delegates any time between now and 24 June. Many CLPs do this before the start of the local election campaign in April.
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know when the date is of the All Member Meeting or delegate-based General Meeting when your CLP will elect delegates.
Please work with other mainstream local members in your CLP to ensure the delegates your CLP sends are moderates. Ideally please try to get elected as a delegate yourself!
As soon as your CLP has elected delegates, please let me know who they are, their contact details, and what their likely political stance is.
Nominations to NEC and NCC
Nominations are now open for the six CLP representatives on the National Executive Committee. The 33 member NEC is currently finely balanced between the Hard Left and mainstream members. The NEC is the governing body of the party between Annual Conferences in all matters relating to party organisation and rules.
We are recommending support for the following four candidates, and will announce a further two recommended names in the next few weeks:
Ellie Reeves. Ellie has been on the NEC for almost 10 years and is currently vice chair. She is elected with broad support from across the party. Ellie is a trade union lawyer and is passionate about workers’ rights. She has the experience, commitment and credibility to get the right policy platform and campaign strategy in place and to hold the leadership to account.
Johanna Baxter. Johanna has been an independent voice on the NEC since November 2010. From the West of Scotland, she is currently CLP secretary for Camberwell & Peckham and works as a trade union official.
Peter Wheeler. Peter served on the NEC until 2010 and from 2012-2014. He is from Salford where he is a local councillor. A former full-time official for the Labour Party and Amicus trade union, he is committed to building a strong democratic and campaigning Labour Party.
Luke Akehurst. Luke served on the NEC from 2010-2012. A former parliamentary candidate and Hackney Councillor, he is now a CLP officer in Oxford. His campaign website is here: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/
Each CLP can nominate up to six NEC candidates.
CLPs can nominate at any time between now and 24 June. Many CLPs do this before the start of the local election campaign in April.
Please email me (email@example.com) to let me know when the date is of the All Member Meeting or delegate-based General Meeting when your CLP will nominate.
Please work with other mainstream local members in your CLP to ensure you nominate as many as possible of our recommended candidates.
As soon as your CLP has nominated, please let me know the result.
Each CLP can also nominate for one seat on the National Constitutional Committee, which handles the most difficult disciplinary cases and disputes. We are recommending support for Maggie Cosin who is a long-standing incumbent NCC member, currently Chief Whip on Dover Council and formerly Deputy Leader of Camden Council.
The NEC CLP reps are elected by OMOV of full members in July/August whilst the NEC CLP rep is elected by CLP delegates at Annual Conference.
Secretary, Labour First"
Check out: http://www.newtekjournalismukworld.com/british-political-scene/bds-the-labour-party-nec-hopefuls-open-letter
[After weeks of appalling scenes of vaudeville bordering on abuse during PMQs in the Commons each Wednesday a new low this week caused widespread anger. PM David Cameron criticising Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn personally overstepped the mark in the eyes of many, including the man behind this post who contacted the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow's office to express his concerns-see above]
Got my response.... Also posted, my retort.
Dear Mr Saunders,
Mr Speaker has asked me to thank you for your email and to reply on his behalf.
The Speaker recognises that the Chamber does have its noisy and unruly moments. However, this is by no means typical of parliamentary business, most of which is conducted in a much more orderly fashion. Parliament is not, however, a debating society; it is the arena in which political argument finds its expression and it is inevitable that from time to time passions run high.
Mr Speaker takes all comments from members of the public very seriously and would like to reassure you that one of his principal concerns is to ensure that the highest standards of debate are maintained in the House of Commons. He always does his utmost to encourage Members to conduct themselves in a dignified and productive manner in the Chamber, and to remind them of the views of the public on this matter. He is aware that there is much to be done in this regard, and will continue to press for improvements.
So, I sent back this...
Thank you for including me in your generic mail merge. It heartens me to know just how much my email was taken seriously.
As you are Mr Speakers secretaries secretary, that puts you as close to the speaker as me, if you understand the mechanics of The Kevin Bacon game, so I may as well have responded to myself.
I raised three points;
1. Make the PM answer questions put to him. Considering your response I would expect an interjection every time the Right Honourable Mr Corbyn asks a question. After all, not one of his questions has been answered yet.
2. Take control of the Rabble. One does not encourage by laughing along.
3. Throw out hecklers. This was not even addressed in your response, which is how I knew this is part of a mail merge.
My previous letter is going viral. You might want to sort it out. We are ALL watching.
Incidentally if you appreciate my way of thinking, check out my group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/640331756116710/
Days ago UK Labour party members Karen Meanwell and Joanne Sinton sent an open letter to the party's General Secretary Iain McNicol.
Mr McNicol replied promptly and this is what he said:
Dear Karen and Joanne
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Labour Party.
I couldn’t agree more that as a party we must move forward as one. However I reject your claim that there are ‘parties within a party’.
Neither Progress, the Fabians, Momentum or Labour First or any other group like that are registered political parties, and we should celebrate the fact that as a party we encompass a broad range of opinions.
I also reject your claim that the NEC is not democratic.
It is our party’s governing body, and members are elected or appointed from different sections of the party to represent all our members and supporters.
Our policies are created through the National Policy Forum, which is an elected body within the party, and agreed at Party Conference – which represents all of us.
It is the core of our existence as a party that we come together to represent working people from across the country, representing different views, perspectives and issues.
If you look on the back of your membership cards, it says “by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone.”
That means we achieve more together rather than as one – and being welcoming to people with different opinions or points of views.
Let’s proceed in the spirit of tolerance, solidarity and respect for all members of the Labour Party.
With kind regards
Iain McNicol General Secretary
[The letter "Open letter to Iain McNicol Labour party NEC"]
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