Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Calling Those With Voting Rights In The Labour Leadership Contest - But It Is Not Your Vote We Are After.


The letter below is being submitted to the five candidates for the Labour Leadership - who are shown above. If you are a member of an organisation which has voting rights in this election, then why not add your support via the comment box on this thread? Give your name and list the relevant organisations which you are a member of. These include Constituency Labour Parties, the Co-operative Party and affiliated bodies such as many Trade Unions and various Socialist Societies. The type of details we are after are limited to those shown for signatories at the close of the letter. This comment box takes information from anyone with an email facility. Other signatories will be added as they are received. As a consequence this thread is being periodically updated.

TO THE CANDIDATES IN THE LABOUR LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS

The supporters of this letter are members of either the Labour Party and/or members of organisations affiliated to the Labour Party who pay their political levy or its equivalent.

Immediately after the election we felt that Labour needed a period of reflection and serious internal debate to assess the reasons for our defeat and to think through the direction we needed to move into.

Instead we have been confronted with an imperfect leadership contest in which the Party’s wider membership and its affiliated bodies have been excluded from the nominating procedure. This has restricted both the range of the political viewpoints and the background links of the candidates who have emerged.

What we feel now needs to be done is to seek to use the current imperfect leadership contest as a means by which we can acquire something like the form of assessment and internal debate which we feel is necessary.

This means that there is a need to divert the current contest away from being just another ’X factor’ game show, towards being a serious debate related to the principles contained in the Labour Party Constitution which state - “The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect”.

To help achieve the depth and nature of the debate that we are seeking, we call upon each of the candidates to publish a Manifesto of Intent to make clear to everyone the direction in which they would seek to lead the Labour Party, based on their assessment of the reasons behind the electoral defeat and their interpretation of the direction where the principles quoted above should now lead us.

We ask that these Manifestos of Intent should be distributed widely in order to generate extensive discussion across the Party and beyond, so that this will assist those voting in the leadership contest to reach balanced and principled understandings.

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We invite Labour Party members, members of the Co-operative Party and those who pay their political levy to Trade Unions affiliated to the Labour Party (or the equivalent) to add their names and their organisational links to this letter via the Comment Box.

(1) Ken Curran, Birley Branch LP, Sheffield South East CLP, UNISON, Co-operative Party Sheffield Branch.

(2) John Halstead, Nether Edge Branch LP, Sheffield Central CLP, Cooperative Party Sheffield Branch.

(3) Harry Barnes, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE, Co-operative Party Chesterfield Branch, Labour MP 1987-2005.

(4) Martin Brader, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(5) John Dunn, West Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(6) Graham Baxter MBE, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE. Leader NE Derbyshire District Council.

(7) Jon Williams, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(8) Shelagh Wolliscroft, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(9) Roy Pilkington, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(10) Stephen Brunt, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(11) John Gilbert, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(12) Bill Michie, Nether Edge LP, Sheffield Central CLP, UNITE, Co-operative Party Sheffield Branch, Labour MP 1983-2001.

(13) Bob Piper, Abbey Branch LP, Warley CLP.

(14) Mick Davies, Bristnall Branch LP, Warley CLP.

(15) Shay Boyle, Sutton Branch LP, Bolsover CLP, GMB.

(16) Frances Kelly, Finchley and Golders Green CLP.

(17) Patricia Williams, Sutton Branch LP, Bolsover CLP, UNISON.

(18) Steve Thompson, Sheffield Central Branch LP and CLP, Co-operative Party Sheffield Branch.

(19) Dr Duncan Hall, Skipton Branch LP, Skipton and Ripon CLP.

(20) Douglas Michael Chewter, Skipton and Ripon CLP.

(21) Marianne Quick, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(22) Ian Robathan, Pheasey Branch LP, Walsall CLP.

(23) Jack Wearing, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(24) Doreen Curran, Berwick-upon-Tweed Branch LP, Berwick CLP, NUPE Retired Member.

(25) Ronald Curran, Berwick-upon-Tweed Branch LP, Berwick CLP, NUPE Retired Member.

(26) Gary Kent, Beckenham CLP, UNITE, NUJ.

(27) Christine Smith, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNISON.

(28) Caroline Smith, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(29) Rosie Smith, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(30) Barry Winter, Chapel Allerton Branch LP, Leeds North East CLP, ILP.

(31) Frank Abel, Manor and Castle Branch LP, Sheffield Central CLP, NUT.

(32) William Brown, Sheffield Hallam CLP, ILP.

(33) Felix Gott, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP.

(34) James Vernoit, Vauxhall CLP.

(35) Rebecca Eeley, Cheadle CLP, Fabian Society.

(36) Bernadette Duffy, Birley Branch LP, South East Sheffield CLP.

(37) Gordon MacMillan, St Ann's, Tottenham CLP.

(38) Dave Hill, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, UNITE.

(39) Janet Hill, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(40) Caz Brader, Manchester Withington CLP. CYWU.

(41) Samuel Ohene, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(42) John McDonnell M.P., Hayes and Harlington CLP.

(43) Edna Woodhead, Ecclesall Branch LP, Sheffield Hallam CLP.

(44) John Woodhead, Ecclesall Branch LP, Sheffield Hallam CLP.

(45) George Bell, UNISON Bassetlaw Local Government Retired Member.

(46) Paul Harman, Darlington CLP.

(47) James Doran, Darlington CLP, Co-operative Party Darlington & South Durham Branch.

(48) Bob Gachagan, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, GMB.

(49) Ann Barnes, Dronfield Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, GMB.

(50) Martin Stone, Chesterfield CLP, UNISON.

(51) Socialist Health Association.

(52) Pete Firmin, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP. CWU.

(53) Val Graham, Chesterfield CLP, UNISON.

(54) Stan Newens, Harlow CLP, Labour MP 1964-70 and 1974-83, Labour MEP 1984-99.

(55) Derek Bunce, Haywood & Hixon Branch LP, Stafford CLP, UNISON.

(56) Paul Cotterill, Leader Labour Group on West Lancashire Borough Council in a personal capacity.

(57) Simon Whitten, South West Bedfordshire CLP.

(58) Ian Woodland, Southampton Itchen CLP, UNITE.

(59) Andreas Paterson, Norwich South CLP.

(60) Jon Taylor, Chair Wharley Bridge Branch LP, High Peak Constituency.

(61) Mark Grayling, Grassmoor Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP, Chesterfield Co-operative Party.

(62) Tom Gann, Greenwich & Woolwich CLP, Fabian Society, Parliamentary Candidate for Salisbury in the General Election.

(63) James McGee, Salisbury CLP, Fabian Society.

(64) Vino Sangarapillai, Horsey & Wood Green CLP, UNISON.

(65) Anthony Mckeown, High Peak CLP, UNITE, Co-operative Party Chesterfield Branch.

(66) Ruth Stoba, Whaley Bridge Branch LP, High Peak CLP.

(67) Kingston & Surbiton Constituency Labour Party, (posted by Max Freedman Chair)

(68) Stephanie David, Bexleyheath & Crayford CLP, GMB.

(69) Robert Naether disabled GMB Union south wales.

(70) Alex Williams, Stockport CLP.

(71) Steve Pickering, Eckington Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

(72) Bob Heath. Eckington Branch LP, NE Derbyshire CLP.

54 comments:

  1. Frances Kelly, Finchley and Golders Green CLP

    ReplyDelete
  2. Frances Kelly : Thank you for your support. By this weekend when we have a reasonable number of names we will add them to the list above and send the candidates the letter with the names added. The names will appear in the order in which they are received. News of developments will be posted on this blog and here - http://threescoreyearsandten.blogspot.com/

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  3. Douglas Michael Chewter, Skipton and Ripon CLP, supports this campaign and urges others to do so too.

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  4. Cheers Doug. You are No 20. We now have take-off and will submit copies and names to the 5 candidates. Sending them additional names as they arrive. Names will also be updated on our blogs. Off to hear David Miliband in Sheffield in Friday. I will try to raise the issue and seek more names in support. Will also seek some media publicity (well the Morning Star and Tribune!) using the running total of the number of supporters.

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  5. Ian Robathan Pheasey Branch, Walsall CLP

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  6. William Brown, Sheffield Hallam CLP, ILP

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  7. Felix Gott, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP

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  8. Rebecca Eeley, Cheadle CLP, Fabian Society

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  9. Thanks Ian, William and Felix. We know have 33, enough for a nomination for Ralph!

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  10. James Vernoit : You are number 34. Your blog looks interesting. I will look at it carefully.

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  11. Thanks Rebecca. You are number 35. When reached, numbers 21 to 40 will go to the candidates to add to the first batch.

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  12. Gordon MacMillan, St Ann's, Tottenham CLP

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  13. Beth Carley, Manchester Central CLP.
    I would like to endorse Cantab83's view, expressed on linked page on this site, that the content of the manifestos should explicitly respond to specific policy questions, otherwise they may well add very little to what we have already heard from the candidates.

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  14. Beth Carley : There would be the problem of sorting out the questions. Then if the candidates added nothing of significance to what we call for, that would also tell us something important. You are welcome to join us, even if you don't think we go far enough.

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  15. Who cares about Labour's death throes? Not me, nor the majority of the electorate, I suspect.

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  16. George Bell - UNISON Bassetlaw Local Government Retired MembersJuly 3, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Hi. I agree totally with the sentiments of the letter. Labour lost the election, I believe, by being divorced from the grass roots of the Party by an unheeding leadership. Surely, those issues need to be addressed at an early stage.

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  17. James Doran, Darlington CLP, Co-operative Party D'ton & S. Durham Branch

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  18. I heard the Famous Five at Compass and in Newcastle and they are rapidly refining their pitches and presentation. But this election process simply encourages the very superficiality which inhibits the serious reflection we need.

    I back your call for a much longer process to rebuild and refresh the Party, listen and learn from a wider public and then make use of the ideas members have in abundance to craft a new approach to Government.

    Let Harriet stay!

    Paul Harman, Darlington LP

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  19. George, James and Paul. Thanks for your support. I have added your namnes to the above list as numbers 45, 46 and 47.

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  20. Paul : On the nature of the Labour's Hustings see Polly Toynbee here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/02/labour-hustings-are-dismal

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  21. Pete Firmin, Hampstead & kilburn CLP and CWU.
    This initiative needs to be more widely known, good lucj.

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  22. The Socialist Health Association would like to support this letter.

    Martin Rathfelder
    Director
    Socialist Health Association
    22 Blair Road
    Manchester
    M16 8NS
    0161 286 1926
    www.sochealth.co.uk

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  23. Martin Rathfelder : Please thank the Socialist Health Association for its backing. It is the first affiliated organisation to give us support. I will also forward our thanks directly.

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  24. Pete Firmin : Thank you for your support. It is not for want of effort that the campaign is not more widely known. The big thing would be for the two Eds, David and Diane to accept as Andy has. I have asked MPs I know who nominated different candidates to push them to accept. More initiatives are going the rounds.

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  25. Derek Bunce UNISON Stafford CLP and Haywood & Hixon Branch. Happy to support the aims in the letter and will promote the content at our branch meeting.

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  26. Derek Bunce : Thank you for your support and your efforts on our behalf. At the moment we are hopeful of digging a response out of David Miliband.

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  27. In support: Paul Cotterill, Leader of Labour Group, West Lancashire Borough Council (personal capacity). Also at http://thoughcowardsflinch.com & www.bickerstaffrecord.org.uk

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  28. Simon Whitten, South West Bedfordshire CLP.

    I fully support the aims of this letter and will try to spread the word.

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  29. Ian Woodland, Southampton Itchen CLP, Unite the Union (PC)

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  30. Andreas Paterson, Norwich South CLP

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  31. This is by far and away the most interesting initiative in the leadership election to date. It would be invaluable to have a Statement of Intent, both to deepen the debate and to enable (or at least facilitate) accountability later. I share very strongly - as my members do - the frustration of holding an election without a full and proper debate about what we are as a Party - that snese from the past hving been steadily eroded first by Tony Blair and then (but ironically) by Gordon Brown. We are having a full debate in September when the Statements would be most helpful to making informed individual decisions.

    Jon Taylor
    Chair
    Whaley Bridge Branch
    High Peak Constituency

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  32. Ian, Andreas and Jon : thank you for your support. You are numbers 58, 59 and 60.

    Jon - if your time at High Peak goes back to the days of Peter Jackson, then you might be interested tp know that I meet him at the funeral of Ken Coates last week.

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  33. Tom Gann, Greenwich & Woolwich CLP, Fabian Society. Parliamentary Candidate for Salisbury in the General Election.

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  34. James McGee, Salisbury CLP, Fabian society.

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  35. Vino Sangarapillai, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP, Unison

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  36. Welcome to Tom, James and Vino. You are numbers 62, 63 and 64.

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  37. Sounds like good idea - would be useful especially to people who can't get to the hustings.

    Anthony Mckeown, High Peak CLP, UNITE, Co-operative Party Chesterfield Branch

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  38. Excellent!! Just what I've been hoping for. I am one of those people who cannot make meetings/hustings/conventions and would greatly appreciate such manifestos. I've recieved the mailing David Milliband put out this week. But to be honest I'm left feeling more frustrated as i feel it is lacking the depth required for truly enabling me to make a voting choice. This is a fundamentally important election for the country and I am currently shocked at the vagueness thus far.
    So thank you for writing this letter I support the idea whole heartedly.
    Ruth Stoba Whaley Bridge LP High Peak

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  39. We considered this at our GC last night and agreed to support the letter. I hope that this is of help.

    Best wishes,

    Max Freedman
    Chair
    Kingston & Surbiton Labour Party

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  40. Strongly support.

    Stephanie David GMB Bexleyheath & Crayford CLP

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  41. Thanks Ruth, Max and Stephanie. It is good to have our first support from the General Committee of a Constituency Labour Party. On the David Miliband leaflet, Ruth is correct. He says that he is in favour of more democracy inside the Labour Party and then limits himself to calling for the election of the Chair who will have a seat at the Shadow Cabinet. That is a start, but we need to know what direction he will then follow on the wider principle.

    WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS. DIANE ABBOTT HAS AGREED TO ISSUE A MANIFESTO OF INTENT. ANDY BURNHAM AGREED EARLIER. WE NOW NEED THE OTHER THREE CANDIDATES TO COME ON BOARD.

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  42. Robert Naether disabled GMB Union south wales.

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  43. Thanks Robert. We have had hopeful responses on the phone today from the offices of David and Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

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  44. Alex Williams, Stockport CLP

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  45. Cheers Alex. Your are number 70.

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  46. I aam totally in support of the manifesto. The David Milliband campaign have sent me his Keir Hardie lecture speech in answer to my concerns, whilst it commits to various ideological concepts such as opening up the labour party, it doesn't really address the
    how. I am a 67 yr old lifelong member of the labour party and need some-one to commit to the right of every citizen to an affordable roof, a job with a reasonable wage, a decent
    free education for our children, access to free at the point of delivery healthcare, a fair justice system. Hey what do I know, I support change in that we demand our party expects all citizens to take responsibilty and contribute to a ring fenced index linked pension. Hey what do I know, I want open debate and us to stop being apologetic to the media does that sounds like
    socialism. Speak up candidates what do you think we should deliver. How would you decide?

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  47. Cheers Anonymous. So far the Keir Hardie lecture is the nearest we have to a "think piece" from a candidate. Yet it has the problems you cover. We can only keep pushing for meaningful Manifestos. But that would involve a significant sea-change over anything that has emerged so far.

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  48. Hello I have read your article very interesting and full of things that can inspire my life, and my blog
    thanks..

    unions

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  49. Four of the Manifestos by the candidates in the Labour Leadership campaign have today been published (or linked to) on "Dronfield Blather". The fifth one is still excepted -
    http://dronfieldblather.blogspot.com/2010/08/manifestos-of-intent.html

    Thanks to everyone who gave us their support in pushing for these.

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