Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hello Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith

 Image result for Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith
The candidates for the leadership should be pushed to come to an agreement to stand by Labour Party policies as these have been (and will come to be) agreed by Labour Party Conference. This does not unreasonably bind them. They should still be free to suggest changes that they would like to seek in future Conference's policies, whilst sticking by what has been established in the meantime. Furthermore leaders and the PLP can still have a say about the priorities, timing and the detail when acting on Conference decisions. They will also often have to act on new and passing items, without having specific Conference guidance at the time. This is currently the case (until the coming Conference ?) on  policies over leaving the EU. 

Most of current Conference policies formed the basis of our last election manifesto. Any alterations, additions or elaborations (e.g. on Syria) have only emerged so far from last year's Conference.  Most of Conference policies arise (of course) from the work of the Policy Forums. Prior to the General Election, I summarised these in a number of blog items. These can be found via links in this item.    These proposals should form the basis of Labour"s current parliamentary approach, until subject to later Conference alterations.

It is also possible for candidates to press for the further democratisation of the Labour Party. It is also a difficult approach for candidates to argue against when facing the votes of the membership in a leadership contest.

I hope that Labour Party members will push such a line. It could be a position which any candidate could find it difficult to reject in current circumstances.


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    "Harry why is there a leadership contest? For donkeys year's we have never been able to vote now we have the plp don't like it well most of them who do they think they are we've pounderd the street's for new members since we worn short trousers corbyn get 1ooos to join now some of the idle MPs say we're being taken over by trots and 57 other varieties if they don't like it put themselves up for open reselection or better still for the nec to make reselection mandatory now that would be very nice"

  3. David : There is a leadership contest because (a) a powerful section of the PLP strongly disliked the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader (some for differing reasons) and THEN (b) when elected Jeremy did far too little to overcome their fears. His first job should have been to secure his position. This could have been done without him surrending the basis of his aims. But he should have known that politics is a long-term affair. Even Lenin talked of tacking and manoevering towards ones objectives.

    Those Labour Party members (new or old) who look for mandatory re-selection, can still at the moment seek Constituency Meetings in the run-up to Annual Conference to submit (say) a rule change to the coming Conference to allow for this. Such specific forms of GMC meetings have not been ruled out by the NEC -thanks to an intervention by Ann Black. Otherwise, they might wish to leave all this until 2017 to see how the dust settles.

    There are, however, provisions in the current rules of the Labour Party to obtain re-selection in specific constituencies. In Chapter 5 of the Rules of the Labour Party, there is provision for voting in a trigger ballot where a sitting Labour MP is seeking re-selection. If they win the trigger ballot, then (subject) to the NEC they are then endorsed as the constituency's candidate. If they fail to win the trigger ballot, they are eligable for nomination for the short-list. If they then lose the selection, they can appeal to the NEC, but only on the grounds of procedural irregularities. As things stand, it is up to those seeking re-selection to grasp the nettle. Much will depend on the standing of the local MP amongst the constituency's membership.

  4. I voted to elect jeremy as our leader but he is not strong enough at PMQ'S we need a new leader if we want to win next election

  5. Harry,

    If the Labour leadership contest can be brought to a speedy conclusion we may regain the initiative from the Tories. My opinion is both candidates are not ideal, however we are where we are…

    Corbyn plus membership and unions are likely to win against Smith and MPs, is a Smith win a better outcome?

    There seems to be a bigger underlying issue in the Labour Party than the outcome of a leadership election, perhaps one of policy and the direction the party is going?

    Can it be the difference between two socialist points of view, and the direction of travel from each where Labour has to make a decision upon? Sometimes the terminology can be misunderstood, however, the difference between a democratic socialist (as described on the Labour’s membership card) and a social democratic party (possibly how Blair would describe the Labour Party). My understanding is the former where Corbyn and friends would like to travel and the latter the bulk of the PLP.

    Jon W

  6. Hello Anonymous,

    Jeremy's problem was that he had served over 30 years on the back-bench and had no experience at all on the front bench, even in a very junior position. Owen Smith has the reverse problem. After only two years on the back benches, he was thrown into front bench positions. By then had he even learnt the complexities of parliamentary procedure? For back benchers to do anything they need to learn from experience about the nooks and cranies. It should serve them well on the front benches.

    Jeremy's strengths were his extra-parliamentary activities on the issues he supports; plus his strong constituency work. He could, therefore, speak well and with ease on selected matters. This served him well when campaigning for the leadership. It is a question of how long it will take him to do the same via the avenues open to a leader - and whether he has the disposition to seek to do this.

    Hello Keir_H (Jon),

    We need to work for "peace and reconciliation" in the Labour Party, whoever wins the leadership position. That person does, however, need to develop this understanding. It is possible to have shared horizans about how the Labour Party should operate and function, whilst still tacking and manouvering for policies one believes in. But no-one can successfuly just ride roughshod over others.

    All the best,

  7. With only just over a week to go before the official deadline, only 120 Constituency Labour Parties out of over 600 have so far submitted supporting nominations for the candidates for the Labour Leadership. !00 for Jeremy Corbyn and 20 for Owen Smith. In Derbyshire only Chesterfield and Mid Derbyshire have so far met for this purposes out of a total of 11 Constituencies. Only one out of 11 have done this in Nottinghamshire. People will need to check, but at a glance it appears that not a single constituency throughout the 14 in South Yorkshire has done this. In total that is 3 out of the 36 in the area I have referred to. You can check here -
    I know that supportive nominations are merely a formality and tnat we are in the middle of a holiday period. But all-member meetings used for this purpose do give new members an opportunity to have some sort of voice and to mix with the established membership. You can't have an effective political party where members don't intermingle. Many in the area I refer to also have Labour MPs whose voices it would be good to hear.