Keir Starmer’s paranoid grab for absolute power continues. The NEC recently saw plans for changes to the Labour Party rule book that can charitably be described as factional insurances or cynically described as outright abuse of power. Further rule changes will be proposed “closer to Conference” which begins next weekend in Brighton.
New constitutional amendments include the introduction of a “probationary membership period” during which your membership can be rejected for any reason the Leadership chooses, a possible waiver on the requirement to have been a member for at least one year before standing for election internally “as the NEC sees fit”, and a string of executive powers for the Leader and their General Secretary.
Critics see this as a collective attempt to crush dissent, concentrate decision-making powers at the top of the party, and avoid accountability in terms of hand-picked factional allies being parachuted into safe labour seats as candidates, blocking democratically chosen left wing prospective candidates. The “probationary period” of new memberships has also been criticised as a potential means of weeding out left wingers who join or rejoin in the hopes of resuscitating a progressive policy platform.
These changes, and others, come on the eve of Party Conference where acting General Secretary David Evans’ permanent appointment is to be voted on by delegates. Unite and Momentum are officially encouraging delegates to vote against his ratification, citing continued factional attacks, the alienation of young, BAME and LGBTQ members, and a disregard for internal disciplinary processes as a reason.
Given the fact that neither Evans or Starmer seem to care much about the democratic process at all, one wonders if any kind of pushback from members on any of the above would be taken into consideration anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if a successful vote against Evans’ appointment is ignored entirely. I don’t think it will get to that point however, as my faith in the efficacy of the remaining Labour membership is waning.
They told us to “Stay and Fight” but as far as I can see, the only opposition to the Leadership’s from within is coming from Young Labour, who are being unfairly targeted by the party right on a daily basis, with some anonymous trigger-happy member of senior staff launching an unauthorized investigation into YL Chair Jess Barnard for “opposing transphobia online” – a despicable, cowardly act of factional fuckery.
But as we already know, these people are more than happy to use very real issues – anti-semitism, racism, homophobia, etc – as weapons in a factional war they claim not to want a part in. They will never change because shoving progressive voices to the sidelines and smearing them to assure they stay there is all the so-called Moderates have as a means of keeping their irrelevant half-arsed ideology afloat.
One thing’s for sure: a Labour Party Conference organised by the likes of Starmer, Evans, Akehurst, and the rest of the Kinnock Cargo Cult is going to be one hell of a spectacle. Especially considering The World Transformed will be flooring progressive answers to modern problems just across the road. I can’t wait.