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The Left Improves Control of Britain’s Labour Party

2018 January 16
by Ian Welsh
Picture of Jeremy Corbyn

Picture of Jeremy Corbyn

Three new seats on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) were created and filled through voting of members. All three went to Corbyn-supporting members of Momentum, a grassroots organization created after Corbyn was elected leader.

They then replaced the chair of the disputes committee, Ann Black, with Christine Showcroft, another Momentum member.

Black, the replaced chair, had ruled that 130,000 Labor members who had joined for five pounds couldn’t vote in the last leadership election (the one called to unseat Corbyn), but had to pay another 25 pounds. This ruling was clearly anti-Corbyn. There were also a lot of purges of members throughout that campaign, purges which virtually all seemed to hit Corbyn supporters.

Corbyn’s margin of control of the Labor party’s adminstrative apparatus is still scant, but it exists.

The next step appears to be a review of whether or not all Labor Members of Parliament should be subject to mandatory re-selection: i.e., whether they have to win the right to represent Labor in their riding. Most MPs strongly opposed Corbyn during the leadership challenge, and party members feel that those MPs do not represent them.

I believe this should be done, or Corbyn is likely to be hamstrung if he does win election as Prime Minister.

All of this may seem very insider baseball, but control of major parties is vitally important in democracies. Thatcher said that her most important victory was Tony Blair’s election: Because Tony Blair, as a “third way” politician, would not undo what she had done. He agreed with her on the deep questions of how Britain should be run, even if there were differences at the margin.

With the two main parties both neoliberal, there now truly was “no alternative”. Corbyn’s victory, and the left gaining control over Labour, now means that there is an alternative.


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7 Responses
  1. S Brennan permalink
    January 16, 2018

    I am in complete agreement with this:

    “All of this may seem very insider baseball, but control of major parties is vitally important in democracies.”

    And I believe a review of my comments will reveal that I believe it to be the PRIMARY cause of the unending neocolonialism/neoliberalism in the USA today…not Reagan.

  2. Hugh permalink
    January 16, 2018

    Meanwhile in the US the Democrats continue to stand for nothing and are auditioning to find out which Hillary clone they will run in 2020.

  3. January 17, 2018

    Key message: win the party’s top spot.

  4. Mike permalink
    January 17, 2018

    Sorry to be pedantic, but it’s Labour.
    Apart from that, IMO the biggest issue still remains bias in the media, particularly the BBC.

  5. January 17, 2018

    Sheep end up in the abattoir. There is no libertarian alternative in Britain without UKIP.

  6. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    January 17, 2018

    Meanwhile in the US the Democrats continue to stand for nothing and are auditioning to find out which Hillary clone they will run in 2020.

    Old Man or not, I seriously think they’re going to run Joe Biden. They love their Polls and CNN, or maybe it was MSNBC, showed yesterday that the their vaunted Polls overwhelmingly favor Biden over Trump.

    I think everyone knows how I feel about Polls, but you also know how THEY feel about Polls.

    Next election will be Grumpy vs Grumpier or The Epic Battle of the Floundering White Male Geriatrics.

    Maybe one of them will keel over during an unforgettable Debate.

    Wouldn’t that be awesome!!

  7. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    January 17, 2018

    It takes money & time to control Political Parties and that’s something only a handful of people have these days.

    If people want to take power back, they’re going to have to put their Smart Phones down and quit their jobs. They’re going to have to roll up their sleeves and sacrifice TREMENDOUSLY.

    Otherwise, NOTHING will change for the better.

Comments are closed.