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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