British Young Labour supports Jeremy Corbyn


This video from Britain says about itself:

Owen Jones meets Jeremy Corbyn again | ‘I am very optimistic’ – full length interview

29 July 2016

It’s been a tumultuous year for Jeremy Corbyn. He surprised the political establishment by sweeping to a huge victory in the Labour leadership contest and hugely expanded the party’s membership.

He has been met by an undeniably hostile media, facing the full gamut from the misleading to the outright lies but he has also been accused of running a shambolic media campaign, which focuses too much on his own social media bubble. And to cap it all, he’s faced a coup by rebellious MPs and now is being forced to run again for the leadership.

Despite all that, he tells me he’s very optimistic about his, the Labour party’s and the country’s future and believes he could win a general election if Theresa May were to call one.

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

Young Labour backs Corbyn

Saturday 6th August 2016

YOUNG Labour swung behind Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to be re-elected as Labour leader with an overwhelming majority at the national committee’s meeting on Thursday night.

Mr Corbyn won the backing of youth wing’s national committee with 15 votes for and 8 against.

The vote is a significant triumph for the Labour left as there was a pro-Kendall majority on the national committee during last year’s contest.

Young Labour’s chairwoman, primary school teacher Caroline Hill, said she supported Mr Corbyn “because he is the only Labour leader in my lifetime who has a serious plan to fight for young people.”

She added “a national education service will give everyone the chance to get the education they need, massive investment in jobs and social housing, and radical reform of workplace rights so that we can stop the scandal of exploitation and precarious work.”

North West representative Leigh Drennan told the Star that “the overwhelming majority of young members in the North West support Mr Corbyn” and that he was “proud” to cast his vote for him.

Mr Corbyn was also given a resounding show of support from South-West Norfolk Labour Party members who voted by 90 per cent to nominate him to become the party’s leader.

Secretary of SW Norfolk CLP Philip Wagstaff said: “We are stating very strongly and clearly our belief that he is the right person to lead the Labour Party towards the next general election.”

He said Mr Corbyn had shown great leadership in motivating “an unprecedented number of people to join the Labour Party, both here in South-West Norfolk and across the country.”

A spokesman for the Jeremy for Labour campaign said: “Corbyn’s 10 pledges to rebuild and transform Britain resonate with a generation facing a future of precarious work, student debts.”

The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) saw its attempt to prevent 130,000 members voting in the upcoming leadership election overturned by a high court judge Monday. The NEC declared that it will “appeal this ruling in order to defend the NEC’s right, as Labour’s governing body, to uphold the rule book, including the use of freeze dates”: here.

22 thoughts on “British Young Labour supports Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Pingback: British Young Labour supports Jeremy Corbyn | Oxtapus *blueAction

  2. Monday 8th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    LEFTWINGERS have tonight swept the board in the elections to the Labour Party’s national executive committee.

    The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate — composed of Ann Black, Christine Shawcroft, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, Rhea Wolfson and Peter Willsman — won all six of the seats set aside for constituency party nominees.

    The first runner-up was Ellie Reeves, the sister of Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and wife of Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer, with over 9,000 fewer votes than the trailing CLGA candidate Peter Willsman.

    It will be seen as a victory for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with the six endorsed by grassroots campaign group Momentum.

    Labour Party establishment figures had even resorted to dirty tricks to prevent the leftwingers being elected.

    Disgraced Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy staged a shocking intervention in Ms Wolfson’s constituency to stop her nomination — but she moved and remained in the running.

    Comedian Eddie Izzard was the second runner-up, with 70,993 votes, and Luke Akehurst of right-wing faction Labour First was the sixth runner-up with 48,632 votes.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b7a3-Left-slate-claims-victory-in-Labour-NEC-elections#.V6mV2jWZ0dU

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  3. Monday 8th August 2016

    posted by Ben Chacko in Britain

    Party bigwigs set to appeal against High Court decision restoring new members’ right to vote in leadership election

    LABOUR MPs, affiliated unions and activists are calling on their party not to “waste members’ money” fighting yesterday’s High Court ruling restoring the right to vote to over 125,000 party members.

    The national executive committee (NEC) decision to make voting in the current leadership contest dependent on six months’ continuous membership as of July 12 — meaning anyone who joined Labour after January 12 was shut out — was described by Mr Justice Hickinbottom yesterday as a “breach of contract.”

    Ruling on a case brought by five members, he said their understanding that “as new members they would be entitled to vote in any leadership contest” was consistent with the Labour Party rule book and it was “unlawful” for the party to have taken their money and then changed the rules.

    Because Labour required members who had joined after January 12 to pay £25 each to become “registered supporters” if they wanted a vote, if the ruling is upheld the party will have to refund them — possibly handing back more than £3 million.

    But Mr Hickinbottom granted the right of appeal — and a Labour spokesman said the party would “defend vigorously the decisions of the NEC.”

    An appeal by the party is likely to be heard on Thursday.

    Shadow health secretary Diane Abbott said “Labour Party bureaucrats [should] not waste members’ money on appealing.

    “This is the right ruling,” she said. “All internal elections have a freeze date but everyone knows about the freeze date in advance.

    “Imposing a retrospective freeze date was wrong.”

    Train drivers’ union Aslef said “squandering” over £200,000 on an appeal “which it is doomed to lose” was “morally wrong.”

    “What a waste of time, of effort, and of money!” general secretary Mick Whelan exclaimed.

    “Labour has always been a broad church. Of course we have different views, but we have much, much more in common.”

    “That’s why the party should drop the appeal, accept the judge’s decision, and let the democratic wishes of party members prevail,” he said.

    And shadow chancellor John McDonnelL said he was “appalled” at the prospect of the party using money members had paid in to stop them from voting.

    Mr McDonnell said the ruling was “a huge victory for Labour Party members and party democracy.”

    He called on Mr Corbyn’s challenger Owen Smith to add his voice to those telling the party not to appeal.

    Mr Smith said he was “delighted that we have got 600,000-plus people voting in this leadership contest” but refused to “interfere” with NEC decisions.

    Under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, Labour Party membership has trebled to become by far the largest party in Britain, up from 200,000 at the most recent general election.

    Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward said the party needed to “welcome the fact that 130,000 people have given up their time and money to join it in the last six months alone.”

    He told Labour to “accept today’s decision, embrace the fact it now has more members than all other political parties combined and start building a mass social movement capable of winning the next election.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d633-Labour-Told-to-Respect-Democracy#.V6mWTzWZ0dU

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  4. Tuesday 9th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    HIGH COURT judgements aren’t always associated with victories for democracy and common sense, especially when they concern the labour movement.

    But train drivers’ leader Mick Whelan nailed it in so describing Mr Justice Hickinbottom’s decision to back five Labour members’ plea for equal voting rights in the party leadership election.

    Whelan spelled out the clear reality that treating members joining the party after January 12 differently from those already in was wrong in both principle and in law.

    If the Labour national executive committee (NEC) can divide the party into first and second-class membership on grounds of organisational convenience, where would this end?

    Conducting a national election when party membership is going through the roof is not easy, but that’s a problem born of success.

    The catalyst for this growth spurt has been Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature and it follows that suppressing the ability of the 126,592 people who have joined since January 12 to vote would damage his campaign.

    No doubt party general secretary Iain McNicol would deny this motivation, asserting the impartial role of the apparatus.

    If so, he really ought to question the value of the advice he receives and places before the NEC because it is consistently wrong.

    McNicol told the NEC that legal opinion indicated that Corbyn could not be guaranteed a place on the ballot paper without the nomination of 50 Labour MPs.

    After this position was defeated at the NEC and as attendance at the meeting ebbed, an organisational rabbit was pulled from the hat in the form of a proposal absent from the order paper at the start of the meeting.

    This was the notorious six-month-membership qualification to take part in a leadership ballot without paying a £25 “registered supporter” fee between July 18-20.

    An attempt by party donor Michael Foster to get the courts to delete Corbyn’s candidacy, in line with McNicol’s earlier legal advice, was scotched by Mr Justice Foskett in the High Court on July 28.

    Now McNicol’s six-month “rabbit” has been given short shrift in the same court.

    And yet McNicol appears so mesmerised by his record of consistent failure that he wants to go over the top for one last big offensive in the Court of Appeal.

    He should be advised not to be carried away by all the money washing around in Labour’s bank accounts by virtue of all these new members.

    This should be used for political activities and election campaigns against the government, not to build up a generous retirement fund for the legal establishment.

    It would be astonishing if the Court of Appeal were to overturn the High Court decision, especially given Mr Justice Hickinbottom’s emphatic statement on breach of contract.

    But rather than string this out, McNicol ought to reflect on the injustice of using extra funds generated by the influx of new members to seek legal justification to deny them their democratic rights.

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Mick Whelan and communication workers’ leader Dave Ward are voicing what hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Labour voters are thinking.

    Their calls to stop exacerbating inner-party divisions in favour of building unity inside and beyond Labour to take on the Tories must be answered.

    Labour’s electoral record since Corbyn became leader has been excellent and the party has turned over the Tories several times in Parliament.

    But that process has been stalled in the wake of the attempted anti-Corbyn coup planned by New Labour bitterites.

    Self-indulgence and sabotage must end and greater unity built behind the leadership elected by the whole party.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0682-McNicol-should-pack-it-in#.V6mXqjWZ0dU

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  5. Tuesday, 9 August 2016

    ‘HUGE VICTORY FOR LABOUR MEMBERS’ says John McDonnell

    THIS is a huge victory for Labour Party members and party democracy,’ John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor and chair of Jeremy for Labour, said yesterday.

    He was speaking following a High Court ruling that five new Labour Party members have a legal right to vote in the leadership contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith. McDonnell continued: ‘The decision taken to freeze out new members since January was an affront to democracy and went against everything the party stands for. We are pleased the High Court has seen sense today by coming to the right decision.

    ‘We are appalled by the possibility of an unnecessary and costly appeal. If it is taken forwards, the Party will be using members’ money to try to stop members from voting. This is unacceptable.

    ‘I’m calling on Owen Smith to join with us in backing party members and calling on the Labour Party not to appeal and attempt to disenfranchise members. We are now calling on the Labour Party bureaucracy to act sensibly and play by the rules for the rest of this leadership election.’

    Mick Whelan, ASLEF general secretary, said: ‘This is a victory for democracy, and a victory for common sense. The judge could see that the decision not to allow these five members – and the tens of thousands on whose behalf they brought this action – was wrong in principal and wrong in law.

    ‘We believe in democracy in this country and it is right that people who are members of the Labour Party, and not in breach of the party’s rules, should have the right to participate fully in the discussions, debates, and elections of the party. And that includes the right to elect the leader of the Labour Party, who some in the parliamentary party are doing their best to undermine.’

    Delivering his judgement, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said: ‘For the party to refuse to allow the claimants to vote in the current leadership election, because they have not been members since 12 January 2016, would be unlawful as in breach of contract.’

    Ballot papers are due to be sent out on 22 August, with the outcome of the leadership election scheduled for 24 September. The court’s decision could add as many as 126,592 people to the list of those eligible to vote in the contest, an expansion of about a third of the membership. Labour is to appeal the court’s ruling. The case could be heard on Thursday.

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/12349

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  6. Wednesday 10th August 2016

    posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

    Members outraged at Labour grandees’ insults

    OUTRAGED Labour members denounced allegations by deputy leader Tom Watson yesterday that the party had been infiltrated by so-called “Trotskyite entryists” who were “twisting the arms” of new young members to make them support Jeremy Corbyn.

    And officers of Angela Eagle’s Wallasey Constituency Labour Party (CLP) have mocked claims from a “close friend” of the MP that the constituency has been targeted by “entryists” — including two respected trade unionists in north-west England.

    Mr Watson made the wild allegations in an interview for the Guardian, while Ms Eagle’s “friend” spoke to the Liverpool Echo, which supported the MP when she challenged for Labour leadership.

    The allegations were denounced by officials in her own Constituency Labour Party (CLP).

    CLP member and local Councillor Trina Johnson told the Morning Star yesterday: “This (entryism) is not happening in Wallasey CLP. Absolutely not.

    “Many new young members are joining because of Jeremy Corbyn.”

    And she said of Mr Watson’s claims: “It is absolutely untrue that there are ‘Trotskyists’ and ‘militants twisting the arms of young people’.”

    Ms Johnson said the constituency party had planned a motion of no confidence in Ms Eagle, but the CLP was suspended before it could happen.

    The two veteran trade unionists accused of “entryism” are Alec McFadden and Paul Davies.

    Mr McFadden holds several union posts, including president of Merseyside TUC.

    He works as manager of the biggest TUC unemployed workers’ centre in Britain — Salford — and told the Star: “I’ve never been a Trotskyite in my life.”

    Retired Mr Davies, vice-chair of Ms Eagle’s CLP, said the allegations “are insulting the intelligence of the public and ordinary Labour Party members.”

    Constituency chair Kathy Runswick said: “I do not think Paul and Alec are entryists.

    “They are people who want an alternative future to the one promoted by the Tories and by Angela Eagle and her friends, and believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies provide it. The allegations are inaccurate.”

    The Jeremy for Leader campaign said: “This is a disappointing remark from Tom Watson, who seems to be sadly using Owen Smith’s ‘Project Fear’ approach to this election.

    “Rather than patronising members and peddling baseless conspiracy theories about Trotskyite entryists he should be working with Jeremy to unite our party so that we can get back to campaigning to dislodge this Tory government and help elect a Labour government in its place.”

    The allegations follow three major blows this week to the campaign to oust Mr Corbyn.

    Courts rejected an attempt to remove Mr Corbyn from the ballot paper, overturned the Labour NEC’s decision to stop 127,000 members voting and Corbyn supporters won all six seats being contested on the NEC.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-51a8-Watson-and-Eagle-sling-more-slurs#.V6rHNDWZ0dU

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  7. Wednesday 10th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    LEON TROTSKY must be turning in his grave. Where all his followers’ efforts to make Trotskyism a mass movement failed, New Labour has succeeded.

    Labour Party membership is nudging 600,000, as previously disillusioned members return to the fold and young activists who’ve never been in any political party sign up because of positive changes they see happening.

    Jeremy Corbyn isn’t articulating a new politics. He’s saying now what he’s always said.

    But the public mood has changed in response to people hearing a real alternative to the mind-numbing uniformity offered by major political parties, with voters forced to identify minor nuances to tell them apart.

    Corbyn and the MPs backing him wholeheartedly have struck a chord with the disaffected and the re-energised.

    They like what they see as a new approach — anti-war, anti-austerity, public ownership, investment for quality jobs, environmental protection, equality for all, trade union rights — and have joined Labour to get this agenda by voting for Corbyn.

    But the likes of Angela Eagle and Tom Watson can’t accept this mass expression of democracy, seeing malign forces as having engineered their involvement.

    Watson, who is happy to squander hundreds of thousands of pounds of party funds on a court case to prevent members voting in the leadership contest, sees “old hands twisting young arms” in the Labour Party.

    “They are caucusing and factionalising and putting pressure where they can and that’s how Trotsky entryists operate,” he tells the ever-willing Guardian.

    Some people might counter that this is how Lord Sainsbury’s Progress party-within-a-party operates.

    Former leadership candidate Eagle — or at least “a friend” of hers — raises the Militant Tendency bogey, telling the Liverpool Echo that “some of the same destructive forces that caused misery in Liverpool and such harm to the Labour Party three decades ago are back.”

    To prove how sinister these returned visitors from yesteryear are, many impersonate people in their twenties and thirties.

    Eagle, Watson and their ilk must accept that time is passing, politics is changing and their attempts to use administrative measures to prevent Labour from reflecting new developments is just so 1980s.

    Resurrecting old ghosts in order to exorcise them reflects political bankruptcy.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-6e47-Watson-is-stuck-in-the-80s#.V6rWfDWZ0dU

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  10. Saturday 13th August 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    A SUPPORTER of Owen Smith shouted obscenities at Labour activists who voted to support Jeremy Corbyn at a local party nominations meeting this week.

    The incident took place on Thursday evening at a meeting of the Barrow and Furness Constituency Labour Party to decide which candidate to nominate in the leadership contest.

    Local members voted by 100 to 37 in favour of supporting Mr Corbyn’s re-election campaign.

    The result was a major coup for Mr Corbyn given the constituency is home to the Trident shipyard and nominated Andy Burnham in last year’s contest.

    It is also significant because John Woodcock, the former chair of Blairite faction Progress which has actively undermined Mr Corbyn’s leadership from the outset, is the MP for the constituency.

    Mr Woodcock did not attend the meeting but sent an email to all members urging them to back Mr Smith.

    One member at the meeting, who asked not to be named, reported how one supporter of Owen Smith flew into a rage when the result was announced.

    The source told the Star: “It was quite well behaved, there wasn’t any hassle except at the end where one young guy who had passionately lectured everybody on how we couldn’t possibly win under Jeremy threw into a total sulk, stormed out and then walked back in and shouted: ‘Well you can all fuck off’.”

    Dan Holt, another member present, wrote on social media: “The ONLY mud slung was from Smith speakers, obviously Dan lost it at end telling us all to f off.”

    Mr Corbyn now has the support of 271 constituency parties, compared with just 41 for Mr Smith.

    The nominations process closes on Monday.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-2ef9-Owen-Smith-fan-flings-obscenities-at-CLP-meeting#.V67DDjWAb6g

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  11. Friday 12th August 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    Court blocks 130,000 from voting

    LABOUR officials were accused of using “grubby” tactics to win a court battle yesterday that clears the way for them to ban thousands of new party members from voting in the leadership contest.

    A High Court judge ruled last week that the party had committed a breach of contract by excluding members who have joined since January 12 from voting.

    But Labour general secretary Iain McNicol spent £60,000 on taking the case to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the party’s right to impose the “freeze date” on voting eligibility.

    It means around 130,000 members — many of them assumed to be supporters of leader Jeremy Corbyn — will be stripped of the right to vote.

    A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn branded the ruling “wrong both legally and democratically.”

    They said: “The court’s ruling disenfranchises nearly 130,000 Labour members, who joined the party since January and were explicitly told that they would have a vote in any leadership election.”

    Announcing the Court of Appeal’s decision, Lord Justice Beatson said: “On the correct interpretation of the party rules, the national executive committee has the power to set the criteria for members to be eligible to vote in the leadership election in the way that it did.”

    But Mr Corbyn’s team said Labour lawyers had invoked an “obscure clause” in the the party rulebook which they said “could be read as giving the NEC the right to ignore all of the rules laid out for leadership elections.

    “In other words, this is a ‘make-it-up-as-you-go-along’ rule. We do not think that making it up as you go along is a reasonable way to conduct democracy in our party,” the spokesperson added.

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused party officials of “undermining the democracy of our own party” by using a “grubby little device” to secure victory on a technicality.

    Labour NEC chairman Paddy Lillis insisted the party was right to “defend vigorously” the decision of the committee to impose a freeze date at its meeting on July 12.

    He said: “It is crucial to the Labour Party that our governing body has the authority to debate, decide and implement the procedures, timetable and voting eligibility for our internal elections and selections.

    “It was the correct decision to seek clarification on this fundamental principle in the Court of Appeal.”

    But Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “This is a sad day for democracy and makes a mockery of the efforts we have made to get people to participate in our parliamentary democracy, to become members of our political party, and to play a full part in the political process.”

    The five members who took on Mr McNicol were ordered to pay the court costs but have already crowdfunded the necessary money.

    They were refused an appeal yesterday but can still ask the Supreme Court justices directly to consider their case.

    Their lawyer indicated in court that steps had already been taken which could lead to a hearing next Tuesday.

    Deputy leader Tom Watson, who supported the legal appeal, has claimed that new members included “Trotsky entryists” who were “twisting the arms” of young members to support Mr Corbyn.

    But shadow health secretary Diane Abbott hit back at the claims yesterday, branding his “reds under the beds” narrative as a “complete distraction.”

    She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The problem is that Westminster elites refuse to accept the fact that quite ordinary people — young people, people that left the party over Blair — are coming back to Labour in their tens of thousands because they absolutely believe in what Jeremy’s saying.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-eee3-Labour-Rights-Dirty-Tricks-Win-Appeal#.V67D0zWAb6g

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  12. Friday 12th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    LABOUR’S back-room fixers will no doubt pat themselves on the back for having successfully disenfranchised a quarter of their party’s membership.

    The Court of Appeal decision will come as a bitter blow for believers in democracy and basic fair play. A child can understand that if someone has parted with money to become a member of an organisation and the rights that go with that membership are later taken away without the money being repaid, something dodgy is going on.

    So obvious is it that Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) has treated members badly that the Court did not rule that the retrospective “freeze date” — meaning anyone who joined the party after January 12 is not allowed to vote in the current leadership contest — was correct.

    It merely stated that the NEC was the “final arbiter” of the party’s rulebook.

    The decision will be seen as a blow to Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for re-election. And Corbyn’s team have rightly condemned a precedent that seemingly allows the NEC to make up the rules as it goes along.

    But there is no point in aping the behaviour of Labour rightwingers and throwing a tantrum because something hasn’t gone our way. Nor should newer members leave the party in disgust, even if it has cheated them out of their money.

    Corbyn is still perfectly capable of winning. He won last year among every type of voter — full members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters — and the disgraceful antics of MPs determined to undermine his leadership from the word go will not endear their man Owen Smith to the rank and file of what is now truly a mass party.

    The right have used every trick in the book to try to stop Corbyn, from a bid to keep him off the ballot in the first place to imposing a paranoid freeze on constituency party activity, suspending entire local parties for the flimsiest of reasons, scaremongering over largely fictional Trotskyist infiltrators and this latest slap in the face to 130,000 decent women and men whose only crime is to have wanted to contribute to Labour and get involved.

    They have the MPs, the party machine, the wealthy donors and the 24-7 support of the mass media. And they’re still losing.

    They’re losing because none of them have any answer to the issues that gave rise to Corbyn’s victory in the first place.

    Capitalism isn’t working for the majority of people in our country. The bankers’ crash proved that the marketising model imposed on us since Thatcher was bust: the “experts” running our economy for astronomical rewards were just gamblers whose risks were being borne by us, not them.

    Corbyn stands for a fundamental challenge to that system and Smith, however much he tacks to the left to win votes, is visibly the product of the system’s response, as a parliamentary party long reconciled to the Establishment desperately tries to stamp out the flames of revolt.

    Smith’s victory would be a huge setback. If the Establishment recapture Labour, anti-Establishment anger — currently feeding the positive, inclusive and progressive insurgency Corbyn leads — will find other, uglier outlets, as it already is in the United States and many European countries.

    That’s why Corbyn supporters must not lose heart. There is everything to play for in this leadership race, and those who have been stripped of their votes can still play a role in campaigning — knowing that a decisive victory for Corbyn will strike another blow at the anti-democrats trying to silence our voices.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-37c7-Dont-fear-we-can-win#.V67EbTWAb6g

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  13. Friday 12th August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    BERNADETTE HORTON campaigned for Watson to be deputy leader of the Labour Party. Now she’s furious

    HERE I stand, Tom Watson. One of the “old hands twisting young arms” you say, one of the people you branded quite openly a “Trotsky entryist.”

    One of the “rabble,” one of the so-called “thugs” that you see as part of the Momentum movement who support Jeremy Corbyn.

    I am both a member of Momentum and a Labour Party member.

    Tom Watson’s article in the Guardian not only shocked me but caused me deep personal hurt.

    I was one of the thousands last year campaigning for a Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson “dream ticket.”

    I was phone-banking and walking the streets proudly with my “Tom Watson for deputy” T-shirt, absolutely convinced that, with Watson’s grasp of how the media works, he would be the perfect foil to watch Corbyn’s back against the right-wing press of Murdoch and co.

    There is a proud picture of me in Brighton at the Labour Conference standing alongside both Jeremy and Tom, delighted at last that there would be wholesale change to the socialist party I love.

    My respect for Watson in tackling Murdoch and the phone-hacking scandal was immense.

    As a future candidate, I watched him speak and admired his calm collected way of talking to activists.

    I am a huge admirer of his stance in pushing the party into a much-needed digital revolution of the way we do things and then this needless coup happened and for me and many other members what has been a tortuous summer has ensued.

    I would like to ask Tom: How as a member of the grassroots movement of Momentum am I, a mum of four, a disabled activist, a Labour campaigner an “old hand” “twisting young arms”?

    I have encouraged my 17-year-old son to join Labour and become active, which he has this spring, knocking on doors and putting new life and blood into our local party. I don’t think that’s very sinister at all.

    How can I be part of a rabble when I take part in comradely discussions at meetings with like-minded Momentum activists, meetings which are so full of courteous polite people they would actively serve as a role model for Labour constituency meetings, such is people’s enthusiasm and sheer joy at being active in working to secure a future Labour government with Jeremy as leader?

    I’m not a “seasoned hard-left operator” — unless you count me writing articles on socialism for this paper or pounding the streets ensuring our Labour candidates are elected wherever possible.

    I’m no thug either and have been appalled at the language that is used to describe members of Momentum, while our shambolic NEC has banned the use of the word “traitor” and allegedly a London CLP has banned the word “Blairite” as a form of abuse too.

    But it is OK for Corbyn supporters and Momentum members to be called Trots, thugs or rabble it seems. This angers and saddens me at the hypocrisy of it all.

    You described returning “Trots” to the party, Tom, as seeing the Labour Party as a “vehicle for revolutionary socialism.”

    I’m just a plain socialist, but don’t you think we need some kind of revolutionary socialism to bring about change? Don’t you think we need to do as Jeremy is doing right now, putting clear water between us and the Tories?

    We lost the past two elections because the electorate had no idea what we stood for. Many of our policies were Tory-lite, we were “harder on welfare than the Tories,” for heaven’s sake.

    You, of all people, Tom, wanted to present the Labour Party in a different light and take on the rancid Tory policies of austerity.

    Momentum was born out of a strong grass roots desire to change things for ordinary members and to back our democratically elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to effect that change.

    We are mobilised as a group of ordinary people to shape Labour policy democratically, be active in our communities and shout from the rooftops that we want an end to Tory austerity and a new kind of socialist Labour government.

    A Labour government that will build new social housing, invest in a publicly owned NHS, renationalise our rail system and invest in public infrastructure and services, and very importantly to have compassion and to protect the vulnerable in their time of need with a robust social security system.

    As a carer and as a disabled person I have a strong compulsion for Labour to get back to the working-class people it used to represent.

    It seems the membership and indeed Momentum are fighting hard to make a Labour government a reality whenever a general election is called. I would say to Tom Watson that it is very easy to fling out labels and call particular groups names that will grab the attention of our right-wing press.

    But where is your evidence base Tom? If you have hard evidence of so called “Trotsky entryists” who don’t have a Labour agenda at heart then bring them to our attention.

    I am sure the 12,000 or so Momentum activists supporting Jeremy Corbyn will not want people in the movement who don’t want Jeremy as Labour leader, or who don’t want to see good socialist policies being implemented.

    Let’s have the facts on the table, not hidden behind shady name calling.

    Come to our next Momentum meeting in north Wales, Tom. Meet the people you are branding in needless name-calling.

    Listen to the arguments, relish the debates. Many members could give the MPs a lesson in courtesy and letting all voices be heard.

    Momentum is a movement that encompasses ordinary people like me, people who are questioning the tired old ways of doing things, people who are hungry for a change to the Labour Party.

    Are MPs so fearful because we are starting to hold them to account by saying the way we have been treated in this leadership process has been nothing short of scandalous? Are MPs worried about what the vast mobilisation of ordinary members will mean, because we won’t toe the line and be put in our place by middle-class career politicians any longer?

    Where was the outrage at Progress forming? Where are the constant media attacks by MPs about Progress being a party within a party? There are none. Yet Momentum is supposedly a movement of Trots and thugs.

    MPs created this summer of hell for members, not the other way round. CLP officers like myself have been fending off complaints and attacks on social media all because 172 MPs won’t work with our elected party leader.

    We are in the front line in our constituencies and fronting these very bitter and terse leadership nomination meetings pitting member against member, disunity that may never be regained.

    What I don’t want to see is some of these members being labelled with shameful name–calling as witnessed in the Guardian.

    I always thought you were better than that Tom Watson, an MP I was proud to campaign for.

    How wrong I was. How hurt I am.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9356-Tom-Watson-I-trusted-you-once#.V67EyjWAb6g

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  14. Saturday, 13 August 2016

    Court finds against Labour Party democracy

    THE Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Labour Party right wing and against Labour Party democracy yesterday afternoon, when it banned 130,000 Labour Party members from taking part in the leadership election.

    Giving his ruling, Lord Justice Beatson said: ‘We allow the appeal. On the correct interpretation of the Party Rules, the National Executive Committee has the power to set the criteria for members to be eligible to vote in the leadership election in the way that it did.

    ‘We find that there is express provision in the Rules which enables them to do this, in particular where the Rules state: “The precise eligibility criteria, that is to say, to vote in the election, shall be defined by the National Executive Committee.”

    ‘With respect to the judge, we unanimously consider that he erred in law in reaching the contrary conclusion and therefore allow Mr McNicol’s (Labour Party General Secretary’s) appeal.’

    The judgement said: ‘A member’s entitlement to vote in a leadership election is not a product of him or her simply being a member, but is the result of him or her being a member who satisfies the precise eligibility criteria defined by the NEC and any freeze date provisions set by the NEC in the timetable for the election.’

    The ruling legalises a Labour Party NEC dictatorship over the membership. Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary, responded: ‘This is a sad day for democracy and makes a mockery of the efforts we have made to get people to participate in our parliamentary democracy, to become members of our political party, and to play a full part in the political process.

    ‘We urged people to join, and play a part, and now the Appeal Court has ruled that they cannot vote. ‘It’s a decision that will lead to even greater disenchantment with the political process, not just for the 130,000 members of the Labour Party who have been disenfranchised today, but for all the other people who have seen what has happened.’

    Ian Hodson, National President of the Bakers Union, said: ‘That is very disappointing to hear that the judiciary has involved itself in political democracy in such a way. It’s shocking that the Labour Party has decided to bar the members of its own party from taking part in a ballot. It was appalling that they made that decision in the first place.

    ‘How can democracy be enhanced by disbarring people and preventing them taking part in the democratic process? It’s appalling.’

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/12361

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  18. Thursday 7th September 2017

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    LABOUR leftwingers have welcomed a boost after the party’s youth section voted to back rule changes boosting democracy.

    Young Labour, which is understood to carry a bloc vote of around 80,000 at the party’s conference later this month, will support the so-called McDonnell amendment among other measures.

    Its national committee voted on Tuesday night to support a motion which said rule changes put forward by constituency parties would “constitute a substantial increase” in democracy.

    The most high-profile motion would mean a leadership hopeful would only need the backing of 5 per cent of MPs, down from the current 15 per cent.

    Some trade unions have been reluctant to support this, but it is thought they could get behind a compromise threshold of 10 per cent.

    Another motion would give Young Labour, which has historically complained of control from party HQ, its own constitution and standing orders.

    Further motions would bolster accountability of Labour councillors and give more powers to the women’s conference, the motion passed by Young Labour said.

    All of the proposed rule changes, which are backed by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and Momentum, are likely to be strongly opposed by the Labour right.

    Young Labour committee member Max Shanly told the Star: “I am delighted Young Labour is officially supporting efforts to democratise the party.

    “For too long members have been shut out of the party’s democratic process, particularly the youth. As a national committee we are determined to unlock the creative potential of the party membership — not just to get Labour elected but to carry our programme through.”

    Young Labour has cast a bloc vote on behalf of its members in the affiliates section of conference. The recent increase in party membership has made the body substantially more powerful.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5174-Labour-left-joyful-after-youth-backs-more-democracy#.WbEWVMZpwdU

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