The Campaign for Socialism (CfS)–Momentum the left organisation in the Scottish Labour Party says that the Scottish rep on the NEC should be elected by members not appointed through a ‘grace and favour ‘ appointment by the leader.
The move to give the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party the power to appoint a member on UK Labour’s ruling NEC was passed by Annual Conference today (Tues). This was voted through as part of a package of measures on giving the Scottish Labour Party more autonomy. These other measure are not controversial but in a move described as a “stitch up” – procedural rules at the conference were abused to ensure that delegates could only accept or reject all of the proposals as a whole.
It was claimed in the debate by speakers in favour of the proposals – no speakers against the proposals were taken – that this move had been consulted on with the Scottish Labour Party. Yet that consultation made no reference to having any reps on the NEC, far less to one serving solely at the behest of the Leader.
Speaking for the Campaign for Socialism, from the Labour Conference, Vince Mills said;
“In recent years we’ve seen an extension of OMOV – One Member One Vote . But this is the introduction of OLAV – One Leader All Votes. It isn’t democratic and will need to be replaced.
“More autonomy for the Scottish Labour Party is welcome , but having a Leader place someone on the NEC is an exercise in patronage not democracy. A guaranteed representative on the NEC should be about empowering our membership as a whole – not simply one person at the top. For ‘direct representation’ to be meaningful then the representative has to be there as the choice of the members not a grace and favour appointment by the Leader.
"A change of this significance should have been voted on specifically not put through as part of a large range of, entirely uncontroversial and helpful, proposals – and frankly it passed because of a stitch up where conference rules were flouted”
"For ‘direct representation’ to be meaningful then the representative has to be there as the choice of the members not a grace and favour appointment by the Leader. This isn’t a sustainable situation. Everyone in the Scottish Labour Party should recognise that democracy is better than patronage and move to a mechanism where the NEC rep is elected by the Scottish Labour Party as a whole”
Notes for editors
The Consultation paper which party members, CLPs etc responded to –can be found here