Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The NEC Vote On Labour Party Rules Should Be Open and Transparent

It is being suggested that the vote on whether Jeremy Corbyn should be automatically on the ballot for Labour Leader may be undertaken by a secret vote.  That is totally unacceptable and undemocratic.  The members of the NEC are elected as delegates not as representatives.  They sit on the NEC not to act as individuals, but as delegates from the sections of the party that elected them. Those that selected them and elected them to those positions have a right to know how they vote, so that they can be held to account for their actions.  Even the votes of MP's in Parliament are openly recorded for that purpose.

The idea that on this particular issue there should be a secret vote, can only further enhance the suspicion that the Blair-right wing of the party is engaged in a further stitch-up following their attempted coup.  If a vote takes place to decide whether the vote on the rules should be a secret vote or not, we should assume that anyone voting for a secret vote, is doing so in order to cover their own vote to prevent Jeremy being on the ballot.

The organisations that send those delegates to the NEC should hold them to account accordingly.  In reality, given the fact that an artificial dispute has been created over the rules, the NEC should propose that no Leadership Election can take place until the rules are made crystal clear.  The place for the rules to be made clear is the Party Conference.

If its considered that a Leadership Election needs to take place quickly, then the NEC should convene a special Emergency Rules Conference.  That Rules Conference could put the issue of the incumbent being on the ballot beyond dispute, and could make further rules changes, for example, to make it only necessary to obtain nominations from the party as a whole, rather than from the PLP, to introduce mandatory reselection of MP's and so on.

Any attempt to shortcut party democracy, should be stopped in its tracks.

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