Welcome to Grassroots Labour
CLPD model resolution on First Past The Post Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2009


This …. notes that the widespread public disapproval of many MPs’ misbehaviour has been followed by calls for unspecified “change” in the electoral system for the House of Commons.

Such calls serve to distract attention from both the bad behaviour of the individuals concerned and also the unacceptable accounting practices under which they have been operating. These serious problems need to be addressed. They should not, however, be misleadingly attributed to our current electoral system.

Proponents of “change” remain significantly reluctant to clarify or agree which alternative system they favour. The truth is that all the main alternatives to First-Past-The-Post have serious democratic defects.

PR and AV are problems not solutions Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 June 2009

by Peter Willsman
Secretary of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and member of Labour’s NEC.

The public’s disgust at the goings-on at Westminster is being exploited by the supporters of proportional representation (PR).  They are trying to suggest that the electoral system is somehow to blame and they put forward PR as a panacea to solve the problems.  New Labour is in a panic, and in their desperation to find something to take the heat off, many of its supporters are also opportunistically talking up the attractions of “electoral reform”.  All this ignores the convincing reasons why our Party has supported first-past-the-post (FPTP) for all these years.  It is because FPTP produces majority Labour governments.  People join Labour because they believe majority Labour governments offer the best hope for a progressive future.  In stark contrast PR means coalition governments and little or no chance of majority Labour governments.

Organising for Change - building on the left victory in Young Labour Print E-mail
Monday, 08 June 2009

by Cat Smith
The dust has settled after a decisive result at Labour Youth Day in April. After years of campaigning for democracy in Young Labour we saw our first elections to the Young Labour National Committee, with the left making unprecedented gains.
The biggest victory of the day was the election of Sam Tarry as Young Labour Chair. Sam grasped the imagination and awoke the enthusiasm of a young left which organised effectively behind his campaign.

NEC Meeting 19 May 2009 Print E-mail
Monday, 25 May 2009
What had originally intended to be a short business meeting was eventually a long meeting dominated by an issue not on the agenda – namely MPs’ expenses – which was discussed on the basis of a tabled confidential report which was collected from NEC members at the end of the meeting.

A two hour discussion followed Gordon Brown’s report: he said how angry he was, that he would never have believed it possible, and if people don’t trust MPs, they cannot be expected to trust the government. Cath Speight (UNITE Amicus in the chair) allowed everyone to speak.
Response to current party crisis - draft motion Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 June 2009

In light of the June 4th election results and the recent disruption in the party, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) have prepared a draft motion for local parties to consider sending to the National Executive Committee and to Gordon Brown.

Draft motion

This GC/Branch notes that Labour's electoral support has been badly hit in the recent council and European elections as a large part of the electorate is finding itself squeezed in the current economic crisis, because our core supporters feel that insufficient priority has been given to their needs by Labour in government, and because of the MPs expense scandal.

We welcome the defeat of the coup attempt that was launched by some MPs on the eve of these elections, as it offered no solutions to protect people from the recession, proposed no policy changes and was bound to damage the party?s electoral prospects.

We urge the party leadership, as a matter of urgency, to institute a change in policy direction that addresses these concerns, so that Labour can be re-elected at the general election.

No Love Lost For Labour's Hard Right Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 June 2009

The Guardian’s Comment is Free has published a contribution from Ken Livingstone this weekend on the situation facing the government. You can take part in the debate online by clicking here. If you are not already registered with the Guardian it’s quick and easy to do.
Ken's column is reproduced below.

End dodgy parliamentary selection processes Print E-mail
Monday, 25 May 2009
by Gaye Johnston

 Equal opportunities selection processes for vital public sector jobs are now the UK norm.  The system was pioneered by Labour Councils in the 1980s when the author was a Darlington councillor. It is therefore surprising that, since 1994, one type responsible public post (which pays £64,000 per year plus generous expenses) has been filled using a selection process which resembles a very steep gradient playing field. These are the dubious Labour Parliamentary selection practices which have recently been uncovered in the selection at Erith and Thamesmead.  Fortunately the problems at this selection have now been fairly resolved but they were but the tip of a vast and long buried iceberg.
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