Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:10

By Jon Lansman 

Six candidates backed by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance today launched their campaign to be elected to Labour’s national executive committee as constituency party representatives. Constituency parties have until 20 June to make up to six nominations.

All six stood at the last elections in 2012, and between them received 47% of the votes of individual party members, compared with 33% for the right-wing Progress/Labour First slate and 20% for other candidates. The  six centre-left candidates include the three who were elected last time — Ken LivingstoneAnn Black and Christine Shawcroft — who took thee of the top four places and the other three — Kate OsamorPeter Willsman and Darren Williams — were amongst the top four runners up with Kate Osamor only 123 votes from victory.

The candidates are standing on a platform which sets out “the bold progressive policies Labour needs to win back the five million voters lost in the New Labour years” as well as the reforms needed to create the “living, breathing party” promised by Ed Miliband and which is so necessary to mobilsing Labour’s grassroots to deliver that victory.

This year, constituency parties have the chance to elect representatives to Labour’s National Executive. The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, representing democratic socialist groups across the centre and left of the Labour Party, is promoting candidates who will stand up for the rights of party members and the bold progressive policies Labour needs to win back the five million voters lost in the New Labour years. Each candidate, while retaining freedom of judgment on specific issues, will therefore work for:

An End to Austerity

The Tory-led Coalition’s cuts agenda has caused huge damage to the economy, slowing growth, increasing unemployment, reducing living standards of most people, and increasing poverty and inequality. It has even failed in its own aim of lowering the national debt, which has increased as the economy has stagnated.

We reject austerity as a solution to the economic crisis. Instead of cuts, we will work for a Labour government committed to a plan for public investment and jobs that can get the economy growing, to restore manufacturing and to fund improvements in housing, health, education, transport and state pensions.

A Radical Reforming Labour Party

These candidates will campaign for a Labour Party committed to:

  • redistributing wealth, income and power from the few to the many;
  • ending poverty and improving universal benefits;
  • protecting the environment;
  • promoting social justice; and
  • fighting discrimination on grounds of gender, race, age, class, disability, sexual orientation and religion.

We believe that disputes between countries should be resolved by negotiations through the United Nations, not through unilateral military action, and that Britain & the world would be safer without replacing Trident.

Economic Democracy

These candidates will:

  • Promote policies that extend the accountability of public services, utilities and resources through the extension of public ownership, by resisting and
  • reversing privatisation, and by extending democratic and financial powers for local government.
  • Campaign for a radical redistribution of power in the workplace, with improved trade union and employment rights, the right of trade unions to recruit members, recognition by employers with negotiating rights and sectoral collective bargaining, and a legally-enforced living wage.

Democracy, Transparency and Accountability

These candidates will:

  • Support the trade union link and back the collective voice of trade unions on the basis of parity of representation with individual members through their CLPs;
  • Work to restore the role of the Party Conference as the party’s sovereign decision-making body, able to choose policies not just rubber stamp them,  and debate motions submitted on the basis of fair criteria, with 50% of conference time reserved for grassroots delegates;
  • Argue for changes to the policy-making process which give CLPs and members greater influence, including the right to amend policy documents at Conference;
  • Safeguard the right of members to choose their own candidates without prior or political vetting, or interference by party officials.
  • Press for Young Labour to be a resourced campaigning organisation controlled by young members and run by its elected leadership, with a full input into policymaking.

A leaflet may be downloaded here which sets out this programme and individual candidates’ statements. If you would like to help with this campaign, please visit here and enter your details.

This article is reproduced from Left Futures