That there Labour rule change I was on about

I’m a bit late with confirming the change to Labour’s rules on elections to the national policy forum (see below), but some things are worth noting.

The results in full:

Constituency Labour parties for: 54.5%

CLPs against: 45.5%

Affiliates (trade unions and socialist societies) for: 79.02%

What this means is the CLPs were both organised by supporters of the OMOV rule change and resisted overtures from the Labour leadership – very unusual for both to happen. It also means that the unions were, as predicted, totally in favour except USDAW who abstained, basically ensuring the vote went through. “I can hear the Red Flag playing”, said a gleeful union backer at the Unite party on Wednesday night.

For CLPs AND big unions to unite in this way to defeat the party machine on a rule change is, I think, unprecedented in recent Labour history – in the last 10 years anyway.

I spoke earlier to Alon Or-bach, London NPF rep and a strong supporter of OMOV. He believes firmly that the change will lead to a change in the NPF’s makeup. Candidates for the NPF will have to be elected by a postal ballot of constituency members – i.e. the entire party membership in total –  so they will have to canvass at constituency meetings, meeting people and selling their candidacy to them. Instead of the current arrangement where conference delegates vote, and, it is complained, get pressurised by party staff. A different, better class of NPF rep will emerge, he believes.

The result, though it leaked out on Wednesday evening, was not announced until Thursday morning to minimise media interest. Just like the vote on bringing back those pesky votes on conference motions has been postponed till next year.


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