The recent elections to the Labour Party National Executive Committee mark a decisive and critical turning point in UK Labour’s destiny. If (or as is looking likely, when) the NEC falls under the sway of the Jeremy Corbyn supporting left all of the last bulwarks of Blairite and centrist resistance will suddenly begin to dissolve. This will leave one of the UK’s two largest parties further under the control of its leader, who has bitterly attacked US President Trump for “pandering to racism”.
The British Labour Party, once led by Tony Blair, has long had a byzantine structure. At the bottom are the members, divided into “branches” along the lines of County Council seats. Each Branch has a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and sends delegates to their “Constituency Labout Party” (CLP), which has an executive committee, Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and a plethora of other roles.
Together, these institutions select the Labour candidates for Parliament, Mayoral elections and city councils. This is the UK equivalent of a primary election. Much like Ace Ventura’s medallion of spiritual enlightenment or a voluntary Wikipedia role, the tiny amounts of power handed out are almost worthless. In reality selections, especially for Parliamentary seats, are closely supervised by regional and national officials. Real power is carefully concentrated above whilst activists below are given only its illusion. Continue reading