On the 25th of October last year, the Labour Party Irish Society experienced something of a ‘kerfuffle’ at their Annual General Meeting (AGM), when hundreds of people unexpectedly turned up to have a say in who was on the executive committee of the Labour affiliated society.
The event was widely criticised for being a Progress / Momentum coup, depending on your viewpoint. With key members of the Labour right such as Chuka Umunna, Stella Creasy and Stephen Pound involved, including as many staffers and allies as they could summon, it appears that the rumours of a Progress-led coup were well founded.
The event was that concerning, that the Labour Party NEC decided to investigate what had happened, and why. As far as this writer knows, no outcome of the investigation has been published.
Why on earth would ‘mass entryism’ be a problem at a small, relatively unknown Labour Party society? One look at the rule book tells you why… introduced when the Labour right were still in control of the NEC, and dominant at Labour conference, one rule explains it all:
It seems that party rule book boffins on both sides of the left-right divide had spotted that a little society like the LPIS could have huge power in swinging votes across the entire party, because of their ‘affiliated’ status. Especially in local decisions where single votes carry huge weight.
But this is all ancient history in the world of politics right?
Guess again. In a Nye Bevan News exclusive, we can reveal that in the words of one LPIS official…
…we have recently due to ongoing brexit issues affiliated to all clp’s with a sitting labour mp.
Nye Bevan News was made aware of this not from LPIS, but through our regular conversations with Constituency Labour Party executive members up and down the country reporting uninvited and unexpected affiliations from the LPIS landing in their inboxes. Many party exec members were confused, many ignored these communications. Nobody was actually bothered by them, because most people had forgotten the rule change pictured above. It was supposed to be a perfect Trojan Horse ‘virus’ within the party from the right to combat the left.
This ‘MASS AFFILIATION’ of the LPIS to CLP’s (and it appears BRANCHES) of the Labour Party gives LPIS delegates automatic voting rights at party AGM’s – the meeting that decides the personnel composition of the managing executive bodies of every Labour Party membership grouping in each constituency. Often, this decides the political ‘left vs right’ outlook of that CLP or Branch. It also hugely impacts the SELECTION of MP’s and Councillors, because of the power wielded by executive committees. It would give the Labour right a last gasp option to subvert the majority will of the membership once again, especially with the possibility of ‘deselections’ of high profile but unpopular right wing MP’s.
‘Anyone but Corbyn’ still appears to be the plan!
*Has your local Labour Party affiliated to LPIS? Did you know that this meant LPIS delegates could influence local selection decisions and other important decisions locally in the party? Add your comments here, or on our social platforms!*
By Ben Timberley.