Political

New left wing candidates to stand in Haringey Council elections

News from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, founded in 2010 soon after the last Haringey Council elections:

I think it’s safe to say they aren’t very keen on the Liberal Democrats, but neither is the party much of a fan of Labour.

Add to this factors such as Labour’s dreadful record at running Haringey Council (the worst in London according to the final Audit Commission report) and the dissent within Labour’s ranks over allegations of stitch-ups and rule breaking in its own selections, and a challenge from the left of Labour could add a very interesting twist to the council elections next May.

It certainly will undermine Labour’s pitch for the support of voters opposed to cuts given Labour’s own record of cutting before 2010 and promising some sort of cuts in the future too.

6 responses to “New left wing candidates to stand in Haringey Council elections”

  1. As far as I know, Mark, the rule-breaking was only in St Ann’s and Harringay wards. You might want to take another look at Harringay Online (HoL) website where there’s now a Part 2 of the St Ann’s thread which has had over 19,000 views (29 November).  http://bit.ly/17xVnNS

    As for it being “allegations” I’d prefer to use the word “facts”, which are set out plainly on the HoL website. In St Ann’s Ward Labour Party branch a central fact is that  21 people signed-up as members despite not living in St Ann’s ward and not being on the Electoral Register there. Both are a clear requirement of the Labour Party’s rules. Some of these 21 live in and are on the Electoral Register in other Tottenham wards. Others live in other boroughs including Enfield, Islington and Wandsworth. These facts were established from searches of publicly available internet sources. A second key fact is that while all but five joined too late to take part in this year’s selection process, these five took part as ward branch members in the meeting which selected St Ann’s three candidates. And this was enough to change the outcome.
    That this broke the Labour Party Rules can is another fact. It can be checked online in the Party’s Rulebook. The Daily Mail printed an extract in an article on Falkirk. 
    To declare an interest, my partner Zena Brabazon is one of two sitting Labour councillors who were deselected as candidates as a result. The other is David Browne. Not only have both David and Zena appealed / complained  to the Labour Party, but so did ward members, and another potential candidate. (All this is in the public domain on HoL website.) 
    The response of the Labour Party at London Region and National level has been to reject these complaints / appeals on the basis of another rule which says that ward branch members can raise objections at the Selection meeting to someone attending. They’ve completely refused to consider evidence  of rule-breaking discovered subsequently. (A bit like the Police refusing to investigate possible shoplifting because the staff didn’t ring 999 at the time, but only saw what was happening when they carefully reviewed the CCTV afterwards.)
    As Helena Morrisey discussed in her Inquiry on behalf of the LibDems, there are serious difficulties for whistle-blowers within political parties as organisations with a strong if not overriding culture of personal commitment and fierce group loyalty.. And also which are highly competitive and intense. It’s all too easy for whistle blowers to be seen simply as disappointed individuals; or as troublemakers who should not be undermining the party by exposing problems. 
    Haringey LibDem ouncillor David Schmitz commented in Part 1 of the
    thread on Harringay Online website, calling the St Ann’s Selection a
    “contaminated process”. He wrote that it: “could tend to bring politics in general into disrepute”.  I’ve
    also posted in this thread on HoL and I agreed with David Schmitz., pointing out that the reputation of Parliament hasn’t fully recovered
    from the expenses scandal. 
    Also in my view, when the internal working of party politics becomes contaminated it’s no longer just an internal party matter. It becomes everyone’s problem.

    (Alan Stanton Labour Party Member and Tottenham Hale ward councillor until May 2014)

  2. Alan Stanton Thanks for adding those details Alan. My reference was also to the Hornsey & Wood Green selection and the comments made from within Labour about Unite’s influence – details in the link in the post above. As you say, the evidence about the St Ann’s selection involves multiple witnesses and is very strong.

  3. MarkPack –  I don’t know much about the Hornsey Wood Green Green selection. Nor have I met  Mandy Richards. But from what
    she writes she’s obviously a strong potential candidate with a bright future. I have met
    and know quite a bit about Catherine West.  More to the point, friends
    of ours in the Hornsey Party – who really do live in that Constituency – think Catherine is truly outstanding.
    I don’t expect you to
    agree – at least not publicly. My big advantage being whip-free, is that
    I can speak honestly and candidly about anyone and anything on the
    Haringey political scene. I don’t have to pretend or keep silent about the good, the bad and the politically ugly.
    About the St Ann’s selection, in my Party, just like yours, there’s a lot of loyalty and taking people on trust. With a lot of hope and much disappointment. 
    Over the years I’ve stood for posts in local Labour ward branches, in the Constituency Party, and in the Labour Group. Sometimes I won; just as often I didn’t. But when you lose a vote you accept the result, swallow your disappointment, and maybe try again the next time.

    A key point is that – as far as I know – the Labour Party people voting were properly entitled to take part. The ballot was straight.
    If it isn’t, then you run it again. When it comes to Council candidates the voters need an assurance that the nomination process was straight and honest.  I can’t imagine knocking on a door and asking for someone’s vote, if I’d learned that the selection ballot was highly dubious. I’d be too ashamed. Would I give my own vote to someone in that position who’d said done nothing about it? I wouldn’t give them the steam from my piss.

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