This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
THERE are many views on why we did so poorly in the elections two weeks ago, and it is important to have that discussion on all the contributory factors in a calm and reasoned manner.
But one of those factors must be that divided parties don’t win elections.
This is a truism. But, like many others it has become a truism because it carries at least a kernel of truth.
Over the past period there have been too many divisions laid bare between the PLP, the NEC, the leadership and, of course, the membership. Not forgetting the divisions within the shadow cabinet.
Disagreement and healthy debate are one thing. These open divisions are another. They are damaging to every component part of the party and more importantly they damage the party in the eyes of those who count most, the voters.
Therefore, I support a rule change currently being supported by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) and, I hope, many others.
Currently there is no requirement in the party rulebook that the PLP must be accountable to conference. That is a mistake.
If conference is the sovereign body of our party, which it is, then there can be no important section of the party that should not be accountable to it.
If this rule change is agreed, in future conference delegates will receive a written PLP report and will be able to discuss it.
The report will include a chief whip’s report detailing any disciplinary decisions that have been taken and conference will be able to confirm or reject any such decisions if it so wishes.
Many Labour members will understand exactly what prompts this rule change.
I believed at the time that the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn was completely unjust, and I continue to believe that.
But, irrespective of your views on that suspension, surely we can agree that no-one should be suspended from the PLP when the party has made a decision that they should not be suspended from the party? The PLP cannot be a law unto itself.
This should also be seen as a small but important contribution to reducing the disunity of the party and healing divisions.
The electorate is always watching us. They can tell whether we are spending more time attacking each other than the Tories, and they act accordingly.
Winning back voters requires many things. But unity of purpose is certainly one of them.
This amendment strengthens democracy in our party and promotes unity. It will aid what should be the main task: fighting the Tories. Not each other.
Diane Abbott is MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.