NEC result shows need for voting reform

by: Open Labour on 03.09.18 | In: General
by: Open Labour on: 03.09.18 in: General

Open Labour are very proud to have supported Ann Black for the NEC. Ann is exactly the kind of rigorous, fair, left wing and independently-minded socialist we believe the Labour Party needs more of. We were equally proud of the campaign Ann ran and our part in it.

This was always going to be an uphill battle. Ann was pushing against a fixed electoral system, which rewards candidates at the edges of the party at the expense of its middle ground. The factional machines were able to pour huge reserves of money and full-time staff into winning for their people.

Now the task of running the party fairly and competently falls to them – we hope they learn from Ann’s example of how to act with integrity and principle on the NEC as they take their seats.

Open Labour will continue the fight to ensure that the Labour Party lives up to its best values of democracy and inclusion – those we see embodied in Ann. We hope that all those who supported her will join us in doing so.

You can join Open Labour here.


  • Voted for Ann with pride after serving on the NPF with her 20 years ago. A fair-minded, open, decent and thoughtful comrade who was a stalwart of the left all through the Blair/Brown years. To see her carved out by Momentum in the name of socialism is too tragic and crazy for words. I’m contemplating cutting up my membership card.

    • Like Lorna I am sad Ann was defeated by the Momentum machine – but it is more worrying that she dropped below 3 other candidates

      I hope members will stay involved and not tear up party cards, we need to understand why Eddie Izzard and two others did better than Ann. Was the Open Labour label actually a deterrent? Why did two Labour First people do better than Ann?

      This is the end of the old soft left, particularly the campaign to get independents onto the NEC from the old Centre Left Grassroots Alliance which got Ann elected in the first place. But it is not a time for regrets. We need to know why the only candidate identified with Open Labour did so badly

      Trevor Fisher

  • Ann’s defeat in these elections is bad for the Labour party as it increases still further the influence of factional groups like Momentum and Progress. Why Momentum chose to stop supporting Ann and then to continue this after withdrawing support from Pete Willsman shows that they are now operating as a narrow faction. I hope that they will see how potentially damaging this is and that it is better to support Jeremy Corbyn in a way which engages and attracts a wide spectrum of party members and Labour supporters.

    Thanks to the our side/your side attitude which has disfigured these elections, we will all be deprived of the excellent reports that Ann produced which told us what was actually going on in NEC meetings. She displayed fairness and good judgement in these reports and made the party much more transparent. I look forward to one of the new NEC members making similar reports, but I suspect I will be disappointed. As we all should be after the removal of one of the best and most effective NEC members we have had.

  • I was impressed with Ann’s survey, and eventually voted for her. I am a natural Jeremy Corbyn supporter but have been put off somewhat by the purge mentality that now exists within our Party. I’ve joined Open Labour, mainly due to Ann, who I wish all the best in her ‘enforced’ retirement. Joe

  • I hate slates! More of the same does not equal the diversity of the Labour Party which must remain a broad church free from cultish dogma. Ann is a great loss not only to the NEC but to the Party. If members really do prefer a bloc of largely unknowns to a hard-working principled and experienced representative such as Ann embodies then it’s a very sad day for Labour.

  • Ann would have been a good candidate for supporting Corbyn, but at a time of tense pro-against Corbyn battle it might have been better not to have put up a candidate if this plays in part in only this ‘pro-against’ battle. The vote was not good given Ann year’s of campaigning. In retrospect I would favour not asking Ann again, particularly as we now need to move on a generation or two.

  • I hate slates as well. The mindless and unthinking casting of votes according to the current “them and us” philosophy has removed the NEC’s most effective member.

    I predict that we won’t be getting any more reports which told us what the NEC actually does. Nor will the NEC have the benefit of advice which is unbiased and supportive of the party as a whole rather than a particular faction within the party.

    More importantly, the victory of the Momentum slate risks the growth of intolerance towards those with different views, particularly those associated with New Labour. It feels as if
    they are more the enemy than the Tories.

    Best regards

    Richard Greening

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