A little clarification re: The Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) elections, because some people might be confused:
1. To recap: the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) traditionally brings groups on the Labour left to agree joint slates for internal elections.
2. The CLGA has been going many years previous to Jeremy Corbyn’s election and well before Momentum existed. It has consisted of socialist organisations like the LRC, Labour CND and Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD). Naturally, Momentum were invited to join once established in late 2015.
3. The National Constitutional Committee (NCC) is the body that oversees disciplinary cases in the Labour Party. After Labour conference voted to increase the committee size, it was announced that 6 vacancies would be filled by a snap election. The CLGA met to decide on a slate.
4. At that meeting, Jon Lansman, representing Momentum, objected to Stephen Marks, a member of Jewish Voice for Labour – not over anything specific he had said or done but because, Lansman said, the “Jewish community” wouldn’t accept it. Which “Jewish community” wasn’t clear…
5. Lansman’s objection was not to Marks specifically, but Jewish Voice for Labour themselves, echoing the theme over the summer of the “wrong type of Jew”. Essentially, Momentum were “no platforming” JVL. CLPD and other groups represented in the meeting, were having none of it.
6. Momentum went on to spin the failure to agree a left slate as CLPD “walking out” of the discussions, whereas in fact it was Lansman who broke the unity of the slate by insisting on a veto re: JVL and ignoring the views of the rest of the left groups in the room.
7. At the end of the meeting, when it was clear that no compromise could be reached, reluctantly, there was an agreement to draw up separate left slates and crucially not to bad mouth the other groups’ decisions. That was broken within hours by Lansman and Momentum.
8. So we have two slates, if slightly overlapping. The whole episode has exposed flaws in the slate system, but also that no one group (with a fraction of the overall party membership) has a right to dominate every decision and impose their will on the rest of the Labour left.