Labour’s NEC today voted to remove Labour Students from the electoral college for the NEC Youth Rep position. Ahead of that meeting, a Young Labour member wrote to us. The article is published in full below:
Later this month the Labour Party National Executive Committee will be considering proposals brought to the NEC “Away Day” in Glasgow to mess around with Young Labour’s democracy months before the consultation with young members is complete.
It stinks of complete hypocrisy, pretending to listen to your “grassroots” membership but pushing through decisions behind closed doors before they’ve even had a chance to have their say. This move is simply yet another power grab from those high up in Corbyn’s ranks – they’re not even willing to have a fair fight anymore, everything must be heavily rigged in their favour.
Changes to Young Labour that are borne from a special interest and based purely on factionalism rather than on the basis of what our young members actually want is yet another failure of process in our Party. We cannot continue to keep acting first and thinking second.
Don’t get me wrong; I support changes to the way Young Labour works.
I believe that Young Labour needs more resources and more autonomy if it is truly to be representative of young members of our Party. Events and conferences should be member led, and Young Labour should have more regional full-time staff. But those are just my opinions and not necessarily the priorities of other members.
If the NEC and Jeremy Corbyn are serious about listening to young members they shouldn’t just pretend to take into account our opinions – they should actually listen.
Our Party has the opportunity to establish a new way of doing things. A way that is member-led. Because let’s face it, as young members we do want a louder voice, and we do want change. But to push ahead in this way shows that the NEC and the Party isn’t serious about doing things differently, it isn’t serious about democratic process, and it’s not serious about giving young members a voice.
I hope that the NEC thinks carefully about the changes they are preparing to make in Glasgow this month, and the effect it will have on young members who want to get involved in our Party and have their voices heard.