24th February 2021
Author: George Massey
Since joining in early 2017, I’ve seen Labour International transform from a moribund CLP with little to no membership engagement to an active and vibrant campaigning vehicle for Labour overseas. The empowerment of members from all wings of the Party with regular meetings and an expanded branch structure, is a startling contrast to the pre-2017 days – see Exhibit A below.
When I joined there were only four branches (three in Europe and one in New York), with many members around the world left without a voice. The work of the Membership team has expanded the CLP to the existing twenty-five active branches with full global coverage, holding regular monthly meetings and bringing forward motions to the General Committee for debate and a vote.
The current LIEC introduced many new roles to address the expansion of the CLP and the needs of the members, moving from a six-person Executive Committee (LICC) to the fourteen officer positions we have today.
Furthermore, the LIEC has introduced branch delegates with GC voting rights, welcoming input from the entire membership in the spirit of transparency and democracy, in full compliance with Labour Party rules. Delegate allotment is based on Branch membership size, which has resulted in seventy-three delegates with full voting rights added to the GC. Prior to 2017 Executive meetings and voting on motions was closed to ordinary members and were conducted at the discretion of the six-person Executive, in secrecy with no access to Minutes.
Working in a volunteer capacity the LIEC officers dedicate much of their personal time to ensuring the development of the CLP and success of the Party with democratic representation of the full International membership.
Labour First have presented their slate of candidates, many of whom come from the pre-2017 LI executive, with some troubling candidates. This slate is being promoted in the Labour International for a Labour Win Facebook group.
For example, a couple of candidates have used racialized language over the years.
- Defending the use of golliwogs with a comment “aren’t golliwogs just like cabbage patch dolls”
- As recently as this month, demeaning Black Lives Matter on an LI BAME Zoom call discussing Black empowerment with the following chat comment “sounds like white lives don’t matter.”
Beyond this, these members have publicly advertised their campaign to disenfranchise the 3,000 members of Labour International with vexatious reports to GLU and threats of Special Measures being imposed on the CLP.
We would urge all members to support the LILA candidates as we look forward to build on the improvements of the last four years.
We are proud that the 2021 LILA slate represents the most diverse and inclusive slate we have seen in Labour International history, with full gender parity and BAME representation.
Contested Positions – LILA Candidates:
|Chair||Eve Drayton Hill|
|Secretary (job share)||Jenny Mahimbo / Sam Geen|
|Membership Vice Chair (job share)||Alan Aitkenhead / Les Adams|
|Political Education||George Massey|
|Disability and Carers (job share)||Katy McCafferty / Ian Hollingworth|
LILA supports all candidates for uncontested positions:
|Vice Chair||Carol Taylor Spedding|
|Policy and Campaigns (job share)||Anne Greenslade / Sean Lowde|
|BAME (job share)||Liz Sharma / Tola Ositelu|
|Women (job share)||Chantel Waring / Linda Dermody|
|LGBT Plus||Jade MacEwan|
|Trade Union Liaison (job share)||Gerry Lerner / Sarah King|
Exhibit A – Overview of Labour International Developments