NEC commits to taking sexuality, disability and social class into account for selections

30th September, 2012 11:06 am

The Labour NEC met this morning, and agreed on a rule change to include “Sexuality, disability and social class” in the clause of the party rule book concerning the representativeness of candidates.

Labour sources say this is Ed Miliband making good on his commitment to a more representatives PLP – especially in terms of getting more working class candidates elected to Parliament.

The proposed rule changes will go to a vote of conference on Wednesday – but it’s overwhelmingly likely they’ll pass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

    And how will delegates be able to vote on behalf of their CLPs, when they have had 3 days notice of this?

  • http://www.robbiescott.com/ Robbie Scott

    What about ethnicity and all black shortlists ? The party flirted with the idea and it was backed by Harriet Harman and Jack Straw.  Having asked Operation Black Vote to make the case the initiative was notably absent from the 2009 Equality Bill and seems to be absent from this new brainwave. 

  • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

    I am all for diversity in candidates and representatives, but do wish we could start recognising what ‘representation’ is all about – that successful candidates should be representing their constituents foremost and not whatever special interest group they have been selected for being part of.

    On that note I struggle to see how who one chooses to share bodily fluids with is relevant to one’s suitability for office, and it’ll be interesting to see how this gets played out in selection processes [are candidates meant to prove their sexuality???]. This sort of thing is terribly unsatisfactory, offensive to some and silly to others, and also works to encourage insider manoeverings behind the scenes, as if we need more of that.

    On social class, certainly we need more diversity there, but as with all these things it depends on how these things are measured, the processes to measure them, and the identity of the people setting those processes. It is not unreasonable to expect that the people concerned will seek to choose criteria that suit whichever individuals their faction wants to promote, resulting in inevitable deals between the different groups to scratch each others’ backs.

    As Robbie Scott implies, there is no fundamental reason why we shouldn’t have ethnic-based shortlists if we have all-women ones. I’m guessing the trouble is, besides that the BAME lobby perhaps isn’t as strong and well-organised as the (hugely effective) Women’s lobby, that would create such a mess of contortions that any idea of democracy will be completely out of the window.

    It is really not very edifying on many levels, but not least that a party which is fundamentally committed to equality as a basic value decides to treat itself like this – as institutionally sexist, racist, anti-disability, homophobic and anti-working class people.

    Once more the solutions are always the same with Labour – namely to control and bring to heel. We just can’t stop fiddling; meanwhile Rome burns.

  • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

    I am all for diversity in candidates and representatives, but do wish we could start recognising what ‘representation’ is all about – that successful candidates should be representing their constituents foremost and not whatever special interest group they have been selected for being part of.

    On that note I struggle to see how who one chooses to share bodily fluids with is relevant to one’s suitability for office, and it’ll be interesting to see how this gets played out in selection processes [are candidates meant to prove their sexuality???]. This sort of thing is terribly unsatisfactory, offensive to some and silly to others, and also works to encourage insider manoeverings behind the scenes, as if we need more of that.

    On social class, certainly we need more diversity there, but as with all these things it depends on how these things are measured, the processes to measure them, and the identity of the people setting those processes. It is not unreasonable to expect that the people concerned will seek to choose criteria that suit whichever individuals their faction wants to promote, resulting in inevitable deals between the different groups to scratch each others’ backs.

    As Robbie Scott implies, there is no fundamental reason why we shouldn’t have ethnic-based shortlists if we have all-women ones. I’m guessing the trouble is, besides that the BAME lobby perhaps isn’t as strong and well-organised as the (hugely effective) Women’s lobby, that would create such a mess of contortions that any idea of democracy will be completely out of the window.

    It is really not very edifying on many levels, but not least that a party which is fundamentally committed to equality as a basic value decides to treat itself like this – as institutionally sexist, racist, anti-disability, homophobic and anti-working class people.

    Once more the solutions are always the same with Labour – namely to control and bring to heel. We just can’t stop fiddling; meanwhile Rome burns.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Quite. And quite apart from the issue of how on earth you prove someone is “working class”, for heaven’s sake, which is part of this. Are we supposed to means test people to prove they are not middle-class interlopers? It’s madness, clearly no-one has thought this through.

      • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

        I am guessing there will probably be some opaque and bureaucratic process you have to go through to be registered as working class, which would successfully deter independent potential applicants in favour of those with an inside track on things and a bit of organisational muscle to support them. Only guessing though.

      • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

        “Are we supposed to means test people”

        As a preliminary why not have the Labour Party contract out social class assessments to Atos – with payment by results, so the more non-working class candidates they weed out the more they get paid? Nothing breeds aspiration and efficiency like incentive.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Quite. And quite apart from the issue of how on earth you prove someone is “working class”, for heaven’s sake, which is part of this. Are we supposed to means test people to prove they are not middle-class interlopers? It’s madness, clearly no-one has thought this through.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Quite. And quite apart from the issue of how on earth you prove someone is “working class”, for heaven’s sake, which is part of this. Are we supposed to means test people to prove they are not middle-class interlopers? It’s madness, clearly no-one has thought this through.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.crowder2 Jim Crowder

    Is the ability to represent the constituency at all relevant here, or is it just an attempt to divide and rule? Alternatively, does a PPC represent the party to the voters?

  • Alexwilliamz

    Social class? And how the bloody hell will they measure that? Perhaps it will go down to the clothes they are wearing for the interview? I am genuinely baffled on this one. Not completely clear on the sexuality either, not sure how your sexuality determines your political positions or ability to represent?

  • Alexwilliamz

    Social class? And how the bloody hell will they measure that? Perhaps it will go down to the clothes they are wearing for the interview? I am genuinely baffled on this one. Not completely clear on the sexuality either, not sure how your sexuality determines your political positions or ability to represent?

  • Alexwilliamz

    Social class? And how the bloody hell will they measure that? Perhaps it will go down to the clothes they are wearing for the interview? I am genuinely baffled on this one. Not completely clear on the sexuality either, not sure how your sexuality determines your political positions or ability to represent?

  • PaulHalsall

    They should ban “parachuted in candidates” above all.

  • Pingback: ’25 working class MPs’: A media meme invented by class fetishists | Eric Joyce MP()

  • Pingback: In praise of Eric Joyce » Spectator Blogs()

Latest

  • Comment The truth is that South Thanet should never have been blue – let alone in danger of turning purple

    The truth is that South Thanet should never have been blue – let alone in danger of turning purple

    There’s a lot of interest in the exact Dulux colour composition of Farage’s purple peril. We’ve already had the Ribena test, and this week a City AM piece sought to disentangle ‘red Ukip’ from ‘blue Ukip’ – the Labour component of Nigel Farage’s appeal from the Tory one. The latter article, probably unsurprisingly, concluded that red Ukip was mainly a northern phenomenon and blue Ukip predominantly southern. South Thanet, the Kent seat where I’m standing against Nigel Farage, seems at […]

    Read more →
  • Comment I hate Labour’s immigration mug – but I hate their immigration pledge even more

    I hate Labour’s immigration mug – but I hate their immigration pledge even more

    Yesterday the Labour Party put a dent in the good week they’ve been having by putting on sale a mug stamped with Labour’s promise to put “controls on immigration”.  The was rightly criticised across Twitter; some said it was pandering to Ukip while others seemed to be in disbelief that the party would even produce a piece of merchandise. However, the mug is one of a family of five, each of which are branded with one of Labour’s election pledges. In response to […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Has there been a post-debate “Milibounce”? Signs are good, but lets not get carried away

    Has there been a post-debate “Milibounce”? Signs are good, but lets not get carried away

    Here’s a Sunday Times front page that Miliband and his team will be delighted with – a four point lead with YouGov and talk of momentum for Labour: But – it’s only one poll. That’s the best and most important place to start when talking about a post-debate bounce for Labour (or a “Milibounce” as it was inevitably labelled). The only poll that has been released so far with fieldwork produced post-debate is the YouGov poll in today’s Sunday Times – […]

    Read more →
  • News 40 days to go: Alexander kicks off Labour’s campaign

    40 days to go: Alexander kicks off Labour’s campaign

    Today Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Chair of General Election Strategy, will visit marginal seat Ealing Central and Acton to mark the fact that there are 40 campaigning days left until the general election. Alexander will also visit this constituency, which Labour’s candidate Rupa Huq hopes to win from Conservative Angie Bray, to send a message that Labour have 40 policies that would make Britain better (a list of which can be found below). This ties in with Labour’s campaign slogan “A […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It’s time for the Tories to come clean on their secret £12billion plan to hit children, carers, families and disabled people

    It’s time for the Tories to come clean on their secret £12billion plan to hit children, carers, families and disabled people

    David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have repeatedly refused to explain how they would make the £12 billion cuts in social security spending that their fiscal plans for the next parliament depend on. If anyone wondered why, now  we know. Leaked documents drawn up by civil servants for Conservative ministers and reportedly discussed with Conservative officials, confirm that this extreme cuts plan would hit disabled people and their carers hard. The Tories have denied this is their plan. But the truth is […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit