Young Labour battle commences

The biennial battle for the yoof spot on Labour’s NEC is ready to kick off in the New Year, bringing a nostalgic tear to this correspondent’s eye for some of the hilarious antics through which previous elections were stitched up by the powers that be.

This year’s “official” candidate is Stephanie Peacock, whose main claim to fame is her public defence of top-up fees on these grounds: “It’s only fair that if you use a service you should pay towards it.” Let’s hope they don’t let her anywhere near the rest of our public services.

Standing from the moderate wing of the party is young trade union activist Daniel Carden. The Daily hopes he mounts a credible challenge, if just in the hope that there will be some entertaining constitutional contortions by Labour Students’ fixers in their efforts to stop him.

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13 Responses to Young Labour battle commences

  1. Kerron says:

    It seems Stephanie is a Kitty Ussher supporter – I love it!

    BTW, is Kris Brown not putting himself forward? ;-)

  2. Adele says:

    Steph is not necessarly the ‘official candidate’, nor is Dan the candidate of the ‘left’

    Talk to bothof them and you’d c its not that clear cut.

  3. Benjamin says:

    Daniel Carden – has he been on the whiskey?

  4. This is utterly tedious stuff. Is it too late for Peter White to enter?

    Maybe we could organise a write-in.

    Otherwise, I’m entirely neutral on this. Zzzzzzzzzzzz!

  5. Sham says:

    Having looked at their respective websites (yes, I really am that sad!) there doesn’t appear to be that much between them. The pair of them are in favour of keeping the union link, neither appear to be that mad and they’re both a couple of career hacks. Not that that’s bad, but maybe it’s time for someone out there in the real world to get this post. Just a thought!

  6. I think this highlights the need for an electoral system within Young Labour where all members get a vote and the people standing actually talk about policy.

    The lack of politics in the NEC youth rep election wouldn’t matter so much if young members got to have a vote for directly elected members of the Young Labour National Committee, for example.

  7. Nick says:

    I speculate, but I’m guessing that only one of these two candidates would be in favour of (or at least do anything about) getting direct elections, or indeed any proper elections at all…

    Oh, and Stephanie Peacock is blatantly the official candidate, she’s been given the national database of CLP Secretaries and uses the West Midlands Regional Office risograph. She might as well have “If found, please return to Labour First” stamped on her forehead.

  8. Yes, it’s quite bizarre that Ms Peacock can come out with this:
    “With a Young Labour website, a full-time national youth officer, and a stronger say on policy, we can make this movement more representative, more engaging and more inclusive.”
    when her gang have controlled party youth and student structures for over ten years and chosen not to deliver these things.

    It’s about as convincing as the Tory campaign to save the NHS.

    That said, though, thiscurrently looks like battle between a Labour Students hack and Trade Union hack saying essentially the same things.

    I’m sure they’re both personally pleasant and genuinely want to make the world a better place so, in the absence of any politics, I see no real need to bother much either way.

    If Daniel Carden is genuinely on the centre-left (or even moderate right) of the party and genuinely does have specific ideas for greater democracy in Labour’s youth and student movement, it might help his cause to make this clear.

    Particularly if he wants significant numbers of Young Labour members to drag themselves all the way to Glasgow to vote for him.

    I still wouldn’t bet much on him winning but it might make the final result a little bit more respectable.

  9. Adele says:

    Nothing wrong with a trade union hack. Tony Woodley is one and he is not exactly right wing!

  10. Yes, so is Bob Crow – the hack thing isn’t a left/right issue.

    I’m also not objecting specifically to hacks – whether of the union or student variety.

    I’m just arguing that it would nice for Labour’s youth movement – in its only national election process between now and 2009 – to be openly debating something a bit more meaningful than which one of two ambitious people gets to take the next shimmy up the greasy pole.

  11. Kris Brown says:

    Sorry I’ve come n a bit late in this discussion, I’ve been doing the Crisis Open Christmas all week and haven’t really found time for blogging.

    Firstly, in answer to Kerron Cross, I will not be standing as let’s be frank about this, it’s already been won by Stephanie. That’s not to say, however, that Dan Carden cannot give her a run for her money. There’s no point in both Dan and I standing as we would split each others vote in the Young Labour section and the Trade Union section.

    The NEC election in Glasgow will just go to show what a complete farce the youth movement in the Labour Party is because a number of die-hard New Labour control freaks don’t want to see anybody but their ‘mates’ in the job.

    As I keep saying, it’s time for autonomy in Young Labour. The Party must give us the right to organise by ourselves. Our membership is dying, and there will be NO attempt to actively recuit young people by the party and the STUPID IDEA that we’re going to get a National Youth Officer again is ludicrous. The Labour Party HAS NO MONEY!!!! Does anyone, especially Steph Peacock, as stated in her manifesto, honestly think that after almost 6 or 7 years of the Party never giving any resources to Young Labour that HQ is going to suddenly turn round, after being £27 million in debt, and say “Here you go, here’s a fully paid youth officer, they can have their own desk and workstation at Victoria Street and the responsibility of spending money – which we don’t have, on recruiting young members or keeping young labour active. It’s ok that we’re sacking almost half of our staff, but hey it’s quite alright for the youth which we have absolute no interest in!” I really doubt this is going to happen.

    Anyway, that’s enough internal Party politics for one day. I’m off to see what I can buy in the sales.

    Oh and btw, Peter White cannot stand, he’s too old. He’s over 23 – yet another F***ING STUPID rule made up by the die-hards, stupid because Young Labour is up to the age of 27 constitutionally.

    (sighs)

    Ciao!

  12. Well I think, both in politics and beyond, most people are generally keen to see there mates in most jobs – particularly if those jobs involves some sort of power.

    The loyalist figures in the Labour youth movement aren’t uniquely clever schemers, they just happen to be best-placed to manipulate an electoral system that’s unneccessarily complex and desperately narrowly based.

    It’s an utter farce that – whether it’s enter youth rep of members of the Young Labour National Committee – there are no national figures in the Labour youth movement elected by a ballot of young members.

    Particularly now that technological advances mean that in could be done online – or via email – making a costly postal ballot unnecessary.

  13. Sham says:

    An even bigger scandal, so I’ve heard, is that every other NEC youth rep has to be a woman – so it’s entirly possible that no man will ever get this post again!

    Democracy in action, pc style!!!

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