The decision of the Labour Representation Committee, Grassroots Black Left and Red Labour to challenge the official Centre Left Grassroots Alliance slate for Labour’s National Executive is a tactical mistake.
We agree with these comrades that the method selection for the CLGA slate has been opaque for some time. It is unclear how groups are able to be involved and level of control they then have over the agreed candidates once in office.
The decision of Momentum to unilaterally declare their full slate and push that through the CLGA is also unwelcome. However, with only a short time left to get local Party nominations, and the challenge of standing and winning in nine seats all running at once, splitting the left vote is unwise.
The LRC have said they will not necessarily challenge the whole slate, nor even any of it, if they cannot get consensus on such a course. The final decision will be made on 6 May 2018. We urge comrades across the Labour left to discuss the potential for reforming or replacing the CLGA and choosing candidates on a democratic and political basis.
Those who have seized on this initiative with violent apolitical hyperbole across social media have also got it badly wrong. A decision to hold discussions should not be branded as a wrecking operation, or an attempt to destroy unity, or worse of all “scabbing.”
Discussions on the political basis of future NEC slates should begin now, but to stand alternative candidates now would be a mistake.