I will be voting for Sam Tarry as my first choice for Labour upcoming NEC elections. Sam is a great campaigner who has much to teach the party as it seeks to re-organise itself in communities.
Beyond that, he has taken decisions during his political lifetime that have fallen clearly on the side of the Labour Party and the wider movement, rather than New Labour’s conservatively inclined and roundly undemocratic leadership. The point in the NEC is to hold the party accountable to members. It’s best to have someone who is actually capable of holding people to account in there.
Normally I am very wary of backing slates in NEC elections, and I think that such a view is quite justifiable. However, I think it is important during this rather tumultuous time within the party for Labour to reassert itself as a party for people on the ground, not a top-down vehicle for a leadership intent on minimal concessions to cheer up the politically passive and disenfranchised members as they deliver thousands of leaflets.
It is time for us to mark ourselves out as a party of the centre-left rather than the slightly-right-of-centre. Accordingly I ask readers to go to their GCs and nominate the rest of the Grassroots Labour slate. The other Grassroots Labour candidates for the NEC are Ann Black, Ken Livingstone, Christine Shawcroft, Sofi Taylor and Pete Willsman.