We decided to stand candidates for all posts. We would state our arguments for why we suited the post in our statements, but would use our speeches to give voice to the factionalism in our CLP. For the first time in a while we could say how we felt without being silenced.
At the end a member who is loosely tied to the right-wing faction commented on how he could have predicted how every vote would go before it happened. He had listened to us and taken on board what we said. Only time will tell whether others have too.
Our speeches would be an opportunity for the left to articulate the experience of being in Holborn & St Pancras CLP, controlled by a right-wing anti-Corbyn faction endorsed by Keir Starmer.Holborn Left
Pete Bond was stood for Vice-Chair Membership. He was the first candidate to be able to say his speech with the ‘common thread’ in full. There was silence in the room when he spoke. The rest of us carried on the thread successfully with only one of us being heckled.
Pete Bond belongs to a working-class Kentish Town family with close links to politics in the London region and the Labour Party leadership as well as being active in his local Unite Union. Here is his speech. He got 38 for, 91 against votes which wasn’t very different to all other votes.
“I would make an excellent Vice Chair Membership, it will be easy, but I dread the thought of working with such a divided group of people who will probably get elected, not that I expect more than just a few votes from the delegates I consider comrades.
This CLP in many member’s views, does not recognise, or allow for, any diversity of political opinion in its leadership, elections or officers reports, which has a detrimental effect on the well being of our Labour Party, our community and local residents, who we are meant to be supporting. “That is the polite version of my view.”
I’m going to take this, probably my last, opportunity to add that Jeremy Corbyn does not have, and has never had, an anti-Semitic bone or thought in his mind, soul or body. I will stand 100%, completely and unconditionally behind Jeremy Corbyn always, as I did for years before he was famous.
One word of warning to you, Mr Starmer, the people who put you where you are today will not be pleased with you using the term socialist for too long, they banned it’s use, a friend of yours, and mine (he described our friendship as personal, not political, in his book, I’m grateful for that), he actually removed the word socialism from many a speech.
“chucki au law”.”