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.
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
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.
Una Doyle stood for Women’s Officer. She is a long-standing politics teacher and active NEU Trade Unionist. Here is her speech. She wasn’t voted in, her votes were similar to all other votes.
“Actions speak louder than words. That was a realisation I came to at 18 when I saw that it was the strikes and actions of women that brought about change.i really thought that women had achieved equal pay and the end of sexual discrimination. How naive!
Being a delegate to LESE TUC puts this into sharp perspective today. It is the negotiations and actions of workers that bring about change. We need to see the approach replicated in the Labour Party. We need to be welcoming and inclusive.
The account of a young woman train driver really brought home the importance of this. An incident she dealt with where she was in charge of a train full of drunken revellers and someone jumped in front of the train. Thankfully this did not make her unable to do her job. Her union had ensured that counselling and support was in place. They achieved this through careful evidence gathering, negotiation and union action.
We need women like her active in the Labour Party, after all we have 3 major stations in the CLP. Deeds not words is as important today as they were a century ago.”