Disability Officer – Ruth Appleton

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.

Ruth Appleton stood for Disability Officer. Ruth is a highly experienced Unison delegate, on the EC and activist. She is the founder and Project Coordinator of the Sante Refugee Project. She lost the vote, the result wasn’t very different to all other votes. Here is her speech.

Ruth Appleton speaks at Labour Party Conference 2019

“Throughout my attendance at both EC and GC meetings there have never been induction loop facilities provided though members have indeed asked for this. I would if elected make sure facilities enable everyone to participate and I would not tolerate any discriminatory chairing of meetings where speakers are called on an arbitrary selection criterion. Speakers should be called in order of their indicating their wish to speak as this ensures equal participation.

If a disability officer is elected they should be allowed to take office fully, not kept at arms length with no access to the membership list. This is discriminatory and prevents the office being fulfilled. Disabilities are bad enough without the Party reinforcing social stigma. If elected I would embark on Training by people with disabilities for the benefit of Cllrs and other officers.

I would engage members of this constituency who have disabilities in running the training and consult on which programme is best for the term of office. This is long overdue. Our CLP is behind in implementing the DDA in its activities and I would change that.”

Trade Union Liason Officer – Sarah Friday

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.

Sarah Friday stood for Trade Union Liason Officer. Sarah was TULO of the CLP before the take-over by the right wing faction of the CLP. She lost the vote, the result wasn’t very different to all other votes. Sarah was jeered and heckled towards the end of her speech when she mentioned Keir Starmer. Here is her speech.

“I am currently a UNITE delegate to our General and Executive Committees. In this capacity I have done the following since our last constituency AGM to argue for greater transparency and fairness in our local party

  • I asked for the list of names of GC delegates to be shared with all those on this committee
  • I also asked that trade union delegates only elect the union rep on the Local Campaign Forum

I asked that we set time aside at the GC to support the Camden UNISON traffic wardens who were on strike at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019 – these were a group of low paid, largely BME workers employed on one of Camden Councils out sourced services. Unfortunately time was not set aside to discuss and support their dispute.

I have written letters to the Camden New Journal, in May following the elections to the EU Parliament I wrote to support a statement made by my General Secretary, Unite’s Len McCluskey, after he criticised those Labour Party leaders who were supporting a second EU referendum – he said they had “no interest in a Labour victory at the next general election”.

I wrote in the same letter :

We must show to Labour party supporters who voted to leave the EU in 2016 that we will honour the referendum result and that we have a positive vision for life outside of the EU that will rebuild their communities. Only by doing this can we win the next General Election.

Unfortunately we didn’t do this – and consequently we lost the General Election. My prediction is that if we elect Keir Starmer – the architect of our disastrous Brexit policy – as our party leader. We will also lose the next General Election.”

Paul Renny – Treasurer

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.

Paul Renny was stood for Treasurer. He was not elected to the post. Paul Renny has been a Trade Union Activist and Labour Party member since his early 20s, though he left the Labour Party after the Iraq War and rejoined when Corbyn became leader. He is a working-class voice on our GC. Here is his speech.

“I am an Officer of Highgate and a Unison delegate, trade unionist and an elected Unison Convenor. I have extensive experience of dealing with finances within the Trade Union movement. I would challenge any unnecessary overspending of members’ money and would seek the best quotes for any works undertaken for the CLP. As treasurer I would attempt to make funds available to enable the CLP to take up its full delegation at conferences. I would also ask that any members who donate money to our MP to attend Conference, think about helping ordinary members attend conference instead.

When I attended my first GC in 2016, two of the leading members of this CLP attacked the Party Leader Corbyn in a most sectarian and abusive way. This carried on in meetings, in the local press and social media and included the exclusion of and hostility towards the left members of the CLP who supported the National Leadership or who had valid critisms of Council Policy.

I am unity candidate but I will not have lectures from members who have acted in a sectarian way, spending 5 years attacking the Labour Leadership, the left, generally and deliberately damaging Labour’s electoral fortunes.
We need look outside our London bubble.

Finally, as an officer I would be campaigning and voting for the first woman Leader of the Party Rebecca Long-Bailey; (ran out of time) a new generation, socialist voice from the North who is committed to radical policies.”