Many Party members are probably unaware that they have a voice on the Party’s Scottish Executive through elected regional representatives. These 8 members are elected every two years and represent eight geographic areas, with two from each one of whom must be a woman. The areas cover West of Scotland, Mid Scotland & Fife; NE Scotland/Highlands and Islands; Central Scotland/Glasgow; Lothians/South of Scotland.
The areas they represent are large and make it hard for the representatives to have a meaningful relationship with the local Constituencies. They should however try. It would be very helpful to have their feedback after meetings and more importantly for them to sound out constituencies in advance of some of the big discussions so they can, as far as possible, take this into account when attending meetings.
This would be a small step to making the Executive more accountable to Party members and may lend more weight to the words of these representatives if they have consulted before they speak.
Pauline Bryan, Glasgow Kelvin CLP
The Organisational Sub-committee of the NEC has decided to shorten the length of all future selections for Westminster seats. Selections will now take place over an 8 week period, rather than the previous 9-13 week period.
It is argued that this length strikes the right balance, to ensure people aren’t put off from applying for seats as well as ensuring the costs of going for selection doesn’t become prohibitive. These changes are in addition to the January changes:
– Allowing all candidates on application to have a membership list – to stop favoured candidates having an advantage over “outsiders”
– Reinstating the branch and affiliate nomination process – encouraging dormant members to get involved in the process
– Limiting the amount of literature candidates can produce – stopping people with lots of money being able to “out gloss” other candidates
The Scottish Labour Party has yet to agree the final procedures for Holyrood selections and so has the option to adopt or reject these ideas.
‘It takes quite a lot of gall to be accusing the unions of trying to fix Labour parliamentary selections when you yourself have been engaged on doing exactly that for the last 20 years’ writes Michael Meacher about Peter Mandelson’s complaint that unions are exercising too much influence on Labour Party candidate selection processes: