Sunday, 24 July 2016

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Monday 25th July - speaking at a House of Commons Summer School for young campaigners and then meeting with the Whipps Cross Patient Engagement Team
  • Tuesday 26th July - holding a residents only advice surgery. To make an appointment please call 020 8521 1223. 
  • Thursday 28th July - attending a local housing project to discuss cooperative housing policy at the Hornbeam Centre

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

How leadership rule changes mean a fight for the Labour Party's very soul

Interesting analysis by Professor Meg Russell director of the constitution unit at University College London in The Observer of the effect of recent LP leadership rule changes

". . . Labour faces this chaos due to a radical rule change in 2014. It created a strict “one-person one-vote” electorate, where MPs had no more sway in the final outcome than ordinary members. Under the previous electoral college system, MPs and members each had one-third of votes and trade unions the remainder.

. . . . This new system turned on its head the way that British political parties used to operate. Until the early 1980s, the Labour party leader was elected wholly by Labour MPs. The Conservatives and Liberals also gave sole power to their parliamentary parties. Today, Labour’s parliamentary party faces having a leader forced upon it that it explicitly rejects.

. . . .Today, all the main parties give their members a significant role in picking leaders. This draining away of power from parliamentary parties, and often also from party members to wider electorates, is part of an international trend. While it can be presented as a form of “democratisation”, such change can have chaotic effects."

Full article here

Labour Party Leadership Timetable

Below is the timetable issued by the Labour Party for the process to decide the leadership of the Labour Party:

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Sunday 17th July - attending the Queens Road Boundary Community Street Party and the Butterfields Community Street Party
  • Monday 18th July- helping to host the Recl@im the Internet Conference at the TUC - details below* of how to join
  • Tuesday 19th July - Speaking in the debate on the Higher Education Bill to call for the introduction of Sharia Compliant Loans
  • Wednesday 20th July- hosting a reception in parliament with USDAW and Alan Johnson to discuss the impact of Brexit on Walthamstow. Please email to attend.
  • Thursday 21st July- at the Cooperative Party Fundraiser in Walthamstow with Ed Miliband and Polly Toybee. See here for tickets
  • Friday 22nd July - At the Waltham Forest Love Your Borough Awards
  • Saturday 23rd July- Celebrating Eid with the Pak Cultural Society in Walthamstow
*The conference is free to attend and places can be reserved here. For more information on the campaign please visit our Facebook page. You can also watch the conference live via Facebook Live.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Suspension of Labour Party meetings - further information

Iain McNicol, the Labour Party General Secretary, has issued the following clarification of the party's position on party meetings following the suspension decision taken at the NEC on Tuesday

"CLP meetings
In recent months there has been a marked increase in reports of intimidation and threatening behaviour taking place at party meetings. Whilst the NEC recognises that the majority of our members hold vigorous yet collegiate meetings, the NEC has a duty of care for individuals who feel that their safety is threatened. It was therefore saddened to have to take the decision to suspend all normal party meetings at CLP and branch level until the completion of the leadership election.

However, in recognition that there is some essential business which must be agreed by CLPs, the NEC has made a number of exceptions to this suspension while this timetable is in place. If there are any queries, please contact your Regional Director/General Secretary who will be able to provide guidance.

Meetings able to go ahead as agreed by the NEC include those:
  • Meetings solely for the purpose of making a supporting nomination in the leadership contest and for essential Annual Conference business
  • Campaign planning meetings for by-elections or devolved mayor campaigns
  • Any other meetings (such as Executive Committee meetings or social or fundraising events) with the explicit permission of the Regional Director/General Secretary
Meetings which go ahead under these exceptions will not consider ordinary motions or other business, except as explicitly agreed by the Regional Director/General Secretary. This means any CLP meeting already scheduled should be postponed until after the completion of the leadership election. This will be with immediate effect."

NEC elections - candidate from Walthamstow Labour Party - Bex Bailey

Walthamstow Labour Party member Bex Bailey is standing for election to the NEC. Ballot papers will arrive soon. You can read and download her letter to CLP members here.

Bex writes:
I’m standing to make our party fairer.

I’m 24 and I joined Labour because we're the party of equality. We've done a lot to make our society more equal – and will do so again.

But in our party young people still feel excluded, if you're working class you still can't afford to stand for election, and women still face sexism.

We need to put our values into practice within our party, so everyone can get involved.

I’ve spent three years on the NEC helping young women get involved. From leading a grassroots homelessness campaign to organising nationwide election campaigning, I’ve fought for members and for equality.

I’m fighting for:
  • A proper say in policy for all members
  • A comprehensive sexual harassment policy – because no one should feel intimidated or unsafe
  • NEC representation for each nation and region, and better resources for local parties
  • More working class MPs by making our selection processes fairer - and more representation for women, BAME, disabled and LGBT members.
  • A party united around our values from the grassroots up, focused on beating the Tories
  • As your representative I’ll never stop fighting for members, fighting for equality, and fighting to beat the Tories.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Suspension of Labour Party meetings

It's very likely party members have seen press reports following yesterday's NEC meeting about the suspension of party activity. Formal confirmation has now been received that there are to be no CLP or branch meetings. There will therefore be no East branch meeting  as planned for next Monday July 18th.

At present there is little more that can be formally confirmed, but this may have effects on the arrangements for branch and CLP meetings in the run up to conference. Currently our next branch meetings are scheduled for Monday September 5th, and GC/all member meeting on Thursday September 8th, in order to meet the deadline for Conference Contemporary Motions. More will, it is hoped, become clear tomorrow evening when the details of the leadership election timetable are expected to be published. Clarification is needed on how long the suspension of meetings will apply, but regrettably all that can be said at present is relevant information will be posted here as soon as it is received. Alerts will also be posted on the CLP facebook group (search for 'Walthamstow Labour Party') and twitter (@LabourStowSec), to help keep information up to date. Queries can be emailed, but with the latest rise in CLP membership [now standing at 2568] not all can be answered individually.
  • Footnote (1): don't forget if you nevertheless hunger for political discussion you can just about still get tickets for the WF Co-op party fundraising event on Thursday 21st July. It's a luxury buffet with special guests Ed Miliband and Polly Toynbee, at St Patrick Parish Hall on Blackhorse Road. Tickets are £25, or £20 for concessions and parties of 5. Book direct on Billetto here, or email or call 07957 228019. Full details here.
  • Footnote (2): Walthamstow CLP member Bex Bailey is standing for election to the NEC. Ballot papers will arrive soon. You can read and download her letter to CLP members here.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Labour Party NEC Constituency Section Election 2016

Ballot papers for this election are due to be sent to party members this coming week. Voting will be by post and also website voting will be available. The ballot closes at noon on 5 August.

This is the biggest paper ballot the Labour Party has ever run, with almost 400,000 ballot papers to be distributed. Ballots will therefore be dispatched on a phased basis, with papers and emails going out in waves over a number of days. It is expected that most electronic (email) codes will have been sent to everybody by Friday 15th July and most paper ballots to have dropped onto doormats by Friday 22nd July. The Party would urge those who are expecting a ballot not to contact the party unless they have still not received a ballot by Wednesday 27th July. If this is the case, you should call the membership team on 0345 092 2299.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Tuesday 12th July - taking part in a statutory instrument debate on telecommunication orders 
  • Wednesday 13th July - in parliament to help support the push for an NHS bill to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and then giving evidence to Waltham Forest Council's Scrutiny Committee on the E17 Housing campaign 
  • Thursday 14th July - attending the Educate2Eradicate dinner - see below for details
  • Sunday 17th July - attending the Queens Road Boundary Community Street Party and the Butterfields Street Party

Monday, 4 July 2016

WF branch Coop Party fundraiser with Miliband & Toynbee - 21 July

The Waltham Forest Branch Cooperative Party are holding a Summer fundraiser with very special guests Ed Miliband MP and Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.

on Thursday 21st July 2016 

(doors open 8pm)
Nearest station Blackhorse Road (Victoria line) about 300 yards 
The Parish Hall is just along from St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, near the corner with Longfield Ave - see map below
(nb not St. Patrick’s Church 300 yds away on the opposite side of the road)

Ed Miliband is the son of Marxist sociologist Ralph Miliband, and the brother of David Miliband. Ed was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under the administration of Gordon Brown, and leader of the Labour Party from 2010 to 2015. 

Polly Toynbee is the daughter of literary critic Philip  Toynbee and granddaughter of the historian Arnold Toynbee. She is a journalist and writer, and has been a columnist for The Guardian newspaper since 1998. 

Hosted by Labour and Cooperative MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy, this will be a relaxing evening of food and thoughtful discussion with two of the most prominent figures in progressive politics.

Nearest station Blackhorse Road (Victoria line). About 300 yards
There will be a luxury Turkish-themed vegetarian buffet with cakes and puddings made by Walthamstow cooks to follow, a donation Bar and of course a raffle with amazing and bizarre prizes. All proceeds will go to support the community campaigning work undertaken by Waltham Forest Coop Party and Stella Creasy MP. 

Come and have a good time and help support campaigning with practical projects and cooperative principles. Details of how to pay are below. If you can't come and would like to donate, or to enable us to offer seats at the event to young people, email the Coop campaigns team who will be happy to arrange that.

Get tickets for this special night

General Admission — £ 25.00
Group of 5 — £100.00 

Concessions — £ 20.00

To  reserve tickets and pay on the night  (or for any questions) - 

Or book in advance - 
All proceeds from tickets, raffle & donations go towards Waltham Forest branch Cooperative Party campaigning in the community with Stella Creasy MP.

Event promoted by Andy Dixon, chair Waltham Forest branch Cooperative  Party, c/ o 23 Orford Road, E17 9NL 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

"Labour is a party running on empty" - Stella Creasy MP in the New Statesman

"Since last Thursday, my inbox has burned with anguish about the state of our nation and our politics. People fear splits that are not just geographical, but also between generations and income groups. These divisions exist everywhere – while I’m proud that Walthamstow voted two to one to stay in the EU, locally and nationally our success will depend on finding ways to rewrite what at present looks like a very bleak future. To stop despair curdling our capacity to achieve this, Labour must urgently offer a radical and distinctive response.

It would be easy in such circumstances to lapse into misery; to find someone or something to blame - and luxuriate in the safety of opposition believing a scapegoat is enough. But now is the time to recognise our hunger for social justice demands we do more than wring our hands; to think not in abstracts, but focus on finding direct and deliverable answers to the challenges we face. And above all, to stand for something, not just against something. To be against austerity, neo-liberalism or corporation - this only describes what you want to stop, not what you will achieve. Hold a placard, tweet a slogan, buy the T-shirt if it helps, but if you want real change you have to be prepared to work at making it happen in detail as well as in hashtags. 

Britain is crying out for progressive and courageous change-makers to help put it back together. We need leadership which, in the negotiations ahead, knows why we fought to protect the rights we could lose by leaving the EU. We need leadership that also looks to the world to come and champions how we can co-operate across our communities, our country and our continen. In a time of whirlwind global economic change and social disruption, the UK has just set out its intent to cut itself off from the collective bargaining power of the European Union. Leaving or staying is no silver bullet - it only increases or reduces our options for action. With Britain this badly broken, we cannot shrink into holding repeated meetings about how we wish it were different. In an era where money, services and people move at rapid pace, the crisis Labour faces is about its very purpose, not just its people. We have to show we can lead the way in the world to come, not the world gone by.

Labour must again be a progressive party which has courage. Courage to say the world is a very different place and so our answers must change too - including from those given by any previous Labour administration. To give everyone a real chance to succeed, our vision of the economy, of our public services, indeed of our core mission needs to be completely revised - less focused on institutions, more rooted in networks of people working together to transform markets and communities than anything ever previously proposed. Not a movement trying to stop the pace of change, but one actively trying to hasten and shape it for the benefit of all. 

This would be hard work at the best of times; Labour is a party running on empty, with energy and ideas as well as organisation depleted. We have never been a cult, where everyone has to think the same or leave. As grown-ups we are able to both have differences of opinion and make compromises so together we can take action. Actions that every day show we seek power to speed up and strengthen our ability to achieve our goals - and that we also refuse to wait until we hold office to get started on our ambitions for Britain. 

I have never agreed completely with any leader - whether on ID cards, going to war in Iraq or skirting the Financial Transaction Tax - but I have always fought our corner. Labour needs each of us each to put our very all – our 10 out of 10, not 7.5 - in to achieving our aims. Each of us asking the public to take sometimes difficult steps with us because we believe it is in the best interests of the country. That is why I have no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn any more. It is unforgivable to have a leader who, when faced with Brexit and the damage it could do, asked others to go onto the pitch while he benched himself. 

Being half-hearted about key issues in a world this complex and challenging does little for those we care for most or to win the argument for progressive outcomes - as is now depressingly clear. The trolls and naysayers will stamp their feet whatever happens - it is our responsibility to chart a different course. Labour doesn’t just need new leadership, but also new passion and determination for social justice and social action. As these forces try to tear us part, let us reject the politics of inertia. Let each of us work to bring Britain back together to face the 21st century with confidence, commitment and common cause."

Where, this week, to find Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

  • Saturday 2nd July - taking part in the Wilcumstowe Wagons event on East Ave. 
  • Tuesday 5th July - visiting the Royal Society as part of the Science and Technology Select Committee and then attending the Waltham Forest Cooperative Party meeting.
  • Thursday 7th July - supporting the adjournment debate on human rights in Sri Lanka. 
  • Friday 8th July - running a women's leadership workshop for students at Frederick Bremer School.