Labour Party NEC Elections 2002
 
Dear colleague/comrade
 
Since election to the NEC in 2000 I have done my best to represent
ordinary members. I am seeking re-election as part of the
GrassRoots Alliance, independent candidates with different views on specific policies but a shared commitment to listening and reporting back.
 
I hope you find my accounts of NEC and National Policy Forum
meetings useful, and look forward to continuing with your support. Past
reports are available at http://www.labourcounts.com/AnnBlack 
 
Mark Seddon and Christine Shawcroft, current NEC members, are
also standing on their record. Pete Willsman will bring unparallelled
constitutional experience, Kumar Murshid will strengthen the voice
of ethnic minorities, and Rozanne Foyer will add a Scottish
dimension too often lacking from London-based discussions.
 
Below are brief statements from each of us, followed by our
common platform. More details are in the voting booklet – please
read it carefully and consider supporting some or all of us.
With thanks
Ann Black
 
PERSONAL STATEMENTS:
 
Ann Black
Labour has just three years to renew public services and restore
trust in politics. Openness and democracy must prevail over stitch-
ups and spin.
 
From the NEC I report directly to members, and their feedback sets
my priorities: for comprehensive education, better student funding,
working railways, environmental sustainability, international co-
operation, strong union links, valuing local councillors and fair
candidate selection procedures; against fox-hunting, privatisation
and National Missile Defense.
For personal accounts by e-mail, please contact
ann.black@unisonfree.net or ring 01865-722230 with your views.
Experience: Joined Labour and UNISON in 1982. Secretary,
Oxford East CLP. Member of UNISON's National Political
Committee, the National Policy Forum and the NEC. Member of
Oxford East CLP.
 
Rozanne Foyer
I'm standing because I want Labour to overcome fully the
inequalities dividing Britain. I'm 29 and as a party activist and senior
official with the Scottish TUC, I have a proven track record in
campaigning for equality and social justice. I believe I can
effectively promote policies reflecting the aspirations of party
members to the NEC.
I think it is important that the NEC has strong representation from
constituency members in Scotland and Wales so that we can
maintain our strong links in the context of devolution and continue to
learn from one another. I’m a Campaign for Socialism (Scotland)
executive member, and support the renationalisation of our
railways; a £5 minimum wage regardless of age; redistribution of
wealth through progressive taxation; increased public sector
funding; and a 50/50 gender balance in public life.
Experience: Party member since 1995, holding a range of branch
and constituency positions. Assistant General Secretary of Scottish
TUC. Member of Glasgow Maryhill CLP.
 
Kumar Murshid
I believe the NEC must lead the party by promoting a vision of social
transformation which allows for the full inclusion of significant
communities that remain marginalised within the party and society.
A more humane and acceptable policy on asylum and immigration
must be adopted.
Labour needs to reassert the primacy of democratic and
accountable mechanisms in the running of our public services.
Local authorities must retain their responsibility for housing. The
NEC must restore a sense of idealism which goes beyond simply
managing capitalism and promote Labour's commitment to the
values of equality and justice.
 
Experience: Party member since the early 1980s. Constituency
Chair, currently councillor in Tower Hamlets, Cabinet Adviser to
London Mayor, Chair of the National Assembly Against Racism,
member of London Development Agency, Co-operative Party,
Union and Labour Black Representation Committee. Member of
Poplar and Canning Town CLP.
 
Mark Seddon
Labour Party membership and grassroots activism is in sharp
decline. That decline must be reversed. Only when Labour is seen
to be democratic, accountable and progressive, and not increasingly
distant from many communities it has historically sought to
represent, will people seek to join it and vote for it.
Top-down autocracy must be replaced by grassroots democracy.
As a member of the NEC I will continue to stand up for democratic
socialism and the rights of ordinary members. The NEC’s priorities
must be the interests of the Labour Party even when these
sometimes override demands from government.
Experience: Member since 1977. Editor of Tribune and member of
Labour Party NEC, 1998-2000, 2001. Parliamentary candidate for
Buckingham 2001. Telephone 020-7433-6410. Member of
Buckingham CLP.
 
Christine Shawcroft
I have been a Labour, Co-operative and trade union activist for 25
years. I am a member of the NUT, and of Meriden in the West
Midlands. In my three years on the NEC I have tried to raise
grassroots concerns about party democracy, organisation, and
candidate selection.
To stem the loss of disillusioned members and supporters we need
a more radical second term. I support public ownership, council
housing, an end to Private Finance Initiative schemes, and index-
linking pensions to average earnings. I am secretary of Labour
Against the War and I am campaigning for a real ethical foreign
policy.
I try to be accountable and to report back. To contact me, e-mail
cshawcroft@cs.com, or write c/o Millbank. Member of Nottingham
South CLP.
 
Pete Willsman
My motivation for standing again is to give members and
constituencies an experienced representative, dedicated to
defending their interests. I have represented constituencies on
Labour's national committees since 1981 and am always available
to give information and advice – telephone 020-8854-7326.
In recent years, the party’s internal democracy has been eroded and
members feel their views are often ignored by our government.
Consequently party activists are becoming less committed. These
trends must be reversed.
Experience: NEC 1998-99; Conference Arrangements Committee
1981-94; National Constitutional Committee 1995-98; National
Policy Forum 1998-99, Constituency GC/EC 1975-2002; Research
Officer NUPE/UNISON 1979-94, Branch Secretary APEX/GMB
1980-98. CWS SE Political Committee/Area Committee/Party
Council 1998-2002. Member of Erith & Thamesmead CLP.
 
The GrassRoots Alliance
The GrassRoots Alliance is an inclusive body of democratic socialist
groups and publications across the centre and left of the Labour
Party. Candidates supported by the Alliance were elected to the
NEC in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. This year it is again promoting
candidates who will stand up for the rights of ordinary members and
genuinely represent their views.
All candidates believe that members must have an effective say in
shaping policy in order to reverse declining membership and
activism. Each of them, while retaining freedom of judgment on
other issues, has therefore undertaken to uphold the following
principles:
A radical reforming Labour government. These candidates will
work for Labour to reinforce its reputation as a party of democratic
socialism, committed to redistributing wealth, income and power
from the few to the many. They welcome promises to increase
government spending on public services, endorse progressive
taxation and public sector borrowing to achieve this, but oppose the
principle of using taxpayers’ money to subsidise private
shareholders. They support policies which mitigate the effects of
market forces and reduce the widening gap between affluent and
disadvantaged sections of our society.
They will seek to ensure that Labour honours commitments to trade
union recognition, employment rights, an adequate minimum wage
and increased powers for local government. They will press for
fulfilment of promises to end child and pensioner poverty and to
improve health, education and transport, and they will argue for
human rights and universal benefits to be maintained.
Elimination of discrimination. Both inside and outside the party they
will fight discrimination on grounds of gender, race, age, social
class, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
Democracy, transparency and accountability. They will
- insist that the party operates in a democratic, accountable
and transparent way, and set an example by reflecting the
concerns of their electorate and reporting back to them;
- demand that consultation through the forum process is
genuine, that members’ views can visibly influence Labour’s
programme, and that policy is determined through
transparent mechanisms including the sovereignty of
annual conference;
- defend one-member-one-vote in internal party selections of
candidates for elected office;
- oppose control-freakery and over-centralised decision-
making;
- promote the right of local and regional parties to choose
their own candidates without prior or political vetting;
- uphold national and local links between the party and the
unions.
 
May 2002.
.
 
 

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