Both the Labour movement and the Labour Party desperately require socialist political leaders who had the minimal foresight to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Labour members had such foresight, but unfortunately many of the individuals vying for (and still obtaining) leadership positions within the Labour Party did not believe in Corbyn’s anti-austerity hopes for Britain.
A good current example of one such longstanding trade unionist with little political vision who is now being promoted as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Loughborough is Nathan Oswin (his predecessor was fellow Blairite Jewel Miah). In 2015, Oswin who is a leading member of the Leicester South’s Constituency Labour Party backed Andy Burnham in opposition to Corbyn – with Corbyn being the candidate who was officially endorsed by his CLP. Later in the year in another telling Labour movement election Oswin then decided to cast his vote for Dave Prentis, the most rightwing candidate in the UNISON leadership contest.
Hence it is unsurprising that Oswin would draw political support from many fellow Blairites still residing in leadership positions within the Labour Party. Thus given that Oswin has spent a large part of his Labour career working in Nottingham it is fitting that he is “Humbled to receive an endorsement from Alex Norris – Member of Parliament for Nottingham North.” In 2016, Norris while previously serving a councillor for Nottingham City Council – before his speedy promotion — was amongst 600-odd Labour councillors who signed an open letter demanding that Corbyn resign.
Labour can and must do better than promoting individuals like Oswin and Norris.
Interestingly on August 12, 2016 (at 8.57pm) Oswin tweeted his dismay that a single person had booed during a Leicester South CLP meeting earlier that night. Others who tweeted their similar concerns about this “incident” were Deputy Mayor Rory ‘Tory’ Palmer and Jonathan Ashworth (for more on this see “Comradely meetings and the mystery of the boo”). Chris Hanrahan, the Secretary of Unison Leicestershire Police, was however quick to tweet in response to Oswin’s idiocy. Chris thus patiently explained to Oswin why his contribution towards creating a boo controversy on social media were more than misplaced considering the many other very contentious issues that were debated at the packed CLP meeting in question.
START — 8:57 PM – 12 Aug 2016
- Oswin: Really disappointing to hear someone booing at CLP meeting tonight. No place for it in true socialism.
- Cllr Susan Barton: Why? I hope they were asked to leave.
- Oswin: can only assume they didn’t like what the other speaker said. Really sad to see.
- Chris Hanrahan: Not really worth reporting is it? Most there didn’t even hear it.
- Oswin: disagree. Booing even at low level is outrageous and needs calling out before spreads as a norm.
- Cllr Barton: It could also make some people afraid to speak or share ideas in a meeting.
- Chris Hanrahan: It didn’t stop anyone from speaking
- Oswin: damage wouldn’t be at that meeting but whether people fee comfortable to go to future ones
- Chris Hanrahan: based on what happened this evening, it would not be a single booh, that our people off. Stop sensationalising.
- Oswin: I’m not only one to mention it and don’t think highlighting inappropriate behaviour is sensationalist
- Chris Hanrahan: when more important relevant comments were made, why not mention that.
- Oswin: wasn’t first thing that came to mind, but frustration and annoyance at the act concentrates mind on that 1st
- Chris Hanrahan: there is much more to be concerned about than that, if I am not mistaken.
- Oswin: there is but not in relation to that meeting
- Chris Hanrahan: nonsense!
- Oswin: what was more concerning at the meeting then?
- Chris Hanrahan: I would prefer not to say in public as I respect the confidentiality of the process of a closed meeting.
- Oswin: fair enough, I maintain highlighting unacceptable booing was not wrong though, imperative to call it out.
- Chris Hanrahan: it was dealt with at the time, end of. What happens in the meeting should stay in the meeting.
- Chris Hanrahan: of all the things that happened this evening, to report a very minor issue that gives a poor impression of CLP
- Oswin: far comment, overall meeting was respectful and not overly heated. Still think booing is worth highlighting.
- Chris Hanrahan: If that is all you can highlight at the moment, it’s a very sad state of affairs.
- Oswin: not only thing, great to see a much larger attendance and 1st time speakers. Now hope they will help… ½
- Chris Hanrahan: so why not say that rather than mentioning one idiot.
END — 9:28 PM – 12 Aug 2016