Recognise pregnancy and infant loss in the UK


To: the incumbent UK government.

Recognise pregnancy and infant loss in the UK


Contact Campaign Creator

Campaign created by
Paul Scully-Sloan

Make October the 15th the official day recognising pregnancy and infant loss in the UK.

Why is this important?

According to the child loss charity, SANDS one in every 216 babies delivered in the UK in 2013 were stillborn (that is, the baby died during pregnancy and birth any time from 24 weeks of pregnancy onwards).

In the same year, one in every 370 babies born died in the first four weeks of life. One-third of stillborn babies that’s round 1,200 babies every year-die after a full term pregnancy (37 or more weeks).

According to the office of national statistics, there were 3284 stillbirths in England and wales in 2013 ( a fall of 7.7%)
Also in 2013 there were 249 unexplained infant deaths in England and Wales a rate of 0.36 deaths per 1,000 live births.

In 2012, there were 523 deaths in the age range of 1-4 years (Why children die. May 2014. Wolfe, Mcfarlen et al)
Whilst these statistics may be alarming it is important to poin out that the number of deaths in pregnancy and infancy had decreased from 2012.
Through making National Awareness within the UK, this will help in the recognition of loss during a parent’s pain.

This remembrance day can play a small part in enabling families to find a way of grieving and in time help each other throughout the UK-remove the stigma of not being able to talk about it.

Most importantly having a pregnancy and infant loss awareness day recognised it will raise awareness of some of the issues surrounding childloss, the need for better maternity care, the need to improve bereavement services for grieving parents, better understanding and support from employers, and prevention; to name a few.

Contrary to popular belief it is only a national day in the USA, Canada, Australia and recognised in Italy as Piccolo Angeli.

In the Uk, it is observed and acknowledged by various charities.

Please show your support by signing the petition

Daddys with angels and Angel Parents UK.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • I lost my daughter Jessica Morton at 38weeks 27/7/17 💞

  • I signed because we lost our daughter Isabella 18th March this year at 39+4 days xx

  • I lost my baby girl full term, 7 years ago, 20/8 💔


12 months ago

5,000 signatures reached

2 years ago

1,000 signatures reached

3 years ago

500 signatures reached

3 years ago

100 signatures reached

3 years ago

50 signatures reached

3 years ago

25 signatures reached

3 years ago

10 signatures reached

The brutal truth about relationships…

Black coffee and cigarettes

… is that they’re hard. I think I may have subconsciously avoided long-term relationships for precisely this reason for most of my life. I used to tell people I couldn’t imagine anything worse than domesticity, or the proverbial white picket fence, or the banality and routine—the grind!—of a long-term relationship or marriage.

Having been in one now for a good few years, I can tell you that parts of me still feel the same. In the first warm glow of love, you may think such feelings are impossible, but you understand in time how the patina of love gently fades; how familiarity—little by little—can breed contempt, or at least disdain; and how easy it is to feel disconnected and further and further away from the person closest to you, physically and emotionally.

Despite all this, there’s always been a part of me that’s admired most those couples who stay together…

View original post 847 more words

An idiot’s manifesto

SKWAWKBOX emails Jewish Chronicle with evidence. ‘Coincidence’ follows like lightning

SKWAWKBOX emails Jewish Chronicle with evidence. ‘Coincidence’ follows like lightning

Last week, the SKWAWKBOX revealed that the Jewish Chronicle (JC) had quietly amended its claim that a letter supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and signed by twenty-nine leading Orthodox rabbis, which had been published on this blog, was fake.

The amended article admitted that three rabbis the JC had spoken to said they had signed the letter, but the piece still conveyed doubt about its authenticity and still carried a claim by the ‘nascent’ Jewish Community Council (JCC) that the letter was fake.

Earlier today, the SKWAWKBOX obtained proof that the JCC had already confirmed its opinion that the letter was genuine, in the form of a text from the founder of the JCC to a fellow member of the Charedi community:

jcc authentic.png

This text had also been forwarded to the Jewish Chronicle – but its existence was not mentioned in the amended article or subsequent articles, leaving the erroneous denial of its authenticity in place.

In accordance with good journalistic practice, the SKWAWKBOX contacted JC editor Stephen Pollard to ask for comment. Note the time-stamp:


Twenty minutes later, at 16.33, the JC tweeted a link to a newly-published article:

jc charedi.png

The article – for the first time by that publication as far as can be ascertained – includes a statement from the Jewish Community Council that completely contradicts what the JC had published until then:

jc jcc.png

Note that the wording quoted by the JCC is identical, apart from a couple of spelling changes, to the text the SKWAWKBOX advised Stephen Pollard it had received – but did not send him.

Mr Pollard has still not responded to this blog’s request for comment.

The authenticity of the letter is now beyond question and as the SKWAWKBOX showed in an article earlier today, it is entirely representative of the views of most Charedim (Orthodox Jews) who make up almost twenty percent of the UK’s Jewish population – a figure expected to exceed fifty percent in less than twenty years – in spite of claims by other organisations to be speaking for at least ninety percent of UK Jews when condemning the Labour party or its leader.

The Jewish Chronicle was not the only publication to publish a misleading denunciation of the rabbis’ letter. The Jerusalem Post went so far as to stridently accuse a particular group of Orthodox Jews in the UK of forging the letter:

jp satmar.png

That article has not yet been retracted.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Seventeen minutes between the arrival of this blog’s enquiry and the publication of an article quoting a text that had been sent to the JC days ago. It’s an interesting coincidence and a long time for a misleading quote attributed to the Jewish Community Council to be presented as correct in the earlier versions of the article.

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7 responses to “SKWAWKBOX emails Jewish Chronicle with evidence. ‘Coincidence’ follows like lightning”

  1. Anyone who is still ignorant that this is Zionist propaganda is also ignorant of any braincells,LF I in my opinion or any other friends of Israel should be proscribed terrorists,because in my opinion that is exactly what they are. Israel is an illigitamate entity and in my view should never have come into being

  2. Pollard – star pupil of the ‘goebbels school of enlightenment’

    Definitely practices the mantra of: ‘The more sh*t you throw, the more sticks’

    Obnoxious, shameless, hypocritical twunt that it is.

  3. I’m not sure you should spend so much time arguing with the rightwing and corrupt media propagandist, as JC or even BBC, they are a lost cause and they should be ignored.

    • Ignore them, and allow them to dictate the narrative completely unchallenged?


  4. We should just accept the right-wing mentality, wherever it is found, has less of a moral compass and less humanity and decency to appeal to.

Orthodox activist’s unpublished statement to Jewish Chronicle: “Jeremy is a long friend to our community”

Orthodox activist’s unpublished statement to Jewish Chronicle: “Jeremy is a long friend to our community”


Shraga Stern is a prominent Charedi (Orthodox) Jewish activist in London who was one of the organisers of a letter from twenty-nine leading Orthodox rabbis in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The letter went viral last week, triggering an immediate attack on its credibility in the pro-Israel media and by the Labour right, with the Jewish Chronicle and other outlets claiming that the letter had been confirmed as a fake. The letter was authentic and some of the media quietly amended their stories, without publishing formal corrections. Some are still propagating the false claim that it is a fake.

Mr Stern has issued a strongly-worded statement, addressed to the Jewish Chronicle, in which he attacks the ‘zionist agenda’ behind the ‘smear and witch-hunt’ against Jeremy Corbyn – an idea outlandish to many secular Britons but put on the official record last week in the US when former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort admitted to the FBI that he had ‘concocted‘ a similar smear with an Israeli official against a Ukrainian politician for political purposes.

Stern’s letter also contests claims by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Board of Deputies (BoD) to represent the mainstream of Jewish opinion in the UK and the claims that antisemitism in the Labour Party is widespread.

The Jewish Chronicle does not appear to have published the letter.

We believe that the anti-Semitism smear and witch hunt against Jeremy Corbyn is a Zionist agenda and has all the footprints leading to that direction. It is being promoted by the Board of Deputies and by the self-made unelected JLC, who are a well-known pro-Israel bodies-  and it’s completely cruel and unjustified.

The Board of Deputies and JLC do not represent Charedi Jews, who do not have voting rights at BoD elections and number today over fifty thousand in the UK, of which 30,000 live in Stamford Hill. According to a 2007 study by Dr Markov Wise at the University of Manchester, almost three out of every four Jewish births in the UK – home to the largest strictly Orthodox community in Europe – are in the Charedi community.

The strange thing here is that they are 263,000 Jews living in UK according to the 2011 census. Half of them do not belong to a synagogue according to BoD population statistics, so this half would not have voting rights in the BoD elections.

Add this up with 50,000 Charedi Jews it equals 181,000 out of 263,000 who will not fall under the BoD and the BoD do not represent them. So how on earth can the BoD have the chutzpah to say they represent the Jews in UK? BoD is a pro-Israel body and only represent a very particular part of Jews who are pro-Israel.

Chareidi Jews and most mainstream Jews in the UK are only interested in Anglo Jewry matters and do not get involved in Israel politics. However saying this we do recognise that real anti-Semitism is an issue all over the country and in all political parties. We are convinced that Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best to tackle real anti-Semitism in his party while still giving his people of his party freedom of speech to criticize Israel.

However, we are nowhere near to fleeing this country because of this. As a Charedi Jew I can say that Charedi Jews are the most vulnerable to anti-Semitic attacks as they dress differently and one can see that they are Jewish, therefore this support letter from leading Charedi rabbis from Stamford Hill including Chief Rabbi Padwa from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) says it all.

Jeremy is a long friend and neighbour of the Charedi community here and everyone who knows him personally says that he loves Jews and is against real anti-Semitism, and this is what he has done all his life.

Times have changed and we will not stop here. We will not be hijacked by the BoD and JLC. We will go further then this to make it clear to all the government bodies and to the press, not to fall into the trap of the BoD and JLC who are extremist Zionist bodies and do not represent mainstream Jews.

Discussions are now taking place that I’m personally aware of and talks are in place on considering setting up a new body of Board of Deputies of mainstream British Jews that will focus only on anglo-jewish matters and will represent the entire Jewish population no matter if they are associated to a BoD synagogue or not and act for the many Jews not the few.

A 2015 Guardian article quotes studies for the Institute of Jewish Policy Research showing that a majority of UK Jews will be from the Charedi community by the 2030s.

The Board of Deputies was not reachable for comment. The JLC has been contacted.

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13 responses to “Orthodox activist’s unpublished statement to Jewish Chronicle: “Jeremy is a long friend to our community””

  1. Very interesting. Perhaps a Charedi Rabbi who supports this view could be invited with others to speak at Conference from the main stage?

  2. Terrific letter. Thanks to Shraga Stern for writing it and Skwawkbox for sharing it.

  3. Brilliant – Thank you SkwawkB and most especially thank you Shraga Stern.

  4. Tragically – and ironically – this simply confirms that there is an international conspiracy to proper the aims of Zionism and to silence perceived “enemies of Israel” this conspiracy includes senior tories, the Israeli government, other right wing governments, and a number of senior members of the UK Jewish community, claiming to ‘Speak For’ all UK Jews.
    As well as the obvious dangers to democracy in the UK – and democracy in other countries where this operates – it send to me that there are huge dangers to the Jewish Community, so long as the silent majority allow this to continue.
    And therein lies the irony: a coalition of senior members of the Jewish community with a bunch of anti-Semitic fascists.
    I suggest this is unlikely to end well. For anybody.

    • I agree. These dirty tactics will only backfire.

      Seeing decent people being unjustly smeared by sections of the Jewish community will only reinforce the worldview of real antisemites. It is also crying wolf which is harmful in the long term.

      Antisemitism is too serious an issue to be used as a political football. The Jewish Chronicle should do the right thing ASAP.

  5. Excellent points by the Orthodox Jewish community (Charedii) rep and they are right, being the most visible sadly may mean they will face the greatest anti-semetic abuse. Also great that they draw on research and that the wonderfully diverse Jewish comminity are fighting back; as it seems the BOD may actually speak for only 29% of the diverse Jewish community it is the other 71% who are the many whilst the BOD are perhaps the few!
    Community Solidarity!

  6. Shame they didn’t have the backbone nor the journalistic integrity to print it.

Exposed: Bitterite plans to sabotage conference

Exposed: Bitterite plans to sabotage conference

bitter sabo.png

With the start of Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool just over a week away, most Labour members and delegates are excited and expectant about the anticipated Democracy Review recommendations and ‘open selection’ moves that will put the party firmly into the hands of its members.

But at the same time – and for the same reasons – the SKWAWKBOX can reveal that a group of laughably-termed ‘moderates’ is making very different plans for the conference.

Desperate after another year of failed smears to prevent measures that will put the party out of reach of the ‘centrists’ that want to drag it back to the ‘good old days’, by their estimation, of Labour as a diet-version of the Tory party, the group is planning a series of measures to disrupt and discredit the event and allow the Establishment media to set a narrative of a party being dragged left by bullies over the ‘noble’ protests of the members who ‘just want it to be electable’.

Because, of course, we’re supposed to believe that all those ‘centrists’ surprised and disappointed by the ‘Corbyn surge’ at last year’s general election know all about what’s ‘electable’. In spite of the humble pie on which they gagged after last year’s elections, it seems the Labour right has learnt nothing.

And those plans have crystallised and extended because of the declaration by ‘moderate’ figurehead Tom Watson to boycott the conference in pique at the supposedly-unsatisfactory speaking slot offered to him.

The main themes on which disruptions are planned are those of stopping Brexit and, predictably, antisemitism. Below is a list of actions planned:

The rally

Before Conference even begins, Jeremy Corbyn is to hold a rally in Liverpool city centre next Saturday – as are the plans to try to prevent it being seen as Corbyn’s triumphant return to one of the most left cities in the UK.

The right will look to repeat its ‘stop Brexit’ protest at the ‘Labour Live’ event in London, but on a bigger scale in the hope of preventing the farce where the protesters were simply asked to leave and were forced to claim, against the available evidence, that they were forcibly ejected.

The gauntlet

Right-wingers hope to force conference delegates to ‘run the gauntlet’ of a placard-waving demonstration that will claim to be about antisemitism, but in reality is about undermining and removing the party’s leader.

Although the chances of them persuading any Corbyn supporters that the smears against him aren’t nonsense are low to none, the centrists hope to sour the conference atmosphere, control the mainstream media narrative and weaken resolve for the key votes – or at least to provoke enough anger among delegates to provide video footage useful for propaganda purposes.

The fringe/TWT

The right has a fourfold plan for the Conference fringe and the parallel ‘The World Transformed‘ (TWT) event. Disruption is planned at any fringe event that Corbyn is expected to attend, or that involves the Jewish Voice for Labour group or its supporters. In addition, any appearances by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, Labour general secretary Jennie Formby or Chris Williamson are on the hit-list.

Fourth, any TWT event is considered fair game because of the event’s left-wing origins and support for Jeremy Corbyn and the direction of the Labour Party under him.

The walk-out

In the hope of detracting from the party leader’s speech on the final day of Conference – and in revenge for the supposed slight to Tom Watson – right-wingers are attempting to coordinate a walk-out of the constituency delegates it has managed to get selected. Earlier walk-outs for speeches by Corbyn’s close allies were considered, but are likely to have been set aside for maximum impact at Corbyn’s closing speech and to avoid the possibility of would-be participators’ exclusion for it.

However, it’s entirely likely that the left has built so successfully on its success in overturning the right’s previous delegate majority for last year’s Brighton conference that even other delegates in the hall will barely notice them go and will merely enjoy a better view.

The banner

Because of that ‘problem’, a ‘plan B’ is also in hand for an attempt to storm the conference stage during or just before the speech to wave a banner and/or to unveil t-shirts bearing an anti-Corbyn message. Checks are likely to be in place to prevent the ingress of items for use in this attempt, but there’s a risk that ‘sleepers’ among staff at the venue may facilitate it.

The resignations

While the number of ‘moderate’ MPs prepared to sacrifice their credibility by jumping ship and resigning – either individually or to form a new party – is thought to be small, there is a strong likelihood that a handful of those either considering retirement or who feel most threatened by the thought of democratic selections by their local party will try to divert the news agenda.

The right has considered whether a ‘mass’, simultaneous resignation by those MPs, or a staged ‘one every so often’ series in the style of the post-referendum ‘chicken coup’ will be most effective and both options have been kept open, so watch this space.

All of these are, of course, on top of the overt attempts to make the conference about preventing Brexit or calling for a second referendum, which have led to a number of motions being put forward, primarily by right-dominated CLPs. Whether the real agenda is actually to stop Brexit or to damage Labour electorally is a moot point, but the anti-Corbyn factions hope that it will serve as a useful ‘Trojan horse’ and fool enough delegates into getting behind it.

Awareness, restraint and solidarity are, as ever, the key to ensuring that Conference this month is the triumph for democracy and for the many that it should be.

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Excl: participant in Unison election ‘collusion’ revealed as ally of Enfield council leader

Excl: participant in Unison election ‘collusion’ revealed as ally of Enfield council leader

enfield road sign

The SKWAWKBOX has carried a series of exclusives on the Enfield council selections scandal, where Council leader Nesil Caliskan is at the centre of an investigation by the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) into the ‘irregularities’ that occurred during the selection process to elect Labour candidates, including the deselection of all black candidates.

The beneficiaries of these and other procedural ‘irregularities’ then promptly elected Ms Caliskan as the new council leader, ousting an incumbent popular across the local party. Ms Caliskan and her family are on the right of the party, close to Enfield North MP Joan Ryan who earlier this month lost a vote of no confidence after a membership rebellion. Caliskan’s sister, Eda Cazimoglu, was an unsuccessful candidate on the Labour First/Progress ‘slate’ in the recent NEC elections.

Now, in a new twist to that scandal, the previously-unrevealed identity of a woman involved in a secretly-recorded union meeting slammed by a judge for its manipulation of a major election in the UK’s (now) largest trade union can be confirmed as a close ally of Ms Caliskan on the council.


Councillor Claire Stewart is standing for a vacant seat on Enfield’s important Scrutiny and Overview Committee. The Committee’s role is to scrutinise the whole of the council’s functions and responsibilities and ensure that proper procedures have been followed. Enfield’s Labour councillors are due to vote on the vacant post tomorrow.

In May 2017, Judge Mary Stacey upheld a complaint against Unison’s former London regional secretary, Linda Perks, who had been secretly recorded urging officials to break union rules in a bid to secure the reelection of Dave Prentice as Unison general secretary.

But until now the identity of the second woman referred to on the tape as “Claire” has remained unknown.

Claire Stewart, who at the time of the Unison leadership election was employed as an organiser in the union’s London regional office, had suggested using a planned lobby of parliament to distract activists into voting the “wrong way”.

Ms Stewart was recorded (17m 47s) saying:

So the two weeks you have mentioned before and after the opening of the ballot would that be a good two weeks to, kind of, tie up the branches to vote the wrong way in this other activity [lobby of parliament] – laughter – if I have one branch vote the wrong way I could get them to convert their intention.

Linda Perks replied: “Yes excellent idea, lobby of parliament – that is a good idea Claire.”

The judge was scathing in her criticism:

The tone of the meeting is utterly partisan – branches that have chosen to support candidates other than Mr Prentis are described as “unfriendly” and all other candidates are referred to as the opposition. At one point [Linda Perks] praises the initiative of one of her staff members [Claire Stewart] for suggesting the lobby of Parliament about the trade union bill be used to “tie up branches to vote the wrong way”.

The judge concluded by saying how distressed union activists would be to discover that they had been misled. She ruled:

The collusion of the Greater London Regional Management Team and other staff was deeply concerning… It is not hard to see how distressing it would be to activists to learn that a rally of parliament against the Trade Union Bill would be used as a device to distract them from the election campaign.

Cllr Stewart is a close associate and supporter of new Enfield Council leader Nesil Caliskan, who is at the centre of the NEC investigation into the irregularities that occurred during the selection process to elect Labour candidates.

A senior local Labour official told the SKWAWKBOX that the revelations were ‘shocking’ in the context of the party investigation and the local political situation, claiming that a group on the right of the party is ‘drunk on power and out of control’:

These revelations are truly shocking. Joan Ryan, Nesil Caliskan, and their supporters seem drunk on power and out of control. It cannot be right that someone with a record of collusion in electoral malpractice should be appointed to the Council’s Scrutiny Committee. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

Cllr Stewart declined to put any comment on the record except for the following:

I have put myself forward for a voluntary position to cover for someone who is sick.

Further information:

Transcript of the secretly-recorded Unison meeting

Judge’s ruling

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4 responses to “Excl: participant in Unison election ‘collusion’ revealed as ally of Enfield council leader”

  1. Completely sickening. There is nothing ‘moderate’ about deliberately destroying the democratic process.

    I just wonder who’s pulling the strings. If there’s American or MI5 involvement as in the case of Ruth Smeeth … or any other involvement…

    “The deselection of all black candidates”. That’s just appalling.

    • Yes, there is no doubt whatsoever that MI5 is involved in all this – ie the smear campaign aginst JC and the left etc – just as it was with Harold Wilson and Tony Benn and Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, and of course Ken Livingstone, and not only when he was running the GLC. And then there was Arthur Scargill and the miners, and no doubt George Galloway.

  2. If anyone has ever wondered how the Stalinist bureaucracy functioned lowe down the pecking order,they might see the workings of this crowd in Enfield as a useful parallel study.

Jewish Voice for Labour statement on Manchester ‘Enough’ rally

Jewish Voice for Labour statement on Manchester ‘Enough’ rally


Today a further ‘Enough is Enough’ rally took place in Manchester. Jewish Voice for Labour has issued a statement about the event and its context:


The event itself was well attended but, according to observers, a ‘mixed bag’ – a number of anti-Corbyn speakers who seemed barely to mention antisemitism in their eagerness to oust Labour’s leader, but others who addressed issues rather than personalities and received some heckling from a section of the crowd who wanted to bring the issue back to Corbyn.

Speakers included at least two Tory MPs. In spite of the Conservatives’ decision last week to vote against a European Parliament censure motion against antisemitic Hungary premier Viktor Orbán, they were not dis-invited or no-platformed.

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7 responses to “Jewish Voice for Labour statement on Manchester ‘Enough’ rally”

  1. When are Corbyn and his advisors going to cop on to the fact that they will have to take the offensive against the Zionist liars and their friends.

    • John, I agree completely and have advocated the same many times.

      Jeremy Corbyn however is in a terrible bind because of the power of the right wing, often Zionist influenced media. Whatever he says will be twisted and spun so that it does not relate in any to his meaning or intention so as to influence the general public against him.

      One way to counteract this is for members themselves to, as Jeremy put it at a rally in Liverpool “become his media”. With that in mind, Miko Peled the Jewish Israeli writer and firm supporter of Jeremy Corbyn has been invited to a fringe meeting at the conference where he will speak out strongly in favour of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and against the activities of the Israeli lobby seeking to remove Jeremy as Leader. Also invited is Issa Amro from Hebron, the Palestinian founder of the charity – Youth Against Settlements. He too will speak in favour of JC and Labour.

      These two speakers are a prime example of how, not just we in Britain are longing for Jeremy to become our PM but millions around the world who are watching and hoping that we can show them the way to get decent leaders elected in their own countries.

      We need therefore to get this out into the media and the public so that they hear the other side of the story but told by those with impeccable credentials.

      • Great comment – thank you.

        I hope this meeting is videoed so people can watch it.

  2. Targeted demonisation. Funny how fundamental lessons from history are never learned.

  3. Antisemitism accounts for 1.3% of hate crimes and the latest CST report shows a decline of 8%. I am appalled by this fabricated attack on Labour which is not motivated by a genuine desire to combat such racism, but to undermine Corbyn and silence support for Palestine.

    Other forms of racism represent 74% of hate crimes and are grew by up to 40% last year.

    Yesterday I was with other Labour members and anti-racist groups, including people of varied religions and none, demonstrating against a march of the far right DFLA in Sunderland. We were threatened and intimidated, and I pay tribute especially to the brave Muslim, Black and coloured young women who stood their ground. Many of those anti -racist women and men, and their white comrades, are Labour members. As such they are the very people disgracefully and cynically demonised for dishonest political gain. While the growing far right, responsible for most antisemitic and Islamophibic crimes are relatively ignored.

    Enough is really Enough!

  4. Yes the 3 forces against JC and his supporters have to try to keep the momentum up – the Right Wing and Liberal media – to protect big business interests, Conservative Jewish forces – to try to impose one dominant narrative on diverse Jewish citizens (total and uncritical support for Israel) and the Right Wing Labour opportunist MPs – to try to get rid of Corbyn. As we stand by JC we should support the Right of Return for Palestinians but Israel won’t talk peace because “It wants to maintain its religious, ethnic and economic supremacy” (Eraket, 2018) and it’s as simple as that.

Democracy arrives as Welsh Labour goes OMOV – full voting breakdown

Democracy arrives as Welsh Labour goes OMOV – full voting breakdown


Welsh Labour has ‘gone OMOV’ (one member one vote) for the election of its leader, after conference delegates in Cardiff voted with an overall 64.1% in favour (weighted percentages). 35.9% voted in favour of a revised ‘electoral college’ (EC) system.

The detailed voting breakdown was as follows:

  • Party units: 43.35% OMOV and 6.75% EC
  • Affiliates: 20.85% OMOV and 29.15%

Based on a 50:50 share between CLPs (constituency Labour parties) and affiliates, this equates to 87% supporting OMOV in party units, slightly more than campaigners hoped.

Congratulations to Welsh Labour members and to National Executive Committee member Darren Williams, who was the key coordinator of an OMOV campaign saw a campaign group of the execs of nearly every CLP is wales meeting regularly for almost a year, joined by Welsh Assembly Members who support OMOV.

The Unite union had announced its support for OMOV some time ago, with GMB, Unison and USDAW ranged against it.

The vote means that left-winger Mark Drakeford is now considered the favourite to become Welsh Labour’s new leader after Carwyn Jones steps down.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

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11 responses to “Democracy arrives as Welsh Labour goes OMOV – full voting breakdown”

  1. If any of our MPs are in any doubt that the Labour Party is coming home – to its members – they need to think again and those who don’t like it, please sod off.

  2. Good to have OMOV at last, although it makes little difference on this occasion, Mark Drakeford was always a shoo in, head and shoulders above everybody else.

  3. Really good news, although rumoured that Carwyn will try to give all clear to new motorway through Newport levels some of the most important naturall habitats before he goes

  4. Welsh Labour have been so right wing and Tory-lite, it is amazing they are still supported at all.

  5. As a Welsh Labour member, I am relieved to hear this. I spent a day phoning people to canvass for Julie for deputy leader and she won the popular vote by a landslide, but was not elected because the electoral college chose the losing candidate. That was a day in my life I felt was totally wasted. Never again.

Open selection moves closer as Unite’s Beckett voices support. You can help

Open selection moves closer as Unite’s Beckett voices support. You can help

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While Momentum and many CLPs (constituency Labour parties) have been raising awareness and backing for open selection, Labour insiders and activists feel that Chuka Umunna’s recent statements reflect an attempt by right-wingers to hold the membership to ransom with threats of a break-away party in a bid to stop Open Selection.

The existing method of challenging a sitting MP is the ‘trigger ballot’, a complicated and, many feel, easily stacked process in favour of the incumbent MPs, Based on a ‘vote per branch’ system, they represent a skewed version of democracy in which a branch of a handful of members has equal weight with one of hundreds. Incumbents need only gain fifty percent of branches, not fifty percent of the membership.

Open Selection, by contrast, allows for would-be candidates to campaign positively and seek election based on the wishes of members and ends the current relative unaccountability of MPs to the members who helped get them elected. However, some worry that it might lead to chaotic selection processes with large numbers of applicants – and unions would want to see motions amended to retain some form of nominations process in order to prevent this.

A Momentum petition for open selections currently has over 11,000 signatures and is expected to reach as many as 25,000 by the start of Labour’s conference.

The threat of a new centrist party has been talked up by the mainstream media, but has been greatly exaggerated. The numbers of MPs said to be considering such a split has already dwindled from an initial – and already paltry – ’12 to 20′ down to ‘4 to 10’ and centrist MPs such as Chuka Umunna have been vacillating, one day saying it’s not going to happen and the next claiming it’s up to Jeremy Corbyn (of course) to prevent it.

Ultimately, keeping MPs in the party who are likely to undermine its direction and agitate against the leadership and membership is a worse option, so the ‘threat’ of a split is a hollow one.

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The key risk to open selections is therefore whether it reaches the floor of Labour’s conference for a vote. The measure is not part of the ‘democracy review’ package, but motions have been put forward by Momentum, Labour International and others. If a compromise trigger version – which Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is on record as believing is possible – gains traction on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and the NEC puts out a statement on it, it’s unlikely that those motions would progress further.

On the other hand, with unions making up fifty percent of the votes at Conference, if an open selection motion does reach the floor then the position of Unite, BFAWU, FBU and CWU will be crucial with the expected two-thirds left majority among CLP delegates almost certain to support it. Of those unions it is the position of Unite which seems key. Unite’s official policy is to support Mandatory (now being termed “Open”) Selection and reported comments from Unite’s senior team at the TUC conference endorse the view that this is simply about accountability.

Unite Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett spoke at a Fringe at the TUC event titled “Politics for the Many”. The Telegraph online reported that he was asked about Unite’s policy in favour of ‘Open Selection’.

Beckett, talking in a personal capacity about electoral voting changes, was asked whether he felt Proportional Representation was the answer to ensuring better diversity amongst MPs. He responded:

No. People should not confuse making the voting system more democratic with Labour Party reforms. It will only be by way of an Open Selection that Party members will truly get diverse representation in Parliament.

Beckett was then asked whether this represented a ‘purge’ of MPs:

Absolutely not. It’s a natural – but also radical – progression of a true, membership-based party of the workers.

No one should fear standing on their record – it is only by having true accountability that we can ensure MPs truly represent their CLPs. And it is only by members knowing that MPs are accountable to them can we be sure to build on the revolutionary advances made by Jeremy. People should see Open Selection as continuing the process of engagement and empowerment of members, particularly young members, which will ultimately see us build our membership and see the numbers swell to closer to a million.

It seems clear that if the open selection motion makes it to the Conference floor then it will have the necessary union and CLP support to become party policy. The key, then, is to make sure that the party – and especially the members’ representatives on the NEC – are aware of the level of support for open selection and how badly the members want proper democratic influence over the selection of the candidates who represent them.

To help get the message across, sign and share the open selection petition here – and make sure your CLP delegates to conference are aware of the importance of the issue if and when it comes to a vote on the conference floor.

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16 responses to “Open selection moves closer as Unite’s Beckett voices support. You can help”

  1. A Centre Party would be good news for True Labour IF the likes of Chukka join it. Their seats would then be open for a new candidate. Unfortunately that’s unlikely to happen; you need more than say 3 people to form a new party! Some ‘moderates’ will hang on if they can not least because being an MP provides them with a handsome salary. For wealthy people (like Chukka?) it’s an easier choice but he knows the minute he resigns his seat he’ll never strut the stage again, indeed probably never heard of again. His only current value to the Tories and others is that he is a Labour MP prepared to attack his ‘own’ Party.
    Incidentally do you recall the time he was going for the Leadership himself? He was feted by the Tories and ‘moderate’ Labourites but suddenly and unaccountably gave up the bid; something to do with his then girlfriend I think? Hopefully he did in the end marry her??
    He – and the other Nasties – should join the Tory Party which is where they belong.

    • Well funnily enough Chukkas CLP voted unanimously for open selection, so if he does jump he might well be pushed and a few others will be in the same boat…

      • If they have unanimously voted for Open Selection – when is the matter up for a decision? How can local members put up with this man who attacks them at every opportunity – and many opportunities are given to him for sure. His own members are the ‘dogs’ he doesn’t like. If he is kept on as a Labour candidate then one wonders how strong Open Selection will be.

  2. Hasn’t Blair suggested the back stabbers should remain in Labour until after the next GE and then form a new party presumably to further undermine real Labour?

    • the dastardly idea is that they would split off and claim to be the biggest party in either in parliament or in opposition. Thereby neatly bypassing democracy.

      If they did that though, it would be the last time most of them did get elected…

  3. Why should we have to join FB to show support? I’m not interested in giving Zuckerberg any of my information.

    Has anyone found out yet if the order of the different re-selection motions, assuming they make it to Conference, will determine which one gets through? – I’m assuming one of them will.

  4. Right to say that keeping MPs who undermine the Party is the worst option.

    Mandatory reselection is the best way to get rid of them – if anything will. It made the SDP jump ship.

    Rejection by Conference of the Blarites’ beloved ‘People’s Vote’ would also be a terrible blow for them.

  5. Chuka, Berger, Hodge, Austen, Mann, Phillips, Ryan and others can then be chucked out! Good riddance to the Apartheid State supporters.

  6. I support Open Selections and let those with ideas put these to Labour members for them to choose and then in my opinion may the best left wing democratic socialist fighters for working people win! Oh and perhaps one question for candidates is perhaps: So you want to be a Labour MP to to be chosen by Labour members who will slog their guts out to get you elected so you can fight for Labour and working people, so will you confirm that you will remain a Labour MP for a full term and if not and you cross the floor or sit as an independent will you immediately call a by- election and sign a legal document to this effect? We are just asking candidates to do one revolutionary thing in their lives – BE HONEST! Some of us come from poverty and are socialists and believe being a Labour MP is an honour and it should be a calling not a bloody career! Solidarity and JC4PM!

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