The Sound of Silence – Wolverhampton West CLP


“Members are still seeking answers about the Selection Process, it’s not just going to go away however long we are ignored.”

A Wolverhampton West CLP member who has chosen to remain anonymous writes on the dismantling of local party democracy after the blocking of two candidates during the Parliamentary Candidate selection.

The increasingly narcissistic behaviour of the Labour leadership and its incapacity to tolerate any criticism smacks of a deep-seated fear. A Party so lacking in confidence and so full of self-doubt that it feels the need to cheat and bully even when any chance of defeat has been swept aside.

Ghosting is a term usually used in the dating scene but fits the behaviour of the Labour Party perfectly. To be ‘ghosted’ is to be totally ignored, when any contact is met with silence, no explanation or warning given for being cut off.

This is a tactic those currently in charge of The Labour Party increasingly use to demoralise and silence members who have legitimate concerns or complaints.

One such example is the ongoing fiasco in Wolverhampton South West, where members of the CLP Executive are fighting to obtain answers about the shambolic Parliamentary Candidate selection process. They are also attempting to combat a provably false and vindictive narrative being peddled by the right wing, seeking to place the blame for the undemocratic behaviour of the NEC at the feet of the predominantly left Executive.

Key officers of the CLP Executive have lost access to the Labour Party Communication Systems and therefore to members with no reason or explanation given.

Di Weaver the CLP Secretary said “I lost my access to Organise (Labours Communication System) six weeks ago, shortly after I informed members of the letter sent to the NEC from the CLP Executive questioning the rushed nature of the selection process. I have reported the issue many times with no response.

“The Executive have heard nothing from Regional Office or the NEC to our concerns, not even an acknowledgement. It’s as if we don’t exist, any issue we raise or request for advice is met with silence, this behaviour goes back long before the selections issue. 

“We have local Labour Party business to conduct, including an All Members Meeting, Motion for Conference and members are still seeking answers about the Selection Process, it’s not just going to go away however long we are ignored.”

The Selection Process in Wolverhampton drew attention last month for being unnecessarily rushed, effectively disenfranchising many members and presenting an uninspiring and inadequate shortlist of candidates.

In addition to the blocking of NEC member Mish Rahman from the longlist it has since come to light that another popular hopeful was denied the opportunity to stand for the most bizarre reasons.

Claire Darke, a well thought of Wolverhampton Councillor was interviewed by an NEC panel who refused to believe that she did not operate a Twitter account, easily checked you would have thought. A strange stance for the panel to take but not as strange as the only example they could produce of Councillor Darke ‘breaking the whip.’

In 2010 as a LibDem Councillor, Claire Darke voted with Labour against the Conservative/LibDem coalition. Her vote ensured that Labour regained control of Wolverhampton Council.

It was no doubt too risky to allow any hint of actual competition at the hustings lest the ‘wrong’ candidate should win.

  • You can read more about the controversy around the selection process in Wolverhampton West CLP here; and a run down of support shown for blocked candidate Mish Rahman here.

Featured image: Wolverhampton West members demonstrate outside the selection hustings on August 1st, 2023. Photo credit: Wolverhampton West CLP Secretary Di Weaver

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