The Labour Party is not a great place if you are one of the people in a minority group; whether young, a woman, Black, or disabled. You might have, liked I did, joined the Labour Party because you believed in the ideals of the left, such as equality, solidarity and tolerance.
If you joined the same Labour Party I did however, you’d be left disappointed.
Chances are you’ll be in a Labour Party branch which few people attend, which are dominated by a small number of retired men. They work as a pack and hand out all the positions to those within their favour. If you’re an idealist, as I was, you’d not want to take part in this game of favourtism, as you want to be chosen on merit. You could, as I did, spend years hoping things will get better, or as I also did, stage a coup at one of the branches in your area where you can form a ‘pack’ with other minorities.
The ‘Treforest method‘ as it is called, is where Labour Party members who want to get on but are held behind by a ruling clique, of which there are many in the party, find people from among them willing to sign up to the party and then once the Branch’s annual general meeting comes around, all turn up unexpectedly and vote yourselves into the key positions. This will make it easier to get the elected positions.
As you can see from the photo above, when I did this in Treforest, only one of the officers was from the previous membership, who took on the role of treasurer. Within 3 years of becoming Branch Secretary I was the county borough candidate, beating one of the established members, Avil Reid, who hates me to this day. She hated me so much that she stood for the town council in neighbouring Rhydyfelin instead of being on the Treforest list with me, which I got elected from.
People think of the Labour Party as a well oiled election machine, but they struggle in many cases to get a quorum at selection meetings, which means they are supplemented with officers from the constituency who can vote in who they please in an almost rotten borough like fashion.
The advantage of this is that it can mean any minority who is able to get enough people to join to support them by turning up to the key meetings stands a chance of getting on in the party, where they wouldn’t otherwise.