Labour Party to stop discriminating against BME, women & disabled members & supporters
The decision by the Labour Party NEC to introduce a cut off point for new members to vote in the leadership election and to introduce a £25 fee for supporters in order to vote discriminates against the poorest, disproportionate black and minority ethnic, women and disabled as well as other groups with protected characteristics. Austerity and cuts have had a disproportionate impact on these groups with cuts to services, facilities and benefits, the amplifying of discrimination in the labour market & the driving down of wages, unequal pay, frozen pay in the public sector, low pay and zero hour contracts and unemployment. There is a multiple impact for those who have more than one protected characteristic. As a result of discrimination in the labour market and the disproportionate, adverse impact of cuts, members and supporters in these groups are more likely to be struggling to make ends meet, juggling between having to pay bills or put food on the table and may be dependent on food banks and in no position to find a spare £25. When joining the Labour Party they may have been eligible for a reduced, student, youth or trade union rate , paying £1 per month will be more manageable on a low income than finding £25 all at once. Some low income households can't even afford that amount of money for a weekly grocery shop. In addition the Labour Party has suspended joining BAME Labour & other such groups which would also have been a more affordable route to becoming eligible to vote. The Labour Party calls itself a democratic socialist party but these rulings fly in the face of democracy & make a mockery of socialism. The Labour Party Manifesto statement on equality says that "we believe in challenging discrimination where ever it exists" and commits to making parliament & public institutions more representative. By barring access to a vote in the leadership election and deliberately introducing a fee which is not affordable to those most discriminated against in society the Labour Party has failed to adhere to its own commitments on equality. Whilst the Labour Party may not be a public body , it has a direct link to Government and therefore should practice what it's elected politicians preach, by having due regard to the Equality Act, working to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who share a protected characteristic and those who don't. We call upon the NEC to review the decision in order to reverse the adverse, disproportionate impact, lift the ban on some members voting, remove the £25 fee, to be inclusive of all members and supporters and to ensure equality is applied to all aspects of democracy within the Labour Party.
Give the Voice media accreditation for London 2012 Olympics
The Voice Newspaper is Britain's number one black newspaper but have been denied access to the Olympics stadium to give direct coverage from the games. Black people in the UK have made a huge contribution to sport and to the British Olympic team and it is natural that black press in the UK would wish to report from the Olympic games. On submitting their application for accreditation The Voice newspaper were told that ; ‘The extraordinary interest and demand from UK media saw the British Olympic Association (BOA) receive more than 3,000 requests for the approximately 400 accreditations available. ‘After careful consideration by the Media Accreditation Committee, we regret to inform you that your application for accreditation for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been unsuccessful.' ‘Should we be in the fortunate position to receive additional accreditations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the Games near or if any granted accreditations are returned, we will reallocate them to applicants on our waiting list. You will automatically be put on this list.’ The Voice Newspaper was founded in 1982 by Jamaican-born accountant, Val McCalla, who was awarded a grant from the Greater London Council to fund his business venture. The Voice newspaper campaigned for young Black Britons who faced discrimination at the hands of the law during the 1980s and in the wake of the notorious Brixton riots. It secured huge circulation figures from its sought after and unrivalled job recruitment section. Over its near three decade reign as 'Britain’s Best Black Newspaper', The Voice has served the black community by giving them a voice where other mainstream newspapers have failed. It has over the years been a thorn in the side of the establishment, campaigning on numerous issues and championing the causes of black people nationwide. The Voice is a winning mixture of news, features, sports and celebrity interviews. The Voice celebrates its 30th anniversary as Britain's best black newspaper in August 2012. Questions must be asked of the Media Accreditation Committee as to what criteria they used to reach the conclusion that The Voice was not worthy of accreditation, what training and knowledge or race relations and equality the members of this committee have, was an equality impact assessment carried out, what is the equality break down of the media organisations granted accreditation and rejected and how many UK based black and minority ethnic media organisations have received accreditation. We call on the British Olympic Association to grant accreditation to The Voice and issue an apology not just to the newspaper itself but itsr eadership and black communities in the UK for its insulting and racist decision.