A new frontline has emerged in the Labour Party culture war: younger members are calling for a ban on alcohol from CLP meetings to ensure the party can “become truly inclusive of women and other minorities”. They’ve come a long way away from the days of working men’s clubs and union brothers deciding things at branch piss ups. Nona Buckley-Irvine, LSE student union boss turned Unison officer and Labour candidate in Crawley, says it is time for an end to Labour’s “lad culture”:
Alcohol has no place in decision-making – but at Labour Party meetings, members are permitted to drink. In my own Constituency Labour Party, I have witnessed the corrosive effect that alcohol has on party culture, and if our party is to become truly inclusive of women and other minorities, it’s time we ruled out this practice. It was only upon returning to my home CLP having spent five years in London, including as general secretary of LSE students’ union where I tackled lad culture at the university, that I realised how outdated the practice was. Much like the young, middle-class men at the LSE, older men would drink, shout over one another and over women, and speak at length with no particular point to make… It became all the more evident when I tried to put through a motion banning alcohol, and councillors stood up and walked out the room when it was proposed, shouting down the chair and shouting down a young woman like myself. In fact, the second time it was proposed, the motion was denounced as “evil and wicked”.
Take that, brocialists…
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