Why I’ll be voting for Johanna Baxter to serve on Labour’s NEC

I was brought up to believe that socialism and common decency went together. That if you believe in equality, then you should treat everyone with the same respect and dignity. That if you believe in cooperation over competition then you should, well, cooperate. And if you believe that power, wealth and opportunity should be in the hands of the many, not the few, then you should be prepared to stand up to powerful people – especially when there’s bullying. That’s why I’m backing Johanna Baxter to be a CLP representative on Labour’s NEC. Because she believes this too. And she practices what she has preaches – standing up to every party leader – without fear or favour – and to the most powerful figures in our party. And she has been prepared to do so in the eye teeth of ferocious opposition.

And she doesn’t just talk about party democracy: she has proved she believes in it by the miles she has travelled, visiting more than 180 CLPs during her period on the NEC. This is more than all the other CLP NEC representatives put together. Some of the CLPs she has visited have been in some of the remotest corners of the country – places that hadn’t seen sight of an NEC member in decades.

Cut Johanna and she bleeds red. She has socialism and trade unionism flowing through every blood cell in her body. She is a person of courage, passion, conviction, integrity and principle. And above all, common decency. We need more – not less – people like Johanna running the Labour party.