As someone who broadly supports OMOV, this piece seems rather over the top to me, to say the least. (Congratulations for getting a big and really helpful splash in the Guardian though, Laura). However I think we do very much need to take these complaints seriously, as a lot of people hold similar views and are very upset. At the very least OMOV should be properly explored and not dismissed out of hand as many seem to have done. I’m also concerned that several regional committees appear to have mandated their delegates to vote against OMOV without the matter having been discussed in local groups (I don’t know about elsewhere but it certainly hasn’t been discussed in ours).
On the other hand, Jon Lansman’s attempt to create ‘facts on the ground’ by steaming ahead with e-democracy without consultation or agreement is probably a key factor in hardening positions on this, which his supporters would do well to recognise.
I think we all need to take a step back, have a proper debate at grassroots level and revisit this whole issue in a much more measured and respectful way, hopefully arriving at a creative solution which everyone can support. Let’s think about it, submit motions to the conference, and have a proper debate there.
Meanwhile, the notion that “extreme Trotskyist policies” include “support for imperialist wars, uncritical support for Israel and fanatical support for the European Union” points to an heroically creative redefinition of Trotskyism by Laura. Quite apart from the fact that a brief reading of the AWL’s paper or website would indicate that all those accusations are entirely false. If her account of the NC meeting is similarly accurate, it’s definitely not to be taken at face value.