A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Provisional Membership

On the agenda at Constituency Labour Party meetings should be a list of new members. The idea is that the GC can use this to spot entryists from other parties, people that might bring the Party into disrepute etc. and flag them up to the NEC.

Back in the '80s when I joined you even used to have a special "provisional membership" card signed by your CLP secretary (with the old Clause IV on the back) until the GC had endorsed you (like candidate membership of the CPSU). My GC in Canterbury was rather leftwing and used to turn people down for not being in a union etc. - in one case rejecting an application from an MEP's researcher as he was a member of the Syndicat des Travailleurs Belgiques (Brussels Euro-Parliament Branch) and this wasn't a TUC affiliate ...

Anyway, I hope that the GC in the CLP where Guardian columnist John Harris has re-joined will have a careful think about whether we really want him.

Of particular relevance was his book at the time of the last election which advocated voting for the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid, Respect and the Greens in various seats where the MPs did not meet his ideological criteria: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,1385618,00.html

Isn't this exactly what Clare Short is facing disciplinary action for?

It would also be interesting to know how Harris came to be billed as a "Compass stalwart" by the Guardian some six months before he had even applied to be a member of the Labour Party.


Anonymous Andrea said...

Isn't this exactly what Clare Short is facing disciplinary action for?"

Oh, it seems they just reprimanded her..because stronger actions can make her into a martyr.
I bet she's pissed now.

5:41 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becausr you don't have to be a labour member to join Compass. We're trying to get people who have left because they are annoyed with the government to rejoin the party. You have to be in it to win it, essentially.

But you're not allowed to be a member of other parties, because they aren't progressive, and in short, they suck.

Pretty much, were trying to do the opposite of the point of Harris's book; which is essentially what hads connvinced him to return to the fold.

You must also question whether you want people who don't share your 'ideological' view of the party to support you. If you're in, then so is Harris. Lets work together.

6:02 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think people as bad at typing as me should be allowed in any party.

6:03 pm, October 12, 2006

Blogger Elephunt said...

We have a hard enough time getting new members without any sort of pre-membership.And the thought of the assorted seat warming leaflet phobics at the CLP vetting anyone sends a shiver through me...

7:36 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous The Labour Humanist said...

Hahaha! You've brought back memories of old GCs in the 1980s...when someone would always pipe up...."what union are they in....can't join unless they're in a union..." Were we really that narrow!

8:03 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous Chris Gale said...

On another related issue, it is time Kate Hoey,who chairs the so called Countryside Alliance, was shown the door.

That a Labour MP is allowed to chair an organisation, whose executive were behind the Vote Ok organisation which worked to unseat Labour MPs at the last election, is truly a scandal.

Not only that but she refers to he PLP colleagues as 'bigots' and stood on a platform to cheers from people who just days before had been beating up the assistant of a Labour MP.

If Kate Short and others are to face disciplinary action why should the sadist of Vauxhall be alllowed off scott free?

8:46 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous Chris Gale said...

I did of course mean Clare Short!

8:48 pm, October 12, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can think of other people allowed into the Labour Party very soon after urging people to vote for other parties. Sean Woodward springs to mind.

But as usual it's one rule for the right and one rule for the left...

11:01 am, October 13, 2006

Anonymous David Floyd said...

I wouldn't want to discourage people from defecting to Labour from other parties.

The point is that Harris, like Woodward, has changed his mind about the best way to further his version of progressive politics.

You can be an associate member of Compass without being a member of the Labour Party. I'd imagine the description 'Compass stalwart' would've been chosen by the Guardian rather than Compass or John Harris.

Compass certainly doesn't advocate votes for other parties.

I think describing Kate Hoey as a 'sadist' is a bit over the top. I don't agree with all her ideas but her track record in defending the rights of humans is extremely good.

3:27 pm, October 13, 2006

Anonymous Adele said...

Shame about her lack of respect for animals

4:48 pm, October 13, 2006

Anonymous Chris Gale said...

Sadist is far too tame a word actually for the despicable Hoey

6:31 am, October 14, 2006


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