Just a case of history repeating itself
I was wrong to suggest in a post below that the Hard Left was blaming people like me for McDonnell's dismal failure to get on the ballot paper.
In fact, in the best Pythonesque traditions, the "People's Liberation Front of Judea" are blaming - in the most vitriolic way they can - in the comments here for instance - the "Judean People's Liberation Front" i.e. Jon Cruddas, Jon Trickett and Compass, for getting various suckers from the Campaign Group to nominate Cruddas, then not reciprocating and instead nominating Brown.
It's always pleasing that the Labour left can be relied on in almost any circumstances to fulfil the role of being their own worst enemies.
But the Hard Left's attempt to portray their failure to get on the ballot as a new and hence newsworthy phenomenon is ahistorical.
In 1992 they failed to get enough nominations (I think it was for Livingstone that time) and hence only the soft left Bryan Gould made it onto the ballot versus Smith.
The same thing happened in 1994 when only the soft left candidates Beckett and Prescott made it through to face Blair.
The dismal lack of support in the PLP for the Hard Left is actually down to the immense strategic mistake made by Tony Benn in 1988 in triggering an unnecessary leadership election against Kinnock. This had 3 impacts:
- it split the Campaign Group and the rump has never been a power in the PLP since
- it led to the threshold for getting nominated in open leadership elections and for triggering contests against an incumbent mid-term both being raised so that the candidate of a tiny fringe of the PLP couldn't force an unnecessary, time-consuming, expensive ballot
- it gave Kinnock the mandate to drive through the Policy Review and accelerate the junking of Benn's policy shiboliths
Plus ca change.