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.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Proposed rule change

The CLPD have reacted to John McDonnell's unpopularity amongst fellow MPs by calling for the threshold for nominations to be reduced from 12.5% of the PLP to 7.5% (26, geddit?).

I'd like to go one further with my own proposed rule change - abolish the threshold completely and bring in simple self-nomination, but with a criteria that any MP who has broken the whip in the course of the current parliament would be barred from running for leader or deputy.

That should keep everyone happy shouldn't it? (I think it even reduces the excess number of Deputy Leadership candidates by one, and would have stopped Charles Clarke running).

Before the howls of protest start, the above is intended to be a source of amusement rather than a serious suggestion. A bit like John McDonnell's campaign in fact.

The first commenter to draw an analogy with Stalin wins a "I probably am so morally confused I think that real dictators shouldn't be overthrown and that Cuba is a workers' paradise but make daft analogies between a man responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and a democratic socialist whose crime appears to be being too popular with his fellow MPs" award.


Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"a democratic socialist whose crime appears to be being too popular with his fellow MPs".

You're missing the point. Again. No one doubts that Brown is popular among (or alternatively, feared by) the parliamentary labour party. But the point people have been making is that out there in the real world (you know that "real world" that us lefties are always being urged to live in), the Parliamentary Labour Party is NOT popular. So frankly, big deal.

So having the sort of coronation we've just had is unlikely to increase that popularity to the levels Labour needs. New Labour are not the masters of the universe anymore - they're a hollowed-out, careerist, intellectually shallow shadow of what they were. Stop living in 1997.

Many of Brown's supporters also did their bit to tarnish their reputation still further within a day of the coronation by their disgraceful decision to exempt themselves from one of this government's better pieces of legislation (FOI). Way to go.

10:56 pm, May 20, 2007

Anonymous Duncan said...

Luke - for someone who more-or-less made a career out of making a moral equivalence between voting against the platform and organising the Red Army, I think you may be straying into the arena of the hypocritical.

The terms 'Stalinist' and 'Trot' have never been used terribly accurately in British political circles!

Be that as it may, your general point is daft. Why not have a rule change? Keep it where it is for when there's no vacancy if you like, but surely nobody really thinks the current situation is desirable? Gordon Brown travelling around the country 'debating' with himself (the first person to make a 'mass debate' gag gets a free ticket to see 'Carry on Campaigning'). Incidentally I wonder how many new Walter Wolfgangs there'll be by the end of Gordon's 'campaign'?

12:57 am, May 21, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

A lower threshhold in the case of a vacancy would be sensible and welcome.

If that has be traded for a higher one in the case of a challenge then ... perhaps.

It is very anti-democratic and an obvious conflict of interest for only MPs to nominate. They bet on the winner if there is any hint of a whip.

That is a more important thing to change IMO. It should be possible for CLPs and affiliates to nominate.

The wind up about non rebels only is hilarious. Perhaps we could change it - given the primacy of the party over the PLP - that any MP voting against party policy ever should be immediately de-selected and ruled out of everything.

Clearly the party will need to assert itself over attempts to hobble and gag conference.

9:39 am, May 21, 2007

Blogger Benjamin said...


You forget that the nominations process is not meant to be popularity contest amongst the PLP. That era has passed, the PLP no longer elects the leader.

If the PLP acts like Communists and nominates single candiate, and the party bars its members and trade unionists from voting in democratic election a full 13 years since the last election, that should be roundly condemned by democrats.

A democatic party supports the right of the wider party to vote in Leadership elections.

10:34 am, May 21, 2007


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount