Mass membership of Compass swarms to polls
Compass, the vibrant , pulsating soft-left faction named after a catering out-sourcer (and if you believe the Guardian, setter of the future agenda for British politics), has announced the thrilling results of its internal elections: http://www.compassonline.org.uk/news/item.asp?n=5207
Compass is very keen on lecturing the rest of the Labour Party about internal democracy and membership participation.
I was therefore delighted to note that out of several thousand ballot papers dispatched, a number inflated by sending them to non-members and indeed Compass' opponents, precisely 237 people could be bothered to vote. Presumably this represents Compass' entire active membership: about 0.4 people per CLP. No wonder most people never report seeing one of these rare creatures operating at grassroots level in their local Labour Party.
This enabled people to get onto the Compass Management Committee with as few as eight first preference votes. Chuka Umunna, the man hailed as Britain's answer to Barack Obama by the New Statesman (http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2009/01/chuka-umunna-labour-obama) got er... 16 votes. Guardian mega-pundit Neal Lawson topped the poll with 90 votes, equalling the number of readers of his new book campaigning against that great social evil, shopping.
Nice to see all the ex-NUS opponents of Labour transferring to each other just like they did when they were fighting against Labour in student politics.
The election to Compass' Youth Committee was even more of a non-event, with candidates requiring 4.77 votes after transfers to get elected. Noel Hatch topped the poll with 10 votes. Ben Soffa (a name I could swear I had heard connected to another rather more leftwing organisation) got elected with 4.04 votes after transfers. Unless I have misunderstood the rather confusing results sheet, some candidates were so overcome by the experience of participating in this exercise in participatory democracy that they failed to vote for themselves and got zero first preference votes.
Keep up the struggle, comrades, the forces of capitalism tremble in the face of your advancing hordes...