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, May 24, 2007


For the second time in a week - I'd better be careful this doesn't become a habit - I find myself agreeing with Jon Cruddas.

His team think all 6 Deputy Leadership campaigns should have access to a full membership list.

I agree - we need a level playing field so all candidates can contact all members directly.

For the record, the article's insinuation that Hazel Blears has access to a national list as Party Chair is completely false. If only!

The campaign that has the best chance of getting something like a complete list is Johnson's, because he has the lion's share of the MEPs, and each MEP has the whole membership list for their region (I'm braced for the inevitable comments onslaught about my own track record in previous campaigns involving membership lists supplied by MEPs ...)

But a level playing field also means that once you have the list there needs to be some equity of funding - or spending limits - so that those campaigns, like Cruddas', with deep pockets, aren't the only ones who can afford to send mailshots.

And it means that all the campaigns should also have the ability to send mailshots to and canvass the membership lists of all the trade unions and other affiliates - in my own union if you were a rank-and-file member relying on material sent out by the union for information about the candidates, you would be forgiven for thinking given the tone of the coverage that Mr Cruddas was the only candidate standing, or at least the only one with any connection to a trade union.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guardian supports Cruddas particularly through David Hencke's old pals act with the press officer working with Cruddas who as been seconded from Unite.

The story in the Guardian this morning accusing Blears of having access to the membership may well have spun from there in order to give the wilting campaign a kick and portray Cruddas as the underdog.

Which is a laugh really when you consider Cruddas is benefiting from at least two mail shots from Unite to its hundreds of CLP delegates and thousands of levy payers.

As a member of the Amicus political committee I'm sure you'll be aware of the timescales between Cruddas receiving his 30K and seconded staff member and the meetings of the political committee and NEC that agreed to support him.

Not fair.

9:49 am, May 24, 2007

Blogger Dave Cole said...

I've received a letter from Gordon Brown and an email from Hilary Benn, despite not having signed up to either person's campaign. It'd make rather more sense for the candidates to (shock) cooperate and send out their menifestos in one envelope to each member.

10:23 am, May 24, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with that, Tom - like the NEC manifestos. Makes perfect sense.

(I might add that I had stuff from Gordon Brown before he'd been nominated).

10:25 am, May 24, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke is right - all the candidates should have a level playing field, and get the party lists. As a Harriet supporter, I am happy to get unsolicitated emails and letters from candidates - so long as all of them have the same opportunity.

On the whole the deputy campaign is interesting and fair. Lets keep it that way.

12:53 pm, May 24, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting and fair, quite agree. Which reminds me Luke, you've you've still got that nonsense about Hazel winning the Christian Socialist Movemnet hustings up on her site when she came 4th. Or was it 5th?

1:20 pm, May 24, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I don't write her website...

1:29 pm, May 24, 2007

Blogger Tom said...

I have to agree Luke. We have a situation where the competition regulations are so unfair that candidates create reciprocal unfairnesses to counter them; in other words, chaos.

3:37 pm, May 24, 2007

Blogger Tom said...

What about equal access to volunteers like, oh, I dunno, SPAds?

12:17 am, May 25, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A booklet containing each candidats chosen statement will accompany all ballot papers.

9:15 am, May 26, 2007


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