Has Michael rendered much of a service to those stubbornly welded to anti-Jeremy scaremongering? I doubt it. Undoubtedly some representatives of the party are scared about what tens of thousands of new members could mean for their reselection hopes, but so what? Our mysterious Unite activist, and indeed quite a few members on Labour's left might dream about ousting certain MPs (there won't be any tears in this house for Danczuk, it has to be said), but that's what they are at the moment: fantasies.
That isn't to say it's going to be this way forever. As we know, what with Dave's boundary review coming up to "cut the cost of politics", as he puts it, a sizeable chunk of Labour MPs are going to have to be reselected anyway. Looking at my patch, and having seen the proposed boundaries from 2011-12, it's very likely that the North Staffs conurbation (Stoke-on-Trent + Newcastle-under-Lyme + Kidsgrove) will go from four seats to three. Depending on how they stack up, all could be scrapping for reselection. As well as interested others too. So the fear that some in the party have of mandatory reselections might not happen seeing as many MPs are facing them anyway. This in mind, assuming he wins Jeremy could avoid pushing the issue for party management reasons.
That said, we should have mandatory reselections. A lifetime's entitlement to a particular seat is utterly inconsistent with democratic principles. That, and it's bad politics too. Look at Scotland. Look at the rotten fiefdoms scarring many a safe Labour area. The absence of internal challenges led to sclerotic local parties, to lazy local parties in which membership dwindled and campaigning seldom happened. One of my comrades, who recently went for a selection in a "safe" Scottish seat, told me the constituency was divided into two urban areas. The outgoing MP had, for 20 years, only bothered with one-half of the seat. That was where the meetings were. Where most of the members were, and was therefore unconcerned with what happened to the party in the other half of the seat so long as matters remained tickety-boo in his.He had no incentive to bother talking to the members, so didn't.
Of course, compulsory reselections aren't a magic bullet. Sitting representatives have certain incumbency advantages, such as status (people new to the party might be shocked by the small number of members who treat the office of MP as a sacred thing), or resources to get a reselection through, but better this than the alternative that has helped cost this party dear.