Wednesday 17 March 2021

Keir and Imposing in Hartlepool

Musing on the imminent Hartlepool by-election, this website noted "Hartlepool is going to be a Labour hold provided the party does nothing daft like picking the wrong candidate and making the selection a big by-election talking point. Oh dear. The email below was leaked to the FT's Sebastian Payne and appears to be from the local party secretary to the rest of the executive. In it, the message suggests circumventing the selection process by cancelling Friday's CLP meeting and replacing it with a generic all-members gathering in which the fait accompli is presented: a shortlist of one consisting of ultra remainer Paul Williams.

There's plenty of interesting snippets in the note. This one stood out for me: "LOTO require a formal letter from us to the NEC requesting that Paul be our candidate ... We need to make absolutely clear that these arrangements are local and that, in the absence of a full selection process and the choice of a local candidate, Paul is the choice of the CLP." Say it again, LOTO require. This suggests conversations have taken place with Keir Starmer's office and they've made known what their wishes are, and how to clumsily get around the inevitable accusations of impositions and stitching.

A shame then the email has entered into the public domain. Clearly the constituency's movers and shakers learned nothing from the time Peter Mandleson's spent in the seat: never write anything down. But arrogance and stupidity on the Labour right go together like bread and butter. Therefore props to the grown ups and geniuses, from wannabe dark artists to confirmed piss artists, Labour enters the by-election with an internal row over selections. A round of applause for engineering the worst possible start.

Image Credit


Frances Kay said...

Look how hard the executive is having to work to stamp out the last traces of democracy in Labour. If what they are offering is better than what was offered under Corbyn, why all these confidential, under the counter tactics?

John said...

This is an interesting leak and not just for the hints it gives that the resignation of the sitting MP was known about some time in advance and that plans were then made, in secret, to present the local party with no option but to select the chosen candidate. Finding a replacement for what would become the vacant PCC slot, organising cleaners for the campaign office etc etc do not happen overnight.

It is assumed that this has been sent to the CLP EC, unless they are all dyed-in-the-wool Blairites this is unlikely for two reason. Firstly if anyone worth their salt on the EC had received this email and realised how local members were being excluded they would have blown the whistle as soon as they received the email. Secondly the emails reads as if the recipients have prior knowledge of the issues being discussed.

The email was sent to a select group of people who have been planning this for sometime (Days at least if not 2 or 3 weeks). A member of that select group has decided to leak this email once the procedures that have been set in train cannot easily be undone.

The question is who looses by this leak and who gains? Starmer and LOTO lose because it shows their involvement in this stitch up, which will feed the unrest in the party. Who gains? those who want to replace Starmer. For the reason stated above if a left winger had received this email on Sunday it would have been leaked then and certainly not to the Financial Times. Clearly no left winger has been involved in these machinations so the only conclusion is that someone on the right of the Party leaked this in order to damage Starmer.

John Smithee said...

Labour right-wingers have been telling us for the past year that all will be well now that Jeremy Corbyn has been replaced with an ‘electable’ leader. Problem is, all is not well in Labour.

The elections now looming look bad for the party, and there isn’t much excuse when the government has been revealed as corrupt, incompetent and heartless at every turn during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Opinion polls are putting the Tories well ahead of Labour. It is expected to come third in Scotland, lose seats in Wales, and put in a lacklustre performance in London.

The Hartlepool by-election is quite likely to be won by the Tories. Keir Starmer, heroic as ever, is already blaming poor ratings on a ‘vaccine bounce’.

In fact, they point to a ‘Starmer slump’ as the nationalists, Greens and Lib Dems all pick up votes from the main opposition.

Such is the discontent with the Labour leader – just a year after he took office – that there is widespread talk of a leadership challenge, with names like Yvette Cooper and even Jess Philips being mooted.

This clamour will grow if May 6th turns out as badly as many predict.

Jeremy Corbyn remains suspended from the party whip. Ordinary members are being witch-hunted across the country and huge numbers have already left the party.

In a time when there should be no going back to the old normal, Starmer is incapable of providing any kind of left leadership.

Calls for nationalisation, taxing the rich, cutting arms spending, building council houses, are not going to issue from his mouth.

Those wanting change are going to have to look outside Labour.

John Smithee