Labour Leadership 2016 – First Thoughts

Well I didn’t expect to need to create a new Labour Leadership Election wordpress tag only one year after last time, but there we are. A few thoughts on the beginnings of the competitions.

Corbyn on the Ballot: Inevitible, Probably Legal but Undemocraticcorbyn_1_4

Arguing against the grain here, but I fail to see how the person in power being given a major tactical advantage over his opponents by bypassing the nomination stage is democratic. Imagine if, rather than the Labour leadership contest, we were talking about a general election. Applying this logic, the governing party would mean saying the governing party does not have contest the constituencies it had already won. The concept of democracy is founded and exhausted by the idea that you can sack your leader. But, nevermind. It’s done. At least now there can be no cries of foul: the only person with an unfair advantage in this race is Corbyn. Tin foil hats are not required.

£25 Fee and 6 Month Cut off: Justice

I can understand why the six month cut off might be controversial. Although, suggestions that it is a “breach of contract” betrays a worryingly capitalist intepretation of party membership. Party membership is not a product. As such, concepts relating to trading standards and consumer rights. Party membership is a commitment to a political cause. This is why the £25 for registered supporters to vote is a just policy. At a minimum, this fee should be greater than the party membership fee. If you wish to have a say in the direction of the party by voting for the Labour leadership, you should be committing to the party or compensating for your lack of commitment by funding the party with a £25 donation it desperately needs.

To those who are annoyed that they were able to vote for Corbyn last time and not this time, I ask that you look inward to your own conscience. Remember when you said you’d join Labour if and only if he got in? If you really believed in Corbyn, you would have actually joined straight away, and would now be able to vote for him. You might complain the PLP haven’t supported him, but where has your support been? Poor Jeremy. He was really counting on you too…

Two Months?!: Probably for the best

Had I been able to plan out the last few months, I should have liked the contest, if it even needed to be held, to be over quickly. However, since the Tories have selected a new leader with far greater skill than us, one month or two months doesn’t make a difference. We’re going to look like a squabbling mess either way. At least this gives enough time to actually debate the thing without dragging on as long as the last one.

Momentum and Intimidation

Corbyn’s condemnations are not seeming too sincere to me. Weeks after a Labour MP was assassinated, a brick was thrown into Eagle’s constituency office. We might need a moment to dwell on that concept to remember that a break to the head is potentially lethal. Simply condemning any violence is not enough. Why hasn’t he called on Momentum to expell members engaging in bullying and indimidation?

Corbyn Victory is not Assured

I’ve made clear I no longer want Corbyn to have the Labour leadership (although if he wins, I will get in line). I am not a hypocrite. I will honestly admit to you I would have prefered him not to have been automatically on the ballot. But, given that he is on it, I still believe that his position is not as secure as is made out.

Polls have been suggesting a drop in support, though he still has a lot of it. Also, note the cover image from this article. How many of these Corbyn rally attendees are actually Labour members? I comfort myself by pointing out that a Corbyn defeat will be legitimate and emphatic. It will put an end to all dispute, our Corbynista friends will not have grounds for complaint. And why would they complain about a democratic process? Corbyn may find himself wishing he had been excluded from the ballot very soon.


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