Friday, September 16, 2016

Labour leadership ballot: A victory for common sense

I have just mailed my Labour Leadership ballot. It was a tough decision to bring myself to vote for “none of the two sad saps whose old hard left and neo-right wing cabals, respectively, have done so much damage to the Party since the 2015 leadership election”. But it had to be done. It is only sad that a spoilt virtual ballot isn’t possible too, given that the greater majority of members have and will vote online.

I don’t like being an abstainer, but Militant-reborn (Momentum) versus Mr Smith’s cynical little “retail offer” of left-sounding bargains for the undiscerning shopper in the Labour leader market place is absolutely no choice at all. The UK isn’t a presidential system. The morons at Labour HQ who invited me to vote for “Labour’s candidate to be the next Prime Minister” should consider improving their knowledge of our hard-won democratic political system rather than taking courses in law, computer studies or perpetual revolution. Our last wholly inadequate Labour leader didn’t understand our political system either, and bequeathed us Labour (would-be) prime minister primaries. Consequently, votes to determine Labour’s parliamentary leader have been bought by a ragtag bunch of leftist discontents who’ve rarely sullied their hands with campaign material in a general or local election, let alone knocked on doors outside of red rosette donkey territory and tried to persuade a member of the working class of the joys of socialism and unrestricted immigration.

Four of the only six Labour prime ministers in British history - MacDonald, Attlee, Wilson and Callaghan - were elected by the votes of Labour MPs only. The other two were for the most part supported by the Parliamentary Party but either defined themselves against Labour (Blair) or were wholly incapable of talking to the country (Brown).

Once Jeremy has taken us to our worst general election defeat since 1918 and, please God, resigns, can we take the parliamentary leadership vote away from party members, registered supporters and affiliated members, and place it where it belongs? I mean with those who are Labour parliamentary representatives, and who know what it’s like to talk to voters and do not see parliament as merely a platform for mobilising the masses toward some imagined socialist nirvana. Then perhaps plausible Labour parliamentary leaders (and thus plausible British prime ministers) can throw their hat into the ring, such as Hilary Benn and …eh……Yvette Cooper…eh…