Monday, May 17, 2010

Cruddas: Not Now

Jon Cruddas has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership race. Disappointed? Yes, I am. We've had 16 years of alien right-wing domination, 26 if, like me, you count the crazed witch-hunting Kinnock years - the less than two years in which John Smith was at the helm simply weren't enough to stem the tide - and it would be nice, just for once, to have a Labour leader.

Instead it looks like like the Miliband brothers and AN Other are going to be fighting it out for the honour of launching Labour 2.0



Blogger David Lindsay said...

His is now the most sought after endorsement. What will be its price? But his clout would have been even greater if David Lammy's much-maligned plan to give the electorate at large one quarter of the votes in the Electoral College had been in place, where it cannot be put in time for this contest.

However, why stop there? In the course of each Parliament, each of the new parties that electoral reform will thankfully call into being in place of the twentieth century's leftovers will need to submit to a binding ballot of the whole constituency electorate its locally determined internal shortlist of two for Prospective Parliamentary Candidate. And it will need to submit to a binding ballot of the whole national electorate its nationally determined internal shortlist of two for Leader.

Each of those parties should also submit to such a national ballot the 10 policies proposed by the most of its branches, with each voter entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top seven guaranteed inclusion in the subsequent General Election manifesto. And we need a ballot line system, such that voters would be able to indicate that they were voting for a given candidate specifically as endorsed by a smaller party or other campaigning organisation, with the number of votes by ballot line recorded and published separately.

Where these ideas for candidate selection and for Leadership Elections were concerned, the Lib Dems, who will be the first to go as a result of the abandonment of First Past The Post, would probably argue that they could not afford to hold them, although that argument does not really stand up, whether from them or from anyone else. But it is striking, and not a little baffling, that the loudest objections on the Labour side come from the strongest supporters of trade union links, even though by no means all trade unionists are or ever have been Labour supporters, while the loudest objections on the Conservative side come from those who, whether or not one might happen to agree with them, would argue most keenly that theirs was the party of the national interest rather than of any narrower sectional interest.

5/20/2010 1:26 PM  

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