Thursday, 21 May 2015

Labour leadership election: The Guardian could not be more damning on the disaster that is unfolding
This is pretty punchy stuff. It is patently clear that the Labour machine / Unions want Andy Burnham.
One passage from the Guardian article stands out:

"The  fault is the Labour’s leadership election system. At its malign heart is the process of nomination. To stand, a candidate needs the support of 15% of the party’s MPs. This bar – currently 35 MPs – is ridiculously high. In the Tory party, a candidate requires just a proposer and a seconder, which is a better and more open system. The problem is compounded by the candidates’ interest in amassing as many nominations as possible, which drains the pool still further. This happened in 2007 and 2010; now it is happening in 2015 too. Labour’s way squeezes out candidates and visions before things have even started. It lacks transparency. It takes power away from the voters. It is old-fashioned and absurd.
It also hands too much power to the power brokers – up to 130 of Labour’s MPs have backing from the Unite union, which has warned Labour to choose the “correct leader”. The nominations obsession encourages the sticks and carrots beloved of machine politicians – “nominate her and you’ll never get a shadow job” – while squeezing daylight and air out of the process ever further. Some 53 Labour MPs are new to Westminster. They haven’t even heard a single speech by any of the candidates. But a lot of them have decided who they are nominating. This is more than absurd.
In the Guardian’s view it is an outrage that Labour MPs are deciding the shape of this important contest so prematurely. No candidate has published a detailed argument about why Labour lost and how it can win. None has had more than a brief chance to take an argument to the public through the media or into the new Commons. No one actually knows what they really think about the big hard issues, yet the contest is being irrevocably moulded all the same. An essential process risks being sacrificed to the abuses of machine politics."