You genuinely could not make it up: Labour will probably have to cancel their party conference because they cannot get any company to provide the security at the conference.
The journalist Tom Harris, a former Labour MP, has the story:
He describes how under Corbyn the ruling National Executive Council of Labour has
- "brought it's strategic genius to bear on security arrangements for this year’s gathering in Liverpool; it really showed how tuned in and efficient Labour is.
"G4S has managed security at Labour conferences for 20 years, efficiently, without complaint and within budget. Until earlier this year, however, they also had extensive interests in Israel. Now, as it happens, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where political activists can freely espouse the kind of democratic socialism favoured by Labour. LGBT events can be celebrated in Tel Aviv and the free press there would even accurately report delegates’ objections to Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
In none of the surrounding Arab countries could such activity be pursued freely without the threat of violence, intimidation or arrest.
Nevertheless, the NEC, emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn’s accession to the party’s leadership two months earlier, decided to relieve G4S of their conference duties as punishment for their audacity in seeking business in a liberal parliamentary democracy.
This decision was “strongly supported” by Unite the Union, it should be noted.
It was at this point that Labour’s carefully crafted strategy started to unravel. After a number of other security firms politely declined the chance to bid for the work, only Showsec, remains in the field. But they are embroiled in an ongoing dispute with the GMB – one of Labour’s biggest donors – over its refusal to recognise the union.
Now Len McCluskey, the head of rival union Unite, has made it clear publicly that all the blame for this lies not with the dullards and oafs who sacked G4S, but with Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary. McNicol is a sensible, clever and efficient apparatchik, and is therefore disliked by the current leadership, which includes McCluskey.
McCluskey’s criticism of McNicol was carefully leaked to the Guardian, and there can be little doubt that this represents a first step in the leadership’s campaign for a clear-out of “core hostile” opponents of Corbyn if, as expected, he is re-elected as party leader in September.
And in the meantime, almost incidental to this amateurish melodrama, no agreement has yet been reached on who should provide security for the conference. If this dispute between Showsec and the GMB can’t be resolved in the very near future, the nuclear option of cancellation may be required."
Like I said. You could not make it up. I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions as to whether it is better not to hold any conference at all if it means dealing with professional companies who provide security.