Recorded by yours truly at the BBC Radio 5Live Labour Leadership Hustings, 25th August 2015, in Stevenage.
From the Labour Party rule book…
Chapter 2 Membership rules
Clause I. Conditions of membership
A. A member of the party who stands for election, subscribes to a nomination paper of or acts as the election agent to a person standing for election, in opposition to a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member…
B. A member of the party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member…
“We can’t just luxuriate in our own righteousness out on the side lines. That’s not a luxury the most vulnerable in Britain can afford. It’s not enough to be angry at the world. We’re the Labour Party, we have a responsibility to change the world or what’s the point of us at all.“
This is the most Prime Ministerial any of the Labour leadership candidates have looked in the contest thus far. This is what a brave, but very necessary speech looks like. This is principle.
This is why I am voting for Yvette Cooper.
I am no fan of the Registered Supporters scheme, which let’s anyone have a vote in the Labour leadership election for a fee of £3. I’m all for opening up democracy, but it seems to me that it manages to both devalue membership and open the gates far and wide for people who have no intention of backing the party to have a say in who leads it.
There are stories everywhere of Derek Hatton trying to rejoin, and the “Tories for Corbyn” campaign. Some are bound to get through. But there are one or two who will get caught, simply because CLP membership secretaries tend to be familiar with some of the other side.
So which once and future candidate for Southend Conservatives has paid his £3 and tried to sneak in under the radar? All the more perplexing given that the person in question was, at one time, a Labour councillor, no less.
My little birds bring me the name of this particular infiltrator (George Smiley, they ain’t -Ed), but where’s the fun in that? Feel free to have your guess in the comments.
Last night’s nomination meeting Rochford & Southend East Constituency Labour Party is, by a long way, the fullest I’ve seen the Labour Hall in Southend. 43 people, in all, turned out to make the decision for who we, as the local Party, should nominate for the leadership and deputy leadership race.
An interesting thing seems to have cropped up of late; here and there, the suggestion that Liz Kendall should drop out of the Labour leadership race.
I say interesting, what I mean is utterly perplexing. So far as I can see, there is not much reason why should even consider it.
The theory seems to go that she should drop out of the race and endorse Yvette Cooper, in an effort to stop Jeremy Corbyn from winning the leadership and leading Labour to their biggest catastrophe since 1983. And whilst I do hope that Yvette wins and believe that Jeremy Corbyn would not be good for the Party, the idea that Liz’s presence or not on the ballot paper can have any influence on this is simply ignorant of the facts.