“Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into” says Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel in a whole raft of classic comedies. The phrase couldn’t be more apt today as The Labour Leadership contest takes another nose dive into calamity. The party is desperately trying to filter out true labour voters and those who’ve just paid the £3 entry-fee to cause some mischief (if only I could have such a fulfilled life that ‘fun’ is destabilising a political leadership contest). Today, a so called ‘Labour Purge’ is happening, during which The Labour Party has sieved out these non believers using an ingenious filtering system…
It has taken me a long, hard personal process to resolve that the Labour party is once again an organisation that I can campaign for. It took a quick email this morning to reverse that belief.
My application has been rejected. No specific reasons have been given, no right of reply.
That’s from a piece written by a blogger in London who’s had his application rejected, he writes that he received an email saying that the party “have reason to believe you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party.”
He’s not the only one caught up in this most recent debacle. Green party supporters, UKIP supporters and SNP supporters are being victimised for not supporting the aims and values of the Labour Party. Even Labour supporters have hit to twitter to voice their frustration at being prevented from voting in an election which will define the voice of the Left in Parliament.
Although I would never willingly join the vote in order to destabilise the ballot, this really is a swift kick in the goolies of democracy by a party which defines itself as Democratic Socialist. Why shouldn’t Lib-Dem supporters (if there are any left…), SNP supporters and Green Supporters, hell, even UKIP supporters have a vote in who is in charge of the biggest opposition to the Tories? Surely anyone should have a say if it means the opposing voice is in line with their opinion?
As someone who’d define themselves as fairly liberal, I would love for a middle-right Labour leader to take charge of the party, it may well make me vote for them in the next election (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way). But there are numerous types of voters who’ve been prevented from choosing the direction of the party, whether it’s left wing activists hoping for a hard left candidate or right wing activists… hoping for a hard left candidate.
The problem is, it just shows how little control the people have over choosing the direction of the party they support. The possibility of defining the opposition voice in parliament is a potent one, and the Labour Party’s membership has swelled by 50% since last year’s election; hundreds of thousands of people have joined to take part in shaping that definition.
Labour have simply sent an already disillusioned electorate packing because they don’t support the ‘right kind of Labour Party’, the big question is, who are these people deciding on what the ‘right kind of Labour Party’ is?