Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Compass: Carts Before the Horses?

Compass have announced a ballot of members on their recommendation for the Deputy Leader. In a bit of an Animal Farm moment the animals who are more equal than others (aka The Management Committee), brainy enough to walk on their hind legs and rich enough through their exploitation of the great unwashed to wear human clothes, have recommended that the lowlier farmyard favourites recommend Jon Cruddas. That's right, a recommendation on a recommendation.

Not assisted by the way by the refusal of cabinet ministers to join in the hustings for this dangerous Trotskyite organisation until the hare and the dogs are running. (Not quite enough of those animal allusions yet, Buck up. Ed)

But this is not the only cart before the horse in topsy turvey Compass land. The question of the leadership recommendation has not been raised and to Brown's embarrassment these Trots are being described as his backers when they recommend Tabloid-unfriendly walloping tax rises. Truly excellent politics from Neal and Co.

Compass should have a debate about the Leadership ahead of the relatively unimportant Deputy contest. The latter cannot be a surrogate for the whole direction-of-travel question. Given their opposition to marketisation and the handling of and possibly very fact of the Iraq Invasion, Occupation and Civil War it is a mystery how they can back Brown without at least formulating a few woolly Think Pieces about letting him off on their main criteria.

STAGGERING TRIVIA: The pony in the above picture appears to be called "Blair". The driver less usefully is not called Lawson or Cruddas but happens to be called Tiffy.


Orwell Central said...

Someone called Tiffy has contacted Orwell Central claiming: "Neigh!! Neigh! I'm the horse. Four legs good, two legs bad!"

Compassite said...

"more equal than the others" = elected by the membership and accountable to them?

Don't really see how it's much difference to how the unions, for example, will conduct their ballots.

It's not just for a recommendation, I imagine it will be for active support of the winning candidate. Better in my view that the MC put it to a vote and be open about their views than not.

We've no idea what's going to happen with the leadership, who the candidates will even be or anything, so I don't think it's unreasonable to hold fire on that one, at least until we see what's happening in the Meacher/McDonnell face-off.

Chris Paul said...

Come on Compassite! Why the cloak and dagger stuff? Gavin? Neal? Or the more local Tom? Actually hilarious that an anonymous comment opens with a line about accountability. Well done!

Presumably elected by some of the members who turned up to a meeting in London? Presumably carved up in rather a shoo in kind of way by existing activists? Or were these committee posts seriously contested with lots of candidates sending Cvs and statements out etc etc?

What we have here is a recommendation on what recommendation should be made back by members and then acted on by the ginger group as a whole. I do think that is a little problematic.

And just as the runners are not yet established on the leadership we can hardly be sure that others will not emerge for the deputy.

The fact that Compass Central Committee has ignored the fact that some of the runners were, reasonably enough, not coming out to play yet is also frankly a bit silly.

Jon Cruddas is your man and that has it seems been the case for quite some time. Why the finangling and attempt at validation for an a priori choice made months ago?

And leaving aside the mostly useful managerial ideas is it not a fact that like the unacknowledged Compass favourite for Leader, Jon Cruddas has not voted along the lines that the Compass agenda indicates - except on Top Up Fees.

The wait and see line re leadership is very unsatisfactory when the press have got the idea that Compass are Brown supporters and there has been no visible correction for that.

I support a Scandanavian model myself, an older school one perhaps than what they have now, but the politics of calling for very high tax just now seems absolutely bizarre when we have a series of vital elections to fight over the next three years.

The contest for the very policy-unimportant DL election with a favoured candidate who is rather party democracy inclined (which is not a bad thing in itself) makes the contest completely unsuitable as litmus paper or battleground for Labour's direction of travel.

The leadership election which really should have a policy element, being as it provides a PM, should be that litmus paper IMO. And if Compass have a considerable number of MPs in the group as has been indicated on a "not going public" basis then there is an opportunity to get AN Other willing to stand onto the ballot and doing the party, the movement and ultimately Gordon Brown and the country a favour by having the debate we need.

Chris Paul said...


The Union Execs will probably make recommendations. But OMOV thereafter. NOT like Conference. Are you suggesting that the Unions will recommend candidates early doors, ballot their members on these choices, then if necessary change that recommendation and put there resources into a candidate?

Then members take part in another ballot having received notification of the new recommendation?

I don't think that'll be it.

I'm not a Compass member but I am very interesetd in what is occuring in Compassland. At the moment it is disappointing as the better ideas and views on the direction of the party are simply not being reflected e.g. in this situation.