Friday, May 15, 2009

Erith and Thamesmead Selection: Trouble Shooting 6

A Question for Labour General Secretary Ray Collins:

Given that this crime was discovered and owned up to and that all the ballots were still there, and could have been repaired and counted, why would any democrat decide to not do that?

So What Is The Attraction of an Easy Entry PV Regime?

Not hard to explain this. Under the traditional rules you'd have to be very poorly, or perhaps away the other side of the globe with work to be allowed a postal vote in a selection.

These days this has been slackened off to the extent that almost anyone can think of an eligible premise to get a PV for a selection. The original Procedures Secretary, the original deputy Procedures Secretary, and the surrogate Procedures Secretary may all have explained their understanding of the process to get a PV.

And this was supplemented by apparent Gould supporters pimping PVs, as documented in the press. And, er, we must add that Georgia was in the words of the song: "too young to know".

Slack PV regimes means that anyone in the established party who cannot be arsed to sit in a school hall for three or four hours, and is so decided that they're not interested in seeing the candidates in a realistic test of their policy positions and grace under fire, can accept a PV and vote in 30 seconds.

Being as there has been only one minor hustings, organised by Unite the Union, you would have thought that local members, looking to select a candidate and an MP that might serve for 30 to 40 years, would want to see the "interview".

But it also means that anyone in a "gang", developed to support a local government candidate, to safeguard a sitting councillor, or to back a wannabe PPC, can do likewise. Vote in 30 seconds. Not be forced to engage with the process in any real way. They are after all voting for their "mate", their "mate's mate", or their "mother's second cousin once removed" come what may.

"Gang" members may well be tribal Labour, or extended well-wishers, friends and family, but they are essentially recruited six or 12 months ahead of the fact, depending on the qualification period*, to vote in selections and de-selections, and they have their strongest allegiance to their gang master(s).

CLARIFICATION: "Gang" is a colloquial term and is not intended to imply any criminality. * Members need to have been signed up and paid up for a set period. Usually six or twelve months. Around 40 of the constituency membership were "weeded" from the membership list with insufficient length of membership, or excess arrears.

WHAT'S NEXT: Perhaps a Whodunnit about that busted ballot box? Or a list of the candidates with thumbnail pen portraits? Or both?

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