Tag Archives: election

While true Labour MPs like Ian Byrne struggle for reselection, why does this ex-Tory get a free pass?

Christian Wakeford: this Tory defector to the Labour Party gets to skip the process of selection to stand as a Labour representative in the next general election, while people who have been Labour members all their lives are being pushed out by a hostile right-wing leadership.

The Labour Parliamentary selection process has plumbed a new depth of bias.

This Site has already reported the way the right-wing (dare I say far – for the Labour Party – right-wing?) Labour leadership is trying to squeeze left-wing candidates including MP of the Year Ian Byrne out of being selected to stand at the next UK general election.

Now we learn that Christian Wakeford, the former Conservative MP who crossed the floor to the Labour benches, has been allowed to skip the selection process entirely.

That’s right – a former Tory is being allowed to avoid the judgement of Labour members and voters in his constituency so he can stand for election again, whether the local party wants him or not.

Here’s Damo – and be warned, his language is spicy:

@kernowdamo Tory defector gets a pass. #DamoRants#rants#politicaltiktok#politiktiktok#politics#ukpolitics#britishpolitics#labour#tories#keirstarmer#socialists#fyp ♬ original sound – Damo

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Demonstration on Saturday to Demand a General Election | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

The masses on the march: will the demo demanding a general election have the support of this one (the People’s Vote march from 2018?

Posted for information:

I got this reminder the other day from the Arise Festival of left Labour ideas that there’s a demonstration organised in London demanding a general election. I can’t go, but I’m putting it up for those who may be able to.

Saturday, 5 November, 12.00, Embankment Place, London, WC2N 6, United Kingdom.

The People’s Assembly is asking for your continued support to help us take our simple message onto the streets – General Election Now! Let’s say No to another unelected Tory PM.

Full details & spread the word here – Labour bloc details here.

Source: Demonstration on Saturday to Demand a General Election | Beastrabban\’s Weblog#

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Will the DUP’s election gamble backfire as Northern Ireland heads for another poll?

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has forced the province into another election after the Assembly there failed to elect a Speaker, or First or Second Ministers.

The DUP has refused to participate in the power-sharing arrangement at the Stormont Assembly since elections in May, when Sinn Fein became the largest party there for the first time.

Its members say this is because of the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit Agreement, which keeps Northern Ireland aligned with some EU trade rules to ensure goods can move freely across the Irish land border.

If you want evidence of this, here’s Sky News:

This is very odd behaviour, though – because the Protocol puts Northern Ireland in a better position than the rest of the UK. NI businesses are much better-positioned to profit from the current situation because they can still trade with the European Union relatively frictionlessly.

And think of the practicalities. Suppose you are a trader in goods that perish relatively quickly. Wouldn’t you want to pass them on to another trader just across the Irish land border than go through the rigmarole of having to send them across the sea to Scotland, by which time they may well have gone off?

One is led to question whether this is just sour grapes from the party that used to have the largest number of members in the Assembly.

And the simple fact is that the NI Protocol isn’t going to change – for the foreseeable future at least. It would take a considerable amount of negotiation between the UK and EU, and changes to the policy positions of both that would most likely be acceptable to neither, in the current political climate.

Irish voters know that. They’re not like voters in England who allow the right-wing press to lead them by the nose. They can see that the DUP is on a hiding to nothing. And I wonder what they will do about it in an election that will most likely take place on December 15.

My bet is that the DUP will lose more seats, and another party replace it as the second most well-represented in Northern Ireland – one that might be able to meet agreement with Sinn Fein and restore the Stormont Assembly to full working order.

It wouldn’t be politics. It would simply be good business.

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Is the Conservative Party imploding because of Sunak’s leadership victory?

[Image: The Agitator/Twitter].

The law of unforeseen consequences seems to be striking the Conservative Party hard.

Rishi Sunak has been elected unopposed as party leader, and is soon to be invited to be prime minister by King Charles III. We know that.

Some of us suspect that this was a result of behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Boris Johnson withdrew, despite having enough nominations (more on that elsewhere, possibly). And Penny Mordaunt may feel justifiably robbed of the nominations from Tory MPs who supported Johnson instead of her (while they may feel cheated out of having him on the ballot paper).

But it seems that nobody feels quite as scorned by the process as the Conservative Party membership – the rank-and-file members without whom the organisation cannot function.

It seems many of them are so incensed by the way they have been treated – cheated, maybe, out of electing a new leader – that they are pulling up their stumps and leaving, with former Brexit party Reform UK as their likely new home.

(Interesting, that. Has the dog-wagging tail of the Tory Party been a single-issue group all along?)

On Twitter, the outrage has been palpable:

It seems veteran broadcaster Alastair Stewart is right – Tory Party members can think for themselves – although that thinking seems to extend only as far as the nearest Brexiteering right-wing party.

That should sink both the Tories and Reform UK.

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Judicial review demanded on Tory way of electing leaders

After concerns were raised about the apparent ‘open door’ policy of the Conservative Party that seems to mean foreign powers could influence who becomes our prime minister if the choice goes to party members, an application for a judicial review has been launched.

As it happens, the current leadership contest may not go to an election by members, so for now the question may be academic.

But that doesn’t mean Tory rules don’t need to be tightened – and the best time is always now.

Here are the details:

“We registered Archie, our pet tortoise, as a member; a couple of foreign nationals; then Margaret Roberts, the maiden name of the late Lady Thatcher. The Conservative Party took the £25 membership fee. We got membership numbers and were invited to hustings.”

Damning.

Let’s hope the courts allow the judicial review.

We should look forward to learning the result.

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Boris Johnson drops out of Tory leadership contest – have there been shenanigans?

Boris Johnson: he’s out of the Tory leadership contest.

Does this count as the first time multiple philanderer Boris Johnson has ever withdrawn from anything?

And he doesn’t even have a good reason!

He has pulled out of the Conservative Party leadership election, despite claiming to have 102 nominations, which puts him beyond the number needed (although the BBC had been keeping its own count – and believed he had only 55).

According to the BBC, he has said:

“In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament.

“I have been attracted because I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now.

“A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the Government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.

“I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.”

“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.

“But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.

“And though I have reached out to both Rishi (Sunak) and Penny (Mordaunt) – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this.

“Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds.

“I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.”

Do you believe any of that?

I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do“?

When was Boris Johnson ever interested in the right thing to do?

Perhaps the next line provides more light:

You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.”

I don’t know what you think, but doesn’t it seem as though someone has had a word?

It ties in with what Russ Jones was telling us a few days ago – that the Conservative Party is a coalition of several warring factions, and leaders have only managed to succeed by uniting several of them behind their banner.

And it could also be an excuse.

It has also been suggested that, while Johnson would be an extremely popular choice among Conservative members, he would be electorally catastrophic for the party with most voters unwilling to forgive and forget the transgressions of his original period as prime minister – irrespective of whether MPs would unite behind him.

Also, with his withdrawal, does this leave the way clear for a Rishi Sunak coronation – as Penny Mordaunt has too few nominations to pass the threshold for participation?

Could one possibly argue that Johnson was brought in simply to take votes away from any other serious candidate, to ensure they could not progress through the process and, thereby, to deprive Conservative Party members of their democratic choice?

That would be a blow for the party faithful – especially as Johnson was their preferred choice. If he really does think he might “deliver” a Tory victory in 2024, he might have scuppered his own chances by betraying his home constituency.

So, what’s next?

Should we look out for an announcement that Sunak will be the next Tory leader and prime minister at some time on Monday (October 24)?

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Did you know: anyone from anywhere in the world can become a Tory and choose our PM?

It seems anybody, living anywhere in the world, can become a Conservative Party member and choose our new prime minister – if they pay a low membership fee.

This means, as George Monbiot suggests, that a foreign state could set up thousands of memberships in order to meddle with the result.

Is this open invitation for foreign governments to mess with our politics a form of treason?

Consider:

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Vox Political predicts the results of the Tory leadership election

Tory twisters: it seems to This Writer that they are now trying to cheat their own party membership out of electing the candidate they want.

It seems the plan at the moment is to hold a hustings on Monday, with three candidates participating. These characters must have managed to accumulate at least 100 nominations from among Conservative MPs. That’s a five-fold increase from the 20 they had to get in the summer leadership campaign.

Of these, two will be presented to the wider membership of the Conservative Party – if two remain in the race. Remember when Theresa May became leader? The other candidate dropped out and she had a coronation instead of an election.

Boris Johnson seems unlikely to get onto the ballot paper – despite a large campaign for him among Tory members and supporters. He’s unlikely to get the 100 votes he would need. And besides, there’s an investigation hanging over his head that may possibly see him ejected from Parliament altogether.

How ridiculous would the government look if their new leader was subsequently expelled for prior misdemeanours?

As Professor Tim Wilson suggests (below), it is likely that party chairman Jake Berry and 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady are hoping the Parliamentary party will coalesce behind a single candidate, thereby depriving party members of the opportunity to select another clunker like Liz Truss. Watch:

This theory – that a single candidate should be chosen – seems corroborated in this Sky News item:

Who does This Writer think will be crowned next week?

Rishi Sunak.

Other commentators have already commented on his silence throughout the disasters of Liz Truss’s leadership – suggesting that someone in a grey suit may have had a word with him, to sit tight and stay quiet, and he’ll get something nice further down the line.

Also, he was the runner-up in the last leadership race, so some of the Tory grandees might think it’s only fair. And he’s continuity Johnson…

Is he the right man for the job? Absolutely not.

The UK needs a general election – that much is abundantly clear. Confidence in the Tories has nose-dived; they have binned the manifesto on which they won the 2019 election and therefore they have no mandate to continue.

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Has ‘factional intrigue’ blocked this former Labour MP from standing to represent her community?

Emma Dent Coad, the former Labour MP for Kensington.

Former Kensington and Chelsea MP Emma Dent Coad has been blocked from standing to represent the constituency again. According to her, this is due to “factional intrigue” in the Labour Party.

In a statement, the former MP has said trade union backing should have seen her longlisted in the selection process, but the candidate selection process is now being factionally abused and is not fit for purpose.

This Writer recalls her outspokenness on behalf of the people of Kensington after the inferno that rendered Grenfell Tower uninhabitable – a fire that was entirely preventable, caused by the installation of entirely unsuitable cladding.

Here’s her statement:

“I am devastated that the Labour Party has blocked me from standing to once again represent my community in Parliament, the community I have spent the last 20 years of my life fighting for. At the same time, I am angry that local members and our local community in Kensington have been denied the opportunity to vote in a free and fair contest, which has been sacrificed for the sake of factional intrigue.

“This campaign has never been about me. I stood to offer dedicated representation for the people of Kensington in Parliament, from someone who knows and cares for our communities. From my role as local councillor and Labour Group leader, to my campaigning efforts as Kensington’s MP on housing issues so dear to our hearts, I have only ever sought the chance to champion our people, whose voices all too often go unheard.

“If I have been outspoken in my politics, it is due to my passion and care for Kensington – for my neighbours and friends – and because of my burning desire to stamp out injustice and build a fairer, more equal society. Upsettingly, unaccountable Labour officials have exploited this outspokenness to unjustly prevent me from standing for the seat I won just five years ago, the seat I came agonisingly close to holding even in 2019, despite the trade union backing which should have seen me longlisted automatically. It is plan as day that the candidate selection process now being run by the Party is being factionally abused and is not fit for purpose.

“I deplore injustice, and through my 16 years on the Council, various reports and my recent book, ‘One Kensington’, I have done my utmost not only to draw attention to the very real inequalities in our community but to actively fight it, from the council chamber to the House of Commons. Above all, my driving ambition has been to combat the inequality which scars our community, the systematic disregard for working-class people which led to the atrocity of the Grenfell Tower fire, and which has led many to lose faith with the political process.

“These people deserve and need representation in Parliament. I hope that Labour’s eventual candidate will gain the respect and trust of all communities in Kensington. It won’t be easy.”

The Guardian reports that the former MP, who was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Corbyn-loyal wing of the parliamentary Labour party, was the target of a number of stories in the tabloids during her time as an MP:

They included a string of stories on the London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey whom she had called a “token ghetto boy” and “scumbag”.

Labour sources said Dent Coad had been served with a “due diligence” dossier and met with officials on Friday evening. As well as some of the tabloid news stories about Dent Coad’s criticism of Conservatives and the royal family, officials expressed concern that Dent Coad had spoken at Stop the War Coalition demonstrations, though the group has not been officially proscribed.

So: hearsay and activity that is not prohibited. That’s not a good look for Labour officials.

A Labour source said that selection procedures were stringent and involved high levels of due diligence. “It’s right that the Labour party expects prospective MPs to uphold the highest standards. Under Keir’s leadership that’s not going to change,” the source said.

The report goes on to state that the exclusion is one of a number where leftwingers have been excluded from a list of candidates:

Maurice McLeod, a Labour councillor and longstanding anti-racism campaigner, said he had been disallowed from contesting the Camberwell and Peckham seat.

In Sedgefield, the seat of former prime minister Tony Blair that Labour lost to the Tories in 2019, 13 constituency officials resigned in protest after the CLP chair was blocked from standing after making a series of critical social media comments about Starmer. The candidate, Paul Daly, has resigned from the party.

Earlier this week, Sam Tarry, the MP for Ilford South, was deselected by his local party in favour of the Redbridge council leader, Jas Athwal, in the culmination of a long-running local dispute.

It seems the frontrunner to be Labour’s candidate for the seat at the next general election is Mete Coban, a youth campaigner from Hackney who founded the My Life My Say campaign.

Source: Labour blocks ex-Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad from running at next election | Labour | The Guardian

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Video shorts: Charles Walker says the Tories cannot win the next election

It’s a few days old but nothing has changed – even amid the Conservative Party conference.

Tory Charles Walker reckons his party cannot win the next general election, even if it’s in two years’ time.

He says the best the Tories can do now is try to leave the UK in a better financial situation than it is now.

What he doesn’t say is that this will probably involve a huge amount of hardship for millions of – poor – people and that many of us may not survive. Look at what his party has deliberately inflicted on people with long-term illnesses and disabilities.

Here’s the clip; draw your own conclusions:

Oh – and polling expert Sir John Curtice seems to agree:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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