Tory Tim Loughton probably thought it was a terrific wheeze, signing up as a Labour supporter to expose the party’s poor vetting methods and show it up as a “farce”.
Instead, he ended up falling flat on his face when Labour weeded out his application, thanked him for his “generous” donation (the party will be keeping his money) and told him he would not be asked to vote.
It’s no more than he deserves.
A far greater concern for Labour supporters should be Harriet Harman’s message to Labour MPs, calling for them to vet (there’s that word again) new party members, in order to stymie those who have joined to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election.
If they’re not Tories, and they’re joining because they genuinely believe Corbyn is the best choice as Labour leader, it is their democratic right to do so.
As Vox Political commenter ‘hstorm’ wrote yesterday:
“Labour’s attitude is so strange. They don’t want a leader who seems extremely popular among the public, and now they want to keep large numbers of potential supporters and even party workers from joining.
“Do they really just not want to win?”
The Conservative former children’s minister Tim Loughton has been caught signing up as a registered supporter of Labour to be eligible to vote in the party’s leadership election.
Under new rules anyone can vote if they pay £3 and sign up as a registered supporter by midday on Wednesday 12 August, prompting concerns that the system could be gamed by Tory troublemakers.
The line-up: Labour’s leadership candidates – Tory supporters will not be allowed to vote in the election, even if they pay their £3 and try to claim they support the party.
Note: Please don’t take claims about Vox Political‘s influence, made in this post, too seriously!
A Conservative commenter on This Blog may have helped change the voting mechanism for the Labour Party’s leader election after he claimed he would pay £3 to become a Labour ‘supporter’ in order to pervert the process.
Alex Clarke wrote yesterday, “I am a Tory and this morning I took out a £3 Labour party membership specifically so i can vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election.”
His words came after it was revealed that a campaign had been launched – “ToriesForCorbyn” – in order to elect the left-wing candidate to the Labour leadership. The idea was to sour Corbyn’s name by association with the Tories – but it seems he won’t be needing their endorsement as the public loves him.
However, it is important that the election process should not be perverted by supporters of other parties pretending to be what they aren’t, so This Writer emailed interim Labour leader Harriet Harman with Mr Clarke’s details and comment.
I added: “It is now vitally important that you, together with the other members of Labour’s leadership, reverse the decision to adopt this mechanism… You must not allow supporters of other political organisations to interfere with the selection of Labour’s leader.”
It seems she has been a little more clever than that.
According to the Daily Mail(which has no love for Labour, so it seems likely we can trust this information), “Labour sources said registered supporters must back the aims and values of the party and anyone publicly opposed to them will not be given a vote, although their £3 ‘donation’ will be kept.
“A party spokesman said: ‘All registered supporters must be verified against the electoral register and will only receive a vote if they support the aims and values of the Labour Party’.”
It remains to This Writer only to thank Mr Clarke (and also ‘Hayfords’, who made a similar comment today) for his donation to Labour.
You can bet he’ll try to convince us otherwise, but he will not be allowed to vote.
Blogger kittysjones put out a very interesting article yesterday (Tuesday) entitled Greens: the myth of the “new left” debunked in which the position claimed by the Green Party – that of being the ‘true party of the Left’ – is disputed. The article states:
“The Green Party do not have an underpinning ideology that can be described as left-wing at all. Some of the links with far-right and fascist ideology are very worrying.The fact that the Greens have themselves chosen to regard the Labour Party as their enemy means that they don’t see a potential ally, yet they manage very well in coalition councils, working amicably side-by-side and cooperatively with Tory and Liberal Democrats.
“Don’t let them fail the people of Britain by voting Green next year and allowing the Tories to remain in government another five years. People are suffering and dying as a consequence of Tory austerity; we need to ensure that ends. Vote Labour. That is the genuinely socialist thing to do.”
What is even more interesting than the article (which provides evidence to support its claims) is the reaction to it by some supporters of the party it criticises.
Here’s one: “You really must be running scared to write what you know to be utter rubbish. Thank you for invoking Godwin’s law because it just makes Liebour look all the more desperate and ridiculous.” The author of this comment was unwilling to put their own name to it, being described merely as ‘A Green Nazi’ – interestingly, because Godwin’s Law is, of course, the application of an inappropriate comparison with the Nazis.
The article does indeed compare Green ideology with that of the Nazis, but it does so on the basis of clearly-referenced evidence; therefore it would be wrong to suggest that the comparison is inappropriate. On the other hand, the commenter’s inability or unwillingness to provide any evidential argument against the assertions, relying on disparagement (“utter rubbish”) and insults (“Liebour”) suggest that in fact they are “running scared”, “desperate” and “ridiculous”.
The author’s response was one to which Yr Obdt Srvt has had to resort many times: “If it’s ‘utter rubbish’ then why don’t you explain how, in what way you disagree, rather than being a fascist and proving my point, by simply stooping to insulting the author?” This reply generally provokes one of only two possible responses: Silence, or invective.
Another comment (this one by ‘Nuggy’ – again, not likely to be their real name) attempted to twist the article into a gross generalisation: “Equating all greens with Malthus is like equating all socialists with Pol Pot or Kim Il Sung.”
It was easily put down by a reference to accuracy: “I equated the cited green policies with the ideas of Malthus.” [italics mine]
There was an (unintentially?) hilarious suggestion that the article was libellous; it isn’t, as anyone with knowledge of the laws of defamation will confirm.
And then there were the insults, first mentioned in a reply to Tim Barnden (at last, someone with a real name!) who asked: “Why are you moderating out most replies Ms Jones? Are you in fact not up for a debate?”
This was a continuing theme on the comment column, and the replies indicate the kind of pressure that was being brought to bear by people claiming to represent the Green Party: “I’m up for debate, just not up for allowing personal abuse and bullying on my site… I have had hundreds of comments from largely abusive green supporters… I am getting some pretty terrible personal abuse from Green supporters. But not much criticism of the content and details in the article, unfortunately.”
The Green Party isn’t the only political organisation whose supporters behave in this way.
Vox Political has received exactly the same responses (in different contexts, obviously) from supporters of the Conservative Party (although admittedly this has tailed off considerably since VP was launched in 2011), Scottish nationalism (including the SNP), and most particularly UKIP.
Many, many examples are available if anyone wants to question the truth of this claim.
It’s simply not good enough.
Perhaps those of you who consider this behaviour to be acceptable (it isn’t) may be persuaded against it if sites like VP and kittysjones parcelled up all your abuse and sent it to the head offices of these political parties as examples of how their supporters represent them?
You see, there are rules to this kind of debate and it seems too many people are breaking them. That’s just damned disrespectful and there’s no reason anyone should put up with it.
So, if you are one of those who types out streams of profanity and hits the ‘send’ button before engaging your brain, it’s time to change your ways.
This site values informed debate. We appreciate it; sometimes it can even be persuasive (in VP‘s case this has occurred several times).
But from now on, anything else will receive an appropriate response.
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