Entitled types like Sir Keir always have a back-up plan to destroy democracy when their first one goes wrong, don’t they?
After the trade unions unanimously trashed Starmer’s lie that going back to an ‘electoral college’ voting system in leader elections (he had lied that it would empower the unions when in fact it would hand a huge amount of power to his crony right-wing Labour MPs), he took a different set of proposals to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).
It’s not a coincidence that the NEC currently consists mostly of right-wingers just like Starmer after he spent a year filling it with his cronies.
That organisation has wholeheartedly approved Starmer’s new plan to keep left-wing MPs off of leadership election ballots.
He is demanding that any candidate who wants to replace him should have the support of 20 per cent of MPs (according to the BBC; 25 per cent, according to The Guardian), rather than the 10 per cent required now.
This would effectively block out left-wingers before the wider party membership – which is broadly left-wing – could have a chance to vote for the member it supports.
The intention is clear: deprive grassroots members of the chance to have a leader they want, instead forcing them to choose between the least-worst options among right-wing Tory clones. It’s a sure-fire way to empty the party of democratic socialists.
Details are less clear on some of Starmer’s other plans to end democracy within the Labour Party.
He wants to abolish registered supporters, who pay a cut-price rate to show their support for the party and in return are allowed to vote in internal elections.
This would make party membership and participation the province of people who are rich enough to afford the standard membership fee, which isn’t cheap.
But it is not clear whether this was approved by the NEC.
He also wanted people to be in full membership for a longer period before being allowed to vote in leadership contests. This would give his perverted disciplinary system time to weed out the socialists before they had a chance to take part in internal party voting (you won’t be able to call it democracy).
Nobody seems to be saying what’s happened to that.
At local level, Starmer wanted to protect his cronies in the Parliamentary Labour Party by changing the procedure to deselect sitting MPs.
Instead of supporting democratic, open selections in which MPs would have to re-apply for the job in advance of general elections, Starmer wants a presumption that MPs will be re-selected automatically, unless more than half of constituency party members demand a contest.
Finally (as far as we can tell), he wants to restrict the number of policies that may be debated at party conference from 20 down to 12.
The fact that Starmer is proposing any of these ideas is disgusting in itself. No Labour leader should be trying to restrict popular representation.
The possibility that he might get any of them passed by conference is appalling.
Starmer has spent considerable time, in the run-up to the conference, cancelling delegates’ passes on trumped-up disciplinary charges (or security grounds, according to on-the-day reports).
And now it seems he wants to avoid full, properly-counted card voting on crucial issues such as whether his hitman David Evans will be rejected as general secretary.
A ‘show of hands’ vote would succeed or fail on whether the conference chairperson reckons a majority is for a particular side – but would not take account of the fact that each hand does not carry the same voting weight, as delegates from larger local parties and larger unions represent larger numbers of eligible votes.
None of this is acceptable.
In the name of democracy, let us all hope that Starmer is defeated on every one of these despicable offences to decency.