From each according to their nomination-securing ability, to each according to their nomination-securing need

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I don’t like linking to Guido, but he has been forwarded an email apparently being sent out by Labour leadership hopeful John McDonnell to his comrade competitors.

McDonnell pleas:

“Now that nominations are underway I am writing to ask if you would consider the proposal that we work together to ensure that every declared candidate gets onto the ballot paper so that we have a range of candidates that truly represent the party both men and women, black and white and a range of the political views reflecting the spectrum of views of our party members.

This would mean asking members of the PLP to nominate other candidates once you have reached the 33 nominations required. Going beyond the 33 would certainly demonstrate the scale of support you have in the PLP. However, this could also mean others don’t get onto the ballot paper and prevent the full range of political views in the party being properly represented. We would also avoid any allegations that mounting up unnecessary nominations is just an act of vanity or competitive irrelevance.

I think that our members and affiliates want to be able to hear the full range of political perspectives and want to be able to choose from a full range of candidates. If the way the system works at present denies them this opportunity I believe that they will feel let down by all of us.”

I have to say, this is an improvement on McDonnell constantly complaining that the entire process is a stitch up rather than doing his best to win over his parliamentary colleagues and secure their support.

I still feel that it would be best for the Labour Party if we hold a genuinely open leadership contest with a healthy choice of candidates for members and affiliates to choose from.

Assuming this McDonnell move is genuine, Labourites should be made aware of his proposal so that pressure is put upon the candidates with an unneccessary surplus of nominations. I’m looking at one of the Miliband brothers (reports differ as to which one has the most at the moment!).

Don’t be greedy David/Ed – share the nomination love around so that all the wannabe leaders can participate in the contest.

Remember kids, sharing is caring.

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8 Responses to “From each according to their nomination-securing ability, to each according to their nomination-securing need”

  1. Paul Says:

    This is good. It’ll help moderate Labour people differentiate between moderate candidates who are swayed by the facile ideals of the left, and those that possess the hard-headedness to focus on outcomes and ignore their (sometimes seductive) arguments.

    The PLP filter exists for a perfectly good reason – to stop us electing a leader without the support of the PLP (a pretty untenable situation). Although remote, there’s a chance that the wider Labour electorate could elect nut-job Socialist Campaign Group McDonnell/Abbott – both of whom would be pretty distasteful to the PLP and cause ruptures in the party (and that’s ignoring the disastrous impact it would have on our electoral chances). It would also create a party precedent, which increases the chances of a left-wing crazy coming to power in the future, who can appeal over the head of the (thankfully generally moderate) PLP.

    More likely, a McDonnell candidacy would push the other candidates (and the party) away from the centre ground that Cameron is (at the moment) successfully occupying, allowing Cameron the PMship for longer than we’d like. Open debate? Fine. Allowing McDonnell et al to be 1 vote away from trashing the Labour Party? Been there in the 1980s. Resolutely no.

  2. Paul Says:

    extraneous word…

    ^This is good. It’ll help moderate Labour people differentiate BETWEEN CANDIDATES….

  3. captainjako Says:

    An uncompromising comment from Comrade Paul there! You are still a pillar of moderation.

    We lost the election, even with a moderate leadership devoted to the centre ground, so something has gone clearly gone wrong.

    Frankly, the PLP messed up in 2007. As I’ve said in a previous post, I accept the need for the MP nomination proceedure but I do not think that the PLP should be wholly entrusted with the responsibility of deciding what’s best for the Labour Party.

  4. Danivon Says:

    >Although remote, there’s a chance that the wider Labour electorate could elect nut-job Socialist Campaign Group McDonnell/Abbott – both of whom would be pretty distasteful to the PLP and cause ruptures in the party (and that’s ignoring the disastrous impact it would have on our electoral chances). It would also create a party precedent, which increases the chances of a left-wing crazy coming to power in the future, who can appeal over the head of the (thankfully generally moderate) PLP.

    Heaven forbid that we listen to the members, or give them credit to make an informed choice, eh? You ‘moderates’ really don’t like democracy, do you?

  5. Manzil Says:

    As if the last Labour government didn’t huge the ‘centre’. Look at housing – rising unemployment and the number of families in need of accommodation, not to mention the recession – could have all been alleviated with a government-led housebuilding programme. But we didn’t do it. It would have been too old-fashioned, an unjustifiable infringement on the right of markets to do (or not do) whatever the hell they want.

    And what happened? We lost the election. Successful parties require the support of moderate voters, but they can’t win on their support alone. Elections are won by broad coalitions, rallied behind a common approach to solving our social problems. This Liberal-Conservative government may hold the ‘centre’, but it governs to benefit the mass of people to the right of that centre, the people whose interests are decidedly right-wing – indeed to drag the centre to the right, so that deviation from the status quo becomes inconceivable. Labour, in turn, increased spending and redistributed wealth like no one had in decades – and it was certainly not a ‘left-wing crazy’ government. People who vote Labour, even in the affluent swing constituencies, do so because they expect it to behave differently than the Tories would.

    Labour won’t be able to rebuild if it remains stuck in this dichotomy between defending everything Blair/Brown did or said, or Bolshevism.

  6. Manzil Says:

    hug*

  7. captainjako Says:

    http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2010/05/21/anthony-painter-warns-us-off-the-non-existent-centre-ground/#more-249

  8. Paul Says:

    We lost the election, even with a moderate leadership devoted to the centre ground, so something has gone clearly gone wrong.

    Frankly, the PLP messed up in 2007. As I’ve said in a previous post, I accept the need for the MP nomination proceedure but I do not think that the PLP should be wholly entrusted with the responsibility of deciding what’s best for the Labour Party.

    > Yes Jack, I entirely agree that 1) The Brown nomination/lack of election was a real mess, since it didn’t lead to the best candidate getting the job 2) It’s very important that we have a proper election this time in order to avoid this. I think that Brown showed us that sensible moderate political positioning is not enough – we need someone with the emotional intelligence to connect with voters, and only a proper election will draw this out. Despite currently favouring Mili Snr, I’m not sure he actually has this skill, and am looking to see if Burnham does possess it. I hope both he and Balls get a chance to put their case to members.

    However, I continue to stand by the principle that the PLP must only nominate candidates for leadership that it would be prepared to follow. Unfortunately mad lefties such as McDonnell/Abbott wouldn’t be those candidates, and so endorsing their nomination would be dangerous tokenism.

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