Sunday, 19 April 2009

Erith and Thamesmead Can Have a Working People's Candidate Without Submitting to Labour Party Shenanigans

There is no end to the awfulness of New Labour. What were they thinking of to restrict lists of candidates for some parliamentary seats to particular sections of the community? Women-only, or any other -only lists are indefensible.

When New Labour refused the candidacy for London mayor to Ken Livingstone in 2000 and used the democratic centralist structures that deface the Labour party to impose a candidate, he taught both the Party and the wider electorate a lesson. An independent candidate is not always and automatically a loser.

Certainly a high profle among the electors is needed and a clear understanding of the kind of policies that the candidate will try to deliver. To be aligned with a particular trend within a mainstream party is important. People in London knew they were voting Labour even as the disliked central Party was expelling him. We had a situation where the Movement chose to ignore their Party authorities.

Certainly it was a shame that he rejoined the Labour party and made himself vulnerable to Party objectives once more, as well as to distasteful Party operatives; and an even greater shame that he let us all down so badly by relying on some even more unpleasant henchmen in his private office.

But the model is there. Candidates do not need to kow-tow to local or national parties and their idiosyncratic, even fetishistic, correctnesses, as long as they are recognizably of a strand of mainstream political thinking.

Some more independent candidates from Earith and Thamesmead, who conform more closely to what electors there want, should present themselves. I'm certain a 22 year old masters student from LSE is not top of their list.


Sackerson said...

There needs to be an objective filter, as for beneficiaries of charities. E.g. candidates must be the daughters of Ministers' political advisers.

dearieme said...

The Conservatives used to be organised as a bunch of powerful Constituency Associations with only a weak Central Office. That was a pretty decent model.

Odin's Raven said...

Remember some years back when the Labour party displaced one of their old stalwart MP's in south Wales, in favour of some trendy dolly from head office? He stood as an independent and took the seat. I think his widow did something similar in local government. As long as there is a strong community, they can have one of their own as a representative, but now this is rare.

James Gordon Borwn doesn't feel like a sex machine said...

There was a candidate somewhere in Wales who ran as an independent after Millbank decreed anly a woman could be candidate for that constituency (why did they never do that for Sedgefield, or Kirkcaldy whatever it is?) and whupped Labour's ass.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, what you're up against here is the well-known fact that some people will vote Labour even if my cat is the candidate.

Come to think of it, she's better-looking than Georgia Gould anyway.