Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Word from The Dark Side; Jeremy Corbyn is on the ballot.

The drama at 'The Dark Side', or The Labour Party headquarters as it is known by Jeremy Corbyn's supporters, carried on long into the evening last night.

The meeting of The National Executive ended up being called at 24 hours notice; which is fine if you are an M.P. or if you work for the Labour Party. Not so good if you are a Trades Union member or a lay member who works for a living - it's not so easy to get time off at short notice.

Of course, that was the intention of the Labour bureaucracy appointed by Blair and Mandelson; to prevent Corbyn getting on the ballot for leadership by fixing the vote.

Two trades union reps were on holiday - at least one made it back to London in time.

What fine democrats these people are.

After a six and a half hour meeting the result was a draw.

It started with Corbyn being prevented from voting even though he is a member of the NEC himself.

That didn't work - he's got on the ballot paper.

On the other hand, the Labour right then tried to fix the vote; only those who registered before January get to vote although there is a complicated 2 day window where people can pay an extra £25 to get their supporter membership bumped up to voting status.

There will be a lot of pencil chewing and head scratching over who that helps but, broadly, as Corbyn won 60% of the vote last time and most of those voters are likely to stick with him the odds are in his favour.

Meanwhile, Owen Smith is likely to announce that he is standing for the leadership today.

No, I haven't heard of him either and he should neatly split the anti Corbyn vote.

Thanks Owen.

Meanwhile Angela Eagle who spent the last fortnight demanding that Jeremy Corbyn get the 51 M.P.'s nominations has had to welcome the NEC vote, through tightly gritted teeth.

There's going to be a furious debate over the next three months with a very stark choice between the old politics of the undemocratic, unpopular Labour right against the possibility of a genuinely popular anti austerity party of the left.

Interesting times - I'll have to try and stick around a bit longer.

Neil Harris
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