There's a lot of nonsense being spoken by the Labour leadership & its friendly media about how Keir fixing the leadership election rules for his faction is intended to empower trade unions. It isn't, and it won't. It's just a factional power grab. Here's why. >
Even under the electoral college, trade union members have one member one vote in their section. They have minds of their own. Often, they don't vote for the candidate their union recommends (e.g. they voted for Blair). This change won't give union leaderships any more leverage.
It will, though, give Labour MPs massive power to veto candidates they don't like. In the past, they vetoed candidates who were supporters of trade unions in favour of candidates who regarded trade unions as a kind of embarrassing uncle they had to see at Christmas time.
Because of that, over about a decade, trade unions, including, importantly, the GMB, worked hard to unshackle themselves from this system so leadership and deputy leadership candidates more responsive to their members' needs had a chance. This rule change undoes all that work.
For a trade unionist who's an affiliated member, the change actually reduces the value of their vote. At the mo, every vote is equal. With the change, a union member's vote is worth less than a party member's & much less than an MP's cos all union political levy payers can vote.
Starmer's change also reintroduces some ridiculous anomalies, which several of the people who seem to be supporting it used to say were intolerable. Because this has been sprung on the party, none of this has been considered...
Why should someone who is a party member, a member of a trade union, and a member of a socialist society get three votes for leader, like they used to?

There's no answer, because it's just a factional power grab.
Why should a trade union member who votes Tory get to choose the next Labour leader?

There's no answer, because it's just a factional power grab.
Will, heaven forbid, "Trotskyist entryists" get to choose the next Labour leader without having to join the party?

There's no answer, because it's just a factional power grab.

Back in 2014, Alan Johnson used to think this was a big problem:
Will, horror of horrors, supporters of proscribed groups who have only just been expelled from Labour get a say over the next Labour leader through their trade union?

There's no answer, because it's just a factional power grab.
When the Labour right was arguing for one member one vote (before they realised democracy didn't deliver the right results) these ques were answered by inventing the category of affiliated membership, which was vetted. Keir wants to scrap that and open it up to all levy payers.
Why? Because otherwise, there would be less affiliated members than party members, and under an electoral college that would mean a trade union member's vote would therefore be worth more than a party member's. This is what was said about that back in 2014.
It's quite something for the Labour leadership to come around to giving members of the Socialist party, Labour Against the Witchhunt and the Conservative party a say on who leads Labour, just because they hate their own members so much.
In 2014, Alan Johnson called trade union levy payers "ghosts in our machine." By his logic, Keir Starmer's plan is not compatible with "a politics based on transparency, openness and integrity." I guess he inadvertently had a point.…
But Keir's change isn't about principles, it's just a factional power grab. Any trade union that falls for it will find the system unsustainable & once the left is dispatched all these old arguments will be redeployed for an overhaul that disempowers the unions in Labour for good
Sorry that went on so long. It's outrageous but annoyingly complicated.

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More from @alexnunns

13 Sep
Len McCluskey's revelation about the deal with Starmer to lift Corbyn's suspension has forced a response from Starmer's office. It's contradictory, weird & accidentally damning.

Most important: they don't contest any of the direct quotes Len provides.…
For example look at this: direct quotes from Starmer, including the admission "He put me in an impossible position and I had no choice."

They don't deny he said it, they just say it doesn't mean what it means. "Labour sources denied those words were tantamount to an admission."
Similarly, Len asked Starmer "if we could reach an agreed form of words that both Jeremy and you, Keir, are happy with, then the suspension could be lifted?" Starmer said "Yes." That's unambiguous. It's an agreement. No denial it was said.
Read 17 tweets
11 Sep
The real story of what happened with @JessicaLBarnard yesterday is incredible.

The party said she was sent a notice of investigation “in error”. That was mocked—how do you investigate someone & send them an intimidating letter at 1 am by mistake? But it was actually true. >
True in the sense that it was done completely outside the official processes in what must count as the definition of bringing the party into disrepute.
First, the context: Young Labour is a thorn in the side of the leadership, a left-wing outpost in the party. The leaderhship's plan is to revive Labour Students (traditionally a right-wing part of the party) to displace Young Labour.
Read 18 tweets
10 Sep
The letter sent to Jess reportedly asks if she regrets "posting such comments on Facebok [sic]" when it was Twitter.

Spelling mistakes, errors, sending the email at 1am, the sheer absurdity... I'm hearing there's a story here about someone very senior in Labour HQ going rogue.
If it's true that a senior member of staff with a vendetta went outside all the usual disciplinary processes to do this, isn't that a disciplinary matter itself?
First step to resolve this: Labour must announce the notice was sent to Jess in error and there is no investigation.
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
After @JessicaLBarnard went public to expose that Labour's leadership and bureaucracy was sabotaging @YoungLabourUK's conference, suddenly she is under investigation on the most obscene and baseless grounds I have ever seen.

They're coming for Jess; she needs our solidarity.
It is an outrage—a pure outrage—that Labour's leadership is blatantly abusing the disciplinary system for a cheap political win. It's directly against the EHRC report but they don't care how it looks, they just want to punish a young working class woman to shut her up. Depraved.
They're so committed to their petty factionalism that they're prepared to intimidate someone for OPPOSING prejudice and abuse, contrary to all their statements and graphics and rules. People talk about things being Orwellian; this is more far fetched.
Read 4 tweets
30 Jul
I remember when the press had real news values & Labour losing a single council seat brought the leader's job into question...

These days that kind of thing just isn't covered. Must be due to budget cuts, right? It can't be political because journalists & editors are objective.
Here's the May 2019 result for the council seat Labour lost last night. As you can see by contrasting the big victory in the ward under Corbyn to the heavy loss under Starmer, Labour must distance itself further from Corbyn if it wants to carry on achieving these kind of results.
It's funny to read the 2017 Guardian story about a lost council seat & see how warped news became in the Corbyn era. You get obligatory wrecking quotes from Jess Phillips & Tom Blockandstrop & that's enough to run with "casts doubt on Corbyn's leadership."…
Read 5 tweets
6 Jul
Labour unsuspended Trevor Phillips, its most high profile member investigated for alleged Islamophobia, before the NEC heard the case.

Coincidentally, Trevor Phillips started his job hosting a Sunday morning politics show, interviewing Labour frontbenchers, the following week.
"LabourList has been told that the investigations officer working on the case – the only Muslim staffer in Labour’s governance and legal unit – was not included in the process."…
The Labour Party, and the Governance and Legal Unit in particular, can be a brutal place to work, even worse if you're Muslim, working on an Islamophobia case, and suddenly find yourself being bypassed as the person under investigation is unsuspended.
Read 6 tweets

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