Monday, August 17, 2009

Dromey to Bypass All Women Shortlist for Leyton & Wanstead?

Labour has a system whereby if an MP retires, the constituency party is supposed to instigate an all women shortlist process to replace them. So what's this I hear that Leyton & Wanstead is being targeted by Mr Jack Harman (nee Dromey) who is desperate to join his wife in the Commons. And who oversees the whole process? Why, the chairwoman of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman herself. How convenient.

If Labour think they can parachute any old party hack into Leyton & Wanstead they would do well to remember the Leyton by-election of 1965. In that year, Foreign Secretary Patrick Gordon Walker, who had lost his seat the year before, tried to re-enter Parliament in a "safe seat". He ended up losing by 205 votes to the Conservatives. Tony Blair once said history rarely repeats itself. Let's see whether he was right...

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

but iain, there is only one 'person' wearing the trousers in that house, and it sure ain't Jack - so maybe he has been given 'honorary' membership

Anonymous said...

Zanu Liebore hypocrisy, nothing new there then.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Dear Iain. It must have been a heavy weekend. If an MP retires....to replace them? It's a pity the whole shabby business isn't taking place overseas. The whole affair is certainly worthy of a banana-state.

Leyton & Wanstead had a 6000+ Labour majority in 2005. In 2010, that'll be a marginal seat. Waltham Forest Council, which covers the area, has 24 Lab, 21 Lib and 15 Tory Councillors. We already know that the electorate in "safe" Labour seats dislike political nepotism, and it's not as if both HH and Iwasnotresponsible Jack are popular with the masses - in fact they are a LibDem campaign managers' dream. I look forward to an upset in 2010 if this particular piece of chicanery becomes manifest.

The incomptetent leading the blind said...

... and this the bloke who did not know what the Labour finances were????

It does make you smile though to see just how much Harpie's "women are the best" mantra is a moveable feast when it suits.

Boy on a bike said...

"overseas"?

Anonymous said...

Always with the cynicism, Dale. Don't you understand this is merely a happy coincidence? Next thing you'll be questioning the integrity of The Lord High Panjandrum Baron Mandelson...

Dick the Prick said...

I was wandering about in an estate last week campaigning and other than the drug addict who didn't have a clue what planet he was on (very amusing conversation), I was really quite shocked at how many people said Labour or the BNP. It's all very well us lot banging about using logic and sense but out there - out there in Goodgriefsville - on - sea, it may be a bit of a harder battle.

Dromey - has it really come to this? Uuurrggghhh.

Demetrius said...

You are being judgemental, how very Right Wing. 'Ang on, or is it Left Wing, or is it, you know, the thing in the middle. Anyhow why shouldn't Jack have a favour done for his missus, after all she does no favours for the rest of us. Just following Labour logic.

Stuart King said...

Setting aside the matter of the individuals involved, your understanding of procedure is incorrect. Where a female Labour MP stands down there is a presumption that an AWS will be used to select the new candidate. Where a male Labour MP stands down - as in this case - the Labour NEC (not the deputy leader, although she is a member of that body) determine whether to use AWS, in consultation with the relevant constituency party. Local party sentiment is - or at least should be - taken into account along with issues such as whether the region is under represented (when Alan Simpson announced his intention to stand down in Nottingham South one reason for using AWS was that the other two Labour MPs in the city are both men).

See Luke Akehurts's blog as to why your speculation about Dromey is probably misplaced.

Roger Thornhill said...

Hypocrisy, thy name is Harman.

Anonymous said...

"And who overseas the whole process? Why, the chairwoman of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman herself."

Your faux outrage, notwithstanding your grave spelling error, is hilarious. It's as if you're only just now waking up to the fact that the Labour party is full of treacherous scumbags, from top to bottom.

Paul said...

Tony Blair once said history rarely repeats itself

How's about Labour being a useless shower who bring the UK to bankruptcy everytime they're in office? Nice one Tone!

Anonymous said...

Grumpty Old Man. That's only the Leytonstone and Leyton half of the constituency...

Wanstead and Snaresbrook have 3 Tory councillors each on Redbridge Council which is 30 tory, 17 Labour, 11 Libdem.

VotR said...

I hope Labour lose every seat. Afghanistan, expenses, Iraq, mass unemployment, etc. The list of booting them out grows by the day, month and year.

There are no more safe seats.

Tom Harris said...

"if an MP retires, the constituency party is supposed to instigate an all women shortlist process to replace them."

Wrong, Ian. Half of vacant "safe" or winnable seats have to be identified for an all-woman shortlist, not 100 per cent of them.

Paul Halsall said...

Sometimes I worry about your Iain.

It was Marx who noted history repeats itself, first as a tragedy, then as a farce.

I don't really see how a senior Labour party figure in his own right trying to get a seat is that different from, say, a senior Tory blogger in his own right trying to get a seat.

Iain Dale said...

My partner isn't chairman of the Conservative Party, and doesn't believe in all gay shortlists.

Different enough for you?

Paul Halsall said...

But what if he were, and why would that be a bad thing?

Why worse for example than William Rees-Mogg having two of his children lined up as Tory candidates?

hopisen said...

Ummm, Iain.

It's Harry Cohen who's standing down, not Harriet Cohen.

So there's no presumption it'll be an AWS- same goes for any seat where a male MP stands down.

Anonymous said...

But what if he were, and why would that be a bad thing?

Stop being deliberately obtuse.
(1) Labour introduces rules for all-female lists.
(2) The husband of the Labour politician overseeing all-female lists wants to stand.
(3) All-female lists are suspended in one constituency only, which just happens to be the constituency the aforementioned husband wants to stand in.

If you genuinely do not see the issue, you're either a cretin or you're simply choosing not to acknowledge the slightest possibility that Labour could ever do anything wrong. Or, conceivably, both.

But if you're so smitten with Labour that you are functionally incapable of looking objectively at their behaviour, why should anyone else - and I mean anyone in the 99.5% of the population who are not Labour Party members - listen to a thing you have to say?

Your posts are Duckspeak, Halsall. Just nothing but Duckspeak.

Javelin said...

If this true it just proves that Harmans whole argument about womens "rights" is purely dressing for women self-serving, selfish self interests. Harman spends her life trying to introduce sexist laws that benefit the sister-hood.

When did Bernard Manning demand men get preferential treatment in job interviews? Harriet Harman makes Bernard Manning look like the model for political correctness. There should be no place in a modern Parliament for sexist pigs like Harriet Harman.

colm nolan said...

as chairman of leyton and wanstead conserveative association we welcome a contest with labour - our ppc ed northover , a local man who wont need another address , has been looking after the interests of leyton and wanstead for some considerable time. its been many years since a local person has represented L and W .

Paul Halsall said...

@Anon

I do see the problem and am not happy with the Harman situation. Fair enough?

But I think the Tories are in no position to criticise.

How many kids does William Rees-Mogg need in parliament? Did they make it all on "merit"?

Hawkeye said...

Colm Nolan said: "as chairman of leyton and wanstead conserveative association we welcome a contest with labour - our ppc ed northover , a local man who wont need another address , has been looking after the interests of leyton and wanstead for some considerable time. its been many years since a local person has represented L and W"

Could you repost this please, but with an english translation this time round? Correct use of punctuation would be nice as well.

Lola said...

"Tony Blair once said history rarely repeats itself.". Eh? Labour governments running out of our money - again. Prat.

Anonymous said...

This from an advocate of the party that introduced the concept of the 'A' List?

Lets not start pretending the selection process for candidates is some beautiful, unspoilt democratic process that Dromey has debased.

This type of thing has been going on for YEARS, on both side of the divide.

Chris C said...

As anonymous has said the Constituency now includes the Tory wards of Snaresbrook and Wanstead.

While this remains a long shot for the Conservatives a susprise result is not entirely out of the question.

Anonymous said...

This is laughable. After Balls 'n Cooper, the Milliband brothers, Tony' Cronies and Dunwoody junior trying to inherit her mum's seat, the parachuting in of Dromey is just more evidence that NuLab is the party of patronage and nepotism whilst the Tories are the true progressives.

Pogo said...

There shouldn't be "lists", "A" or "All Woman", imposed from outside.

IHMO it should be a legal requirement for a PPC to have lived (properly, not just an accomodation address) in the constituency for a minimum of 5 years before becoming eligible. If the local constituency group then wanted to select a woman as PPC they'd be quite at liberty so to do - even if instructed by HQ - only if they found one that fitted the residency requirement.

it would go a long way to stopping party grandees parachuting their progeny into safe seats.

Rush-is-Right said...

"If Labour think they can parachute any old party hack into Leyton & Wanstead they would do well to remember the Leyton by-election of 1965. In that year, Foreign Secretary Patrick Gordon Walker, who had lost his seat the year before, tried to re-enter Parliament in a "safe seat". He ended up losing by 205 votes to the Conservatives.

I remember the circumstances of that by-election very well. Patrick GW had been slung out of his "safe seat" at Smethwick (against the swing to Labour in the GE that year) because he was seen as being soft on immigration. The Labour attack machine went to work on the winner, a chap called Peter Griffiths IIRC, accusing him of racism. Quel ca change...

But this did them no good because when in due course PGW was presented again, this time to the electorate in Leyton, he was now firmly labelled as soft on immigration, and that didn't play too well in the east of London.

So there were special circumstances explaining PGW's double defeats in 1964/5.

Cynic said...

Why would the local party want as their MP somone whom, as I seem to recall, confessed that he had 'no idea' that illegal donations were being chanelled into the Party in donorgate.

All that money just appeared and Jack didnt check it or ensure that the Party was legally complaint.

Min you, on second thoughts perhaps he is well qualified to be a Labour MP.

Besides which Harriet will need something to compensate for the lost of her Ministerial salary, +1 vote in the next Leadeship Contest in June will be handy adn after the electionthey can hold the 2010 Party Conference in their front room

Anonymous said...

Some of the waltham forest wards have large numbers of muslim voters. Might this in part explain the apparent lack of enthusiasm for an all wimmin shortlist?

Rush-is-Right said...

"Why would the local party want as their MP somone whom, as I seem to recall, confessed that he had 'no idea' that illegal donations were being chanelled into the Party in donorgate.

All that money just appeared and Jack didnt check it or ensure that the Party was legally complaint."

(Cynic)

All perfectly true, but I do have some sympathy with Mr Harman in this case. It seems the post of Treasurer in the Labour Party is more of a sinecure, a token position. In the same way that the Queen is Head of State, her actual powers amount to the square root of bugger-all. Same with poor Mr Harman.

I think the post of Treasurer to the Labour Party operates in much the same way as that of Financial Director in the late Mr Robert Maxwell's group of companies. He was paid a lot of money to carry the can but was never told what the hell was going on.

Thats News said...

No! Harriet Harman introduces laws to benefit HERSELF.

In truth, she probably only has a passing interest in equality. Hence getting her hubby on the gravy train. "Toot! Toot! Next stop a nice little ministry for Harriets hubby! All aboard!"

Theo Blackwell's blog said...

This story, and where it was printed sounds like total and utter bollocks.

Ian Thorpe said...

Another triumph for feminism then...

Jess The Dog said...

Even the shameless hypocrite Harriet Harman will find it difficult to defend her white middle-age middle-class trade unionist husband being parachuted into a safe seat, ignoring an opportunity to run an all-woman shortlist or seek a more representative candidate for this area with a large ethnic minority population (40% non white).

Cynic said...

"It seems the post of Treasurer in the Labour Party is more of a sinecure"

Anyone who allows themselves to be appointed as Treasurer of a large organisation on this basis is a fool. It's a huge responsibility and isnt Harriet always preaching about corporate responsibility and the need for a Company's Offcers to be aware of what the executives are up to?

Cynic said...

Whats even more interesting is in Gorbals MIcks old seat where Labour has chosen 36 year old William Bain, the Secretary of the local Labour Party and a Law lecturer at London’s South Bank University.

The latter will undoubtedly endear him to the locals.

Meanwhile the Tory Candidate (whose hasnt a snowball's chance in hell) is local, female, a protestant Sunday School Teacher and gay.

If anyone needs evidence of change in the Party ..........

Gary Elsby stoke said...

The thought that Jack Dromey is guilty of bending the rules,or having them bent in his favour,is laughable. Better than that is the notion of Harriet being the mastermind behind the deception.

My understanding of the Conservative way of doing things is that you don't even ask your members anymore!

Futuristic or just plain ignorant?

A simple question will be asked of Jack, yes or no?

The question is considered too hard for Conservative Totnes.

Anonymous said...

Leyton and Wanstead may be considered a marginal at the next election but the non Labour vote is split down the middle.

The Tories may be strong in wealthy Wanstead but don't exist in Leytonstone (the Islington of east London!) or Leyton where the Lib Dems hold most of the council seats.

So looks like Jack Dromey MP - with a small majority helped by a split Lib/Con vote.