Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Labour Selection Woes in Barrow

If you ever had any doubts about the wisdom of open primaries just read THIS take of woe from Alex Hilton on LabourHome. He recounts in graphic detail the internal machinations in Barrow in Furness over selecting a successor to former Labour Cabinet Minister John Hutton. I was going to say it's the usual tale of command and control Labour Party stitch ups. But it's worse than that.

The fact of the matter is that if Labour followed the Tory lead and used the open primary process, this sort of stitch up would surely be avoided.

And why is it that Labour seems determined to select party apparatchiks for very reasonable seat that becomes available?

39 comments:

James Higham said...

Whereas, with the Tories, the constituency chairman can vet the list of three male, three female and two reserve candidates and parachute in his/her own. That person then goes through.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Unfotunately I just read something similar on ConHome regarding Macclesfield.

When will you lot learn?

er what? said...

"And why is it that Labour seems determined to select party apparatchiks for very reasonable seat that becomes available?"

I assume you mean "every". So presumably you can name some recent examples?

This perception that you can parachute people into safe Labour seats is misguided.

In fact sometimes a perceived endorsement from the centre is a hindrance rather than help.

Any member selecting candidates will tell you this and from the 2 selections I have been involved in both produced candidates who won it on the day and came from nowhere really.

VotR said...

Positive discrimination is still discrimination and is utterly shameful. Shame on the Labour party.

Sack Harman, Labour. It is all her fault.

tapestry said...

'every reasonable seat.'

..because the Labour Party is terrified of internal rebellion ?

because the Labour Party has ceased to exist.

It is a late Party.

It is deceased.

Anonymous said...

All these machinations are doomed as Barrow & Furness will go back to the Tories at the General Election.

Chris said...

Its reading like a carbon copy of Hartlepool in 1990 when Mandelson came to town...

... and my father was in the unfortunate position of being the local front runner at the time.

Anonymous said...

You (conservative) are both (labour) as bad as each other.

A parliament of independents would be far more preferable.


Have to say since you became a wannabe MP your blog has gone downhill toeing the party line.

trevorsden said...

Oh my God - BBC2 are running a programme about the North South Divide -- and the experts they have unearthed are John and Pauline Prescott.

Yes that John and Pauline. Its good to see the BBC looking after their own.

Its Watching the England match for me.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, toeing the party line?

http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/07/good-idea-at-time.html

Just do a quick trawl over the last three months and you will see that you are talking rubbish.

tapestry said...

Would the cure look like this?

MPs Fight Back

Anonymous said...

I don't think so Ian. But as your blog is you then maybe you are too close to see the subtle changes in it since you became a potential Tory MP.

Other than that, all due respect to you for allowing negative criticism on your blog, swomething that you have always done.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, well, it's all about perception I suppose. I haven't set out to do anything differently, but it's possible that subconsciously I may have been a bit more careful. Who knows!!

Anonymous said...

And why is it that Labour seems determined to select party apparatchiks for very reasonable seat that becomes available?

If you don't know the answer to that, you've obviously been asleep since 1995.

Anonymous said...

You're such a fair-minded person, Iain, and so open to criticism of youself and any justified criticism of the Tory Party

Perhaps the next time you're a fellow guest on Sky newspaper review with Baroness Billingham, you could persuade her to follow your excellent example.

Iain Dale said...

Yes, she can be a bit, er, unthinkingly partisan, can't she?! Although last time I was on with her she was, to be fair, better!

Unsworth said...

"Although last time I was on with her she was, to be fair, better!"

Is that better as in more partisan, or better as in less partisan?

Road_Hog said...

Well, this is party politics today. It doesn't really matter if it is NuLabour or BlueLabour, it's all the same.

I do despair.

Charlie Easton said...

Bindun in Thamesmead http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6169159.ece

Dimoto said...

Sorry, can't see why a Conservative orientated blog would be urging Labour to up their game - bizarre !
Does not compute.

Andrew F said...

Yes, the Tories and their "Open Primaries". Hilarious. Do stop trying to imply that you're participating in a U.S.-style nomination fight. The candidates are chosen by the party, and all the losers will move on to repeat the process in other seats.

It's really just a way of deciding which seat you're going to be assigned to.

Anonymous said...

parliamentary candidate, prospective parliamentary candidate.


Intelligent man!

I see here an intelligent candidate. Damn and blast his goggly eyes for having an education!

Jason O'Mahony said...

All this nonsense could be avoided if you changed the voting system to STV in multi-seat constituencies. And let the voters actually decide. You know, for the novelty of it.

Anonymous said...

Bedford's "open primary" held by the Tories was a farce and their candidate is likely to lose the mayoral byelection today

tory boys never grow up said...

I am not saying that this is the right way for the Labour Party to select candidates it isn't. Open primaries may be the way forward - and indeed Milliband has spoken in favour of them for the Labour Party.

But perhaps Mr Dale you should concentrate on the selection process within the Conservative Party where open primaries are still a rare phenomenon - and if you want to say that the Party leadership leader doesn't play an active role in candidate selection you would be lying - as you well know to your own cost. You never know that you may even have some impact - because the one thing of which I'm certain you will not hav a acintilla of impact on the Labour side.

Of course a less generous interpretaion would be that you are just playing negative politics, in which you never apparently indulge according to your open primary website.

Praguetory said...

Blairites v Brownites.

Anonymous said...

Can Labour have some £££ to run these wonderful primaries please.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, no-one will adopt STV because they know (as the Irish politicians constantly complain) that it makes them TOO accountable to the electorate.

But yes, with STV, open primaries are irrelevant. Pre-election debate, however, becomes extremely important and interesting, because candidates have to convince people to vote for THEM, rather than just party.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong on Open Primaries Iain, trendy though it is to praise them at the moment.

To give voters a clear choice at the election it is for Parties to put forward representatives of their viewpoint and for the voters to decide which viewpoint and person they like on the day.

To involve voters earlier in the process of selecting the parties candidates merely makes the choice of candidates less clearly defined and therefore gives all the voters a reduced range of choices at the election.

Why would someone who is a socialist choose the best and most articulate conservative? He/She would naturally choose the one that mostly closely representated their socialist viewpoint. Candidates know this so tone down their views and therefore everyone is the loser. Blazing honesty in front of ones own supporters/members, clearly articulated views at the election and then the public really have a proper choice.

Another example of american politics not suiting the UK.

Despite all that good luck at Bracknell, watch out for the Communist in the front row!

Anonymous said...

Iain - re: party hacks getting safe seats.

Presumably you don't mean either David Cameron (former Michael Howard spad) or George Osborne (former spad), William Hague (Leon Brittain's spad), Greg Clark (ex CCHQ), David Willetts (ex Spad) or Andrew Lansley (ex CCHQ).

Keith Elliott said...

You've been very quiet about the Bedford mayoral election which is being held today.

I wonder why, after your involvement in the 'stunningly successful' Tory Open Primary!

Anonymous said...

The two Crewe and Nantwich selections to fight the by-election and 2010 prove Iain's case.
Both shoed in, with all outside runners telling the world they lost as the CV went in.
Check out the current runner and ask how?
Now who was the Labour MP who pulled the Toff stunt and was caught red-handed?

Ahhhh, I know, it was he who was parachuted into his seat as the absolute runaway favourite was 'suspended' minutes before the selection.
Funny enough, all local Councillors were rejected on the long list!

Mr Angry said...

I'm afraid that Labour's selection machinations do not seem very dissimilar to those being practised by CCHQ on behalf of the Cameroons right now Iain. Pot calling the kettle balck imho.

Saltirethinking said...

Care to comment on the situation in Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk Iain?.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you mean the open primary process where locals interested in standing for the seat are often denied by London A-listers? See what's happening in Macclesfield and everywhere else. I'm afraid the tory party has its own problems..

Quietzapple said...

The Tory "Open" Primaries for London Mayor and Totnes PPC both were arranged so that a popular candidate (TV celeb, local lady Dr with Eurosceptic views) faced failing apparatchiks. (sp)

Looks like the difference is that the Tories are PR foremost, and get Johnsonitus. Not nice precious . . .

Paul Halsall said...

Sometimes I think the US system, whereby a politician is expected to have had a home in the electoral district for some time has definite advantages. AFAIK it's not a legal requirement in the US (although itmay be in some areas), but it is part of public expectation.

The only problem is you cannot then expect the kind of expertise you need in senior ministers (solved in the US by the usual separate executive at almost all levels of government)

Anonymous said...

John Hutton...

'Gordon Brown will make a f****** awful prime minister'

The blog said...

As I live in this unfortunate constituency I am not impressed with the choice. A callow youth who appears to share Butcher Blair's dentist or a Huntin' shootin' Tory from somewhere. Guess it's the Lib/Dems unless we are offered the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi again but he'd probably cream the expenses. Martin Bell perchance? He could live in the Lakes!