Tuesday, 28 June 2016

57 Varieties of Scab

57 failed parliamentary candidates have called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign.

It is not explained why anyone should care about the opinion of failed parliamentary candidates, but there we are.

Meanwhile, 57 Labour councillors voted to sack all 2700 of County Durham's Teaching Assistants, in order to rehire them all on a 25 per cent pay cut.

Due to the very high level of absence among Labour councillors, that vicious measure passed by one vote, despite the votes against it of the Liberal Democrats and of the several species of Independent, and despite the abstentions of the four Conservatives.

The Labour councillors who voted for this must be removed. The Liberal Democrat and the Independent councillors who voted against it must be re-elected.

But what to do, if your councillor is a Labour absentee or a Conservative abstainer?

Personally, I would be disinclined to vote for the former, although the most realistic, and probably the most useful, outcome next year would be to take the authority to No Overall Control rather than to wipe Labour of the map.

The re-election of the latter, who all sit for the two vast Barnard Castle wards, would actively serve that purpose, although of course we ought to support anyone who stood there from firmly within the campaign for justice for the Teaching Assistants.

It is a different question whether, strategically, any such candidate should contest either of the vast Barnard Castle wards.

As with seats where, in the absence of such candidates, the Conservatives are best placed to defeat any of the 57, a Tory is a Tory. A Tory is not a scab.

Have I ever voted Conservative? That depends on what you count.

I was a member of a Labour-controlled Parish Council that once unanimously co-opted a living member of the Conservative Party in place of a dead one. My hand went up.

No party has ever run a full list of candidates for that council, and I have always voted to re-elect everyone who was already on it and who wanted to carry on, as of course a certain number of people will choose not to do, giving me a few other votes to spread around.

With one exception, and he was a member of the Labour Party, as he still is.

Sooner a Tory than a scab, if that is the choice that has to be made.

The same is true of those of that affiliation who last year defeated any of the 57 failed parliamentary candidates who have called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign.

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