Tuesday, 2 August 2016


The Labour Party's Compliance Unit has rejected 40,000 applications to become registered supporters in order to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Forty thousand. At a non-refundable £25 each.

What already promises to be Corbyn's enormous margin of victory will need to have that figure added to it in order to give an accurate impression of the strength of his support.

Those people are there, in the Corbyn Movement.

Whether on the doorsteps, or on the Internet, or both, they are campaigning for Corbyn now, and they will continue to do so, all the way up to 2020 and beyond.

If the decayed and dying party bureaucracy of the Blair years wants them to do so without reference to it, although with all the reference in the world to Corbyn himself, then that is its choice.

Yet people who were candidates for various other parties last year have been let into full membership of the Labour Party. While people who were candidates for those same parties last year have not been.

There is no rhyme or reason to any of this. There never was.

Under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, five sitting Conservative MPs joined Labour, each with absolutely no application process.

The whole thing was always played out entirely on television, entirely on the day.

None of them ever recanted a single past opinion or action as having been wrong at the time.

On the night of his defection, Alan Howarth was on Newsnight, still defending the Poll Tax and the imposition of VAT on domestic fuel and power, but by then in receipt of the Labour Whip.

Of those five, three became Labour Ministers, including one in the Cabinet, and three are now on the Labour benches in the House of Lords.

All because, as I have heard Shaun Woodward say in the flesh, "My party had left me."

So each of them joined what he considered the Conservative Party to have been until the day of his defection, or a very short time before then.

Those days were 8th October 1995 (Howarth), 21st June 1998 (Peter Temple-Morris), 18th December 1999 (Woodward), 15th January 2005 (Robert Jackson), and 26th June 2007 (Quentin Davies). 

Woodward ended up being given the Cabinet position that Brown had wanted to give to Paddy Ashdown.

Ashdown was one of several Lib Dems whom Brown had wanted as Ministers, in spite of the healthy Labour overall majority at the time.

The Compliance Unit seems to exist to guarantee continued Compliance with all that, now and in the future.

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