Saturday, 25 September 2021
A Forde In The Road To Nowhere
Imagine that any previous Labour Leader had announced a change as big as a reversion to the Electoral College, but had then had to pull it because he had stood no chance of being able to get it through Conference. You can't. Of course you can't. Keir Starmer is the worst Leader in the history of the Labour Party.
The Government, which is going to be comfortably reelected in any case, is cruelly failing to arrange a judgeship to put Starmer out of his misery. Doesn't Boris Johnson want to see David Miliband lose the Holborn and St Pancras by-election? Everyone else does.
Starmer is left with a few proposed constitutional changes that, like the big one, are completely irrelevant on the cusp of what, regardless of the weather (and we had a hot summer), is going to be the hardest winter in many decades.
It is already practically impossible for a Constituency Labour Party to deselect a Labour MP as a parliamentary candidate, and it is extremely rare for it to want to. When did that last happen? When was it last attempted? Raising the threshold for it would be even more elitist and anti-democratic than the present arrangement, but it would not change anything in practice.
The registered supporters scheme was already unlikely to have been run again, and requiring people to have been members for six months before they could vote in a Leadership Election would be contrary to the Right's own entryist aspirations. But what of the proposal that Leadership candidates be nominated by 20 per cent of MPs?
In 2020, Starmer would have been elected unopposed. In 2015, Liz Kendall as well as Jeremy Corbyn would have been disqualified. In 2010, only the Miliband brothers would have made it onto the ballot paper; under the 25 per cent rule that the ultra-Right wants, only David Miliband would have done so, meaning another unopposed election. As it turned out, the Milibands' mother got to vote for Diane Abbott against both of her own children. It is called the Hard Left for a reason.
Michael Howard, Gordon Brown and Theresa May were elected Leaders of their respective parties unopposed, and how well did they do with the voters? About as well as Starmer is going to do, if he is very lucky indeed. Someone leak the Forde Report, and by the end of this coming week we could all have moved on to the imminent hilarity of David Miliband's crushing defeat at Holborn and St Pancras.