Saturday, 18 July 2015

Labour leadership contest

I am a great supporter of democratic reform, particularly how we (and other political parties) engage with the community with regard to candidate selection. I have championed Open Primaries and even campaigned and secured agreement from the Party Board for Associations to use postal primaries for local candidate selections - running the first two postal primaries for LG selections here in Kent. 

Throughout this process I have constantly come up against the understandable concerns from our more traditional members that an open primaries will result in "infiltration" by the opposition parties. I have always managed to convince doubters that this won't happen, and locally there is no evidence that it has.

Now I appreciate this might make me sound prissy, but I am therefore quite disappointed to read many people are signing-up as supporters of Labour simply to vote for Jeremy Corbyn - and if what I read on Facebook is accurate, most of those are from the generation which is largely supportive of the type of reforms I campaign for.  

If this really is happening - and I suspect it's more social media bravado than reality - I think it's not only immature but also very damaging to those of us who wish to see reform. Whilst in no way illegal it certainly isn't honourable, and it fatally undermines our own arguments about widening the franchise and reforming our relationship with the wider community.  

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