Labour’s electoral roll for its 2015 elections has now closed. We took a decision last year to extend the franchise for the election of Leader, Deputy Leader and its candidate for Mayor of London to supporters and over 120,000 people have signed up as well as over 100,000 new full members. I hope that this is a first step for them in helping Labour rebuild and create an effective opposition, although not only do we need them to stay with us, we need to respectfully listen to them.
As one minor elected voluntary official I welcome you to Labour’s movement.
Verification process continues, but total figs of those who applied for a vote: Affiliated: 189,703, Registered: 121,295, Members: 299,755— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) August 12, 2015
While I opposed the sharing of power from member’s to supporters, the numbers prove the success of the proposal. I am certain the vast majority are genuine. I am also certain that over zealous scrutiny will lead to individual injustice and damage to the Party. Every wrong denial impacts not just the individual but many others who see the lack of justice. Every attack on the process damages the Party and the enthusiasm of its new members/supporters, who are motivated to oppose the Tories and build a better society. The whinging is another symptom that some people are too interested in winning their positions and capturing the party than building a collective, effective campaigning organisation. This is reinforced by their fascination with the registered supporter verification process, which is obviously necessary, but needs to be evidence based, considered and based on principles of natural justice.
There is no concerted campaign of entryism, a move by political parties to join a larger one, but there aren’t enough Trots and Tankies to make a difference.
I regret that many lifelong Labour supporters/voters have not taken the opportunity to sign up, from my conversations it would seem they don’t see that even this level of engagement is for them, but should it happen again, then I’ll be more inclusive in my personal invitations.
I believe that British politics, like that in Europe is changing. So is the Labour Party. Even in the USA, resistance to capitalism is growing as shown by Bernie Sander’s popularity in the Democratic Primaries. The surge in support for the Greens and now for the Labour Party are illustrations of the (re-)arrival of Left politics to Britain. Those looking at the influx of registered supporters are looking in the wrong place, the Labour Party has already changed; it’s time for its leadership to catch up.
I used storify to collect some sources and some original thoughts that became this article. See it here.