Labour party members in Rotherham protested against the decision to field an "outside" candidate in the forthcoming byelection by staging a mass walkout from the final selection meeting.Whoops!
This is, of course, the Nov 29 by-election prompted by the resignation of the latest MP expenses cheat, McShane.
So, what’s their beef? Well, once again, it’s the demand that local areas accept a candidate desired by the high command:
The dissenters said they would now not canvas for the eventual nominee, Sarah Champion, chief executive of Rotherham's Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.Heh! It’s their ball, and if no-one plays the game without cheating, they are taking it home with them!
"If the NEC [Labour's National Executive Committee] wants to parachute in an outsider, the NEC can come up to campaign for them," said one member who walked out.
"We in the community should have had a say in the candidate. This is not democracy. If they had wanted a woman, they should have told us they wanted a woman, and we would have found someone locally."Ahhh, you were doing so well right up to that bit. If they had wanted a woman, you should have asked ‘Why?’…
The candidate is herself is just the sort of Labour Party apparatchik you’d expect from Ed’s Special Needs Team:
Putting a brave face on after the bruising meeting, she insisted had not nearly "broken" the Labour party.
"I think it's absolutely right that people want to have their voice heard," she told BBC Look North, "but no, the labour party has not been broken. Mahroof would have been a good candidate, he has got a good, long track record of working in Rotherham, but the party has made its decision."Translation: ‘It’s right that the little provincial people feel they’ve had their little say, so long as they then knuckle down and do as they are told by us important people…’
A vote-winning strategy, I’m sure you’ll agree.
But it seems that the locally-preferred candidate had less going for him than just the wrong set of genitalia:
One Labour insider said Hussain had been the "red hot favourite" locally but as a Muslim man was deemed too much of a risk to the party in the wake of the child sex grooming scandal involving Pakistani males in the constituency which has prompted far right protests in the constituency.Oh, dear. The twists and turns of identity politics, eh? Tweeter Mike Broadbent disagreed that this was the whole local party:
Labour was also keen to choose a woman, said the insider, because: "The Rotherham political class is male, male, male."
The South Yorkshire town has never had a female MP, and the Labour council has long been overwhelmingly male dominated.And why is that necessarily a bad thing? Would they have been better off with, say, Margaret Moran? Or Nadine Dorries?
A Labour source who was at Tuesday's disastrous meeting confirmed the walkout. "People are entitled to their views," he said, "but we need a clean break with the past in Rotherham."Translation: “The little people are entitled to their views, so long as they then knuckle down and do as they are told by us important people…”