Friday, 24 August 2018

Only terrible Labour MPs have anything to fear from democratic reselection

One of the most commonly occurring 'centrist' propaganda tropes is the idea that automatic reselection of Labour MPs represents some kind of 'threat', leftist 'power grab', or 'Stalinist purge' rather than a commonplace democratic process that helps political parties to field the strongest candidates, and root out corrupt/self-serving/incompetent career politicians.

Democratic reselection is normal

Democratic reselection is commonplace in the United States where political candidates at all different levels from local government up to Presidential candidates face primaries to secure their place on the ballot.

Democratic reselection is also used by the SNP in Scotland where every single one of their 54 MPs was democratically reselected for the 2017 general election. Perhaps the fact that the Scottish National MPs worked hard for their constituents and avoided running to the press to air their internal party disagreements is the reason they were all selected, and you never hear SNP politicians complaining about democratic reselection as if it's some kind of terrifying and unfair 'Stalinist' procedure.

In fact the Labour Party itself used to use reselection procedures up until 1990, when Neil Kinnock scrapped the process, paving the way for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to reshape the Parliamentary Labour Party as a centre-right party by parachuting irremovable Thatcherite politicians into scores of Labour safe seats.

Decent MPs have nothing to fear

It's obvious that the only people who have anything to fear from democratic reselection processes are the kind of lazy/self-serving/incompetent career politicians who know that they're guilty of continually defying/disappointing the local party members who campaigned to get them into parliament in the first place.

If Labour MPs have worked hard, done a good job of representing the Labour Party and serving their local community, then they've clearly got absolutely nothing to fear from a democratic process to reconfirm them as the Labour candidate for the next general election.

It's obvious that only the worst MPs should fear reselection, because replacing your sitting MP with a new face is always a risk. A local party would really want to get rid of their MP if they're prepared to risk the increased probability of losing the seat to a rival party to achieve it.

Jobs for life

The current 'jobs for life' situation is farcical. The lack of democratic reselection means that once a politician has been parachuted into a Labour safe seat, they can do pretty much whatever they like for decades, regardless of the will of their local constituency party.

They're made for life, and there's pretty much nothing that local people can do to get rid of them.

This 'jobs for life' scheme that exists now is appallingly elitist and should obviously be stopped immediately, but somehow the 'jobs for life' crew and their rump of 'centrist' supporters within the Labour Party have the gall to pretend that the system that benefits them so much is ideal, and that any move to actually democratise the Labour Party is some kind of evil 'power grab'.

Fear of democracy

But in trying to argue that democratic reselection is a 'threat' or a 'Corbyn power grab' or a 'Stailinis purge' Labour right-wingers are simply confirming that they're terrified of democracy.

They see democracy as a threat to their place on the Westminster gravy train, and they'll fight tooth and nail to undermine any attempts to actually hold them to account for their actions.

And just remember how these same Labour right-wingers were so terrified of internal Labour Party democracy that they actually tried to keep Jeremy Corbyn off the Labour leadership ballot after their efforts to bully him into resignation failed in 2016.

It seems obvious that all Labour MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn himself, should face democratic reselection so that all local Labour members have a chance of rooting out lazy/incompetent/corrupt/self-serving MPs.

It also seems obvious that no decent Labour MP should have anything to fear from democratic reselection.


But a lot of right-wing Labour MPs are understandably terrified of having to justify their reselection as Labour candidates because they know how unjustifiable their internal wrecking tactics have been for the last three years.

So they'll scream, and howl, and wail about how unfair the idea of democratic reselection is.

They'll completely reverse reality and paint reselection as being somehow undemocratic

They'll try to make out that the democratic reselection process is some kind of evil 'Stalinist purge', and fearmonger about 'Momentum goons', and desperately smear their own party leader as a tyrant for even allowing people to talk about the prospect of reintroducing it.

Self-serving cowardice

If democratic reselection is ever actually reintroduced by the Labour Party, you can be absolutely sure that the Labour right-wingers will swiftly jump ship to this new "I'm Alright Jack" 'centrist' party before they ever have to face the prospect of actually trying to justify their unjustifiable behaviour in a democratic reselection process.

What the general public will make of such brazen displays of cowardice and unaccountability is anybodies guess.

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