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Wednesday 24 February 2021

Labour’s Liverpool Louse-Up

When setting out his stall for the party’s leadership election last year, Keir Starmer wanted the world to know that the days of turning candidate selection into a game where centrally imposed hopefuls were parachuted into pole position was over. “We must recruit a truly representative set of candidates for future elections. Labour must be at the forefront of championing diversity” he asserted. And there was more. Much more.

Our greatest campaigning asset is our network of committed staff, members and activists”. In conclusion, he declared that “The selections for Labour candidates needs to be more democratic and we should end NEC impositions of candidates. Local Party members should select their candidates for every election”. No disagreement there.

Anna Rothery - Liverpool's first black Lord Mayor

After all, he will be all too aware of what has happened in the past, notably under Tony Blair’s leadership. The attempt to fix the London Mayoralty for Frank Dobson, who may not have really wanted the job, was scuppered when Ken Livingstone stood as an independent and won. Tone and his pals also didn’t emerge too well from what looked like attempts to prevent Rhodri Morgan leading Labour in the Welsh Assembly.

So what happened yesterday in Liverpool should have been off limits for Starmer’s Labour Party. An all-female shortlist for the City’s Mayor, to replace Joe Anderson, including probable favourite Anna Rothery, who was backed by several MPs, one other city Mayor, academics, activists, business people and three Trades Unions, was cast aside.

No reason was given. Nor was any reason given for the follow-up decree: that none of the three would be invited to reapply. Opposition parties, normally relegated to also-ran status on Merseyside, and already scenting a potential upset after Anderson’s effectively forced withdrawal, are now in full cry. As are many local Labour members.

The BBC has reportedThe Labour Party has scrapped its list of candidates to stand in Liverpool's mayoral election in May … Three women councillors had been shortlisted to replace Joe Anderson, with ballot papers due to be sent to members … Last week, the party announced it was ‘pausing’ the selection process and delayed sending out the ballots … No explanation has yet been given for the decision”. And it got worse.

Liam Thorp at the Liverpool Echo, which has reported all manner of Labour shenanigans over the years, observed “it goes without saying really that this is a total and utter mess from the Labour Party who have handled things appallingly … Whatever the situation and we don't know exactly what it is (mainly because they won't say), this is no way to treat people … But it’s also no way to treat the party members in the city who have been left confused and angry and with no explanations”. And worse still.

Nominations will close tomorrow, which suggests someone has been lined up - in other words, a centrally-imposed stitch-up. With party membership in freefall, many activists disenchanted, and Liverpool one of the few parts of the country to remain a Labour stronghold, what would have been the sensible thing to do? What would the Keir Starmer of February last year have done? What would Nietzsche have done?

Small wonder Ms Rothery and her supporters have smelt a rat, and are considering legal action. A control freak Labour Party didn’t work in the past. And it won’t work now.

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Anonymous said...

It's perfectly obvious what Kieth and his apologists are up to.

The usual Labour right wing hypocritical gobshitery.

(See Alastair Campbell/Philip Gould edition).

J said...

Honestly, at this point I'm convinced that Keith Stalin is actually employed by both the conservatives and Murdcock and his only job is to destroy Labour... the odd cockup is fair enough, but he spends more time "backing the tories in their plans to [insert latest thing the tories have done here]" (and wanting to throw away the keys to kids stealing bottles of water while letting tory ministers off the hook for illegality) than he does being leader of the opposition. Then add on cockup after cockup after cockup, and all the while having both the PLP and the NEC on his side. Its not an accident.

Anonymous said...

Because of the sad state of our politics, political leaders like Keith have to suck up to the Dark Lord Murdoch for any hope of gaining power. No doubt that is what he is trying to do.

Until the Grim Reaper comes knocking on Rupert's door, this country will remain screwed.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Here's hoping the creep hasn't inherited his Mother's longevity/durability. Either that or that the aging horse Jerry Hall finishes him off (and I use that term advisedly - eeeugh)

Is this disillusion? said...

NW Regional Office have previous form for these sort of shenanigans, parachuting 'safe', ' on message' candidates approved by HQ in London..

As soon as M'learned friends were mentioned, Liverpool Labour councillors now want to scrap the Mayoralty!
Can't have a Black woman Socialist who backs Jeremy Corbyn representing Labour in Liverpool, there's only the right type of diversity allowed in Keef Starmer's New New Labour.

Anonymous said...

An all Judy shortlist? Am I glad Sir Keith wackered that ! (geddit?)

Anonymous said...

The Quiff would do well to note since 1979 the City of Liverpool has always got rid of right wing politicians. No matter how long it takes.

He and his apologists will be just the latest tory arseholes to be run out of the city. No matter how long it takes.

Steve Woods said...

If Starmer's going to pick a fight with Liverpool, I know who's going to win.

James said...

How to further alienate those of us who were labour supporters and are suspicious of the new leadership and shadow cabinet's nature ? treat Liverpool and its socialists like crap!

Keir Starmer and the rest of the blue labour mob wherever they go, deserve colourful language.