In Full: Starmer’s Uphill Battle to Change Labour Election Rules

Starmer’s proposals to change Labour’s election rules have managed to avoid splitting the party – insofar as almost everyone is united against him. Guido’s dug through the responses and they do not make happy reading for LOTO:

    • Shadow Transport Minister Sam Tarry: “As a committed trade unionist and having campaigned for electoral reform for many years, I cannot support a regressive plan to dilute Labour members’ votes and divide our movement. We are one party and should all have an equal say in choosing who leads any Labour Government.”
    • Shadow Tourism Minister Alex Sobel: “MPs already have the privilege of casting the qualifying nominations for Labour Leader to ensure the confidence of the PLP. We must then trust our members and union affiliated supporters to vote for the best candidate by OMOV. The Electoral College just looks like a fix for MPs.”
    • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan: “I’ve got to be frank Michelle, as the Mayor of London, internal Labour Party rules isn’t at the fore of my mind. [I] have not a chance to look into the changes being considered’.
    • Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar: “I don’t think it should be our focus. It is certainly not my focus. I’m going to conference to talk about the issues I care about.”

Ringing endorsements across the board…

Even his own Deputy Leader has refused to come off the fence, with Angela Rayner’s spokesman declining to comment on the plans earlier this week. Shadow Housing minister Thangham Debonnaire has also refused to say which way she’d vote on reforms. This is all before the usual suspects such as McDonnell, Corbyn, Sultana, Dianne Abbott, Nadia Whittome and Dawn Butler say their piece. Labour conference starts tomorrow – plenty of opportunities for Sir Keir to deploy his charms on the membership…

mdi-timer 24 September 2021 @ 16:53 24 Sep 2021 @ 16:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Far-Left Fury After Socialist Magazine Banned from Labour Conference

As if his newfound commitment to low taxes wasn’t enough, Sir Keir’s now doubling down on his efforts to infuriate the far left ahead of conference. According to BFAWU union president, Ian Hodson, Labour has banned Socialist Appeal from reporting from the Brighton conference this weekend – yet to the annoyance of some comrades accrediting The Sun and offering a double hall stand to GB News:

Hearing the s@# will be in the @UKLabour conference but they have banned #SocalistAppeal from being able to report on the conference. How did we get here Trade unionists Anti racists should be absolutely livid, that the hate filled rag is attending conference #JFT97 

Skwawkbox insists the party is “fundamentally diseased” if it allows the “the foul rag” (“The S*n”) to show up, and is calling the decision an act of “moral cowardice and bankruptcy”. Socialist Appeal will always be able to keep up with Labour conference’s goings-on via Guido, who will certainly be attending…

mdi-timer 23 September 2021 @ 15:01 23 Sep 2021 @ 15:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Taxpayers’ Alliance Invites Starmer to Join

As the Tories become the party of tax and spend it’s noticeable that Starmer’s essay references a newfound emphasis on keeping taxes low for workers and being careful when spending taxpayers’ money. Here’s a flavour of some extracts:

Why when government departments are funded by taxpayer money are we so lax about ensuring that money is spent appropriately? …

There can surely be no greater example of the misplaced priorities and hubris of this government than the fact it is currently spending hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer money on a vanity yacht when that money could be spent on tackling anti-social behaviour. 

The government should treat taxpayer money as if it were its own. The current levels of waste are unacceptable.

Starmer seems to have even come to appreciate capitalism:

The role of government is to be a partner to private enterprise, not stifle it.

All very encouraging. Guido asked the wonks at the Taxpayers’ Alliance to have a read of Starmer’s 12,300 word-long Fabian essay and tell him what they thought:

Looking at the report, the comments on waste, transparency and efficiency in the public sector through technology are welcome. One line also mentions that Labour wants the low-paid to keep more of the money they earn.

On the other hand:

Our concerns would include the commitment to increasing the minimum wage, emphasis on significantly more public spending to tackle climate change and increased role of the government in business. He also promises to buy, make and sell in Britain – a fundamentally a protectionist policy and means taxpayers don’t get best value for money.

They have, however, decided that on balance Starmer’s newfound commitment to low taxes means he would be welcome to join the thousands of members of the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Starmer can register his support here!

mdi-timer 23 September 2021 @ 11:08 23 Sep 2021 @ 11:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Paying Conference Stewards Less than £10 Minimum Wage Promised

Labour is paying its party conference stewards less than £10 per hour, despite announcing this morning that they plan to introduce a £10 minimum wage. In an impassioned tweet this morning the party explained that “one in six working families live in poverty in the UK”  so Labour “would introduce a minimum wage of at least £10 (…) so children are given the opportunities they deserve“. However it seems the party won’t actually be paying the stewards at their Brighton conference that £10 per hour. So much for “be the change you want to see”

Stewards will be made to work everyday from 25 September through to 29 September from 8:00am to 20:00. Short changing the low paid stewards who will be working the conference floor as they debate a motion calling for £10 per hour minimum wage… 

UPDATE: Richard Holden MP says “This is utter hypocrisy from Labour. As usual, they demand one thing in public but can’t even practice what they preach behind closed doors with their own staff.”

mdi-timer 21 September 2021 @ 14:41 21 Sep 2021 @ 14:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Shamed Rayner Refunds Out of Her Own Pocket Some of Her Apple Expenses

Co-conspirators will recall AirPod-Gate earlier this year, in which a bunch of MPs (Angela Rayner, Matt Hancock, Peter Bone, Margaret Hodge) were found to have used taxpayer money to splurge on top-end Apple products. At the time, Angela Rayner defended her purchase of two pairs of AirPods Pro by claiming “on average I use [them] four hours a day now on Zooms”. Guido unearthed evidence which suggested this was untrue. In any case, at least she tried to explain why she needed £500 worth of noise-cancelling earphones. An alibi for her iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard was less forthcoming…

Now Angela appears to have seen the error of her ways, with an update to her expenses page showing she’s finally reimbursed the cost of her various iPad accessories. The £256.24 total for her Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, and Smart Folio case was repaid earlier this month. The taxpayer is still footing the bill for her £1,900 iPad and £249 AirPods Pro, presumably because the lower-end tech couldn’t keep up with all that invaluable tweeting.

mdi-timer 13 September 2021 @ 13:21 13 Sep 2021 @ 13:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
New Report Advises Labour Shut Up to Win Next Election

A new report from Labour in Communications a group of around 1,200 party supporters working across PR, public affairs and communications – has concluded that the antidote to Labour’s 11-year-long electoral woes is to simply stop making new policy announcements and “concentrate on a handful of those already announced. Which does beg the question of what these “already announced” policies even are, given their “policy roadmap” currently consists of six bullet points…

The report, titled Fit for the Future, also offers a series of helpful guidelines to revive the party’s prospects. Included among them are:

  • “Integrating and investing in digital, placing it at the core of the communications strategy”
  • “Reintroducing a pledge card of announcements to tie together different policies”
  • Holding shadow cabinet meetings outside of London on a rotational basis to detoxify the party’s London-centric image

Labour in Communications claims Labour has announced over 200 non-Covid related policies since Starmer became leader. A prize for anyone who came name more than a couple…

mdi-timer 2 September 2021 @ 16:35 2 Sep 2021 @ 16:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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