Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Labour Should Put An Amendment To Today's Government Motion

Labour has said it will back Theresa May's motion today to call an election on June 8th.  By setting that date, May is giving the minimum amount of time prior to the election.  As I suggested yesterday, one reason she is doing so, is to prevent Labour activists from undertaking deselections of sitting MP's, so as to nominate Corbynite candidates in their place.

Yesterday, Labour's NEC blocked proposals for selection meetings, giving sitting, right-wing MP's, therefore, a free-pass, on precisely that basis of insufficient time to undertake short listing and selection meetings.  That is a flagrant abuse of democratic principles.  It is no better than what happened under Blair and Brown.

Labour should continue to say that it supports the idea of an election, because we want to get rid of this Tory government, and its proposals for Brexit, but we also believe in democracy not just by the letter, but also in spirit.  Nothing will be lost by delaying the date of the election by a few weeks so that all parties can undertake a thorough and democratic set of procedures to select their candidates. That indeed was one of the arguments for having fixed term parliaments so that the governing party had no advantage over other parties in calling the date of the election.

Labour should put an amendment to the Tory motion, so that the date of the election is pushed by two months to 10th August, so that every party has adequate time, to undertake the necessary democratic procedures to shortlist and select the candidates of their choice, to prepare election materials etc.  If the Labour leadership doesn't do that, then Labour Mp's should present such an amendment.  After all, the government requires a two-thirds majority before the motion can be passed.

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