Keir Starmer is the favourite to be Labour leader, but the party’s ruling faction may have other plans

The most effective weapon has been control over mailing lists – and it is the Corbynite left who now have access to them.

The Labour Party is a lot like a newly formed state: it has a democratic constitution, but not a democratic culture. Whichever faction is in power uses the party’s standing orders as a stick with which to beat its internal opponents. During the Ed Miliband era, one Labour staffer explained that his long, corporate-sounding title was simply a polite synonym for “using the rulebook to fuck people”.

Whatever the politics of the people in charge, the tricks remain broadly the same. The tactical, and late, deployment of all-women shortlists to shut out well-placed men in favour of an anointed woman – or to redirect a strong female candidate from one seat to another to make way for a favoured son – is one. The removal of dangerous opponents at the longlisting stage is another.

This explains why, though everything suggests that Keir Starmer is the candidate to beat in the Labour leadership, most astute watchers haven’t yet written off Rebecca Long-Bailey. She has the support of the party’s power brokers, which is always useful as far as intra-Labour combat is concerned, but is not always a decisive factor.

Several Corbynites were congratulating themselves for foiling an attempt at preventing Labour’s National Executive Committee officers from declaring a preference in the leadership race: a motion that would have made binding the existing convention that the departing leader does not involve themselves in the contest to decide their successor. Jeremy Corbyn promptly disappointed them by telling the BBC that he would not be making an endorsement of any kind. “A lot of people, they only care about this sort of thing when it hurts them, whether they’re on the …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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