Wednesday, 24 June 2015

CHOOSING A LOCAL PARTY LEADER - FROM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!


LOCAL DEMOCRACY IN ACTION? Not even party members have a say when it comes to choosing the leaders of local parties!


Whilst there is much media attention and interest being generated on the forthcoming Labour Leadership contest, I cannot help but make the following observation:

Fully paid-up members of any political party can vote for the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other Committee officials in the local Ward; they have a vote in the selection of candidates for various local and parliamentary elections and - just as in the current Labour Leadership contest - they will also have a vote for both the Leader and the Deputy Leader of their national party.

Yet, curiously, when it came to choosing the Tameside Council Leader back in 2010, this very important local decision only involved the 46 Labour Councillors then on Tameside Council.

From behind closed doors in what may have been an e-cig vapour-filled room, these councillors chose from amongst themselves the new leader of almost a quarter of a million Tamesiders - presumably very much in the same way as the Cardinals in the Vatican elect a new Pope? The end result being that Keiran Quinn emerged as the winner with 27 votes over the ousted former leader Roy Oldham, who could only manage to get 19!

NO-ONE IN THE RANK AND FILE MEMBERSHIP OF THE TAMESIDE LABOUR PARTY HAD ANY VOTE ON THIS MATTER!

To allow any grass-roots party membership to decide on who can lead the national party, yet to only allow local councillors the right to chose a local leader - demonstrates once again the contrast between our local and national politics and shows how the lack of democracy at local level is frequently overlooked!

Carl Simmons
Denton South Independent
Wednesday 24th June 2015


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