From which we must conclude that talented people don’t join the Labour Party

Labour is recruiting hundreds of people who may never have been party members to stand as parliamentary candidates at the next election.

Sir Keir Starmer has launched a centralised drive, likened to David Cameron’s “A list”, to start installing candidates in battleground seats in anticipation of an early election in 2023.

The party has changed its rules to allow anyone, no matter how long they have been a member, to stand as part of its Future Candidates Programme to attract talented candidates.

Harsh conclusion, but fair.

12 thoughts on “From which we must conclude that talented people don’t join the Labour Party”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    It’s tempting, of course, to conclude that talented people don’t join the Labour party but the truth is more likely that talented people are put off by the activists who control the party at constituency or trade union branch level.

    David Cameron’s “A-List” was only one unfortunate aspect of his baleful leadership which saw party membership fall from 250,000 to something below 100,000.

    Local supporters who knock on doors and distribute leaflets are motivated by a sense of loyalty to their candidate (as opposed simply to their party) and this can only be achieved by a local selection process. The “A-List” effectively subverted the broader “Approved List” and the type of candidates that CCHQ preferred did not go down well out in the sticks.

  2. Who the hell would want to join a party full of miserablist Neo-Puritans trying to out-Marx (alternately out-Lenin, out-Trotsky or even out-Mao) each other with various clumps of factionaries trying to seize control at any and all opportunity?

    I don’t have much time for Sir Keir Hardie, but taking a fastback party list approach to candidates is one way of regaining control of the party from the leftists who control the national executive and the local constituency parties. If he gets away with it, it also creates a certain amount of indebted patronage in those so nominated, should they ACTUALLY get elected. All of which is probably a bit late for Sir Keir as I doubt he’ll get anywhere near winning in 2023 and be ousted after the loss if not beforehand.

    Might help Andy Burnham though, if he can somehow turn his Mayoralty into a parliamentary seat and then win the leadership.

  3. It’s their definition of talent, that’s the actual problem. Is there going to be a burhkini round?

  4. Bloke in North Dorset


    For all his faults that what Johnny Mercer did and he’s got quite a following that allows him to be independent of the party machine. It’s quite an interesting story how he went about it it, taking a failed constituency and building that loyalty. But then he openly admits he is OCD.

    Similarly a lot of those red wall seats were won by local candidates who have been building local support over a number of years. The woman who beat Ed Balls in Pudsey is another interesting story.

    Having those independent MPs is the best that happen to parties as they supply the feedback loop that centralised parties need. A large part of Labour’s problems stem from losing union reps in working men’s clubs feeding back what the tank and file really think about their policies.

  5. It’s their definition of talent, that’s the actual problem. Is there going to be a burhkini round?

    I’m guessing Sir Keir’s definition of talent will be a member of the Islington Guardianista set with the usual Oxbridge PPE and the like. Little clones of Sir Keir, Blair, Mandelson and Clegg for the 2020’s.

    Bet they’ll go down like a cup of cold sick across the industrial wastelands of the former “Red Wall”.

  6. John G – well yes, professional blairites will be what’s trawled for, but the PPE oxbridge guys would already be members of one party or another i’d have thought. But my point was rather than a special trawl for people you can fast track, start making quality the prime factor in the general candidate selection process and you won’t need to do this.

  7. I’d agree with you BiND. I suppose I just don’t like those wankers from the centre telling us what to do.

  8. We need an end of Party MPs.

    Local men –90%– who have lived in the area 30 years minimum. No young snots and no one with any political connections. No Party bullshit but individual stances on issues publicised in advance. Numerous possibilities for recall –not so light they can be harassment tactics– but enough to roust any clapping seal going against Brexit or supporting the present tyranny.

    A Working life. No lawyers or local govt scum. LG needs disbanding 100% anyway.

    Good men and true with a solid patriotic background extensively vetted for corruption. Plus a number of corruption tests to check out cash corruption and some moral tests–kiddie porn offered or a seeming young dumb female they could shag–all set ups of course.

    No recently arrived migrants and no parachuted Hooray Henry pukes. Men old enough to be practical and conservative with a small c but not ossified and thus resistant to positive change.

    And open tele/computer debates so a lottery system allows ordinary people to join in with their own questions and points to be made.

    How we get to such a system from the up-to-our-necks-in-evil-shite mess we are in I don’t know. But it would restore the prestige of our system and our Parliament again.

  9. Surely a big part of the problem is that the ambitious won’t want to join a party that is seen as having no chance of winning? That’s what happened to Labour in the 80’s and the Tories after ’97.

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