It appears British Labour in Dundee have gotten themselves into a wee bit of selections difficulty in the lead up to next years Council Elections.
The Dundee Party membership over the last week decided to de-select Councillors Tom Ferguson and Councillor Mohammed Asif for next years local elections. Former Dundee Labour Lord Provost Mervyn Rolf has called on the party to clear out the dead wood. The de-selection resulted in a local high profile trade union activist to tear up his membership card. All sounds interesting but at least local members were making their choice and we should all respect party democracy.
But low and behold, barely 24 hours after the de-selection, Kezia Dugdale, Branch Manager of British Labour in Scotland, comes to the undemocratic rescue and overturns the decision of local members. Labour don’t do democracy in Dundee or Scotland, and as we saw in England with purges and refusing to grant members a vote during the Corbyn leadership contest, don’t really do democracy in England either.
This all comes on the back of questions asking if the Labour Party even have a future in Scotland at all. Polls are not looking good for next year, they have been projected to lose all but 11 councils as they have fallen to around 18% in the polls, potentially losing Glasgow City Council and again coming third behind the Tories.
I actually have sympathy for local members of Labour. I left the Liberal Democrats when Willie Rennie over ruled a conference vote by members and all women shorts lists. All women short lists also saw me resign from the SNP years ago, and currently we have Theresa May as PM without a popular mandate from the voters irrespective of us living in a parliamentary democracy.
Parties often talk about involving people in decision-making, local councils do this all of the time as well, but when that involvement in decision-making can be so easily be overturned what is the point. What is the point of being a member of the Labour Party, or any party for that matter, if the wishes of the membership can be so easily ignored and discarded. So while Labour woes always bring a chuckle out of me, esp locally, the undermining of membership democracy will slowly but surely bring about disaster for politics and political parties.
Just my opinion.