The Labour Party NEC has decided a fast-track procedure to get candidates in place asap whilst at the say time giving members priority in the selection process for as long as possible even after a General Election is called. I have already drawn attention to interminable delays in some quarters.
However, this is in sharp and welcome contast to the procedure being deployed now by the Conservative Party, which show it's in a right pickle.That is at least according to this account by leading Tory blogger, Iain Dale here.
Buried in his Friday Snippets, Iain a shameless Tory PPC wannabee reveals:
All other seats are now being selected by the new system in which Eric Pickles nominates a shortlist of at least three.
But back to the democratic socialist party's selection process. Typically, the 'powers that be' have chosen a command and control approach. Applications have to be sent to a central email address. No facility has been provided to enable local party officials to be copied in. That's a pity.
The easy easy guide is this:
1. All members in CLP put on red alert by MP stepping down in grovelling letter for inconvenience caused by late resignation by email and post (there is not a single MP in the House of Commons who could conceivably claim poverty whatever the cost of a 1st class stamp.)
2. All interested applicants to submit CV to Head Office AND a CLP Procedures Secretary
3. Scorecard agreed between CLP and Head Office to be used locally to sift from many to long-list.
4. All members to be offered preference ballot of long listed candidates to 'guide' the Special Selections Panel regarding short-listing.
5. Special Selections Panel to invited CLP representative(s) to observe shortlisting
6. Agree a (record) of the shortlising process between SSP members and the CLP observer(s) for publication.
Reality check: Deadline for Leyton and Wanstead applications 8 February. Interviews for shortlisting 11 February. Applications before deadline announced 60+. Missing procedure: sifting from many to manageable long-list. Watch this space. Why 8 Feb? Why not 5 Feb so local activists could long-list next weekend? Not rocket science, unless you are a control-freak.
The above procedure would ensure an open and transparent method of remaining Labour PPC selections. (Very different from the Pickles approach adopted by the Tories.) Of course, it would reduce the temptation of the 'Labour Party powers that be' to rig the short-list for their preferred candidate. It is so easy, short-list one serious candidate, two plausible make-weights and one that never turns up. Bah, boom!
Of course, the Labour Party NEC disgraced itself last week by failing to rule that any one on the SSP would be disbarred from seeking a seat. It compounded its error by refusing to agree to CLP observer(s) at the shortlisting stage. Not very smart for a party seeking to rebuild trust with the electorate and get re-elected. 'Twas ever thus in TIGMOO.