The latest polling trends are very encouraging in one sense - the prospect of a Labour win. But the behaviour of the 'powers that be' continues to give cause for concern. Unless challenged the Labour Party will remain institutionally undemocratic.
Ashfield CLP and its Womens' Forum are reported to have expressed a preference for an OPEN shortlist. There is disquiet that the job of retaining the seat will be made more difficult following the designation of the fast-track selection to replace Geoff Hoon as an All Women Shortlist. That was decided by unspecified criteria by the Labour Party's National Executive Committee's (no declarations of interest necessary) Special Selection Panel. The latest development is that members were being rung ahead of publication of a story in today's Mail on Sunday about a particular individual here.
The first paragraph reads:
A bid to parachute in Tony Blair's favourite broadcaster as a candidate for a safe Labour seat at the General Election has outraged party activists.
The tragedy for any alleged parachutist is that the individual(s) concerned might meet a set of longlisting/shortlisting critieria acceptable to local members. But the absolute determination of the 'powers that be' to ride roughshod over the Labour Party grassroots sullies their reputation and that of the Party.
The best advice I can suggest is for local party officials to demand to see the CVs of all the applicants.