Within a couple of weeks, the ballot papers for the Labour Party's new Leader, Treasurer, and constituency section representatives on its National Executive Committee will have been delivered to individual members. But there will not be one for the Deputy Leadership. By 'royal' decree - there is no vacancy.
I blogged about the Deputy Leadership issue shortly after Labour lost the General Election here, here and here and failed to provoke much debate. The Labour Party machine swung into brass monkey mode and Harriet Harman was deemed to be entitled to remain in position as Deputy Leader.
I proposed at the May NEC meeting that the nomination papers should be issued as required by Rule. My proposal was seconded by Christine Shawcroft. She and I were the only NEC members to vote in favour of a simple democratic mechanism giving Labour Party members the means of exercising their right to make up their own minds up as to whether she should remain in office or not.
So what are the contenders saying about this issue? Just like the Labour Party machine - apparently, it's brass monkey time for Leadership wannabees too. Yesterday Ed Balls published a 10-point plan here. Andy Burnham tweeted to announce a 20+ page manifesto some time today. Ed Miliband's Decca Aitkenhead interview appeared in the Guardian today here. Lots of fine words, which deserve closer scrutiny. But no mention of the democratic socialist party's little secret fix - the Deputy Leadership.
I am not holding my breath. These people aspire to lead a political party whose purpose is to govern and make laws. Yet so far none of them is prepared to speak out in defence of the 'laws' of their own party. Not even when it comes to a position that carries the authority of the position of Deputy Leader. If anyone wants to sustain interest in the Leadership contest, then let's be having the contenders on the record about this last gasp of the royal pretender in the Labour Party - the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP.