In the annals of hopeless causes Save the Labour Party might feature as a footnote. Alternatively, with the right skill set, we might succeed. As I write the Labour Party's Procedures Committee is reviewing 'blue touch paper' issues concerning the Leadership contest, triggered by Gordon Brown's resignation both as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party with immeidate effect last Tuesday.
They are the timetable for nominations, and a ban on endorsements by affiliated unions and MPs for candidates other that supporting nominations.
An extention of the nomination deadline until 9 June from 27 May has just been announced. But it still has no constitutional basis.
I spoke to the Labour friendly lawyer who has previously advised the Party about constitutional issues this morning, though he is better known in his professional as a property lawyer - and indeed the Party leadership is once again eyeing the property portfolio of Constituency and Branch Labour Parties to bolster the national Party's balance sheet - so such expertise is not unwelcome. However, I digress.
The central issue for me as a member of the NEC is that legal advice was cited and the lawyer named to support the proposals, which my own understanding of the Rule Book tells me is fundamentally flawed.
The lawyer concerned told me this morning that he had NOT been consulted about the proposals presented to the NEC, nor had he been approached in the recent past. I am convinced that the advice he has tendered previously to the Party on the conduct of Leadership elections relates exclusively to when Labour was in government, and not opposition as is the case today.
So those of us committed to party democracy are left with the need for the requisite number of MPs to nominate both Leader before the hustings have barely started. As for the Deputy Leader nomination papers, it is a case of DIY nominations, make the case, and hope that a candidate is forthcoming from the PLP with the necessary 52 nominations to force a contest.
If there happens to be a constitutional lawyer out there with a Party Card and readiness to work pro bono, please get in touch.