4 pm April 20, 2010 - that's the deadline for nomination papers to be submitted for prospective parliamentary candidates. That's less than four working days away. Since the results of the Nottingham East 'selection' were announced late yesterday afternoon, I have been asking contacts on the Labour Party's Special Selection Panel and in the media about the prospects of yet more selections to come. Given how little time is left, any last minute 'resignations' by prospective parliamentary candidates would inevitably require a new candidate to be imposed - an ideal opportunity for the exercise of yet more patronage by the 'powers that be'.
Only two weeks ago, the Labour-supporting weekly Tribune magazine reported a possible further dozen 'redundancy runners' resignations - MPs willing to step down to take advantage of generous payments for just not standing for parliament again under the corrupting allowances system of the last Parliament, now abolished. That was followed by a report of an even larger number in the Daily Telegraph on Easter Saturday. 'Up to 20 Labour MPs may stand down this week', its headline claimed. Nothing has happened. So far.
Reactions to my queries ranged from 'watch xxxxxxxxxxxxxx', who brusquely denied the suggestion when asked by a contact whom I knew would have the person's telephone number, to extreme doubt that any further stitch-ups were possible.
So I remain on alert to chronicle if necessary. Ideas about how to 'legislate' against these abuses inside the Labour Party in future would be welcome. Rebuilding trust between members, supporters, voters and their elected Labour Party respresentatives is going to take much longer.