Deselection is Essential to Democracy 228

There is a very extraordinary meme which Blairites keep raising in the Commons debate, that it is “abusive” or “undemocratic” for Labour MPs to face deselection by their members.

In the SNP, there is never any automatic reselection for anybody. You are selected for one term and have to be renominated for another term, where you can be opposed. Indeed deselection happens quite often in the SNP without drawing any comment at all. If the members aren’t happy with your performance, they will get in someone else.

It is remarkable that Labour MPs feel that they should have a job for life, whether the constituency members are happy with your performance or not. If Labour party members decide they do not want an extreme right winger like Stella Creasy or John Mann to represent them, why is it “undemocratic” to get rid of them at the end of the term for which they are elected? Individuals do not own the party, and nobody is stopping them from running as independent candidates or joining the Conservative Party.

This goes to the heart of the Blairite cause. It is apparently not “undemocratic” for them to take legal advice on whether they can keep Jeremy Corbyn’s name off the ballot in a future membership ballot. It is not “undemocratic” to discuss deselecting the Leader, but it is a heinous offence against democracy to consider deselecting an MP. The odious Blairites are the most self-centred, selfish and indeed sociopathic group ever to have a serious presence in the UK parliament.

228 thoughts on “Deselection is Essential to Democracy

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    Absolutely. I think this will backfire on them. Rather than the general public and party membership feeling sympathy for these poor bullied MPs they will have contempt.

    If Labour MPs want to defy the Party Leader’s wishes and their membership’s views to vote with their conscience – fine. But they must then have the courage of their convictions and accept that there may be consequences.

    But this is just another example of the wider undermining of democracy. Not just in the UK but worldwide.

  • Sixer

    It’s the sheer shock of coming into contact with the people, dontchaknow.

    My favourite is their constant whining about being harassed and bullied online. Don’t they know that the tweets they read are just what people used to say ABOUT them down the pub and now say TO them online? And not really even TO them; just in their general direction.

    Politicians moved into an actual democratic public sphere and met reality. And they don’t like it much.

  • Bob Smith

    Just listening to the most patronising speech of the day by Caroline Spelman whose focus is around how wonderful the COE is, how it can help refugees and how the church is ok with bombing. She also seems to dressed in the manner of a Star Wars Empire extra, which doesn’t help.

    I am trying to give up swearing but I think watching this debate has been a mistake as I now owe my swear box more than my annual income.

  • Ben-Hump the anti-hemp nations.

    You can’t undermine the forms of democracy extant because they”get been engineered by the framers to operate just this way. Imagine how they rationalized their concept of freedom as they simultaneously held slaves.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The odious Blairites are the most self-centred, selfish and indeed sociopathic group ever to have a serious presence in the UK parliament.

    The Old Etonian crowd runs them pretty close, though. If you can distinguish them at all, that is.

  • Anon1


    “Politicians moved into an actual democratic public sphere and met reality. And they don’t like it much.”

    You think that Twitter is representative of public opinion? Lol

  • Anon1


    You seem to have a thing against Old Etonians today. Did you attend a minor public school?

  • David Hooper

    Craig, I usually like your stuff but to call Stella Creasy an extreme right winger is absolutely bonkers. Her work on Pay day lenders has helped many people in this country, including one of my relatives so it’s a subject close to my heart.

    Threatening to deselect someone if they don’t do what they want is bullying pure and simple. Particularly as in Stella Creasy’s situation it seems there are underhand motives to do with replacing her with someone connected to a labour councillor

  • David Hooper

    And if Stella is an “extreme right winger”, what does that make the Tory party? Or UKIP?!

  • fedup

    In this land whence everyone is required to be multi skilled and face the changes in the market place, all the while searching for new employment opportunities as they lose their old way of earning a living. The cretins posing as our “elected representatives” having made their way next to the trough are now busy defending any probable and potential fall out from manifestly warmongering agenda, given the free vote that has been afforded to these miscreants.

    This is in the way or preemptive bombardment of the hamburger munchers (we the people) to head us off at that pass. Asthese wasters of food and useless ornaments that cost we the people enormous sums of money and even worse the huge opportunity costs that their presence in the HoC entails, already are fighting a rear guard action to keep on troughing regardless of the consequences of their shabby discharge of duty that is designed to protect their sponsors; corporate, tribal, and any other imperative other than the interests of their hardworking and disenfranchised constituents whom have been so manifestly cuckolded by the very promiscuous so called “elected representatives” and as in any other sham marriage any talk of divorce (deselection) is greeted with hue and cry of unfairness and undemocratic practices!!!

    These bastards ought be be hanging from the nearest yardarm as it is these venal, corrupt carpetbaggers have the audacity of blaming their constituents for wishing to seek a better representative as undemocratic!!!

  • Macky

    @Careful Craig, or you will upset Jon the Ex-Mod, who spent a lot of time & effort here arguing that Corbyn needs these Blairite snakes to ensure Labour unity !! 😀

    I thought Alan Johnson using an important debate for in-party sniping with is “‘finger-jabbing kinder politics’ cheap jibe was disgusting.

  • Anon1

    David Hooper

    I don’t think Craig is at home on the far left, but he seems to have bought into their idea that anything to the right of extreme left-wing is far-right.

  • John Brown

    I agree wholeheartedly with your views.

    I have never been a member of the labour party but have often wondered if its leadership has ever regarded the party as a democratic organisation. Arguably it is possible for a non democratic party (with non democratic internal structures & mechanisms) to participate in a country’s democratic process and to then govern a democratic country. A large part of the population seem to find this acceptable.

    Not that I believe Westminster is a democratic institution or that the UK is democratic country.

  • Anon1

    I’m still laughing at Sixer’s post:

    Don’t they know that the tweets they read are just what people used to say ABOUT them down the pub and now say TO them online?


    I’ve just been to the pub, Sixer, where BBC News 24 was showing on the big screen, and the general feeling among the patrons was that the entire Islamic world should be nuked from orbit.

    They weren’t planning their re-tweets for the latest ePetition to David Cameron. Lol

  • Republicofscotland

    “I don’t think Craig is at home on the far left, but he seems to have bought into their idea that anything to the right of extreme left-wing is far-right.”


    I don’t think you feel at home on Craig’s blog, but then again it’s not up to you is it, you just do what you’re told.

    No RoP report on this thread yet, I suppose we must be thankful for small mercies, still it’s early yet.

  • Sixer

    Anon1 4:56 pm

    I thought I was fairly clear: Twitter is representative of pub opinion. To whit, loud, rude, aggressive and a place where the voice of the working class is as loud as the voice of the posh. This reality is the one politicians of all stripes – but particularly Blairites, since this is their purported constituency – very much dislike.

  • Republicofscotland

    “It’s all about selective perception”



    I take it you had Anon1 and Habb in mind with that enlightened observation.

    Though where Habb and Anon1 are concerned I’d leave out the word perception, they don’t posses such a thing.

  • bevin

    “Threatening to deselect someone if they don’t do what they want is bullying pure and simple.”
    It is nothing of the sort. The proper thing is to elect a Member for one term. Then, depending upon performance and the potential performances of alternative candidates, to rehearse the nomination process.
    Obviously one of the questions that will arise, when a former MP is seeking re-nomination, is whether the person has consistently voted with the Tories on key issues. Those who have being unlikely to be able to count on the enthusiasm or the support of opponents of the Tories.
    The elephant in this room is the long series of purges that New Labour and its predecessors engaged in to prevent socialists from winning nominations and to ensure that most new members were followers of Mandelson et al.
    All Labour MPs should be subjected automatically to re- or de- selection by Constituency members.

  • Sixer

    Anon1 5:13 pm

    You’re like the board’s resident point-misser, aintcha?!

    It’s not the OPINION; it’s the EXPRESSION of the opinion, you ninny.

    The special snowflakes don’t like the way people talk to them on Twitter. They call it abuse. But this is the way people talk “down the pub”, “in real life”, however you want to put it.

    If someone tells me to get stuffed, I don’t report it as abuse in the House of Commons because my delicate feelings were hurt; I say get stuffed back.

    Strangely enough, I’d’ have thought you could identify. 😉

  • Mary

    Spelman The most holy of the Blue Tories. Welby even paid for her to attend the CoE Synod.
    CARE. Conservative Christian Fellowship. Christian Action. etc.

    Not so honest when it came to her expenses. £40K for cleaning and for which home. See below and also

    And then there was Nannygate.

    This in 2009.
    ‘Caroline Spelman, 51
    Shadow communities and local government secretary
    Education Herts and Essex Grammar School, Bishop’s Stortford, Essex. University of London
    Wealth £1.5m
    Caroline Spelman co-owns Spelman, Cormack & Associates, a food and biotechnology business, with her husband. They also own three properties, including a four-storey Georgian townhouse in London, with an estimated combined value of £5m. In 1997-98, she misused the parliamentary staffing allowance to pay her nanny. The expenses revelations this year showed that she received £40,000 for bills and cleaning for her constituency home, despite her husband claiming it was their main home. In 2005, she attacked proposals on revaluing council tax. Ironically enough, for the 2007-2008 financial year she over claimed hundreds of pounds on her own council tax.’

    The New Ruling Class

  • Tony_0pmoc

    It maybe too late for deselection. This is not a war game. Its the real thing.

    Our MP’s need to understand, why Russia will be determined to shoot down any enemy aircraft flying over Syria. Without full working co-operation (which Russia thought they already had) we are looking at a full blown hot war against Russia over Syria…

    Then the nukes will fly.

    This link will give a clue … particularly the waiting TV crews to photograph the shoot-down and get it published on youtube within 90 minutes…

    “Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation added 3 new photos.”

    You could also try reading “BOMBSHELL: Ambush of Russian Bomber Was Guided by US Reconnaissance” on Russia Insider.

  • Ben-Hump the anti-hemp nations.

    RoS: I fear all human beans are subject to selective perception. Not to say some are more selective than others.

  • nevermind

    Absolutely Bevin, one term should be mandatory for every parliamentarian, this right to power never existed. One term only would sort out the problem with corrupt troughers.
    This ‘British disease’ is synonymous with FPTP and party politics as it evolved. Postal voting fraud would instantly loose its appeal if MPs would not get automatically reselected.

    But ‘the people’ don’t deserve a fair vote, the party politicians don’t want to offer us the choice. Everyone else in the Union had this choice, except off course, the English….

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)



    You seem to have a thing against Old Etonians today. Did you attend a minor public school?”

    I’ve noticed that as well, Anon.

    Would you happen to know (1) how many of the Cabinet and (2) how many on the govt payroll attended Eton?

    The way some people are going on you might imagine we’re back with the 1959 Macmillan govt, egad!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The UK Parliament could still defuse this escalation to World War III, by voting No to War – as to my total amazement they did in 2013. It could actually come down to one vote, by one sane person, switching his vote from Yes to No War.

    The World still does take notice, despite our faults, of where modern democracy has come from.

    If they vote Yes to war..I might just book a holiday to Christchurch in New Zealand…and not come back. I know a Visa is only supposed to last for 6 months…but they are hardly likely to force us to come back to England if it becomes a Nuclear wasteland.

    I like the Kiwis – lovely soft accent – and a similar sense of humour to the Aussies and us.

    Yes, I know they had a serious Earthquake a few years ago..but they are recovering fast.


  • nevermind

    Whats all this criticism then by our resident trolls? look here chums, you do not have to endure us, leave, why don’t you. We have to make do with you.

    don’t think anybody would be running to Craig moaning that they want you back. Scram and make us happy, if you are allowed to that is.

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