|two members of Reading Labour's executive committee|
... the Phil Woolas story is even by the standards of modern politics something quite unique. For the first time since universal suffrage came about an ‘election court’ - an anachronism of a legislative system littered with detritus dating back to Cromwell and beyond overturns the judgement of the electorate. No. Courts have overturned election results before, in Newark, in Winchester as Howarth says himself, and there have been others.Two judges, no jury, sitting with a range of powers designed in another age when politicians were all of independent means.
There is almost certainly what do you mean "almost"? fan of fraudulent elections are you John? Oh. a place in the system for some form of ‘long stop’ where a defective election may be contested on a variety of grounds. Whether or not it is wise for candidates to do so is a moot point. Gerry Malone, the former Conservative MP for Winchester, who lost by two votes at the 1997 election and successfully petitioned against the spoilt papers found himself trashed by 21,556 at the re-run. The British don’t like bad losers... The right to remove an elected representative, unless that person is convicted of criminal offences, should rest solely with the electorate. oh yeah? but not in Reading East So while there could be a case for ordering a re-run of an election, there is no justification for not allowing the electorate of Oldham East and Saddleworth to determine whether or not they wish Phil Woolas to represent them. The essential principle is that in a modern democracy the final sanction should lie with the electorate. or in the case of Reading Labour a small group of men
... While it is easy to understand the political logic in Labour’s suspension of Phil Woolas it is distasteful and piles one injustice on top of another. Phil Woolas was one of Labour’s most loyal, never voting against the Labour Government or the party whip, a member over 35 years and someone who never worked for anything other than Labour success.Tso obviously he had to go, eh John, by the logic of your own performance and activities ... He dosen’t sic deserve it. Phil Woolas is, as things stand, barred from the Commons, so his status as a Labour member is relevant only to him personally - he is no longer a public representative, there is no whip to withdraw. Pointless though the suspension is, the control freaks of the Labour establishment may wish to use this unfortunate incident as a pretext to impose another set of heavy-handed restrictions on local parties I only wish they would, the executive committees of most CLPs are packed with dangerous lunatics while handily taking attention from their own manifest failings in this case...
a period of silence on Mr Howarth's part would be most welcome. While these barely literate doublethink ramblings can be entertaining, every paragraph he writes reminds the Reading electorate of what they have only just got rid of. A bunch of corrupt scumbags who hold the electorate in contempt.