Following on from my last blog, here’s what happened today.
UK Labour Party official Eric Wilson turned up early and met Stephen Dean’s executive, which for now still runs Falkirk West constituency, in secret. He refused to address the assembled members and left by a side-door so they wouldn’t actually see him. The loyal members had turned up having been invited explicitly to discuss recent ‘events’. The letter sent out by the Labour Party explained; “General Secretary Ian McNicol has confirmed that a party delegate, most likely Eric Wilson, will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have with (sic) what has been going on over the past few months”.
At the members meeting, Gray Allan, Stephen Deans’ supporter, who chaired the meeting, explained that Eric Wilson had said (at the secret pre-meeting) that; “it would be wrong for him to have to field questions about what has been going on over the last few months”. No kidding. Moral cowardice wrapped in Franz Kafka’s toilet tissue.
Labour also put out a statement, published in the Sunday Herald: “The complaints about the Falkirk selection have been fully investigated and acted upon”.
Here’s Ed MIliband’s statement from July.
“Let me be clear about this: I am incredibly angry about what’s happened in Falkirk because I feel the good name of Labour party members, of trade union members and the Labour party has been besmirched by the behaviour of a few individuals – that’s why we’ve suspended the local party, that’s why we’ve now suspended two individuals, and that’s why we’re also clear that we’re losing down the scheme that allowed this abuse to happen.
“And I just want to be very clear about this: I’m not going to have abuse of membership procedures and Parliamentary selections in my party, and that is very clear and I want to be clear about that to the leadership of Unite the union in particular.”
So, as Eric Wilson squeaks out under a side door and the Labour Party leaves Deans in charge in Falkirk, along with his placefolk; as decent long-serving members of the Labour Party are treated, frankly, with contempt, we’re left to ponder on exactly how Unite’s leadership has Labour under control.
Those words of Ed’s. That’s all they were, right?
PS (updated Monday 4 Nov): here’s today’s Daily Mail front page. So it seems the latest state of play is…Labour discontinued an enormously important inquiry because someone withdrew their evidence. It later turned out that a Unite lawyer wrote the letter of retraction, Stephen Deans cleared it and then, according to the original witness, the letter of retraction was actually sent to the Labour Party without her ever seeing it. Or hearing any more about the matter.
Labour’s clearly hoping that we’re all going to forget about this rampantly corrupted process – we know this because, incredibly, Johann Lamont said so this morning on BBC Radio Scotland; “I am absolutely convinced that when a candidate is selected their (the members) focus will be on engaging again with the electorate rather than the process which is currently going on, which is deeply unedifying”. So The Labour Party’s line is, literally, – ‘we’re hoping the selection process will make everyone forget about this horribly embarrassing problem we have and the latter with thereby just go away’. Do you know what? I really don’t think it will.