...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 2366: And the Winner Is…


Well, Mr Frown, obviously.

But much MORE interesting – well, interesting if you are a number anorak like Daddy Richard – are the results for the DEPUTY leader. Or as BBC3's news in 60 Seconds put it: Mr Frown gets to be Top Dog, but who gets to be Deputy Dawg?

Handily, someone has put the full results on the Wikipedia (thank you to Mr James for spotting this) and they make interesting reading (with the same caveat as above).

What is clear is that Mrs Harpic didn't just win in the LAST round – no, in fact she was a CLEAR winner in EVERY round… among the MEMBERS of the Labour. But she LOST in BOTH of the other categories EVERY TIME too!

Equally clear is that Mr Postman Pat, far from having the union vote all tied up as everyone supposed, was actually kept in the competition because he won the MPs and MEPs college EVERY TIME.

In fact, the Unions voted EVERY TIME for Mr Never Heard of Him from the Backbenches, only switching to Mr Pat in the final round when Mr Whoever He Was had been knocked out and taken away for interrogation tea and cakes by Mr Frown's SECRET STALIN secret police.

Now, you MIGHT say that there is a bit of a case for Union members to have a say in the Labour's leadership election. All right, SECRET STALIN fixed that, but you might say that they should have a say in the DEPUTY election, because they pay their money. Of course, under the present system there's no limit to how MANY Unions they can join so if they feel like it they can have SEVERAL says, which is kind of not right. Less one member one-third of a vote; more one member, how many votes would sir like to buy?

But the really OUTRAGEOUS thing is giving the MPs and MEPs SUPER-VOTES: there are three-hundred and fifty-one Labour Members of Parliament and nineteen Labour European Parliament Members, three-hundred and seventy in total; meanwhile, the Labour have around about a hundred-and-eighty-thousand members.

So an MP's vote is worth 487-and-a-half members. (That is a third divided by 370 over a third divided by 180,000… PLUS an extra one because the MP can vote AS a member AS WELL!)

This seems VERY UNFAIR – especially when the MPs can choose to LOCK OUT anyone they do not want to stand anyway… as a certain Secret Stalin managed to organise in the Leadership ballot.

Oh the WHOLE, it would be a lot fairer or at least a whole lot less peculiar if they just gave ONE EQUAL vote to every member and, if they want to, ONE to everyone who was signed up to a union too.

So the good news is – if you are Mrs Harpic – that you LOOK like you GENUINELY deserved to win, rather than having it fixed for you by Union Barons (or "My Husband", as Mrs Harpic calls one of them) or by Secret Stalins in Parliament.

Or so it would SEEM, except that we cannot REALLY know for sure, because in round THREE Mr Benny Hill was eliminated even though he actually came SECOND in the members' vote.

If Mr Don't Know Him Now and Never Will had been eliminated at that stage for coming last among the members, then who knows how his vote might have split up among Mr Benny and Mrs Harpic and Mr Pat? It might have been Mr Postman Pat eliminated at the fourth round and then Mr Benny and Mrs Harpic could have gone head to head!

Would a Blaiocratic stuffed effigy passing themselves off as the true inheritor of the Labour tradition have won in that contest? Who can possibly know?!

Never mind, Mr Benny, you can console yourself with the fact that you will probably keep your job in the Cabinet, maybe even get a promotion, while Mr Frown has acted quickly to say that the elected deputy leader can be Party Chair. Amid the huge applause for this decision, how many – I wonder – realised that what he was actually saying was "the elected Deputy will NOT be Deputy Prime Monster"?

I doubt that Mrs Harpic was expecting her promotion to Party Chair to mean she was being SAT ON!

Of course, if Mr Frown was a REAL Secret Stalin, he would IMMEDIATELY replace Mrs Harpic with a STEPFORD Harpic who would say she never said the government should apologise for Invading Iraq. Oh…

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