GOOD NEWS for the Reverend Rees as he’s “overwhelmingly” reselected to stand for mayor in 2020 for Bristol’s Labour Party. Although it looks like the Reverend’s well-remunerated sidekick Kevin “Slo” Slocombe may have worked tirelessly BEHIND THE SCENES stitching-up the procedures for the ‘trigger ballot’ that decided the Reverend could not be challenged for the Labour candidacy.
Labour’s ‘trigger ballot’ rules were CHANGED at their last conference so that ward branches (of members) and party affilliates (staffed by bureaucrats) are balloted SEPARATELY and if either section has ONE THIRD in favour of a selection process then one is run. Under the old rules, there was ONE BALLOT requiring a simple majority for branches and affiliates combined. This tended to favour affiliates, such as trade unions who CONSIDERABLY OUTNUMBER WARD BRANCHES. For example, in Bristol, there are 25 ward branches and 92 affiliates, which means membership votes were outnumbered almost three to one by the bureaucrats.
However, trade union insider, Slo Kev’s LOBBYING of eager right wing bosses at Labour’s South West Region, who LOATHE the Corbynite rank and file of their party, persuaded them to bend the rules and allow the Reverend’s trigger ballot to be run UNDER THE DODGY OLD RULES. This meant even if every Labour ward branch in Bristol had voted for a reselection process, THERE WOULD NOT BE ONE if the affiliates decided they didn’t want one.
And so it came to pass that the Reverend was reselected as Labour’s candidate even though many wards hadn’t even had time to run a ballot before they were STOPPED by Labour’s dodgy regional bosses because of the impending Euro elections. Other wards complain their selection meetings weren’t QUORATE (ie. there were not enough members there). The Reverend’s own branch, Easton and Lawrence Hill tell us their vote wasn’t quorate but an ‘indicative vote’ was 32 – 5 AGAINST their own member.
Over at the Hartcliffe, Withywood and Bishopsworth branch, the meeting was quorate but the ballot paper WASN’T WORDED CORRECTLY so couldn’t be counted. While in Eastville, the Reverend’s former election agent, Kelvin Blake FORGOT to invite any party officials to their ballot and declared a victory for Rees despite the meeting not being quorate! In fact, the only branch we can find that legitimately voted for Rees were the wealthy liberals of Redland keen on a reheated Blairite to maintain the status quo.
What a shambles. Is this a party fit to run a city?