The question on the lips of many Labour members in Bristol – “How the fuck do we get rid of the Reverend Rees”? – remains UNANSWERED by the Bristol Labour Party less than 18 months before the next mayoral election.
Members have been told that any selection process for their mayoral candidate in 2020 will be subject to a ‘TRIGGER BALLOT’. A process where affiliated organisations such as constituency parties, trade unions and other largely mysterious and unknown Labour Party interest groups get a vote to decide whether there should a selection process or whether the Reverend Rees should get another shot at mayor UNCHALLENGED.
Many local Labour members are unhappy with the trigger ballot process, claiming that a decision on whether to have a selection process should be ONE MEMBER ONE VOTE and not left to the Labour Party’s labyrinthine bureaucracies and rule book to decide.
Unfortunately members appear to have LOST that battle already. Instead, local members are left scratching their heads at the nature of this ballot they do not want after trigger ballot rules, largely used to challenge sitting MPs, were CHANGED at the last Labour Conference. Now, nobody seems sure what that means for a mayoral trigger ballot in Bristol.
Local Labour members have been told that the local party and its regional office is “seeking clarification on what the changes to the trigger ballot process mean for the Mayoral selection”. But the clock is now running down FAST.
Will the Reverend get returned to office due to administrative incompetence and bureaucratic inertia against the wishes of the majority of Labour members in Bristol?
Bristol Unison in action
A certain UNISON branch secretary was spotted lurking in the depths of City Hall last autumn.
UNITE reps – having been tipped off that devious shenanigans were in the offing from their opposite numbers in UNISON – were posted at strategic locations to intercept and follow him. The ensuing sneaking around was likened to something that might be achieved by Japan’s finest ninja assassins. Others likened it to a chase scene from Benny Hill.
Regardless, the upshot of it was that UNITE managed to find the location of a secret meeting with the Mayor. A meeting that they had every right to attend but the invites to which the UNISON branch secretary had mysteriously forgotten to send to UNITE! The branch secretary had a duty as “employee side secretary” to invite all the attendees but had conveniently forgotten to do so when an important discussion was to take place.
A discussion concerning the fate of thousands of employees and many services that might face cuts. It has been alleged that said secretary wanted time alone with the mayor to finesse things to his union’s advantage. It’s now being reported to us that shortly after this shoddy episode, the UNISON branch secretary now no longer holds the post of employee side secretary.The post is instead held by UNITE.
It’s also has been reported that UNISON is now finding it difficult to arrange meetings with the mayor. Strange, because the mayor seems to be meeting every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. Only last week the mayor met with a couple of commies from an anti-austerity group that were hanging around trying to sell a few copies of the Morning Star. They were whisked inside and afterwards said the meeting had been “quite productive”.