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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Labour leadership contenders scrap over the animal vote

The farce that is the Labour leadership contest continues apace as rows break out over those who are being allowed to vote and the apparently arbitrary process that has been adopted to exclude infiltrators.

Some well-known Labour supporters, such as the actor Douglas Henshall and comedians Francesca Martinez and Jeremy Hardy have been effectively branded as infiltrators and told that they cannot cast a ballot. According to the Daily Mirror, they are in good company with many other genuine Labour voters being black-balled.

Meanwhile, Lib Dem Voice editor and former Lib Dem Councillor, Stephen Tall was sent a ballot paper. I am aware of at least one other prominent Liberal Democrat who has cast a vote through being a political-levy paying member of a Trade Union.

And as if to add insult to injury for the by-now bedraggled and humiliated Labouir Party, journalists have started to register their pets to see if they can successfully navigate the vetting system.

The Guardian says that Ned, the three-year-old pet tabby cat of a Buzzfeed journalist, has been a party supporter since early this month:  The cat has since been sent a ballot paper and was able to cast his vote in the four-way contest for leadership of the party even though he is not registered to vote in local or general elections.

“Ned does not appear on the electoral roll because Ned is a cat,” Buzzfeed confirmed.

Ned, whose Labour value credentials were proved by the fact that “both his collar and bow-tie are red”, and who has rarely expressed any political views other than not liking Irish people, according to his owner, signed up easily.
All that was required was his home address, date of birth and contact details. A Hotmail address soupycampbell1986@hotmail.com was set up and soon inundated with a torrent of emails from Labour grandees, addressed with “Dear Ned”.

And it seems that Ned is not the only one:

Matthew Parris, the Times columnist, earlier revealed that his four pet llamas “have been on tenterhooks” after their registration papers were filed last week. 

He wrote: Knapp, elderly and of steady judgment, favours Yvette Cooper, but without enthusiasm. Vera (a political ingénue) would support Andy Burnham solely on account of his eyelashes. Gussie, who has always suspected the whole world is against her, and supported Ukip until recently, is a fanatical Corbynite. Young Craig is frankly not worth listening to. He supports Russell Brand, though I’ve told him Mr Brand isn’t standing. 

Parris said later that the “Lamar family” were disappointed and there had been a “registration issue” with the application – his efforts in setting up lamarfamilymum@gmail.com and paying £12 in fees were just not enough. 

The registration process is so farcical that I have to keep reminding myself that it is not a parody. Among at least 1,800 people who have already been weeded out as infiltrators, 150 people had stood as candidates for the Green party, 92 were members and candidates with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and 18 were senior figures from Left Unity.

Just as well the Labour Party has no ambitions to run the country. Oh, wait!....
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