In politics, we would like to assume that everything is fair and above board, the reason why is that trust is absolutely essential.
The Labour Falkirk row is extremely messy; it should have been dealt with by the Scottish leader Johann Lamont and not farmed out to Ed Miliband.
What is the point of a leader if you don’t take charge?
If it wasn’t for the problems of Eric Joyce, the scandal in Flakirk would never have happened, but it did, and now we see that the chairman of the Scottish Labour Party has been dragged into it, as it appears he was directly involved in the campaign to sign up union members.
It is said that this was done to influence the constituency selection battle.
Vote rigging isn’t new in politics, if you type in SNP Vote Rigging into Google, you come up with this:
Osama Saeed was a former adviser to Alex Salmond.
And then read this:
Alex MacLeod worked for Alex Salmond.
Time for part of a quote by Alex Salmond:
“My problem is that I have too many talented people”.
Back to Ms. Lamont’s problem, Emails reveal party chairman Jackson Cullinane chit chatting away to leaders of the Unite union during their epic attempt to secure the selection of its preferred prospective parliamentary candidate called Karie Murphy. She has had to stand down as the storm raged overhead.
Is it right that the Unite union should try and attempt to pack the Falkirk Labour Party with its supporters?
Is it right that people were even signed up as party members without their knowledge?
No and no!
If people believe that a vote can rigged then why should they act in good faith?
Why should they be activists?
One time an SNP branch official said to me that the SNP has the best election system that money can buy.
He laughed at that joke but make sure you read the links above.
So what should Labour do, what does Ed Miliband and Ms Lamont need to get their head round?
Ordering an inquiry into what went on, it doesn’t have to be public, but it does have to restore trust so that rank and file members know that if they put their names forward then the election can’t be bought out from under them.
Alistair Darling says that questions need to be answered.
Looking at what passes back and forward between certain people, must raise some eyebrows, particularly:
"Of course, joining a member by cheque, and one they haven't even written themselves, will mean a lot of drop-off after the first year, so it's not ideal in the long term but should be okay for the selection."
“Okay for selection”.
Unimpressive SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said:
"This is a damning revelation, and means Johann Lamont can no longer get away with saying nothing of substance on the issue”.
The SNP did nothing about the vote rigging except to move the date when it became public, and a spokesman said what went on broke no party rules.
"Despite the fact she is supposed to be leader of the whole Labour Party in Scotland, Ms Lamont has stood by and watched her party implode in Falkirk without doing anything. Given this new evidence, she can no longer leave this matter to her party bosses in London."
In Scotland both Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond and Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minster Nicola Sturgeon didn’t change the rules to end SNP vote rigging, the people involved in buying memberships for members of the Asian Community were close to both of them.
The SNP is a party within a party and their hypocrisy is laughable, the SNP is a clique, run for the benefit of a clique and as such there isn’t a lot of talent in it, just check out the Scottish independence campaign, an utter shambles.
One thing is certain, if the members of the Labour Party can’t trust their own selection process then how can the public and that is why an inquiry is needed, and a total ban on the buying of memberships via third parties.
If you want to be a member of a political party, you buy your own membership.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University