Kinnock sparks power struggle
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt. As Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator, he previously covered the John Major and early Tony Blair era. He has written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, Times and Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Correspondent. He is the author of Mandelson and the Making of New Labour (2000).
Sunday 21 February 1993
Mr Kinnock, in implied criticism of his successor, John Smith, will argue on BBC Television's On the Record that the party should have seized the opportunity to debate clear-cut 'one member one vote'(OMOV) selection of MPs at its last conference.
The former Labour leader will warn that the plan for registered supporters - in a confidential document on the party's union links to be considered by the National Executive this week - is not a 'workable compromise' between OMOV and the current electoral college system.
The registered-supporters proposal is also firmly rejected in a Fabian Society report published today by an influential group of Labour figures chaired by Lord Archer, a former Solicitor-General. The Fabian Society report recommends the ending of the block vote, with unions having no more than half the votes at party conference and then only on a basis where delegates can vote as individuals. It also proposes the scrapping of the party's controversial Clause IV, which since 1918 has committed the party to state ownership.
Although the registered-supporters plan is technically only one of the options proposed in the document from a commission set up by Mr Smith, the GMB general union, one of the biggest affiliated to the party, has already signified that it intends to campaign for it. GMB sources said yesterday the union would also reject an alternative plan in the document for trade union participation in constituency elections to be confined to 'levy plus' members who would pay a supplement over their union subscriptions to become full party members.
Mr Smith has yet to declare his hand on the proposal but is thought to be keen, like Mr Kinnock, to have parliamentary candidates selected under the OMOV system. He has also made clear he wants to end union involvement in the election of party leader and to reduce the trade union vote at party conferences.
Mr Kinnock says the registered-supporter system would be 'cumbersome, expensive and confusing - and couldn't in any way be superior to an OMOV system for the selecting of parliamentary candidates'. He adds: 'I would have liked the issue to have been decided at the 1992 conference, and I think the votes were close enough by the time we got to the conference to make it worthwhile pressing.'
The document going before Wednesday's NEC, and obtained by the Independent on Sunday, argues that registered supporters would reflect the fact that members of unions affiliated to Labour 'are the foundation of the union link with the party, but they do not have individual rights with the relationship'.
It says that the register would also provide a 'stepping stone' for those who want to become members of the party.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...