Pic courtesy of my mobile phone 🙂
As most of you will know by now, the Labour NEC met yesterday initially to determine whether or not Jeremy Corbyn could feature on the leadership ballot. They ruled that he can, but they simultaneously ruled that those members who joined after 12th January 2016 would not be eligible to take part in the election. Additionally, a charge of £25 will be levied to register as a Labour Supporter, a significantly higher fee than the £3 previously charged. At a time when British people are once again reinvigorated by politics and political change, and clamouring to take an active part in their party of choice, they are being denied this chance. Jeremy Corbyn has inspired unprecedented growth in the Labour party membership, and those new members, and those who wish to vote in the leadership contest, should not be denied a chance to vote.
The figure of £25 is a discriminatory price that will clearly exclude a great many from being able to take part in this vote. People who wish to vote will need to register as supporters and pay £25 between 18th-20th July in order to secure the right to vote.
Unlike the tories, we have a plan A and a plan B …
I met the fabulous Lauren Ashby on Twitter on 2 days ago, following the announcement by Labour NEC.
Lauren, myself and some other tweeters said we would gladly pay the £25 to a Labour supporter to enable them to vote.
This culminated in Lauren setting up a Just Giving page to accept donations, with a view to disbursing them to the unwaged, low waged, pensioner or student who wanted to vote but was effectively barred from doing so by the punitive £25 charge which they were unable to afford.
We all know why the NEC did this of course, it was because their final attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn had failed and so the only thing left to them was to attack the new members (most of whom supported Jeremy Corbyn) who had recently joined in their thousands.
Before I provide a link to the Just Giving page, I would just like to say this … Lauren and I are both private individuals with a strong sense of decency and democracy who felt we had to DO SOMETHING.
We are aware that there may be concerns that the people who claim the £25 may vote for a person we might not necessarily admire (she said trying to avoid looking at Angela Eagle and Owen Smith) but hey, that’s democracy folks and money should not be a barrier to it.
The way the Just Giving site works is like this; the monies donated are released after a month of setting up the page, which means that payments to individuals will need to be made before 20 July 2016, which is the cut off date to register and pay your £25
I am going to stump up the cash up front and then get reimbursed from the site once the 30 days are up. The money is coming from my “Rainy Day Fund” because this to me looks very much like a rainy day.
Lauren and I will probably request from the people who claim the £25 via the site, for a screen shot on their phone of some documentary evidence to show that they are unwaged, low waged a pensioner or student. Once seen by either Lauren or I it will be immediately deleted to protect privacy. Our word is our bond.
We will also need to establish that the person claiming the £25 is a Labour supporter, possibly by viewing their Twitter or Facebook timeline; this is to prevent rogue tory supporters hijacking the leadership ballot (cynical, moi, you betcha)
Some of the comments on the site from the people who donated are heartwarming, inspirational and some even made me cry … read them for yourself; but all of those who donated have restored my faith in human nature.
In less than 48 hours of the site going live, these wonderful, awesome, beautiful people donated enough to fund the £25 fee for 125 people … how brilliant is that!
For those of you who wish to donate, please do and for those of you who wish to claim the £25, please scroll to bottom of the just giving page, click on contact fundraiser and send Lauren a message or you can direct message her on Twitter @Oisille if you’d prefer.
You’ll remember I said there was also a plan B…
Well, it seems that Labour NEC are in breach of contract, as new members (those who registered after January 2016) were “sold” their membership with the entitlement to vote in any leadership election. The new ruling has been backdated by 6 months. This is potentially a criminal offence and the NEC may be liable to a fine and or prosecution. They will most certainly have to refund the subscriptions of those affected.
To form a contract, the law states;
A contractual relationship is evidenced by (1) an offer, (2) acceptance of the offer, and a (3) valid (legal and valuable) consideration. Each party to a contract acquires rights and duties relative to the rights and duties of the other parties. However, while all parties may expect a fair benefit from the contract (otherwise courts may set it aside as inequitable) it does not follow that each party will benefit to an equal extent.
The complaint has been lodged and Trading Standards are currently investigating … watch this space.
To cheer you up after all the shenanigins, I thought I’d post this musical tribute to those tory MPs who got sacked or resigned from the Conservative Cabinet today … (p.s. check out the VERY young Paul Simon)
Very bad news , I’m afraid. To say I am devastated is an understatement. – this letter from Lauren (the fundraiser) posted on the Just Giving page explains:-