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Labour won it's appeal - what are your views?

(58 Posts)
voluptuagoodshag Fri 12-Aug-16 15:37:27

I think this amounts to something resembling election rigging. If you are a member of something, you get a vote. To change the rules to suit just lacks integrity.

lljkk Fri 12-Aug-16 15:44:17

When I paid £25 last month I took screenshots of the repeated info shown during the registration process, that said I would get information soon about being able to vote in the leadership election. That will be breach of contract if I can't vote for leadership after all.

If people who paid £3 are moaning they can't vote, I don't really care... because I paid £60 last yr to vote.

prh47bridge Fri 12-Aug-16 23:58:11

To change the rules to suit just lacks integrity

The NEC won because they haven't changed the rules to suit. The Labour party's rules are clear that members don't automatically get a vote in internal elections. They are clear that the NEC gets to decide the criteria for determining which members are eligible to vote and specifically envisage the NEC imposing a retrospective freeze date for such elections as a precaution against entryism.

If you are a member of something, you get a vote

Wrong. If you are a member of an unincorporated association such as the Labour Party you accept the rules of that association. Those rules determine your relationship with the association including whether or not you get a vote. It is perfectly legitimate for an association to require a certain length of membership before allowing a member to vote.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 08:07:09

Ahh but the website when I joined in July clearly said that new members would be able to vote for Leader. So if I cant vote I want my FUCKING money back please.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 08:38:18

Looking at the internet archive, the statement on their website was, "You’ll be eligible to vote in leadership elections, you can help shape party policy, you can attend local meetings and you can even stand as a candidate". All of that is true but several of those things aren't true immediately you join. You cannot, for example, stand as a candidate until you have been a member for 12 months. This particular statement was on their "Membership Explained" page as part of the answer to "Where could my membership take me". I think the party would be able to argue that this clearly implies that these items are things you will get at some time rather than things you will necessarily get immediately.

The judge in the High Court who ruled against the NEC was asked to consider claims based on implied terms and misrepresentation. He decided that he did not need to make any ruling on these claims but he expressed scepticism about them. The legal position is that when you join an unincorporated association you do so on the basis that you will be bound by the association's constitution and rules, regardless of whether or not you have seen them and irrespective of whether or not you are aware of particular provisions.

Under the party's rulebook you joined to late to vote in this leadership election but, provided you maintain your membership, you will be able to vote in future elections.

You can try to claim your money back but I doubt you will succeed. I believe the view of the courts would be that the statement on the website falls short of a promise that you would immediately be able to vote in leadership elections.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 13-Aug-16 08:41:32

Under the party's rulebook you joined to late to vote in this leadership election

Unless you paid £25 at a later date.

It's kind of sad to see the Labour Party in its death throes.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 09:30:35

not really a way to encourage people to join up and "grow" the party membership is it? Fuck this.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 09:38:48

oh and they rewrite the FUCKING rulebook AFTER you join up...

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 09:39:54

Fuck them. Really. Fuck the whole sodding ridiculous mess.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 09:51:29

oh and they rewrite the FUCKING rulebook AFTER you join up

No they did not. This case was decided on the basis of the 2016 rulebook which was current when you joined. Indeed, the rules in question were in the 2015 rulebook. These are not new rules. The NEC has not changed the rulebook. They do not have the power to do so. The rulebook can only be changed by the party conference.

When you joined the rulebook was clear that the NEC gets to decide which members are eligible to vote in leadership elections. The rulebook was also clear that the NEC can impose a retrospective freeze date.

If the NEC had changed the rulebook they would have lost the legal case. They won because their decision is entirely in line with the rulebook.

I can understand that you are unhappy, especially if you joined primarily to get a vote in this leadership contest. But I'm afraid that you signed up to the rules, and the rules as they stood at the time allowed the NEC to stop you from voting in this contest.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 09:59:36

It's kind of sad to see the Labour Party in its death throes

I agree. The party may prove to be surprisingly resilient. But right now there is a huge disconnect between its members and leadership on the one hand, and those who vote for the party on the other. The party is currently moving in a direction which plays well to its better off supporters in the South East but is not so attractive to working class voters in the North. Those leaders of the party who have achieved electoral success have understood the differences and have played down those parts of the party's agenda that would not be popular with working class voters. The party is currently unwilling to compromise with the electorate to gain power.

There is still a large tribal vote for the party so it may survive long enough for different views to prevail. But we need a strong opposition to hold the government to account. At the moment there isn't one.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 10:09:06

Well then it should have said on the website"You’ll be eligible to vote in leadership elections if the NEC subsequently decides that it feels like letting you, you can help shape party policy, you can attend local meetings and you can even stand as a candidate".

I think this is misrepresentation as the courts initially said.

This was not qualified on the website; if I pay for something I expect the benefits advertised.

The candidate bit is qualified by "can even", so I would expect this to be possibly more complicated.

So if they DON'T let me vote, unreasonable as that is, I would expect my money back. (I have asked for this, I'll let you know what they say)

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 10:15:08

Oh and it was very much a current issue that people would have joined Labour thinking to vote for the Leader. So they had a responsibility to have information on the join up page that reflected their attitude to new members correctly.

lljkk Sat 13-Aug-16 10:18:08

Some of the Corbynistas are saying things like "All those in Labour who don't support Jeremy can fuck off to the Tories & UKIP where they belong." It's shocking... they actually want to alienate most UK voters.

I think I have written off my £25 right now. Even with the reduced voter eligiblity, seems like Corbyn will still win. I can't support him so I can't support the party. Still sad that Labour will split.
On positive side, I have a cracking LibDem local MP. Should be a big boost to LibDems when Labour split.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 12:01:51

Well then it should have said on the website

Can I again point out that the section you are quoting comes under a question "where could my membership take me". That seems clear to me that you don't get those rights straight away. It certainly falls short of an unambiguous statement that you will get a vote.

I think this is misrepresentation as the courts initially said

No the courts did not initially say that. The High Court did not rule on the misrepresentation issue having found against the NEC on different grounds but the judge was sceptical that a misrepresentation claim would succeed.

I wish you luck getting your money back but I doubt the courts would decide in your favour if you chose to go down that route. The party may, of course, decide to give you your money back as a goodwill gesture regardless of whether you have any legal right to it.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 12:04:50

Some of the Corbynistas are saying things like...

They go further than that. Some have clearly stated that they don't want anyone who has ever voted Conservative to vote for Labour. They seem to seriously believe that there is an army of non-voters who will turn out and sweep the Labour party to power if it adopts sufficiently left wing policies. Delusional in my view. With that approach I think the best they can hope for (assuming the Tories don't implode) is to improve their majority in their safe seats. I don't see it as a path to winning the marginal they need to turn red in order to form a government.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 12:29:13

I would think that a small claims court would be a possibility actually.

"You'll be eligible to vote in leadership elections" is a really unambiguous statement. Not "you might be" or "when the moon turns purple with pink spots" or any other condition; it reads as a simple statement of fact in plain English.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 12:30:16

Oh and may I add that I had joined up thinking to vote against Corbyn and that I am now thinking that the whole thing is such a bloody shambles, would I want to vote Labour at all.

AnnieOnnieMouse Sat 13-Aug-16 12:33:35

Those of us who joined after 12 January are not allowed to vote, unless we also paid the £25. THAT'S what stinks. If they had disallowed new members from voting, and that's all, it would have felt rotten, but then selling the right to vote at an extra £25 a pop - now that really stinks.
Plus the lead judge on the appeal had contracts with the Blair administration. Another stinker.

birdsdestiny Sat 13-Aug-16 12:39:11

It's worse than that prh, in my view it's not that they think there is a vast swathe of non voters who will sweep Labour to power the fact is they don't give a monkey's about being in power. But you know 'he's a really nice man' so what does it matter.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 12:40:18

Erm, well what I am annoyed about is being misled. I haven't got my head around the 3 and 25 quids voting thing. What was the point of that anyway?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 13-Aug-16 12:50:46

What was the point of that anyway?

Lower class more likely to vote Corbyn?

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 12:57:55

Why have people just buy the right to vote though? For however much? What is democratic about that?

There was all the fuss about people from other parties buying the right to vote last time, and then a shambles as they tried to vet people belatedly. It is total crap.

prh47bridge Sat 13-Aug-16 13:01:50

I would think that a small claims court would be a possibility actually

You keep missing the fact that the statement on which you rely came under the heading "where could my membership take me". That seems clear that your membership could at some point allow you to vote in a leadership election rather than allowing you to vote straight away. It would be very different if it came under a heading along the lines of "what rights will I have as a member".

I would agree that it is a shambles. However, given that the judge in the High Court said that he thought a misrepresentation claim was unlikely to succeed, a claim in the small claims court is also unlikely to succeed.

herecomesthsun Sat 13-Aug-16 13:17:13

I think that the heading does not obviate the clarity of the statement "You'll be eligible to vote" which is very clear.

Membership could take you a number of places - most people would not want to stand as a candidate - but "You'll be eligible to vote" is really plain English, and the fact that he initial judgement was in "my" favour is encouraging.

I think that if the party wants to renege on this clear statement that is their choice but they are morally and I would think legally obliged to refund payment given the clear statement on their website.

I am also puzzled how you keep ignoring my point that this is clear english and the meaning is unambiguous.

Where could my membership take me?

Why, I will be eligible to vote in Leadership elections. (amongst other less plausible possibilities!)

Now, how is that not clear? The "could" does not detract from the clear statement of supposed fact.

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