Labour Conference 2010 observations 6: The Shadow Cabinet ‘funnel’ effect

Virtually every Labour MP I speak to seems to be standing for the Shadow Cabinet. And if they are not standing they are being bombarded by emails, letters, leaflets and pamphlets from those who are.
In some cases, the efforts are being counter-productive: ‘Did you see the size of his picture in his leaflet?’ or ‘They were very nice pictures of her on the doorstep or speaking in the chamber, but doesn’t she realise that’s what we all do?’
Or in another instance an existing member of the Shadow Cabinet clambered over a newly-elected MP to get to a longer-established colleague, prompting the wry comment ‘He hasn’t recognised me; he doesn’t realise that I’ve got a vote too.’
One candidate has just button-holed me and explained to me (in more detail than I really wanted) how the new system for electing the Shadow Cabinet would elect a higher proportion of women than his colleagues realised when they rejected the 50% and 40% options. As he put it: the men must vote for at least six women and will have to choose between, perhaps, fifteen female candidates – so there are over 1000 votes from male MPs to share out with each woman starting with a male ‘bonus’ of 70 votes; whereas although women MPs have to vote for at least six men there will be perhaps 60 candidates chasing less than 500 votes – an average of 8 or 9 each. As a result, he predicts that maybe half the Shadow Cabinet being women as a result of this arithmetic.
Interesting, if true.

5 thoughts on “Labour Conference 2010 observations 6: The Shadow Cabinet ‘funnel’ effect”

  1. ZaNuLabour will be in the shadows for a long time. They underestimated public ire over ID cards, the erosion of civil liberties and a wholesale dumping on their erstwhile core vote the white working class.

  2. Until very recently a majority of the public favoured ID cards, very sensible.

    The billionaire led press went against that, no doubt taking the advice of Broxted and the IRA etc, or possibly wanting a non Labour Government?

    The white working class are not looking forward to saying goodbye to our tax credits.

    Or being blown up because Broxsted and his mucker Chameleon say internal security is unnecessary, just nut the islamo-fascists and IRA . . .

  3. There was never a day on which the majority of the public favoured ID cards, quietzapple.

    Back to the main thread of this blog – I suspect that most people who read this stuff, from the UK or in foreign climes, must be amazed by shadow cabinet members [erstwhile real cabinet members] being elected at a conference. I now realise why John Prescott was a fixture in Blair’s cabinets. I might also conclude that Blair never could sack Brown since he had the votes.

  4. Just for the record: in Government a Labour Prime Minister apoints his or her Cabinet. And, of course, John Prescott was elected by the whole Party as its Deputy Leader in 1994.

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