Anyone searching for proof that the Labour Party is willing to sacrifice its few remaining principles in order to grab power over peoples lives needs look no further than Greater Manchester this weekend. I write this blog from the vantage of the regions close neighbour, Merseyside and since we arrived on Friday, I can confirm that there has been no evidence of any major changes to the landscape, weather or any other external factor as we look East towards the Pennines. Perhaps the dictatorship of Tony Lloyd will be a benign one and change very little, or perhaps the changes will all be taking place behind closed doors, only time will tell. Whatever the case, on Friday when he was appointed to be the interim Mayor of the region by a small group of people who lack any mandate to make such a decision, they were simply following a proposal from other Politicians who were also acting without any form of accountability. Mayor Lloyd and Labour have taken a step that many people would not have expected even a few months ago, let alone when we began to support Labour as a party we could believe in, in my case in the 1970’s. This is one action that cannot be blamed on New Labour, or on Tony Blair. This is something that the leaders of the various District and Borough Councils in the Manchester area have agreed to do, each of whom is dependent for their ongoing work on elected Councillors most of whom have been members of the Party for many decades. Along with the lack of legitimacy for the decision itself, these Party Grandees have done nothing to ensure that Mr Lloyd will be held accountable to anyone when he begins to take decisions which have no democratic mandate. Its not so much that the Labour Party has sold out, it is rather that they have carried out their principles and democratic credentials onto a nearby grass verge with a large sign saying, ‘no further use, please take away’.
According to his Wikipedia entry Mr Lloyd served as a councillor in Trafford from 1979 to 1984, in 1983 he was elected as MP for Stretford and then Manchester Central following reorganisation of constituencies until October 2012, when he stepped down as an MP to contest the seat of Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner for Labour. This contest was one that originally Labour was opposed to and one they still oppose as a matter of principle. The role of Metropolitan Mayor, like that of Mayor of London includes the function of PCC for the area concerned.
Labour Party Democracy RIP!