IN THE comedy John Wayne film The Quiet Man set in southern Ireland there is a scene involving an Episcopalian vicar who delivers a sermon to an empty church every Sunday. The locals don’t want to see him out of a job and removed from the village so all the Catholics turn out and cheer as the Anglican Church of Ireland bishop comes to visit. The ploy works and the vicar keeps his job.
The Labour leadership contest is becoming a little like that scene from The Quiet Man. No-one wants to see the Labour party go out of business so all sorts of people are joining at the moment to vote in the leadership election, and cheer them on. This, however, is masking the true state of Labour party support. Successive Labour leaders have failed to deal with alleged corruption in local town halls, especially in the North of England and Scotland.
The widespread suspicion is there are too many jobs for the boys involved in Labour politics along with other problems over redundancy payments and early retirements too. Any voice of protest is quickly muzzled.
If Labour is seen to effectively tackle corruption in Labour-run town halls its support will return in time.
Nigel F Boddy