I received an email from the Labour Leadership campaign of John McDonnell MP today urging non or lapsed Labour Party members to rejoin the Party in order to vote for him in the forthcoming Labour leadership election. Unlike in the past, there is no cooling off period between joining and voting - i.e. they're no longer worried about entryism by Trots. The only condition being that you need to join before Tony Blair finally bloody announces his departure (I think Blair's enjoying the attention, like the kid brother who won't leave the room alone to his sister and her boyfriend who want to have a snog). I suppose this provides an added incentive to join in that there will be an obvious surge in membership figures at the end of the Blair Regime as it appears the tyranny is about to end, in the way that dissidents and exiles return home after the fall of a dictator.
And to make it better you don't even have to pay a full year's sub - you can do a monthly direct debit for about a quid a month. So with Blair due to go after Labour get stuffed in the local elections on 2nd May and with the seven week election fandango that's about £3 to have a vote for the next Prime Minister. No, democracy is never free (neither is a peerage apparently).
A friend gave me a 'John 4 Leader' T-shirt last night and I fantasised that for the first time in history we were only about 50,000-100,000 votes away from getting a socialist into No.10 (ok I suppose Clem was a socialist but it weakens the drama of the moment).
Having said that, in 2005 I berated a pair of Labour canvasers for being members of the political organisation that had committed crimes against humanity and compared them to members of Sadam's Ba'ath Party. I still stand by that, but I am tempted.