Firstly an examination of the current political make up of Rotherham MBC:
Labour’s overwhelming preponderance on RMBC, ensures that their untrammelled use of power is rarely challenged and never properly scrutinised from within.
Rotherham Politics is here to change all that! It should therefore come as no surprise to anyone, even Adam Khan, that most of our focus is upon the members of the controlling Labour Group!
With 58/63, 92% of the Borough Council membership the Labour Party and it’s members and fellow travellers, control pretty well everything that moves!
We move on to consider the make up of Labour Group itself:
There is much diversity of view on many issues and some of it was on display today. However, they are united behind a common credo of self preservation! They largely control the party structures and are able to play fast and loose with Labour’s own rules, procedures and policies.
Labour’s rules make it quite clear how the local structures relate to one another and where Labour Group owe accountability. It should be the case, that the Local Government Committee maintains control over policy and hold Labour Councillors to account. Furthermore, the LGC should control and independently monitor, Labour Candidate selection processes.
How different it is in Rotherham!
Firstly there are no polices to speak of! Secondly the LGC is a poodle and thirdly, Labour Group controls candidate selection. The precise opposite of what should happen!
During the last three years, it is claimed by some, new and fresh faces have appeared on the Council who will be intolerant of the control freakery that pervades Labour Group. Is there any evidence to back up this assertion? Quite simply No!
Labour Group has another division, not immediately apparent to the casual observer, the division between insiders and outsiders, or those who support Roger Stone and those who don’t! Best estimates of the relative numbers in each group suggest a 40/18 split between these two groups.
This is not good news to anyone who wants to change the party from within.
What is clear from this, is that Roger Stone has solid support in Labour Group and likely when it comes to a replacement, they will come from this controlling group. Smart money is said to be going on Paul Lakin even in these early stages of the Leadership battle to come.
What does this tell us of Jahangir Akhtar’s future? The inexorable logic of numbers tells us that Jahangir is not perhaps, Deputy Leader because of his own level of personal support, but at the pleasure of the Leader. Some commentators have already speculated that Jahangir will be relieved of the Deputy Leadership to be replaced by the ‘anointed one’, as early as next year?