The other day Richard Harman speculated (with good cause) that Labour’s membership database is somewhat diminished, perhaps even lower than the Greens.
POLITIK has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.
Well, that set off a shit storm with denials and counter-claims.
Chris Trotter was prompted to write:
HOW MANY MEMBERS does the Labour Party have in its centenary year? According to the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, the answer is – not a lot.
Writing in his “Politik” blog on Monday, 23 May, Harman noted:
“Politik has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.”
If true, that is shocking news – and it’s only fair to point out that within 24 hours the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, was assuring Harman that it was not true. “We are far, far higher than 5,000 and therefore well above the Greens.”
In spite of reassuring his readers that the contested information came from “a usually reliable source”, Harman was willing – as of Tuesday morning – to take Kirton at his word.
A more cynical person, upon being told by Labour’s General Secretary that the membership figure is “far, far higher than 5,000”, might offer, by way of response, the words of the infamous call-girl, Mandy Rice-Davies, who, when told that an Establishment big-wig had denied all knowledge of her, shot back the immortal line: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”
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