Unless the Labour Party can guarantee the health and wellbeing of the officials and tellers the Leadership election should be cancelled
Coronavirus continues its rapid spread, confounding efforts by global leaders and medical experts in their efforts to control it or even understand its method of transmission with any real certainty.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and many countries are grappling with a rise in confirmed cases.
Governments are in disarray while medical experts have still not come to a consensus in how to control the spread of CODIV-19, how it is transmitted let alone be any closer to a vaccination.
From the NHS website…
“How coronavirus is spread: Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.”
Yet the US ‘Center for disease control and prevention’ states that COVDIV-10 can be Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
Where the EU equivalent the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
“The virus seems to be transmitted mainly via respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough, or exhale. The virus can also survive for several hours on surfaces such as tables and door handles.”
The Harvard medical school claims “The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. This can happen between people who are in close contact with one another. Droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs.
Coronavirus can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. For example, a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.”
On advice the royal mail have published guides for posties and methods of delivering parcels:
“In order to protect both our people and customers as much as possible, we will not be handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. Postmen and women will instead log the name of the person accepting the item. This will apply to all deliveries that require a signature.
Additionally, for all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item. This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.”
Verifying and counting the votes takes hundreds of people.
Given the conflicting medical advice the lack of certainty in how this virus spreads it would be irresponsible to continue the Labour leadership challenge. There is a clear and present risk of mail being a source of potential contamination.
Postal workers around the world are faced with the same hazards and deliberate inaction by their employers and governments. An employee with the US Postal Service has tested positive for coronavirus in Seattle, Washington. The infection came in the same state that saw the first US death from the virus.
The same issue confronts workers employed in other public service industries. Railworkers have told the WSWS that conductors on their franchises are refusing to pass through the train to collect ticket revenues due to the absence of protection. Drivers secured an agreement for extra time to sterilise controls after a change of shift.
It would be impossible to guarantee the health of Tellas and officials during the postal count not just from their close proximity and large grouping but because of their contact to the surfaces and paper used in the postal ballots.
Last week Labour cancelled the event at which the new leader would be announced because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The government also announced the cancellations of Local and mayoral elections in England postponing them for a year to May 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. This was done with full support and backing of the Labour party.
it is quite clear that in the interest and health of all involved the Labour leadership challenge should be waylaid until such a time that those involved no longer have the threat of illness or even death to contend with while carrying out the democratic process of counting the vote.