Is the Labour purge a right wing witchhunt?

Stop-the-Labour-Purge-653x653-2The Labour purge of new supporters, denying an untold number a vote in the leadership election, has brought the party into disrepute. Many are convinced that it is a right wing witchhunt of socialists and people with left wing views.

Whatever its motives, it has exposed a culture of incompetence within Labour that will do little to arrest its perception as a party in decline among the wider public.

The confusion being wrought is widespread. Take me, for instance. I have been a member of Labour since November last year. I have never attended one Labour Party branch meeting or one event organised by my local branch since. Not one.

Moreover, I did not vote Labour in the general election. I voted Green in the general election. Why? Because my constituency Labour candidate accepted a campaign donation from Tony Blair. The idea that any socialist or progressive could vote for anyone who accepts money from a man responsible for the carnage visited on the Iraqi people is beyond belief.

My loyalty is not and never has been to a political party. My loyalty is to working class communities and oppressed people here and abroad. If Labour stands up for working class and oppressed people I will support it. If it attacks working class and oppressed people, as it did under Blair and Blairism, I will oppose it. What’s more, I suspect many on the left feel the same way.

I cast my vote for Corbyn online and have yet to be told it has been rejected.

When they deny people a vote with the words, “We have reason to believe that you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party,” they are clearly suffering from a lack of historical perspective.

What aims and values are they referring to? Is it the aim of full employment and the values of the welfare state, NHS and social and economic justice that informed the party’s founding principles and the policies of the ’45 Labour government? Or are they referring to the aims of Blairism with the values of the free market, big business, the City of London and illegal wars and imperialism?

To ask the question is to answer it.

This outrageous filtering of votes and people who signed up under the rules set up by the very leadership that is now busy purging hundreds of people from the party is a disgrace. It is an example of the very vote rigging we have long been invited to associate with Robert Mugabe. It is also a studied insult against Jeremy Corbyn, illustrative of their view of him as an incorrigable outsider of mere second class status.

Corbyn will likely win regardless of this process . However who would bet against them attempting to have the election annulled on the basis that it has ended in the ‘wrong’ candidate being elected?

Blair, Mandelson, Brown, Straw, Campbell – a rogue’s gallery of opportunists, war mongers, and liars; men for whom principles in a political leader are like wings on a horse.

A stake is about to be driven through the heart of New Labour and it is not before time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37 comments on “Is the Labour purge a right wing witchhunt?

  1. No to EU on said:

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been impressed by Liz Kendall- she will get my second preference

  2. The thing is though, the furore over the exclusion of some supporters, even where there has indeed been a miscarrage of justice, and even where it is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise Corbyn supporters serves to focus attention on Westminster bubble issues of process and legitimacy.

    At this stage I am still convinced that Corbyn will win, and we need to seek to push the attention back onto policy, and the need to actively build oppositionto the Tories.

  3. No to EU,

    I would never vote for Liz Kendall myself, not as any preference, but I do acknowledge that she has run a first class campaign, defined by the setting out of a clear vision for Labour, one distinctly lacking in the campaigns of Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham.

    Corbyn and Kendall in that sense have been the only serious candidates.

  4. jim mclean on said:

    The decision to adopt OMOV and then have what is in reality an open primary was intended to nullify the Unions and the Left, it has backfired. As for the other three candidates, they have not been all that good and the reality may be JC will be a better leader of the opposition. Surely Cooper should have rejected a donation from Peter Hearn who switches sides quicker then the Vicar of Bray,.

  5. John: I do acknowledge that she has run a first class campaign

    Well she is clear what she stands for, but I think her presentational skills are poor. She also struggled to get nominations from MPs, and really struggled to get nominations from CLPs, almost all of her nominations come from London safe seats, where the MP is plugged into Progress. She had zero support from any union, and the only affiliate to back her is the Irish Society.

    Given that Mark Ferguson left editorship of labourlist to campaign for her, then I think shecould have done better.

    The hustings I saw with both Mary Creagh and Liz Kendal (and the others as wel obvs) suggested to me that Creagh would have been a more credible advocate of similar politics.

  6. Most (all for all I know)socialists and communists who are members of other political parties, in my case the CPB, who have supported or stood candidates against Labour have not attempted to vote in this election.

    Kevin Halpin, a respected veteran of our Party had a lerter explaining this in yesterday’s Morning Star.

    Anyone who is not a member of such a party should be able to participate, particularly those paying into the political funds of Labour affiliated unions.

    And the fact that many are being stopped, including people who have actively campaigned for a Labour victory, is a disgrace. Hardly a surprise though.

  7. I know Labour party members of long standing (mostly right wingers) who have advocated voting Lib Dem in Lib Dem/Tory marginals the better to weaken the Tories.
    Should they be banned from voting in the leadership election?

  8. There are Green Party members who have registered as Labour supporters, which I have opposed and criticised. It is dishonest to stand against, or campaign against, Labour in May, and remain a member of the GP whilst saying that you support Labour in August. However when Mark Steel and others are blocked for their PAST political affiliations that is different. Two Labour MPs are former Tory MPs but presumably they are allowed to take part.

  9. Karl Stewart on said:

    No to EU:
    I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been impressed by Liz Kendall- she will get my second preference

    Liz Kendall interviewed on the Labour Movement for Europe website 20th July:
    “The EU is our biggest export market and being part of it also helps us attract inward investment from around the world. So the principal reason to stay is about jobs, trade and investment. It is in our economic interests to be part of the EU. But it’s not just about economics. It’s about our place in the world. The EU is better with Britain in it and British influence is increased by being part of it. We should not ignore that this is a group of states with common values too – democracy, respect for human rights, respect for borders, resolving differences peacefully. These values are important when you look beyond Europe’s borders. So for me this is about both jobs and values. I want to see Labour arguing a strong positive case for Britain to remain in the EU,…”

    Liz Kendall quoted by Andrew Grice in the Independent 10th August:
    “If the seeds of left-wing Euroscepticism were to take root and the Labour Party went into the referendum on an anti-EU platform, it would be a disaster.”

  10. When I claimed the Zionists were hysterical in their accusations of Antisemitism toward those who took a critical stance to Israel I was branded anti Semitic by that witch-finder general Andy Newman. The reaction to Corbyn makes my case. Take this hysterical nonsense that encapsulates the general hysteria of the Zionists:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11821264/Jeremy-Corbyn-will-be-cheered-by-racists-and-terrorists.html

    I am surprised Andy Newman does not include Corbyn among those who are Antisemitic. But Andy Newman has a very subjective idea of what AntiSemitism is, all the better to witch-hunt my child!

    Liz Kendall has run a reactionary right wing campaign. So how impressive it has been is really beside the point, isn’t it?

  11. When I claimed the Zionists were hysterical in their accusations of Antisemitism toward those who took a critical stance to Israel I was branded anti Semitic by that witch-finder general Andy Newman. The reaction to Corbyn makes my case. Take this hysterical nonsense that encapsulates the general hysteria of the Zionists:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11821264/Jeremy-Corbyn-will-be-cheered-by-racists-and-terrorists.html

    I am surprised Andy Newman does not include Corbyn among those who are Antisemitic. But Andy Newman has a very subjective idea of what AntiSemitism is, all the better to witch-hunt my child!

    Liz Kendall has run a reactionary right wing campaign. So how impressive it has been is really beside the point, isn’t it?

  12. Marko, comment 11 on the thread about Corbyn and the zionist witchhunt explains exactly why Andy’s position was correct and your’s hopelessly (and dangerously) wrong.

    I don’t know who advised Corbyn (maybe he’s sharp enough to advise himself) on this subject.

    Thankfully it wasn’t you.

  13. “Marko, comment 11 on the thread about Corbyn and the zionist witchhunt explains exactly why Andy’s position was correct and your’s hopelessly (and dangerously) wrong”

    If you are referring to the judd Seuss comment I would have to ask you,

    “What you actually look at that comment and don’t fall about laughing at how utterly ridiculous it is.”

  14. Vanya said,

    “comment 11 on the thread about Corbyn and the zionist witchhunt explains exactly why Andy’s position was correct and your’s hopelessly (and dangerously) wrong.”

    Much of what vanya says here doesn’t make any sense.

    Firstly, I never denied the holocaust, I never lauded Atzmon or anyone like him (or had him on my TV show), I have never shared a platform with anyone, let alone those who make explicit Antisemitic remarks. I simply claimed that the Zionists were getting more hysterical in direct proportion to the public becoming more anti Israel. This is the basis upon which I was labelled an anti Semite by the bullying witch-finder Andy Newman.

    Which to anyone with even a smidgen of fair play would accept is a lot less mud than is currently being thrown at the gentle, nice and quietly spoken, Jeremy Corbyn.

    The other problem with Vanya’s comment is that the, gulp, historically important interjection by that farsighted genius Andy Newman in moving the Palestinian Solidarity Movement away from being controlled by Antisemites has done absolutely nothing to insulate Corbyn against consistent and ever more hysterical attacks by the Zionists and the corporate media! And it should also be noted that the anti Zionist movement continues to this day to be labelled AntiSemitic by its opponents and the left continue to leap to the defence of those accused! So nothing at all has changed in this regard!

    The irony is that the Vanya correctly will go out of his way to defend Corbyn from Zionist apologist attacks but claims judd seuss is correct in saying the left no longer indulge in this knee jerk defence of those accused of Antisemitism!

    The only person to have made the patently laughable connection between the fact that Corbyn has so far shrugged off the criticism and what Andy Newman said some years ago is the delusional sock puppet judd seuss. The more rational reason that he shrugged off these suggestions is that Corbyn’s supporters don’t care what the Zionists say! As Corbyn himself said, “We don’t care what they say about us!”

    How this will play to the wider electorate is yet to be tested. But if Vanya thinks that anything Andy Newman said some years ago will be decisive in the outcome then he is as delusional as judd seuss.

    The fact Vanya thinks this has any substance leads me to ask the question, “Do you have a picture of Andy Newman hanging above your bed?”

  15. UncleAlbert on said:

    John “Corbyn will win regardless of this reactionary process that is underway.”

    Why so confident?

    Well over 40,000 have been purged and there’s still two more weeks to go.

  16. Marko: As Corbyn himself said, “We don’t care what they say about us!”

    And thanks to the fact that most people on the left (including JC himself) realise that we have to be uncompromising on anti-semitism, he’s in a position to say that.

    Anyway Marko, we clearly have a mutually low level of respect for each other, so if you’ve decided to grace us again with your presence for any length of time perhaps it’s best if we avoid commenting further one each other’s words of wisdom.

  17. Apparently Harriet Harman has been quoted as stating that as many as 100,000 could be purged.

  18. #18 Although having said that, I am wondering whether Wolfie Smith has a poster of Marko hanging over his bed.

  19. nattyfoc on said:

    To me its 3 right wing assoles and one socialist already voted for Jeremy of course !!

    Naturally the Gestapo at headquarters will exclude as many as possible they suspect of being likely to vote for Jeremy.

    Interesting times ahead when he takes over .

  20. Vanya – I once tried to ignore you and put you on the don’t bother with list but like a persistent sore (and about as witless) you kept on coming back. I am perfectly happy for us to ignore each other.

    The only response Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and the other one have to anything Corbyn proposes is that they are outdated. It is almost as if someone is telling them to say the word outdated as many times as possible. It is almost as if they are programmed New Labour bots who have such disregard for members that they will just respond to the word outdated and not vote Corbyn. In this regard they show themselves to be same old New Labour.

    They will be asking Corbyn if he has posters of Wolfie Smith next!

  21. Karl Stewart on said:

    This piece sums up what these Tory-Lites think of people.

    http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2015/08/26/the-left-doesnt-understand-the-difference-between-the-people-and-the-voters/#more-20181

    An article on the hard-line Blairite “Labour Uncut” website written by a Kevin Meagher who is introduced as the site’s “associate editor”.

    In the article, Meagher is still making the frankly ludicrous argument that the only way for Labour to win is to convince Tories to switch to Labour, rather than trying to enthuse the 34 per cent of the electorate who did not vote this year – roughly 15 million people.

    Incredibly, Meagher concludes: “So, bluntly speaking, The People don’t matter (the young, least of all)”

    Yes, someone claiming to be a Labour Party supporter actually reaches that conclusion.

  22. Why is this Marko character allowed back to post comments on SU?

    I thought he’d been banned from the site for (at least) flirting with anti-Semitism and condoning ISIL’s psychopaths? Quite possibly he does this sort of thing to garner a little attention, I’ve never known him to say anything constructive or interesting, but the problem with allowing cranks to curdle the discussion is that it puts others from contributing or coming to SU in the first place. I know there’s always the risk of sounding a bit pompous, it’s not my call but the organisers, but that is my view – one I won’t comment on again, going on about cranks is as boring as the cranks themselves.

  23. Sam64 – After a lot of discussion (in the comments), Andy lifted the ban on Marko but kept the one on Ian.

    Marko, you say you’ve not been here for a year. It was March 2015, 5 months ago, and you seem to have completely missed the in-depth discussion about the varying comments by you, SteveH, Ian D etc.

    So, you were only banned for a few days while the issue was discussed. But you won’t last long if you use this blog to behave like a brat.

  24. john Grimshaw on said:

    Personally I find the whole “purge” thing farcical. But by the same token worrying as well. It is quite clear that the anti-Corbyn establishment in the LP and the press etc etc are doing everything to defeat the JC campaign. For those of us like me who are reluctant to proclaim the death of the LP’s usefulness to radical causes and the working class, this might be another nail in the coffin of the long delayed burial. If Corbyn loses fairly (whatever that means under the circumstances) that’s one thing but if he loses through blatant gerrymandering, I think we can conclude that the LP is no longer fit for any sort of purpose?

  25. john Grimshaw on said:

    I realise this is just one story but I get the impression there are many similar. In my case I have received communications from various people in the LP since I registered interest on Rushanra Ali’s e-list. Which I did out of genuine interest. I then registered as a supporter when I found out that JC was standing and paid ten pounds I might add, which I will now have to extract back. I have received emails and phone calls from all the relevant candidates, and then when in Greece received an email informing me that I was in effect an “entryist” and that even if I received a ballot paper it would not be counted.

    What’s my issue with this? Well I’m not going to lose sleep over the decision made in the name of Ian MacNicholl. I’ve never been in the LP, although I have voted for them on occasion. I was an SWP member until 2001 but have since been a member of no party. I have supported a friend in TUSC to stand in the TH mayoral election against Labour, which is presumably why I’m barred, but I’m not a member of that either. If JC has/does get elected I would’ve applied for proper membership and would’ve campaigned as necessary. Obviously I now won’t. Whose loss is that?

  26. 5 months – jeez time flies!

    Sam64 is a classic example of a witch hunter in action, throwing mud and accusations without any foundation. Just the sort of mud being thrown at Corbyn. You see to Sam64 unless you call ISIS pure evil you are a supporter of their cause. Any attempt to go beyond the propaganda and try to explain ISIS, their actions and existence is seen as condoning what they do. This is the intellectual world he lives in. The opposite of constructive I would have thought.

    It is ironic that in a post condemning witch hunting he should resort to his usual witch hunting.

    It is a even bigger irony that while doing the witch hunting in a post condemning witch hunting he thinks the authors should be banning me and not him!

  27. Marko it’s becoming clear that you’ve only come back to this site to troll people. In most of your comments, you’re choosing to spend your time attacking other posters and not engaging in actual discussion.

    I don’t know what your aim is, but we are not here to help you feel a sense of joy from being shitty towards people. Either take part in discussion without being nasty to everyone, or go back into exile for a further “year” (aka “permanently”).

  28. Karl Stewart on said:

    One of the themes of the LP leadership election debate coming from the so-called ‘ABC’ (anyone but Corbyn) side has been this notion that Corbyn’s policy platform has limited electoral appeal, their argument being that it only speaks to the self-interest of people on zero-hours contracts, or on benefits.

    Their core argument seems to be that this group, plus those altruistic individuals in more secure circumstances who are sufficiently moved by this group’s plight to want to ignore their own self-interest at the ballot box, cannot mathematically deliver a majority at the polls.

    But this is a caricature of Corbyn’s policy platform. Yes, he does call for an end to zero-hours contracts and for protection of society’s most vulnerable members. But the broad thrust of his agenda is clearly to the benefit of all.

    Here’s a few examples.

    His the (specifically costed) abolition of university tuition fees is a policy which appeals directly to middle-income families – those who can neither afford tuition fees nor qualify for financial assistance – but yet none of the ABC candidates will touch it with a bargepole.

    Likewise Corbyn’s call for regulation of private rents, again this appeals to young middle-income people – those who neither can afford a mortgage nor qualify for social housing – but here again, the ‘ABCs’ are not interested.

    And the suggestion of a range of measures to improve women’s safety on public transport (a ‘classless’ policy with universal appeal surely?) was met with negative responses by the New Labour clones as well.

    And this is the irony of the debate we’ve had. There are some 15 million registered voters who stayed at home in May, and Corbyn’s innovative policy agenda will inspire many of them to vote Labour in 2020.

    Kendall, Cooper and Burnham have come up with no ideas at all. Not even ideas that can appeal to those who voted Tory or LibDem, while Corbyn’s policy ideas can also appeal to some of these voters too.

  29. john Grimshaw,

    And speaking of the SWP, as a fellow former member of that party, the behaviour of Burnham, Kendall, Cooper, Blair, etc, seems strangely familiar. It’s almost like they’d rather wreck the party, sacrificing much of it’s membership and potential and actual support, than lose control of it.

  30. If the Labour leadership election achieves nothing else, it has already provided us with a(nother) valuable lesson in the realities of British politics and where the divisions actually are.

    The right-wing of the Labour Party are ideologically closer to the mainstream of the Tories than to the left of their own party. Both Blairites and Tories are committed to unchallenged neo-liberalism above all other considerations. The other considerations of the Tories (unrestrained bigotry and reaction) are currently being represented by UKIP, and those of Labour (social democratic reformism) by Corbyn and his supporters, while the like of Blair and Osbourne fundamentally agree on economics, foreign policy, etc.

    Most professional politicians really don’t like democracy. They seem to have much the same attitude to it as Flora Poste had to nature: “all very well in her place, but she musn’t be allowed to make things untidy.”

  31. JN,

    Well amongst other descriptions, New Labour was described as Leninist and Stalinist. The former is something the SWP is – or claims to be, not worth discussing. The latter is something it supposedly was took its part of departure, its origin from. Over the last few weeks, I have also thought of Tony Benn’s characterisation of New Labour as the smallest political party in Great Britain. I don’t know if it still does, the SWP used to call itself the smallest mass party in the world. I think there was a pamphlet with that title.

    It’s a bit strange getting emails from candidates and senior figures having just joined the Labour Party – intentionally just after the deadline for leadership voting closed, no scrutiny of my credentials, history I wouldn’t have thought. Just read a cheery letter from John Prescott of a grey bank holiday weekend that began ‘Dear Comrade.. He went on to urge me to vote for Andy Burnham.

  32. Karl Stewart on said:

    Sam64,

    I’ve received the same “Dear comrade” email from Prescott too.
    I replied thanking him for his message, and explaining that, while Burnham talks about how Labour needs to widen its electoral appeal in order to win the next election, Corbyn is actually setting out a comprehensive policy platform that actually does widen Labour’s appeal to all parts of the electorate.

    And this is, as I said earlier, the prime irony of this whole campaign. The ‘ABC’s are constantly talking meaningless management-speak guff about how “we’ve got to reach out to the voters” but have absolutely no idea how to do so.

    On the other hand, Corbyn has set out a comprehensive, something-for-everyone political agenda that precisely does widen Labour’s electoral appeal.

    I’ve lost count of the number of ‘vox-pops’ taken from packed-out Corbyn rallies of people from right across the political, social, ethnic, age, spectrums saying how they’re inspired by Corbyn’s programme.

    If he wins the leadership, he’ll win a majority in England in 2020.