Springingtiger's Blog


A Party For Labour

 

I am a member of the Communication Workers Union (When I first joined it was the Union of Post Office Workers) and I am proud that it has already started to withdraw funding from some of its sponsored MPs who rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn, I hope it refuses to continue to sponsor any of the rebels. The Blairite wing of the Labour Party, never friendly to Trades Unions, has declared war on the Trades Union Movement, and upon Socialist Societies and upon anyone wishing to vote in the leadership election who has to depend on benefits.

The Labour Procedures Committee have said that members of Trades Unions with less than six months membership would be barred from voting in the Labour leadership election. This is a deliberate interference in the internal affairs of the Unions, it has also imposed the same rule on socialist societies. The Trades Unions and socialist societies are left with only a couple of choices: accept the dictat of the Blairites or take action against the party they established to represent them.

I personally never thought that the ‘supporters’ fee was a good idea however by raising it to Twenty five pounds the Labour elite are saying that only the middle-class employed or the wealthy are welcome to vote for the leader. The same Blairite MPs who refused to oppose the Tory Welfare bill are now excluding the poorest in our society from participating in the party that should be protecting them. Jesus said “Who is not for me is against me..” (Mt. 12:30) it is apparent that the Blairites are opposed to the right of the poorest in society to have a stake in Labour’s future.

The Labour Party has also banned its own local branches and constituencies from holding meetings to prevent them organising support for Jeremy Corbyn. This will also prevent them putting any motions to Annual Conference or appointing delegates. I am informed that in constituencies (or in at least one) where the executives are acceptable to the right of the party the executive will be allowed to take those decisions on behalf of the membership.

Obviously no one should rush into anything. However during this period of the Labour Leadership Contest I hope the Trades Unions and Socialist Societies affiliated to Labour will be re-evaluating their support for the party. Obviously should Corbyn be re-elected it would suggest that the party is not irredeemable. However should procedural chicanery prevent the membership returning the Leader they want then we should be questioning whether the Labour Party is the party of Labour, the party of the people.

The Unite Union is calling for mandatory reselection of MPs, I hope other unions will follow suit. I am very aware of many Labour members and supporters who are saying that if Corbyn is removed they will not support Labour at the next election. I expect that if they are allowed to select candidates acceptable to the membership they will continue to work for Labour. However if the choices of the members are overruled then there is no reason why they should.

The Trades Unions established the Labour Party to further, in Parliament, the interests of workers and many of the MPs they returned were once workers. These days we have a professional, university educated political class most of whom have never got their hands dirty. They go from university into being a political researcher, or sometimes a journalist and then when they win a seat they become an MP. In some cases like Angela Eagle’s the elite at the top of the party impose them onto a constituency against the wishes of the membership to take advantage of the work of the members whilst keeping workers’ chosen candidates out of parliament. It is apparent that these political professionals have completely lost touch with ordinary people. Worse they think that those who lack their professional political education are so naive they can blatantly break the rules and the ordinary members will just tug their forelocks and fall into line.

One of the things I hate about the new breed is their softness. I heard Angela Eagle being knocked around, politely, by John Humphries. If she can’t handle a BBC interviewer she certainly can’t handle Teresa May. Personally I am sickened at all their pathetic (not an insult, check the OED) complaining about intimidation, whereas not one of them has raised their voice to complain about the unrelenting abuse Jeremy Corbyn has suffered for the past year. Unlike Johanna Baxter and Angela Eagle he just sucks it up and carries on. I know abuse is wrong, but some of the alleged abuse is not abuse. Baxter accused Owen Jones (without giving his name) on television of intimidating members of the National Executive Committee by text. Unfortunately for her he published the text of the message he sent, she was not one of the people he sent it to, and it was a very polite request not a demand. I have actually been reading the tweets on Johanna Baxter’s account and have not found any abusive ones. Okay so someone called her a ‘loser’ everyday language in Glasgow. One of the examples she gave was that someone said she was ‘boohooing’ well she was crying on live television so I think that’s fair and not abusive. ‘Lacking a vertebra’ is hardly abusive, even ‘spineless’ is hardly abuse. I was a trades union branch official for years and we debated at conference, we debated hard and we were a lot more robust in our language than most of these pathetic (OED) Blairites can stand and we just went on; sometimes we lost, sometimes we won, but we didn’t whine.

I think if the Labour Party wants to win back the ordinary people of the country it needs to start allowing workers to represent workers because these middle-class professionals don’t have the resilience or the will to fight their corner. They may have been stars of the Labour Club at University or even the Oxford Union, but they’ve never had to do politics because it mattered. To them politics is just a lucrative career and in many cases an opportunity to get other members of their family a job paid from expenses. The Unions set up the Party and the Unions should, if not take it back, at least clear out those whose personal ambition is standing between them and the members who put them into parliament. The labour Party should, above all, be the Party of Labour

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