Jeremy, John and Momentum on reselection

DESELECTION: AN OPEN LETTER TO JEREMY, JOHN AND MOMENTUM
As I recall one of the key elements in JC’s platform was the empowerment of the rank and file. This included the key question of MPs being accountable to the rank and file members who selected them in the first place without whose support they would not be enjoying their well-heeled Parliamentary careers.
Now it appears because some MPs are feeling the hot breath of the same rank and file the issue of accountability is being presented by the right wing and their media as ‘bullying and intimidation’. This is the oldest ruse in the book and should have been anticipated and given short shrift by the leadership, instead there appear to be the sound of a retreat on this fundamental question.
For instance Momentum issued a statement strongly denying its movement was “any threat to MPs who voted for bombing” and made clear that local groups would be barred from campaigning for deselection.
Jeremy himself has said many times that abuse and intimidation have no place in politics, the party as a whole will not accept such behaviour, from whatever quarter it comes.’
That’s fair enough. Those of us who have been involved in working class politics for a long time will have experienced abusive phone calls and physical threats from right wingers and such lumpen behaviour is not acceptable. And we should remember witchunts and expulsions have always been carried by the intolerant right against the left, cheered on by a malevolent media.
Jeremy has repeatedly said he does not support any move to deselect MPs and John McDonnell, reiterated this after the Syria vote, including a message of support for Creasy. It’s one thing to oppose abusive messages and foul language, it’s entirely another to use this as a reason to reject the whole concept of the right of the rank and file to deselect their MP.
In response to hostile media questions why not answer ‘We deplore the use of physical threats and foul language, but we defend the right of rank and file members to hold their MPs to account, which includes de-selection if they so wish.’

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