MORE ON THE GARSTON 3 –
Labour Movement stalwarts: Bob, Tony and Jerry
At the Garston/Halewood CLP a motion requesting a fair hearing for the 3 was denied by the Momentum-supporting chair on the grounds that it was ‘inappropriate’. Strange, as the same chair accepted the proposal to turf Bob out of a meeting and exclude his two comrades when the matter wasn’t even on the agenda, nor were they given the right to defend themselves. Whatever happened to natural justice! It was introduced by a Progress member. Progress is the Tory Trojan horse in the Labour Party. It’s main objectives are to oppose Jeremy Corbyn, to restore Blairism, and compiling lists of people as targets for expulsion. This list doesn’t, of course, include MPs and Councillors who have threatened to stand against Labour if they are deselected, or sharing platforms with Liberals and Tories.
The witchunt has gone into overdrive. They are scouring the social media and accessing emails in the hope of digging up ‘evidence’ that the Garston 3 are mortal enemies of Labour. If these scoundrels had displayed the same energy as the Garston 3 in supporting JC at the last election, May would be out of office and Jeremy would be in Downing Street and, for a start, thousands would be immediately relieved of the horrors of Universal Credit.
Me and Mick Coyle at Radio City
Wednesday 25 October in the City Centre doing my regular stint at Radio City Talk giving my views on Prime Minister’s Question Time with City presenter grand inquisitor Mick Coyle.
Today’s joust between Corbyn and May saw JC landing lethal blow after lethal blow on lame duck PM May. Amongst other issues, she was on the ropes trying to defend Universal Credit which is visiting catastrophe on the poorest in our society, she responded with the mantra that ‘it is working’!
The Brexit debate was a bizarre one with JC exposing the gaping splits in the ranks of the government with Johnson, Davies, Hammond and May proclaiming different positions on the government’s negotiating objectives. Her only lame response was the mantra that they would secure what was ‘best for Britain.’
I told Mick that she meant what was most likely to pacify the crazed chauvinistic racist wing of the Tory party.
I told Mick in response to his question that I favoured withdrawal from the rich man’s club, but on an entirely different basis to the Tory/UKIP stance.
We need to replace the EU with a United Socialist States of Europe while extracting the best deal for UK workers from the current negotiations.
A striking feature of these post election PMQs is instead of a sullen silence greeting JC from his own back benches, that’s been replaced by a semblance of applause. It’s amazing how one general election result can concentrate the minds of right wingers who want to hang on to their Parliamentary careers.
I gave JC 9 out of 10 for his performance. With a big fat zero for Teresa May.
Stop these expulsions now!
The MPA deplores the fact that three disabled pensioners who have struggled to defend workers for decades – Bob Walker, Tony Lucock, and Gerry Tyrell – have been summarily expelled from the Labour Party on the false and spurious grounds that they attended a TUSC meeting.
TUSC is an anti-austerity coalition which gave full support to Jeremy Corbyn in the last general election and is open to any one opposed to austerity to attend.
The three were expelled without any chance of answering the charges and were denied any facet of natural justice.
We note that it was a member of Progress who backed heavily defeated Blairite candidate Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership contest. who triggered the expulsion, the same Progress whose members freely associate with Tories and Liberals. Liz Kendall not only attended the Lib Dem conference last year, but went as an invited speaker. Frank Field called on Labour MPs to stand against Labour if they were deselected. Yet these people still remain members of the Labour Party.
By contrast Bob, Tony and Gerry deny that they are members of, or support, any party other than Labour and worked tirelessly in support of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour at the last general election.
We call for this decision to be rescinded immediately and that Bob, Tony and Gerry be reinstated so they can continue to fight for the election of a Labour government.
We call on Jeremy and John to put a stop to this madness.
Copies to be sent to Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell with the request that they immediately intervene to reverse this injustice.
Without warning and in violation of every element of natural justice more good socialists, who have spent decades fighting the Tories, have been expelled from the Labour Party on the false grounds they attended a meeting inimical to Labour in Liverpool. This was initiated by members of Progress who have never called for the expulsion of the Blairites who stabbed Jeremy Corbyn in the back, and publicly threatened to stand against Labour candidates if they were deselected.
My old dad used to say to me ‘I judge a person by the company he keeps’. What would he make of these images?
JC with Terry Fields and Dave Nellist
Liz Kendall, apparently at home
At an excellent meeting of the Liverpool 47 surcharged councillors’ group and supporters on Friday 20 October 2017, it was agreed to issue the following statement:
- We support the RMT campaign against driver only trains, and condemn the stance of Labour elected representatives who continue to support the private train owners.
- We pledge ongoing support for the campaign to keep open the Women’s Hospital on its existing site
- We call for a campaign to democratise the Labour Party to
- secure the empowerment of the membership to select candidates of their choice
- to restore the Liverpool District Labour Party which played a powerful and indispensable role in Liverpool’s historic campaign to defend the city from Thatcherism from 1983 to 1987
- to restore the right of the membership to participate in the decision-making process, and
- to ensure that elected Councillors are accountable to the party membership
Imprisoned for refusing the pay the Poll Tax.
Did Dennis Skinner lived on a worker’s wage? The only MPs I know who did precisely that were campaigning Militant-supporting MPs Terry Fields, Pat Wall (tragically both deceased) and Dave Nellist, all expelled under the Kinnock regime. Dave is the current national chairman of TUSC. Even if Kinnock had not expelled them it is unimaginable to think they would have remained MPs under the Blair/Mandelson cabal. How the Beast survived could be the subject of another discussion!
At the 1980 Labour Party conference Terry made this priceless statement: “We need coordinated action by the whole of our class to get the Tories out, and the democracy that is being pumped out in the capitalist press is their democracy, not ours. We will found a new democracy when we have created a socialist state in this country. … To the weak-hearted, the traitors and cowards I say: Get out of our movement. There is no place for you. Cross the House of Commons.” That call is attracting growing support among the new generation of Labour activists.
NATURE OF THE BEAST. Liverpool Philharmonic.
This bioopic on Dennis Skinner, directed by Liverpool’s Dan Draper, portrays the whole individual. In addition to his celebrated political abrasiveness when bating the Tories and their institutions, his love of nature, singing (he’s a natural for a good karaoke), and his love of walking in the great parks is brought to life.
The film is at its most riveting when it portrays his unequivocal rejection of Toryism, capitalist hypocrisy and inequality and his identification with workers in struggle. Declaring in the Commons that he would be on miners’ picket lines and donating his wages to the struggle, standing firm with the dockers imprisoned in Pentonville for defying Heath’s industrial relations act, implacably opposing the expulsion of Liverpool’s socialist councillors, and giving unequivocal support to the Clay Cross councillors when they defied Edwards Heath’s Housing Finance Act.
Dennis used the Parliamentary platform to inform millions of the crimes of capitalism and the virtues of socialism. In one revealing clip he explains that he never went on an all-party ‘fact finding’ foreign junket saying that the prospect of mixing socially with Tories and Liberals appalled him.
This portrayed a man who never lost touch with his class. A miner who took the values of class solidarity into the ‘Palace of Varieties.’ The film was mostly shot in 2014 before Jeremy Corbyn assumed his current authority, so the absence of any reference to him gave the film an added strength as, unlike many right wing converts to Corbynism, he maintained his radical stance when it was ‘unpopular’.
When the 600,000 Labour Party members are empowered to select a candidate of their choice they could do worse than selecting a candidate who embraces the values Dennis Skinner has defended for decades.
10 October 2017
Some Labour supporters have charged advocates of democratisation of the Labour Party, including mandatory reselection, as being ‘obsessed’ with holding MPs to account. We socialists argue that it’s not an ‘obsession’ but is a fundamental prerequisite of building a Party capable of securing the election of and sustaining a Corbyn-led Labour government.
The fundamental contradictions facing the Labour Party are:
- It is led by Jeremy Corbyn with the support of the overwhelming majority of the 600,000 members who has made a break with the policies of austerity advocated by the Blairites.
- The Party machine and the Parliamentary Labour Party is still controlled by a right wing which colonised the Party, particularly during the Blair and Mandelson years, who adhered to free market capitalism, the maintenance of austerity and shackling the trade unions.
It would be an error to imagine that, because of JC’s popularity, they have changed their outlook.
The present rules and constitution make it very difficult for the mass party membership to exercise control and accountability over their elected representatives.
The solution is for the party rule book to return the power to the membership by democratising its structures.
To bring this about rules changes should include:
- A procedure of mandatory reselection of elected representatives before each election to allow the members to judge the performance of MPs and Councillors and to decide whether to readopt or select an alternative.
- The formulation of policy to be determined by the Party membership via the vehicle of a City or District Labour representing all Labour movement organisations which would be binding on elected councillors and MPs. As it was under the rule book of 1985 which was ripped up by the Neil Kinnock-led administration. A key clause was: The DLP will ‘…..formulate an electoral programme and to compile a panel of candidates.’ This rule involved all sections of the Labour Movement in the decision-making process, a concept now alien to the right wing who are determined to hang on to control from the top.
These proposals will open the discussion on how to forge a Labour Party capable of not only securing the election of a Corbyn-led government but to sustain it in the face of a ferocious campaign of opposition from the capitalists and their media.
Look behind you Jeremy