Sunday 18 July 2021


It was Bastille Day - July 14 - last Wednesday when I cancelled my monthly direct debit to the Labour Party and filled in the online form that asked me why I was taking this action. I like the association with that revolutionary day in 1789 but I must admit it was accidental. My movement to the point of departure had been gathering pace for months as I realized there was there now little to no chance of a leadership challenge to the new leader, Keir Starmer, who has emerged as a New Labour man through and through. Louise had resigned from the Labour Party months ago. Here's a link to my website, if you are interested in the story of my last period as a Labour Party member - press here.

I had filled in the Labour Party online form with these words:

'I am a socialist - this is no longer my party.'

The automatic response read: 'Be in touch shortly'.

Yesterday, the next automatic response appeared: 'Did you make a mistake?', followed by lots of stuff about what the party stood for.    

A clip from BBC News - what were you thinking, Sir Keir?

Over the last two days, I have been following the Daily Mirror story that I provide below. It confirms my sense that people such as me are toxic in this New Labour Party, determined to reshape itself after the shock of five socialist years with Jeremy Corbyn as the elected leader:

Keir Starmer set to expel 1,000 far left Labour members in four ‘poisonous’ groups

EXCLUSIVE Labour Against The Witchhunt and Socialist Appeal are among the groups to be proscribed by the party's ruling body as the leader bids to stamp out "toxic extremism"

"Keir Starmer is preparing to purge far left Labour members part of "poisonous" campaign groups in a bold confrontation with operators loyal to Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour 's ruling National Executive Committee will be asked to proscribe four "toxic" organisations which promote communism, claim anti-Semitism allegations are overblown and demand whips restore Mr Corbyn as a Labour MP.

Those to be banned include Resist and Labour Against the Witchhunt, which claim anti-Semitism allegations were politically motivated, and Labour In Exile, which expressly welcomes expelled or suspended members.

The openly communist Socialist Appeal will also become a forbidden group.

The Mirror understands anyone found to be a member of any group will be automatic expelled from the Labour Party.

The plans on the agenda at the NEC meeting on Tuesday are expected to pass and more than 1,000 members could be "auto-excluded" as a result.

One Labour source said: "Under Corbyn those from the far left fringes with poisonous beliefs and warped world-views were welcomed into the party. Keir is right to stamp out anti-Semitism and toxic extremism and get the party back into the decent mainstream of Labour values.

The move sets the stage for factional warfare at the Labour Party conference in Brighton as Mr Starmer (sic) attempts to stamp his authority on the party."

 So much for the Daily Mirror story - what follows is a more local Cornish story set in the near-by constituency of Truro and Falmouth. SKWAWKBOX takes up the tale:

Labour’s all-out war on members’ democratic rights

Labour has launched yet another assault on local member democracy – and at a national scale – in its all-out war on its members.

This time, the tip of the iceberg has emerged in the Truro and Falmouth constituency, with

regional party officers hijacking a meeting to install right-wing officers – and ramming through a decision, with no process, to reduce the number of the CLP’s (constituency Labour party) delegates to Labour’s annual conference in September to prevent any left-wing members taking part.

Regional officers prevented many left members from even getting into the online meeting – including the constituency’s most recent parliamentary candidate, Jenn Forbes. Left-winger Alex Falconer, recently expelled from the party for membership of a perfectly legal left-wing group, outlined events in a series of tweets and stating that:

  • regional officials took over the meeting, excluding prominent left wingers, including Forbes
  • the delegation to conference was reduced in number order to exclude left wing members
  • no members were allowed to speak against this manoeuvre, supposedly in the “interests of efficiency”

In a post on her Facebook page, former general election candidate Jennifer Forbes elaborated, including pointing out that the conference motion had not been circulated to members in advance – a blatant flouting of the party rules requiring a minimum of seven day notice:

"In the run up to the AGM the [then left-led] executive tried exceptionally hard, and put in many hours to achieve a fair AGM in often difficult circumstances against a campaign of poor conduct designed to achieve ‘regime change’.

Several attempts to obtain votes outside the rule book were dealt with. There were no issues with the AGM that couldn’t have been resolved with a good faith conversation with staff. All issues that were claimed on social media to be the cause of the suspension of democracy (around the failing email system) were subsequently replicated & added to.

A great many members received no notifications of the revised date. The shortened timescale [for notifying members of the meeting] excluded even more. The local rules which take pre-eminence were not followed, with regard to positions available & most importantly meeting times.

Members with childcare responsibilities struggled with the unconstitutionally early start time, this is not the proactive equalities agenda we should expect from the Labour Party. No notice was given doors would be locked, which is in any case a flagrant breach of the party’s own guidelines (see below) designed only to exclude. This alone is reason enough to void the AGM.

It can never be permissible to exclude valid members from participating in a democratic process. Many socialists were excluded this way.

A motion, previously uncirculated was passed, without speakers against permitted to be heard, which again conveys the unfortunate perception of a deliberate intent to exclude socialist from representing the local party at conference.

We call on all members to add their names of support below, including and especially the newly imposed executive. In particular, as a respected local member, vice chair of the regional board and Labour group leader we would urge Jayne Kirkham to publicly support good conduct within the party and use her positions to assist in undoing this sorry mess, for the good of us all.

 The conference move seems clearly a part of the nationwide manoeuvres by the right to gerrymander the balance of delegates to this year’s party conference in Brighton, with the primary aim of a reversion of Labour’s rules to the old ‘electoral college’ system that gave a handful of MPs the same voting weight as all the party’s members – and the confirmation of the disastrous David Evans as general secretary.

When he was a Blair adviser, Evans once wrote that  “representative democracy should as far as possible be abolished in the Party”. It seems the party has taken his words enthusiastically on board and the shameful events in Truro and Falmouth are the latest manifestation."

Jeremy Corbyn at Heartlands in Cornwall in 2017 - my photograph - a memorable occasion  

I am well out of all this.

My democratic need is for a political party that represents my world view at this time of dire emergency as we accelerate towards global extinction. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn had a socialist agenda which directly addressed the nightmare scenario that is unfolding around us across the planet. If you are an American or Canadian living today in a western state ravaged by drought and forest fires you are caught up in that terrifying reality. Likewise, if you are a German or a Belgian or a Netherlander, living on the floodplain of the Rhine. Here in the UK, the politicians of the biggest parties fiddle, so to speak, while Rome burns.  

In short, I want a democratic deficit put right. There were just over half a million members in J.C.'s Labour Party - a sensational rise from the 198,000 prior to the 2015 election defeat. I reckon at least a quarter-million people would join and pay dues to a new socialist party. We need the acknowledged socialists of the parliamentary Labour Party to take stock of the global situation and then a deep breath - and formally leave this New Labour Party which has worked so hard to marginalize them and extinguish their influence. These twenty to thirty brave souls will be the founding heart of a new movement that can sweep the country in the space of the next four years. Macron's movement achieved success in France as quickly on the promise that it was the answer to the political needs of the time. It proved not to be so, but a green socialist party will be. We are in the last-chance saloon. If not this, what else? If not this, our failing state will be leading the way to doomsday.       


  1. Splits rarely work out well but I agree the Labour Party is in a bad state with unjust expulsions, control of agms etc. When John Mcdonnell speaks urging me to stay in Labour I agree with him but if he and Zara and other lefties broke away- I suggest calling a new party ‘Left Labour’ which has a double meaning - I would join and it might work.

    1. Good to know we are on a similar wavelength.