If the whole Corbyn thing ended tomorrow, we have at least learned the full scale and extent of the corruption in the governance and administration of the Labour Party. It is always good to have no illusions about what you are dealing with. It has been laid out before us with unambiguous clarity.
The NEC, in the iron grip of the appalling Tom Watson, and his no less appalling side kick Ian McNicol, reveals itself as a kind of Stalinist Politburo with not even a passing interest in notions such as democracy, or natural justice. In McNicol, it has to be said, there is something of the night. For his part Watson is not a fan of LP members. He regards them as nothing more than a fucking nuisance. He regards the Party as a sheltered workplace where he can live out the lucrative managerial lifestyle he loves.
Expense fiddler extraordinaire http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5429883/MPs-expenses-Tom-Watson-to-resign-from-Government.html
And where he can get his mammoth ego perennially stroked. He is terrified of transformative change.
I have no intention of attempting a detailed account of what is currently happening. This will be done by others, better equipped and better placed than me. I merely seek here to give my impressions of the principles that seem to be the framework of the present Stalin style purges. The full story will eventually be told and it will be gruesome.
What astonishes me is not the level of the corruption but the cheerful brazenness of it. All pretence has been dropped. There is no attempt at fobbing us off with plausible lies. No longer any pretence that what is happening is anything other than a purge of as many people as possible that they have reason to think might be tempted to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. They know that it is widely understood that Corbyn would romp home in anything remotely resembling a properly run election. They equally well know that if Smith were to win, or even get close, the whole world will be fully aware of why and how.
They don’t care.
They know there will be consequences but are embarked on a zero sum game. All that is important is that as many people as possible are prevented from voting for Corbyn. Any back lash is something to worry about afterwards. Doubtless, in their arrogance, they are confident that they can handle it. Watson, in particular, seems to think he is untouchable and unimpeachable. He could be right and he could be wrong. Suffice it to say, mightier than he have been known to fall..
Thanks to the execrable Johanna Baxter we know the outline of how the purge has been organised. Two groups of three NEC members have been established. They have been charged with trawling social media accounts and with being the gathering points for ” information”. Upon encountering, or being presented with information, the groups of three, ” democratically” decide whether it would be helpful to purge the person in question.
Relevant information, remember, is anything that suggests you might vote for Corbyn. They are uninterested in you being an already proven crook, that has now been buying Romanian rent boys, procuring illegal drugs, and then demonstrably been more interested in the impact on your political neck than the effect on your wife and family. They are more interested in you having expressed pro Corbyn sentiments at a meeting or you having retweeted a tweet by Caroline Lucas several years ago.
Its all about Labour Party Values you see.
Following the discovery or receipt of the right kind of information, one of these twin Committees of Public Safety, sends McNicol a name along with a drawing of a down turned thumb. Murky McNicol then gleefully sends out the now infamous letter.
We aren’t , of course, told who these six are, how they were appointed and by whom. But then you knew this already. We can only assume that they are members of the secretive Stasi like Compliance unit. Except we do know one of them is Johanna Baxter. We know this because she tells us so.
Saturday night. A big spreadsheet of member/supporter applications for vetting. The glamorous life of an NEC member…
She seems to have had her knuckles rapped over this because she has made no subsequent mention of it. This must have been difficult for someone as narcissistic as Baxter. In any event she seems to be revelling in the ” power “.
They seem to be using a bot software system that trawls social media accounts for key trigger words. Words they have designated as ” abusive.” These words seem to include ” traitor “, “blairite “, Nazi ” and ” Zionist”. A quick check is made to satisfy the witch hunters that the perpetrator is likely to vote Corbyn and immediate suspension follows. This, of course, is pending an ” investigation”. An investigation that will not take place before the leadership. contest. Ken Livingstone’s investigation has now been pending for a good while now. An investigation that should have taken all of ten minutes has not been concluded in five months. Maybe John Chilcot has been put in charge of it. In this case it is more about keeping Livingstone off the NEC. They are shameless. It is painful to point out that there has been significant complicity on the part of several influential figures on ” the left” in this case. Sit down Owen Jones and Jon Lansman. But that is a story for another day.
Many people have been naive enough to complain that they haven’t received a ballot. This is often because they have been purged and have not yet been told. But it can also trigger the purging. If you complain about not receiving a ballot it draws attention to you and guarantees that you will be checked out for Corbynist sympathies. In a growing number of cases the complainant gets a ballot, votes, and then, within a very short time gets a purge letter together with the news that their vote has been discounted. The time gap can be as short as two hours.
All members and supporters are not equal in this respect. If you dont look like a Corbyn supporter on the available social media evidence, you will be ok. If you are an anti Corbyn MP you are guaranteed immunity. If you or I called a comrade a Nazi apologist we would be gone in the fluttering of an eye lash.
If you are Rent A Mouth John Mann MP it is just fine.
If you or I gleefully announced that we told a comrade to fuck off. then likewise ……….
If you are the appalling gobshite Jess Philips MP, and you gleefully announced that you told a comrade and fellow MP to fuck off, it is just fine.
Clearly anti Corbyn MP’s are not expected to conduct themselves to the same high standards expected of mere ordinary members and supporters. Pro Corbyn ordinary members and supporters, that is.
Don’t worry if you have lied your butt off in a Court of Law in an attempt to get a Trade Union wrongly branded as antisemitic. They won’t be fussed about that. On the contrary it will be taken as welcome evidence that you will not be voting for Corbyn. # Jeremy Newmark # notorious perjurer.
Watson and McNicol are not remotely interested in the human impact of their behaviour. It is all just a political game to them and their acolytes. They sell the purge as a legitimate exercise in protecting the Party against infiltration by entryist Trots. Yet a miniscule number, if any at all, of those purged could be described as such. Many are long time members that have given outstanding service to the party, sometimes over decades. Others are excited recent members enthused by Jeremy Corbyn and the prospect of the Party developing a transformative edge. What they invariably have in common is that they represent a vote for Corbyn.
Watson and Murky Mc have no sense of how their behaviour might impact on their victims lives and those of their families. They don’t care. These people are sick, sick, sick. The people they are despatching are not really people at all. They don’t have feelings and therefore cannot be hurt.
To that extent it is not personal, though to those affected it must feel like it is. The victims are not people they are potential Corbyn votes that have to be eliminated..
Pamela Fitzpatrick is a Labour councillor in Harrow. In late August she wrote to McNicol asking some questions about the high volume of suspensions that were taking place. On the Sunday of the August bank holiday she noticed an email marked ” supporter applications “. She assumed, perhaps naively, that this was a response from McNicol to her questions. McNicol does not do question answering, he issues edicts. Instead she found that it was a letter announcing her own suspension.
She had, the letter stated, broken a Labour Party rule. This rule related to “ conduct towards other members and at meetings”.
There was, of course no further details. The rule she had in fact broken is the unwritten rule that McNicol is above being questioned.
She is obviously devastated by this treatment. In her own words……
“The bank holiday weekend was intended to be one of relaxation with my family and friends. Instead I spent the whole weekend in a state of shock and upset. Not knowing what you are accused of and therefore not being able to defend yourself is something I would not wish on anyone. I have spent most of my whole working life representing clients in what is often described as the Kafkaesque world of social security. Nothing however has been quite as Kafkaesque, as the labour party purge of its own members. The suspension letter gives virtually no detail of the allegation. It also does not give clear information about how to appeal or whether there are any time limits……”
Pamela subsequently had her suspension lifted. As did the prominent Trade Union official Ronnie Draper. What these two have in common is that they each were becoming a cause celebre, and potential rallying points. They do seem to be sensitive to this, as they demonstrated in the case of Jackie Walker. The cost of lifting the suspensions was two more Corbyn votes and they doubtless felt this was not too bad a price.
By way of a parting fuck you gesture, and to leave her in no doubt as to who is in charge, shortly after lifting her suspension, they suspended her son for expressing the blinding bleeding obvious truth that the chickencoup MP’s were more concerned about themselves than the interests of the Party.
Anyone that doubts the impact of the behaviour of Watson and McNicol might take a look at some twitter accounts. If you care enough. e.g.
Claudine Lewis @QuietNotStupid
Catherine Higgins @justmebeingme4
Anna – Rose Phipps @lopcute
Maureen Royce @maureenroyce.
You might then compare these experiences with that of Cllr John Ferrett.
Ferrett is a serially abusive anti Corbyn councillor in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth. When asked why he hasn’t been suspended he is given to replying that he ” has friends in high places.” Ferrett is a blow hard but there seems to be some truth in this claim. After numerous complaints from constituents Ferrett was not immediately suspended like thousands of potential Corbyn supporters. Rather, he got invited to meet with the Compliance Unit and was found ” not guilty.”.
Perhaps the most jaw dropping bit of all this is McNicol’s recent letter to the NEC. In it he gives examples of statements that have resulted in suspensions. Some of them are pretty gruesome, and you certainly wouldn’t want to be in the same party as some of the people concerned. He gives thirty six examples. Thirty six out of the thousands of Corbyn supporters he has purged. Does he think we are all stupid ?
Then there is Michael Foster
Foster is a Labour Party member and former donor. He is also a simple, uncomplicated thug. He has always been such and doubtless always will be. His long record of thuggish and abusive behaviour does, however, seem to be perfectly consistent with the present Labour Party Values.
Foster is extremely rich. Maybe all Labour Party Values are not equal, but they constitute a weighted basket in which Foster’s ” values” carry an overwhelming and conclusive weight.
Foster first came to wider attention after yelling abuse at Jeremy Corbyn at an LFI event.
He then took the Party to court in an attempt to keep Corbyn off the ballot.
He subsequently went on to secure his place in infamy by writing an article for the Daily Mail , no less, explaining why he despised Jeremy Corbyn “and his Nazi stormtroopers”.
A whole book could be written on Foster’s toxic influence in the Labour Party. His main interest in the Party seems to be in its attitude to a foreign power. But the above mentioned article is more than enough for the present purpose.
Foster’s latest self indulgent melt down was big news and obviously came to the immediate notice of the purge team. For them this was awkward. Firstly Foster was obviously not going to vote for Corbyn and there therefore was no reason why his rantings should concern them. But there were also other complications.
Foster is much given to waving his money at the Party apparatchiks. He is forever telling us that his family have given over £400,000 to the Party over the years. He further claims that a third of of the personal donations in the run up to the last GE were from Jewish donors. That would be a figure in excess of £3m. This year they have not donated anything.
Now I don’t know if any of this is true, or if it is, what the implications are. Personally, if Foster told me night followed day I wouldn’t act on it without getting it independently checked out.
Make of it what you will.
Now he seems to be focussing his economic largesse, not on the Party as such, but on individuals he judges to be on the up in the influence stakes. For example, he funded Sadiq Khan’s mayoral campaign, presumably as a reward for Khan’s dramatic U-Turns on matters relating to The State of Israel.
Foster escaped any punitive action for weeks. In the end Foster was suspended. On reflection, this is probably a smart move. So smart, it is an idea worthy of Foster himself. It maybe was an idea of Foster himself. The problem was that people being suspended invariably compared their experience with that of Foster. This could be unhelpful in any post election investigation of what has being going on. So the suspending of Foster, was a deflection, a deflection in advance is it were.
Fosters response has been rather strange. There was the initial squeals of seeming outrage. But since then, nothing. Foster is not one to drop an issue. My guess is that before Foster was suspended, he ok’d it and the initial outrage was entirely faux.
After the election of course the Chakrabarti report will be actioned. It can’t be actioned now because the natural justice recommendations would put a brake on the purges. Foster will be back along with most others that continue to make a fuss. It won’t matter because the suspensions have served their purpose and the plan is to move on to disenfranchising the entire membership. Electoral colleges and similar bullshit.
The Party has reaffirmed that it takes the issue of racism in its ranks very seriously. This is good. Or at least it would be if it meant all forms of racism.
A major clue for McNicol et al as to whether someone is a potential Corbyn voter is whether they have ever referred to the State of Israel in less than eulogistic terms. ” Zionist” is is one of the trigger words.
Given this anti racist resolve you might have wondered how the following remain members and get to vote.
You will note MP’s , ex MP’s, Peers of the Realm and ex Ministers.
What do they all have in common ? They all sit on the Policy Council of the Muslim baiting/hating Henry Jackson Society. HJS boasts the incorrugible racist Douglas Murray as a director and was named by Hope Not Hate as one of the organisations responsible for ” dragging Muslim hate into the mainstream”.
A couple of recent developments.
First Kristina Veasy
Then the underwhelming ” condemnation” of the whole business from the young fogey Owen Jones who seems to have gone down the pan since he set out to be a video star. He finds it a teeny weeny bit inconsistent and unfair and undemocratic. Jeez Owen that really socked it to em. Talk about being savaged by a dying sheep.