Friday, 30 July 2021

Proscribed groups re-organise and threaten disruption to the Labour Party


The four organisation that were recently proscribed by the Labour Part have as expected launched their campaigns to defend their presence inside the Labour Party. At a recent on-line Zoom conference many of the comrades joined in with camera's off and some using assumed names in a attempt to hide their membership of these groups but the bulk of course are well known in their local constituencies ad nationally so most should be able to be identified with out any problems.

Socialist Appeal however cannot hide like these other hard-left activists who act like trolls within the Labour Party just stirring it up where they can for whatever cause or problem that's caught their attention. The members of British Section of the International Marxist Tendency which recently held it's ow international on-line congress with people from 34 sections and 50 countries i all ca't really hide because their entire political activity revolves around pushing their turgid newspaper and tedious theoretical journal.

The moment someone produces a pile of papers outside the meeting they're "nicked". I ca't really see these comrades trig to sell their rag like the dirty postcards of yesteryear. Psst wanna paper.. and keep them hidden under an anorak. Socialist Appeal has the a problem and though they have teamed up with the Labour Against the Witch Hut (LAW) and Labour In Exile (LIE) it is likely to be the end of the road for that entryist group.

Meanwhile the LAW and LIE groups have agreed on a merger which given they're run by more or less the same people is hardly a surprise.

It's worth noting the kind of individuals that LAW& LIE attract as this contribution on-line from Bob Cannell illustrates:

Are they going to sit at home, weeping? Or just start up another group with another name? How do they know who the 'members' of these groups are? Are mere supporters also excommunicated? Kinnock didnt expell all the Militant rank and file (because he didnt know who they were), just the organisers and leaders. If the Labour party has gained access to membership lists (maybe using their ex-Israel security service IT officer) that is surely a breach of Data Protection Law. I can see the Labour party spending a lot more members money defending itself in more court cases.

Note the casual conspiracy outlook thrown in. It always involves Israel somewhere.........

Wolves of Westminster reports:

The Steering Committee instructed the group’s members to lie if asked about their membership of any proscribed organisations, with one member commenting in response that “some people deserve to be lied to."

One member of the Steering Committee who chaired the meeting, expelled former party member Tina Werkmann, said that the group now had “just under 500 members” (although there have been far more suspensions and expulsions), with 80 new members joining in the past few days. She said at the start of the meeting that the NEC’s decision “proves the point that we have been a thorn in the side of the Labour Party Right, and we should take that as a compliment”, urging members to “keep on fighting”.....

......The group has previously appeared to support taking “direct action” against the Labour Party, including disrupting its meetings – an approach apparently endorsed in the past by another member of the Steering Committee, expelled former party member Tony Greenstein.

.....Several other speakers also supported the notion of forming a new radical-left party as an alternative to Labour, with one contributor making the suggestion of “forcing” Jeremy Corbyn to do so and lead it.

The group will be organising an event called Resist!, to be held in Brighton in parallel with the Labour Party Conference, as a ‘counter-Conference’

Several more organisations including the falsely named Jewish Voice for Labour are clearly acting against the party's interests and action needs to take to proscribe these group as soon as possible.

According to the Weekly Worker:

.....on Saturday July 31, when representatives from the LLA, JVL, the LRC and Socialist Appeal will put forward a motion to a meeting of the shadowy Chatham House left network, opposing the proscription of LAW, LIEN and Socialist Appeal, and calling for LAW and LIEN to be admitted to the continuing talks about left unity. The oh so responsible left trade union leaders and official left politicians will be put on the spot - the Chatham House rule of diplomatic silence notwithstanding - and will surely draw the line at bringing into their elevated counsels the unacceptable, militant left that the NEC has ruled to be beyond the pale.

Meanwhile the LAW and LIE groups have agreed on a merger which given they're run by more or less the same people is hardly a surprise.

The sooner these dysfunctional individuals and their organisations are placed firmly outside the Labour Party the better for the building of a electable modern social democratic party

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Musical Influences - Rick Wakeman

It seemed logical after featuring Yes last week to move on to a related favourite that of Rick Wakeman's solo work in the early seventies. I remember watching his excellent performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test which someone has kindly posted on You Tube so I just had to share. I even remember my father being impressed.

This track is Catherine Howard from the 1973 classic album Six Wives of Henry VIII.

The following year Rick released what was probably his most successful solo album Journey To The Centre Of the Earth with orchestra and the voice of Richard Burton. A all-time classic from which I have selected The Forest.

In 1975 The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table was released which reached No 2 in the charts. However I didn't pick another solo album until 1981 with the album 1984.

As I returned to music in a big way following my retirement I did pick up his first new "Prog Rock" album for some years The Red Planet. But it will always be for his work with Yes ad his early solo work that I will always remember.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Say No to BDS! Join the Campaign today! Deadline to sign up!


Watch a short message from Michael McCann here.

A letter will be sent, on your behalf, to the CEO of Unilever, after 30 July (see link below)

Dear Mr Jope

I am writing to you as a concerned UK consumer of Unilever products about Ben & Jerry International’s (BJI) decision to stop selling its products in ‘occupied Palestinian territory’.

Unilever owns BJI.

As you will be aware the BJI decision was taken after a long campaign by groups who relentlessly pursue boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

The sad irony is that while these groups pretend to promote social justice causes their campaigns damage the very people they purport to support.

Leaving to one side that BJI’s decision is founded on multiple inaccuracies, most importantly it is sending a wrong message to its audiences i.e. that BDS is a just and worthy cause to support.

In the UK context this message is particularly harmful given the steep rise in antisemitism in the UK in recent weeks.

Unilever has attempted to distance itself from this decision but your ownership of this product denies you that comfort.

I would ask that you read the recent Community Security Trust report, The_Month_of_Hate.1626263072.pdf (, it highlights the connection between anti-Israel groups and antisemitism.

What must also be considered are the consequences for other Unilever products, UK consumers, lawmakers and the international community.

Unilever, and its fully owned subsidiary, BJI do not appear to have factored those consequences into this decision.

Further, many critics of this decision may take a retaliatory view, for example, the New York state pension fund has already warned that it might restrict investments in your company, while I and many other consumers and lawmakers may question why a company like Unilever would support such partisan and aggressive action.

Boycotts are rarely the answer to complicated political problems, and they are certainly not the answer to the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

I would therefore ask that Unilever use the tools available to it to reverse this reckless decision.

A failure to do so may lead to an escalation in legitimate actions against Unilever.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Labour to Win sweeps London Regional Board


The tide in the Labour Party is clearly turning. Slowly but surely the party is beig won back to the mainstream. The largest of the entryist organisations Socialist Appeal has bee proscribed along with Resist, Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW) ad Labour In Exile (LIE) which contain large numbers of individuals responsible for the antisemitism problem in the party.

Overnight we heard the vile Ken Loach has been expelled probably returning to his so-called Left Unity organisation.

Now Labour To Win has good news in London, supposedly the urban "stronghold" of the far-left in the party:

On Saturday morning we started London Regional Conference, with a single mainstream representative on the regional board. From Brent to Bermondsey, the hard left had it all

.... I can now tell you all that at the end of the conference things were quite different. Labour to Win backed candidates now hold 18 of the 23 seats including the chair and the London wide seats, and total victory in 5/7 of the sections. Our very own Shama Tatler is vice-chair of the regional board (make sure you vote for her in the CAC elections!).

We now have a solid majority on the board. We did this because activists across the capital believed in what we are building at Labour to Win and put in the work that is needed to win any election. The Whatsapp group over the weekend had enough energy to power a small town. I spent the whole weekend in Southside scrutinising the votes and trust me the hard left did not see this coming. We out organised them, pure and simple.

We do not want to rest on our laurels though, you are only as good as your last result. We have national conference to organise for and regional board elections all over the country to win after that.

That is just one small but vital battle. The left particularly around Momentum and the Socialist Campaign Group plus other groups remains active and the struggle continues.

A further front opened today as the trans-extremists launched an attack on Rosie Duffield MP a staunch supporter of women's rights.

Members are urged to support the Labour Women's Declaration:

Monday, 26 July 2021

Hatun Tash stabbed by Muslim extremist at Speaker's Corner!

The right of free speech in this country is sacrosanct to our way of life and Speakers Corer exists so even the most outrageous can be heard. Violence has no place in our political or theological discourse. Sadly there are those who practise violence including both political and religious extremists. I this case a Islamist.

Hatun Tash is a ex-Muslim from Turkey who critiques Islam as is her democratic right. 

No religion is beyond criticism. 

One twitter user accused her of wearing a "Islamophobic" t-shirt of Charlie Hebdoe. These t-shits are worn in solidarity with those murdered by Islamic extremists. The twitter user has bee reported as this tweet justifies violence.

The following video has been issued in support  of Hatu Tash by the Apostate Prophet You Tube Chanel.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Labour First: Motion for a Two State Solution


Labour First has issued a number of model motions for Constituency Parties to consider submitting to Labour Party conference. For obvious reasons one of the areas that interests me the most is the Israel/Palestine conflict. As always I stand for a peaceful two-state solution which inevitably means compromise by both sides so that the conflict can at last be ended.

There is little point in raking over the past. It is what is and the need is to move forward. Israel is here to stay and there is also a need for the Palestinians to have a state. Reaching such a solution will be fraught with difficulties but the Arab world has begun to move towards a new relationship with Israel that can be a positive influence on how any resolution can be brokered.

Labour First has asked CLP's to consider the following motion which if passed will have a positive effect o the debate not just inside the Labour Party but in the country as a whole. A small but important step forward after the debacle that was created under Corbyn's regime.

Draft Motion:

Two-State Solution

Conference reiterates Labour’s position that the only way to create peace in the Middle East and end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is the negotiated creation of two states for two peoples: a Jewish state in Israel alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, living alongside each other in peace and security. The rights of minority communities in both states must be fully respected.

West Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, East Jerusalem the capital of the new Palestinian state. The Holy sites in the Old City must be accessible to all. The issue of the main Israeli settlement blocks in the West Bank should be resolved through mutually agreed land swaps.

Conference recognises the right to national self-determination and liberation of both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples and recognises the legitimacy of both Zionism and the Palestinian national movement.

Conference condemns all acts of terrorism unequivocally. Conference calls for free and democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority and the restoration of Palestinian Authority control over Gaza. Conference calls for the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to be removed from power in Gaza and disarmed in return for massive investment to improve life for citizens in Gaza.

Conference rejects negative and one-sided tactics such as boycotts, divestment and sanctions and commits to supporting practical schemes that build peace and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, including the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. Conference expresses solidarity with sister parties Israeli Labour, Meretz and Fatah.

Roger Chapman - Life In The Pond

Earlier this month I began an on-going series of weekly blogs covering the artists and albums that have influenced my musical tastes over the years. The first one covered Family whose single In My Own Time was the very first record I ever purchased.

The lead singer was Roger Chapman who sang with the band until it broke up in 1974 then going to the short lived Streetwalkers before embarking on a solo career.

It was by chance that I came across this new release from Roger Chapman thanks to a mate who commented on a Facebook post where I linked to Family's single My Friend The Sun that he had heard good things via a review in Mojo.

So off to aunty Amazon and here it is. Eleven excellent tracks and given Roger's age (79!) an amazing performance.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Labour NEC: A view from the traditional left

Earlier today I published Luke Akehurst's report on Labour's National Executive Committee and promised for the purposes of widening the debate to publish Ann Black' s usual report. I have some clear political differences with Ann but she remains within what I would consider the legitimate parameters of what the Labour Part should be about.

I do not understand why she voted against the exclusion of Socialist Appeal which is so obviously a political party in it's own right using Labour as a recruiting platform for it's undemocratic political aims.

Ann Black writes:

This meeting ran for more than nine hours, but there were several major presentations and the ratio of genuine questions to set-piece speeches was higher than of late. Part of the problem is that the NEC expanded from 33 members to 35 in 2016 and to 39 in 2018 for various reasons. Our constituents expect us to speak for them, and this is the only chance we get. However I was disappointed that there was no time for an update from Anneliese Dodds on her policy review, nor for a report on the first national policy forum for more than three years. Far more people are interested in what Labour stands for and how we will make their lives better than in procedural minutiae or splinter factions. Nor was there any news on the policy development consultation, which in my view rules out significant changes at this year’s conference.

Unfortunately we had the usual running commentary on Twitter and the wholesale release of confidential papers. I’ve seen cases where leakers were identified by slight variations in the text sent to each recipient, but it is sad if the NEC has to resort to such methods.

Published comments were also selective or misleading. For instance there were repeated references to haemorrhaging membership. In fact the paid-up total was still over 430,000. This is above the figure in November 2019 which had steadily declined since peak Corbyn, and more than double the level from 2002 to 2015 when membership stayed below 200,000 throughout. Of course we should work to attract and keep members, and find out why they are joining and leaving, but why run our own party down?

The Work Goes On

Deputy leader Angela Rayner thanked everyone who helped in Batley & Spen and paid tribute to members and unions working to get us through the pandemic. Attacks on the Tories for lining their mates’ pockets were beginning to cut through. She and Andy McDonald MP were developing a vision for the future of work, with secure jobs and full employment rights from day one, and summer campaign materials would go out to local parties soon. These would be tailored to Scotland and Wales where appropriate.

The NEC congratulated Kim Leadbeater MP for her energy and dignity in the face of provocation. I asked about a leaflet featuring Boris Johnson with the Indian prime minister, and was told that this responded to the concerns of local voters. Labour should stand up against injustice and oppose the Tories for rushing to sign trade deals regardless of human rights concerns. On NHS pay Angela said the government had reneged on a promised rise of at least 2.1% and the pay review body recommendations were awaited.

General Secretary’s Overview

David Evans reported that 700 delegates from 375 CLPs and 24 trade unions attended a successful online national women’s conference. The results of the by-elections in Chesham & Amersham and Batley & Spen would be included with an evaluation of the May elections, and Labour’s initial submission to the boundary review would be ready by the deadline of 2 August following regional input. (Luke Akehurst represents CLPs on the boundary review group and I am sure will be happy to answer individual questions.)

As usual there were questions about the much-delayed Forde inquiry into the 2020 leaked report, and David shared our frustration. The Forde panel had agreed in principle to release its findings on the report’s contents and on party culture and practices, while deferring the section on the circumstances of the leak until the information commissioner’s office completes its own investigation. David hoped for “early autumn”, but don’t hold your breath. The unconscious bias training undertaken by NEC members had raised disturbing issues about internal party culture which must be addressed. Also as usual there were questions about Jeremy Corbyn’s position, where regrettably the impasse continues. A letter from the previous chief whip had set out three conditions, none of them met, though David Evans acknowledged the extent of concern. He declined to comment on the continuing or lifting of suspensions in other cases.

The instruction that all meetings must be online runs out at the end of July. David Evans said that local parties could meet in person after that if they wished, and guidance on safety would be issued. I would welcome views on this. Many members are nervous about cramming into venues while the virus is still raging, especially those who are vulnerable or shielding. Others with caring responsibilities, disabilities or transport difficulties have enjoyed being able to take part for the first time. Hybrid meetings sound good, but enabling 60 people in the room and 60 people joining via Zoom to participate equally in discussion and in voting would be financially and technically challenging. The NEC itself will stay online until conference.

Moving Forward

In presenting Organise to Win, David Evans’ priority was a high-performing, diverse, inclusive organisation with a ruthless focus on winning elections, set against a difficult financial position which made it impossible to maintain current staffing levels. Putting voters at the heart of everything we do was in no way intended to devalue the role of members. The political structures of current regions and nations would be retained, but with three English regional hubs, one in the north (North, North West, Yorkshire & the Humber), one in the midlands (East, East Midlands and West Midlands) and one in the south (London, South East and South West) with more organisers on the ground, close to local parties. Digital campaigning would be a priority, along with political strategy and communication. Ideally he would like to see half the number of meetings, with half the people, taking half the time. Perhaps the NEC could set an example.

Most were willing to give the proposals a chance but needed convincing that they would deliver, and were concerned about the large geographical areas. David argued that technology would enable working across distances, and the hub model would reduce duplication. There were also requests for more emphasis on diversity. I again stressed that culture change cannot be enforced from the top down. Too many CLPs now see every AGM and every vote as a victory for one side or another, polarising rather than bringing members together around shared activities. Many concerns were expressed for the welfare of staff, who heard the plans first through leaks, and we were assured that their trade unions were fully involved.

NEC members pointed out that it had been normal for extra staff to join on temporary contracts in the run-up to general elections, after which levels would revert to those required for “normal” running. However after 2017 they were kept on against the possibility of another election, and then again after the 2019 election. In addition opposition parties receive “Short money” to support policy development. This is proportional to the number of MPs, so losing 60 Labour MPs in 2019 cut it by a quarter. Cancelling the 2020 conference left a gap in income, and 2021 was still uncertain. Legal costs had been higher in recent years, but hopefully these would reduce as procedures and behaviour improved. Lessons would be learned from losses such as LabourLive. It was clarified that the party is not in debt, as it was in 2005 to the tune of more than £20 million. The need now was to keep spending in line with income.

On the Road Again

Keir Starmer welcomed Kim Leadbeater’s election. He had met voters in Blackpool and would be going on to Wolverhampton, Southampton and Scotland, alongside summer campaigning around jobs and anti-social behaviour. He had attacked Boris Johnson’s recklessness in lifting all restrictions at once. NEC members urged him to take the fight to the Tories; invited him to meet the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller working group; and asked for councillors to be supported, particularly following a horrific firebomb attack on Arooj Shah, Britain’s first female Muslim council leader. Scottish local government workers may go on strike against underfunding by the SNP, who are in no sense a leftwing party. I asked for clear differentiation from the Tories on handling Covid, and also whether Labour supported vaccine passports for nightclubs. Others raised NHS pay, a £10 minimum wage for under-25s, the WASPI women, devastation in the travel industry, backing the English football team’s anti-racist stance, the disproportionate impact of Covid on disabled people, supporting shopworkers on face-coverings, pathetically low sick pay which deters self-isolation, low traffic neighbourhoods in Islington, bad opinion polls, Jeremy Corbyn and internecine friction.

In response Keir Starmer said that at the height of the crisis it had been right to put the country first by backing government measures, but that period was over. In contrast to Boris Johnson Labour supported continuing mask-wearing, proper ventilation and working from home where possible, all itemised by SAGE, the advisory committee, as significantly reducing the spread of the virus. Labour had been cautious with regard to vaccine passports, but his instinct was to oppose them. The England team embodied modern patriotism, but the Tories were stoking culture wars with the aim of setting traps for Labour. He agreed that domestic workers living as part of a family should not be exempt from the minimum wage set by the low pay commission, and was mystified that anyone could interpret his comments on under-25s as suggesting that they were lazy. He referred a question about suspended NEC members to the chair Margaret Beckett, who said that sadly this was not unprecedented. (In fact four NEC members have been suspended in the last five years, of whom two stood down and were replaced according to the rules, and two kept their seat although unable to attend meetings.)

Back to Budgets

The finance director and the treasurer set out the details behind David Evans’ presentation, and stressed the need to run at staffing levels previously the norm between general elections. Those of us with long memories recall that NEC members are personally liable for party debts and do not want to go back there. It was suggested that fundraising should become more embedded in party activity at every level.

After four hours there were more appeals, immediately broadcast on LabourList, to defer part of the agenda to another day. While running beyond 9 p.m. is bad for NEC members and for staff, so is organising a further session away from work and other commitments. We agreed that NEC meetings should not clash with religious festivals, though some Muslim members were celebrating Eid on the Wednesday rather than the Tuesday, and the whole NEC had endorsed the date six months ago. So we carried on.

Liverpool Update

David Hanson MP presented his report, commissioned after government intervention into the running of Liverpool city council, and pointed out that unlike Forde it was delivered on time and under budget. Labour’s vote had held up in the May 2021 elections, but it was essential to maintain that trust. The recommendations covered the Labour group, the local government committee, preparations for the 2023 elections, and the structure of Liverpool CLPs.

These had been accepted by the NEC officers, but I argued that the full NEC should see them. Some members wanted to defer discussion till October to allow more reading time as it was a long paper, though it was circulated late so that it would only leak two days before the meeting. Fortunately all names had been withheld as the panel had promised to protect those giving evidence. After impassioned pleas for prompt action and unity the NEC endorsed it without a vote. My only comment was that the issues identified are not unique to Liverpool, and other areas could benefit from the same attention.

A Question of Priorities

We moved on to the issue of organisations in conflict with Labour’s values. The proposal was to allow expulsion of members and supporters of, initially, the Labour in Exile Network (LIEN), Socialist Appeal, Labour Against the Witch-hunt (LAW) and Resist. I was unhappy with its late addition after NEC officers had agreed the agenda. I believe Labour should be hammering the Tories on the Johnson variant and “one rule for them, another for the rest of us” and setting out clear and positive policies. Instead the headlines would show not a leader taking firm action but a divided and fractious party, and stoke fears of wider moves against “the Left”, though I hope and trust that these are unjustified Defining “support” has tied us in knots even with undisputed political parties, where careless likes or retweets can lead to five years’ exclusion. Total numbers are likely to be a few hundred, and the party can already act against individual offenders.

Meanwhile nearly 100 members are still suspended after more than 18 months, paying subscriptions but unable to participate. More than 1000 complaints are unresolved, and every week I receive despairing messages from members at the end of their tether, having to attend party or council meetings with their alleged harassers unchecked, and I can do nothing to help them. We would be loading even more work onto a system which cannot cope now, and which consumes far too much time, money and energy. There is no point in clearing the current backlog at vast expense if it simply builds up again.

Against this, Labour is still “on probation” following the EHRC (equalities and human rights commission) report. LIEN and LAW include clearly anti-semitic statements alongside their general grievances, and failing to act would be seen as condoning them. Resist intends to register as a political party. So I took all contributions seriously, except the suggestion that Marxism is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, but including assurances that Momentum in particular has a legitimate place in the party. In the end I Voted for an amendment which would require the full NEC, not a sub-panel, to decide on any future proscriptions (carried 21-12).

Abstained on the paper as a whole (carried 22-11)
Voted for excluding LIEN (carried 22-10)
Abstained on excluding Socialist Appeal (carried 20-12)
Voted for excluding LAW (carried 22-10)
Voted for excluding Resist (carried 23-9)

To Be or Not to Be?

It’s still hard to imagine packing into Brighton’s bars in two months’ time. David Evans listed the options: a full in-person conference, a hybrid online / in-person event, and fully online. There were contingency plans for a socially-distanced main hall and more flexibility for replacing delegates. He had talked with the unions about their experiences, and the online women’s conference in June had tested arrangements for speaking and voting remotely. Members raised possible complications, including selective travel bans from parts of the UK, delegates being pinged at conference, and vaccine passports. The NEC approved standing orders, with a change to give movers of motions four rather than three minutes, and granted the conference arrangements committee more freedom to allow proxy votes and to adapt to circumstances.

Compositing will be challenging. Topics for debate will not be decided until the priorities ballot on the first day, and 20 areas will now be selected, up from eight. I believe the whole system needs review, with an earlier deadline for motions now the “contemporary” criteria have been dropped, and an online priorities ballot in advance as for the women’s conference. Compositing meetings could then be planned ahead.


Conference will also be asked to agree rule changes which create an independent review panel to make decisions on complaints, and an independent appeal board to hear appeals against their decisions, as well as any complaints requested by the NEC. The proposed procedure has been accepted by the EHRC as fulfilling their requirements and must be implemented by December. Some stakeholders feel that it is insufficiently independent, but a fully external process would be even more expensive and could actually increase the risk of its decisions being overturned in the courts. It will cover all complaints involving protected characteristics, and it was suggested that regional offices could help to resolve situations which relate to other types of uncomradely behaviour. The party seems almost to encourage complaints, but not every tension between members is resolved by reaching for a rulebook and a lawyer.

It may be the heat but the new model feels even more convoluted than the current process, and I am not convinced that it will be quicker or more user-friendly, though I hope I am wrong. Nevertheless it was carried overwhelmingly.

Women in the Lead

The NEC approved a paper on the national women’s committee (NWC), newly-elected at the women’s conference. This will meet three times a year, though the NEC women’s subcommittee may continue to discuss issues such as allocation of all-women shortlists and the equalities committee would maintain a list of women’s branches, though I am not sure why. Some members requested more NWC meetings, but the national women’s officer had serviced 16 meetings of the NEC women’s committee and the women’s conference arrangements committee in eight months, and has no spare capacity. As the 2018 party democracy review is rolled out these issues will arise for other equalities strands, and are likely to conflict with the aims of Organise to Win, which seeks fewer meetings and more activity.

Deferred Business

Rule changes proposed by the NEC were postponed to September. These include a lot of tidying, and amendments to rules for local government committees which recognise the need for flexibility where Labour groups are small and restore the Co-operative party’s right to representation. However the latter complicates the electoral college method of voting, formerly one-third each for councillors, trade unions and CLPs, and splits votes into untidy fractions. I will try to make this more sensible before the autumn.

We then agreed a code of conduct on confidentiality and privacy at the third time of asking, and a code of conduct on Islamophobia drawn up with the full engagement of relevant stakeholders. I expect these will be published on the website soon. Finally Margaret Beckett regretted that there was no time for a national policy forum report, as it was policy which brings people into Labour in the first place.

The organisations being proscribed are meeting on-line tomorrow for an emergency conference to decide on what they do ext. I will publish further coverage as the situation develops.

Report from the Labour Party National Executive


The following report covers the recent controversial meeting of the Labour Party's ruling body. My only real concern is the passing of the last item with it's use of a very flawed definition of "Islamophobia". This will cause problems with atheists, secularists and women's rights activists. I will return to that subject at a later date. But for now the decision to proscribe four extremist organisations is something that is welcome and hopefully that list will be expanded.

Luke Akehurst writes:

The July NEC has a reputation for having a heavy agenda every year, and this was no exception, lasting nine and a quarter hours on one of the hottest days of the year.

The most important items in my view were the reports from the General Secretary and Executive Director of Finance about Labour’s financial situation and the restructuring this necessitates.

David Evans said that since his appointment he had been preparing a restructuring called Organise to Win, aimed at getting the Labour Party into shape to fight the next General Election but also putting in on a sustainable financial footing. This is the first full scale review of Labour’s professional machine since 2006, so long overdue. The party was traumatised by four General Election defeats and by 2019 it had lost its reputation for campaigning innovation and faced a far more modern Tory machine, particularly in digital campaigning. Structural problems had been laid bare by the May local elections. The antisemitism crisis and legal challenges associated with it meant we are spending more on legal action than on campaigning, and ten times more than we used to. Much of the review was informed by pro bono work by Lord (Bob) Kerslake and other financial and organisational structure experts. The new structure will have a simplified hub and spoke model with support services in the centre and at three regional resource hubs, and as much campaigning resource as possible put out into the regions and nations. It will foster collaborative working and enable staff to develop specialisms and become experts. Resources will be focussed on communications, digital campaigning and field operations. To make it financially sustainable it will be lean, with sadly 90 redundancies needed, but strong enough to be built back from as we approach the General Election. Cultural change internally away from factionalism will be driven by rewarding good behaviour and a focus on diversity and inclusion. Sign off processes will be streamlined to try to reduce the risk averse culture that has developed. A flatter management structure is more appropriate for any political campaign organisation. All operations will be guided by the electoral strategy.

The Executive Director Finance provided more detail on the financial situation. As well as the vastly increased legal costs budget, staffing had remained at General Election levels ever since 2015 due to the three elections in quick succession and the unique circumstances of the pandemic. Historically all political parties have lower donations, lower membership and fewer staff in the mid years of the electoral cycle, and Labour needs to get back to a sustainable number of core staff in the midterm. The legal spend will gradually reduce as the backlog of disciplinary cases is dealt with. The party had lost 22% of the “Short Money” that funds the policy function of HM Opposition because this is based on a formula relating to electoral performance so it was cut due to the seats lost in 2019. The cancellation of the 2020 Annual Conference had removed the main source of commercial income for that year.

Membership always spikes at a General Election or Leadership Election then drifts down between such events. Even so, membership income in 2021 was the same as in 2019, it was only lower than the record 2020 level. Plans were in place for growing both high value one off donations, smaller regular donations and membership. Treasurer, Diana Holland, noted that whilst the party has a deficit it needs to reduce by making savings, its long-term financial position is far stronger than before 2010 as it has no debt anymore.

David also reported on the boundary review process, the byelections in Chesham & Amersham and Batley & Spen, and the successful Women’s Conference. On the long-awaited Forde Report he said he was pushing Martin Forde QC to complete and publish by early autumn the two sections of the report which don’t potentially prejudice the ICO’s investigation. The sections on the truth or not of the content of the leaked report last year, and on the culture and practices of the party, could be published if they are ready, but the section on the circumstances of the leak need to wait until the ICO has reported.

Bespoke unconscious bias training was being rolled out to staff and the NEC. The NEC would continue to meet online until its meetings at conference. CLP meetings could now either be held in person or online, with guidance on Covid safety being issued.

As at previous meetings there were questions from his supporters about Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the PLP. David emphasised that the Chief Whip has put the letter to Jeremy with its three criteria for the whip being restored into the public domain. Those criteria have not been met yet.

We also heard reports from the Leader and Deputy Leader.

Keir explained that the three days he had spent on the ground in Blackpool listening to voters was part of a pattern that would continue around the country through the summer. Each visit would show the leadership getting outside Westminster and would involve interaction with local media and community groups. Keir said that Labour was on the attack on every level against the Tories on Covid as the Delta variant was “the Johnson variant”, spreading rapidly due to Boris’ failure to take effective action, and the Tories were causing the country a summer of chaos and confusion.

It was disappointing that some colleagues again chose to waste their unique opportunity to engage constructively with Keir with rude and relentlessly negative questions, including asking the same ones about Jeremy Corbyn that David Evans had already answered.

Angela Rayner’s report focussed on the campaigning Labour would be doing over the summer to expose the Tories and set out our contrasting vision.

We agreed a report on Liverpool from a panel led by Sir David Hanson, which dealt with the Labour Party aspects of the fallout from the arrest of the former Mayor and subsequent Caller Report into the City Council. Having interviewed 60 of the key figures in the local party, it was clear that there was a bullying and toxic culture, a lack of scrutiny of the council, failure to declare interests etc. The panel’s 32 recommendations include dedicated party staff support for Liverpool, the NEC to run the panel process for council candidates, vetting, a code of practice and declarations of interest, antisemitism training for candidates and party officers, fast-tracking of all complaints about Liverpool members, refocusing the Local Campaign Forum on local issues, and reconstitution of the city’s CLPs so they all have a branch and GC model and scrutiny of councillors will be the same across the city.

I raised the related issues around Liverpool Jewish women MPs Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger being driven out of the party by antisemitism and said we would not have fully dealt with antisemitism until they felt able to re-join.

We then moved on to consider a general paper on how we assess the proscription of groups that are not compatible with Labour’s values, and four specific cases. I spoke in favour of the proscriptions. I was disappointed that some NEC members argued against proscription. I do not understand why more mainstream parts of the Hard Left cannot see the damage being done to their own reputation, let alone the party’s, by tolerating groups that minimise or deny the existence of antisemitism, or that are rival revolutionary communist parties seeking to infiltrate Labour. It was clear to me that Socialist Appeal is an entryist group, one of two lineal successors to the Militant Tendency, that Resist is already part of the steering committee of TUSC, a rival political party, and that Resist, Labour in Exile Network and Labour Against the Witch-hunt all oppose the party’s efforts to deal with antisemitism. None of these organisations belong anywhere near the Labour Party.

The main paper was approved by 22 votes to 11.

The proscription of Labour in Exile Network was approved by 22 votes to 10.

The proscription of Labour Against the Witch-hunt was approved by 22 votes to 10.

The proscription of Socialist Appeal was approved by 20 votes to 12.

The proscription of Resist was approved by 23 votes to 9.

We noted that membership of the party was now 466,000.

On Annual Conference we heard that the “Plan A” was a normal physical conference. If Covid necessitated, it then we could have a socially distant main hall with delegates only. Delegates who need to self-isolate could be replaced. Further fallback plans were for a hybrid online and physical conference or even a fully online one. Reference Backs on parts of National Policy Forum reports will now need to be sent in in advance of conference rather than from the floor. Replacement movers and seconders for composite motions will be allowed if the delegates from the initial organisations are pinged and have to self-isolate.

We agreed the outlines of the new Independent Complaints Process required by the EHRC as part of our action to stamp out antisemitism. It was noted that every action in the party’s EHRC Action Plan has been completed or is ongoing except this. The new process will apply to all disciplinary cases relating to the legally protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation), not just to antisemitism cases. Contrary to one NEC member’s question on an earlier item, Marxism is not a protected characteristic under the Equalities Act! The process requires further refinement and consultation with affected stakeholders before rule changes are agreed at Conference. Currently the NEC’s Disputes Panels, with an independent lawyer giving advice, hear cases where all the evidence is in writing. The National Constitutional Committee hears cases that need an oral hearing and appeals. Its rulings are final.

Under the new system the NEC Disputes Panels will still meet but where there are cases involving protected characteristics a lawyer from an Independent Review Panel (IRP) will be able to veto their judgements and refer them to an Independent Appeal Board (IAB) if they do not comply with the rules, the law, and new principles of independence. The IAB will consist of 4 lawyers, 4 lay members and 4 HR or regulatory experts, one person from each of these categories will serve on each decision-making panel. An IAB panel will also hear cases that would previously have gone to the NCC but involve a protected characteristic. The IRP will also have the power to undertake audits of the disciplinary process. IAB members will be appointed by a Recruitment Panel established by the General Secretary or their nominee.

Because of case law about the right to freedom of assembly and association under Article 11 of the Human Rights Act it isn’t legally possible to make the process totally independent from the Labour Party. The proposal is financially practicable and legally watertight and meets the EHRC’s requirements.

We were informed that it will take a further six months to clear the backlog of disciplinary cases.

We ended the meeting by agreeing a new Code of Conduct on Confidentiality by 19 votes to 10, and then there was a high note of unanimity where we agreed the very important Code of Conduct on Islamophobia, which incorporates the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims Definition of Islamophobia, unanimously.

Since the previous NEC meeting on 25 May, I have also participated in the following other meetings. It is not my intention usually to report in detail on sub-committee meetings because when I was on the NEC before we were under instruction that reports should only be on full meetings not committees, and in the case of Disputes Panels the proceedings are confidential:

· Equalities Committee – 1 June

· Organisation Committee – 8 June

· Disputes Panel – 8 June

· Health and Social Care Policy Commission – 26 May, 22 June

· National Policy Forum – 6 July

· Working Group on student structures – 8 July

· Disabled Members Structures Working Group – 15 July

· Boundary Review Working Group – 6 meetings and 3 regional consultation events

· And a Disputes Panel hearing

Anne Black who is on the traditional left of the party (Luke is in Labour First/Labour to Win) also usually produces a report ad I will re-post that as a contribution to the on-going debate.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Musical Influences - Yes

It's always difficult to say which is my favourite band or album as I like so many of both and although Prog Rock was the earliest and most permanent influence on my musical tastes in my life times do change and so do tastes but if taken in terms of sheer numbers of albums from the one group there is only one choice for me and that would be Yes.

I have seventeen albums from Yes plus several solo albums from their core members Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. These are not all studio albums but include two live triple albums and a compilation. Their music has stayed with me throughout my life and with a new album on the horizon there is no sign of my being a fan ever wavering!

The first Yes album I ever got was the excellent Close To The Edge quickly followed by Fragile. 

Both these albums stand up to the test of time ad should appeal to anyone with a serious interest in music. Other albums that I got hold of in my schooldays were Yessongs, Tales Of Topographic Oceans and probably my favourite release of theirs Relayer.

Over the years the makeup of the bad has changed considerably though for me Jon Anderson will always have the signature vocals. I thoroughly recommend his solo album Olias Of Sunhillow another schooldays favourite.

Choosing tracks to post from their early days when the group were at their height is difficult because of their length. In later years the bad like so many of their contemporaries like Genesis did take a more mainstream "pop" orientated direction in the eighties but I remained a fan of their output.

In 1988 Jon Anderson decided to go back to a more progressive sound and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe were born. Their one studio album is well worth adding to your collection.

And finally to bring everything up to date you can pre-order the new Yes album from tomorrow. Due for release on October 1st!

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Socialist Appeal & Resist respond to their being proscribed


The Labour Party National Executive Committee agreed to proscribing Socialist Appeal, Resist, Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW) and Labour In Exile (LIE) at it's meeting yesterday ignoring the irrelevant protest outside it's HQ by ot just the worst the left has to offer but the neo-fascists around Piers Corbyn. 

Predictably the comrades have gone on the warpath:

Socialist Appeal made this self-centred delusional statement: 

The deed is done. This evening, Labour’s right-wing dominated NEC voted to proscribe four left-wing organisations from the party, including Socialist Appeal.

This scandalous and cowardly decision is a direct political attack on the whole of the left. Starmer and the right wing have thrown down the gauntlet. The entire left must mobilise and respond with militancy and audacity....

Capitalism is in its deepest ever crisis. Unlike in the Blair era, it is not reforms, but attacks and austerity that are on the agenda. Starmer and the right wing have nothing to offer but patronising flag-waving and appeals to big business.

Sharp class struggles lie ahead, in Britain and internationally. Enormous pressures are building within society, and particularly within the working class. And one way or another, these will burst to the surface, finding a reflection both on the streets, and in the Labour Party and the trade unions.

In this process, the mass organisations of the working class will be transformed and re-transformed. And the ideas of Marxism will become even more relevant.

This is why we are not demoralised or downtrodden by today’s NEC decision. Instead, we are even more determined to set about the task at hand: to build the Marxist tendency – Socialist Appeal, the Marxist voice of Labour and youth.

To all those who have been expelled, or who have left the Labour Party in disgust with Starmer’s leadership, we urge you to join us in this task.

Despite finding support from no less than nine members of Labour's ruling body thereby putting their own loyalty on the line Chris Williamson's Resist had this to say:

The unsurprising result of today's NEC meeting from Starmer's in-house magazine. The members of Socialist Appeal, LAW and LIE congregated outside Southside clearly weren't shouting loudly enough. Resist which could not give a monkeys about Labour shenanigans was not present.

Neither Labour In Exile (LIE) or Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW) have responded yet. 

The proletariat awaits in anticipation............

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Far-left's protests and campaigns fall into farce.


World's largest boot: By Bgelo777 - Own work, CC

If any member of Labour's National Executive Committee doubted the reason why they should proscribe a number of organisations and expel their members then they only had to look out the window at this afternoons pathetic protest outside their meeting.

From the start the assembled unwashed had problems when Piers Corbyn and some of his anti-vaxxers and Covid deniers turned up to the obvious consternation of Toy Greenstein a individual not know for his tolerance. Things then began getting out of hand when former Socialist Appeal/Labour Party member turned supporter of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) had his microphone turned off but managed to keep o ranting to the obvious embarrassment of much of the comrades in the audience which was drifting away already..

Except Piers who clapped like a old seal waiting for more fish.

As usual the far/hard left however you wish to define them managed to shoot themselves firmly in the foot when instead they might, just might have been able to latch onto the statement (absurd as it was) from Laura Pillock, Ayatollah Yar and their left wing mates on the NEC.

Pidcock & co had tried to argue that these groups did not break the rules despite oe (Resist, led by expelled ex-MP Chris William so) actually standing three candidates as part of the rival Trade Union & Socialist Coalitions local election campaign against Labour. Socialist Appeal is a entirely different political party with it's own structures and international affiliations. 

The other two groups included enablers of antisemitism which Labour has finally take action against and a group of expelled members and those who had resigned from the party before they were pushed. The left's arguments do't hold up.

New grouping: "Defend the Left"!

Of course the groups either already on the list plus some who fear they will be added (including the Labour Representation Committee which ope's it doors to members of other political parties such as the pro-North Korean New Communist Party) have backed yet another campaign set up by Tina Werkman who originally joined the Labour Party when she was a member of the CPGB (WW) but split after some obscure argument about her going "native".

Werkman also runs several of the organisations* that have signed up to this latest effort:

Initial supporting organisations:

Jewish Voice for Labour
Labour Against the Witchhunt*
Labour In Exile Network*
Labour Left Alliance*
Labour Party Marxists
Labour Representation Committee
Socialist Appeal
Socialist Resistance
Other supporting organisations:

Labour Campaign for Free Speech
Red Flag
Workers’ International Network
Anti Capitalist Resistance
Sheffield Labour Left 
Newham Socialist Labour
Bootle for Socialism
Hackney and Islington Unite Community

None of these people actually believe in free speech or democracy. They include revolutionary socialists or to be precise communists or Trotskyists who whenever gaining power from Russia to Cuba have ever allowed freedom of speech, press or even the existence of legitimate opposition in any form.

Please note: Full reports and results of then NEC will be published in due course as the meeting continues at the time of posting.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Labour Party: Additional organisations that should face proscription


Yesterday I published a guide to four groups facing proscription inside the Labour Party. I left out by accident Labour In Exile a group of individuals who were variously expelled or resigned from the Labour Party. They have been in the quite laughable process of setting up "ghost constituency parties. They have failed to haunt anyone with that exercise but represent some of the foulest individuals ever to cross your path. Proscribe and avoid I say.

There are a number of other groups being considered for having action taken against them. This second guide is incomplete and targets only the more vociferous or vocal little sects and cults infesting the Labour Party.

First up is the totally misnamed Jewish Voice for Labour group. The JVL was set up to support Jeremy Corbyn after the rise of antisemitism inside the Labour party from so may of his new and old supporters. This group deliberately set out to undermine the Jewish Community and deny the problem existed ad underplay any actual occurrences. 

This group is totally unrepresentative of the Jewish Community but ended being touted by the racits and their supporters as evidence that antisemitism did not exist in Labour. They just called it anti-Zionism and opposition to Israel yet couldn't or wouldn't explain why so many of these people also talked about Jewish control of the media, the banks ad posted memes showing the Star of David like a creature from the film Alien emblazoned o the face of the statue of Liberty in New York.

Pure antisemitic conspiracy theories were abundant under Corbyn from the supposed "left" ad the JVL covered for them. Even one their leaders Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi was famously take off air by LBC for what they considered antisemitic remarks. The others are just as bad.

Further info on my old website including statement from Labour Against Antisemitism:

One the much smaller Trotskyist groupings that entered the Labour Party during the Corbyn era (and still remain) are the Workers Power organisation which has re-branded itself as "Red Flag". Of ll such groups it is probably the least well known as being so small it's activities are limited to one or two constituencies. 

The turn to the Labour Party was taken quietly as Corbyn came to the fore. The main Workers Power website and it's print paper of the same name ceased publication. Readers at the time were referred to Red Flag.

Workers Power simply reconstituted themselves around the name of another publication, this time Red Flag and are seeking to build their organisation from within the Labour Party. 

Their website clearly states:

Our goal is the creation of a genuine, mass revolutionary party capable of challenging social-democracy and Stalinism for leadership across the whole range of working class struggles. Our model is the Bolshevik party that led the Russian revolution to victory in – so far – the only successful socialist revolution in history.

Red Flag is the British section of the League for the Fifth International, which exists to agitate for the creation of a new world party of socialist revolution, whose emergence is the precondition for the working class conquest of power and the establishment of the world socialist order.

Red Flag issued a statement attacking Keir Starmer in which their intentions (and sectarianism) are clear including the lefts obsession with Palestine and a dismissal of concerns over antisemitism:

THE ELECTION of Keir Starmer as Labour leader, with 56.2% of the vote, represents a clear victory for the right in the party. Neither the fact that some on the left were seduced into voting for Starmer, nor that Rebecca Long-Bailey got 27.6% of the vote, can disguise this.....

...hey resorted to the utterly deceitful strategy of the false antisemitism accusations. In this they knew they could count on the support of the Establishment and the media. Perhaps more surprisingly, they also benefitted from the refusal of Momentum, under Jon Lansman’s leadership, and even sections of the far left, notably the AWL, to condemn it for what it was.

That the antisemitism accusations were so effective is related to the more general issue of foreign policy. This goes to the very heart of Labour’s longstanding support for British capitalism’s global strategy, in which support for Israel is a fundamental element in its alliance with the USA.

To have as the leader of a potential governing party a man with Corbyn’s record of principled opposition to imperialist wars and support for the rights of the Palestinians, among other oppressed peoples, was always completely out of the question for not just the right wing of Labour but even some on the Left.

The Progress and Labour First factions that supported Starmer will not cease their attacks on the left. No doubt with the backing of the Board of Deputies* and the press, they will demand a wholesale purge of all who still advocate democratisation of the party, anti-capitalist solutions to the crisis or internationalist policies, for example, on Palestine.

Note the conspiracy theory about the British Board of Deputies common amongst so called "anti-Zionists"

This is how entryist organisations work. In breach of party rules Red Flag factionalise in order to build an party of their own which has clear membership, finances, policies and international affiliations.

One of these groups used to be known as Socialist Organiser and was active inside the Labour Party until it managed to get itself proscribed by the Labour Party conference in 1990. The organisation now re-branded as the Alliance for Workers Liberty published yet another newspaper, Solidarity and has it's members buried deep inside Labour.

Indeed they went as far as to infiltrate Momentum and did succeed at first in gaining a modicum of influence especially through the use of a front publication (now deceased) The Clarion. However the AWL are not very popular on the left and this is in part due to the fact that the AWL recognises there was an antisemitism problem inside Labour and they call for a two-state solution unlike the rest of the far/hard left who simply take the genocidal approach.

However they have a well deserved reputation for both external and internal sectarianism. Despite the ramblings of their guru Sean Matgamna who had previous been in the Socialist Labour League (WRP) but was expelled and then Militant  founded the tendency as Workers Fight in 1966 Even etering the Socialist Workers Party at one point. The AWL has never exceeded more than 150 members and like most left groups has a revolving door system whereby activists are used, worn out and leave due to either splits or expulsions or more likely sheer exasperation.

Unlike most of the Trotskyist groups the AWL does not have it's own international though there is a handful of them in Australia and they continue to talk to other groups for further re-alignments including a new one called Mutiny a split from Counterfire.

That all said the group remains in breach of party rules and constitutes a separate political party with membership, finance, programme and requires both proscription and the expulsion of it's so-called "supporters" 

Finally for now: Another small group the Labour Party Marxists are a group of members and sympathisers of the Communist Party Of Great Britain. *This is not the official Communist Party but a splinter from the original CPGB that began life as an opposition faction inside the party around a journal called The Leninist.

The leader of the group John Chamberlain (Jack Conrad) himself a former member of a previous breakaway from the CPGB, the New Communist Party and his supporters managed to hijack the formal name of the old party when it collapsed following the fall of Stalinism in the Soviet Union. 

Unlike the other entryist groups this organisation is not ideologically "Trotskyist" but nevertheless has entered the Labour Party under the label of the LPM after a long string of failed interventions in other left-wing projects in which they were notorious for not just their special brand of sectarianism but troublesome interventions.

The CPGB were instrumental and remain a driving force of the Labour Against the Witch Hunt organisation that has managed to attract the support of many Corbyn/hard left supporters as it's project has been to defend those accused of antisemitism. 

LAW and the CPGB have provided platforms for the worst elements the left has to offer allying themselves with the worst the far/hard left has to offer in the likes of Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson all of whom are now thankfully no longer Labour Party members.

The LPM's most prominent spokesman Stan Keeble has been expelled from the Labour Party but remains heavily involved with the group as do many of the others expelled via the LAW organisation. The LPM/CPGB have built a whole political industry around the denial of antisemitism insisting in typical extremist conspiratorial theories that it's all a "Zionist " plot,that the Israeli state is involved an that the "right-wing" (including even leftists like Jon Lansman) are weaponising antisemitism to "smear" the left.

The Labour Party Marxist organises "joint" meetings and events with the Communist Party of Great Britain not that their politics or personnel are indistinguishable from each other. This group are in clear breach of party rules and should be proscribed with its members expelled.


Where necessary I will publish updates on the Labour Party's proscription programme and report new developments and background briefings as necessary.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Labour Party: A guide to the organisations that face proscription


Over the last few days rumours began circulating that the Labour Party was about to take action against entryists and extremist groups operating inside the Labour Party. This has bee confirmed by reports in The Mirror:

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.

Discussion has erupted o social media about "witch-hunts from those targeted and their allies. The largest of the groups by far is Socialist Appeal who have already see two of their umber recently expelled.

But just who are these groups? 

Socialist Appeal betrays itself by clearly identifying what it is i their statement issued to ostensibly defend their group:

The grounds given are that Socialist Appeal has its own programme, membership, and structures; that we are part of an international organisation, the International Marxist Tendency; and that our organisation is a continuation of the Militant Tendency, which was similarly proscribed by the Kinnock leadership in the 1980s.

One of the tactics used by left groups, in particular those of the Trotskyist kind is known as entryism whereby the organisation buries itself inside a larger party to gain influence and members as a prelude to establishing a new "revolutionary party. This ruse was advised by Trotsky himself to the French Section of the Fourth International back in 1936 and has been practised in various forms by most of those who stand in the Trotskyist tradition.

Of course this should not come as any surprise to long term Labour Party members who will recall the battle with the Militant Tendency back in the eighties. The group which arose around Ted Grant one of the major figures of the British Trotskyist left (and one of the more boring) suddenly found itself gaining ground in the seventies taking control of the Labour Party Young Socialists, several Constituency Labour Parties and eventually found itself with three members in Parliament.

They were an old fashioned group disdaining such things as gay rights considering them "bourgeois deviations" (a view quite common amongst the far-left at one time) and even got called out for "gay bashing" yet this was a very working class grouping which suddenly found itself at war with the Party leadership.

Militant controlled Liverpool Council sent out redundancy notices to all it's workers by taxi which led to Neil Kinnock's famous speech and the eventual breakup and demise of Militant.  Despite organising a rally of over 8000 supporters in the Royal Albert hall the organisation was proscribed and it's leaders including Ted Grant expelled. The rump of the organist ion turned to establishing the Socialist Party however not everyone left Labour.

Despite being expelled Grant opted to call on his faction to stay and regroup within Labour. Today we know this organisation through the name of it's newspaper Socialist Appeal.

With between three and four hundred "supporters" (really members) Socialist Appeal remains active inside the Labour Party despite being in breach of the constitution as it has a separate organisation, membership, finances, programme and outside affiliations. 

Socialist Appeal is part of the International Marxist tendency their version of the "Fourth International" and one of whole myriad of similar bodies of varying sizes.

"The International Marxist Tendency is a Marxist cadre organisation based on a revolutionary and internationalist programme. Founded in the working class and youth, the IMT unites all who wish to dedicate themselves to the struggle for international socialist revolution."

It has an active and growing wing in Universities known as the "Student Marxists" and is currently turning it's attention to the PCS trade union where it's old rivals in the Socialist Party have split and been purged by the Serwotka leadership.

The next group facing proscription is Resist which was founded by expelled former Labour MP Chris Williamson who has subsequently participated the Socialist Party's Trade Union & Socialist Coalition which stands candidates against the Labour Party ad provided three of the candidates. Williamson was also o the campaign trail supporting George Galloway in the Batley & Spen by-election. 

Clearly this is an organisation in direct open competition with the Labour Party making membership incompatible. 

Next up is Labour Against The Witch Hunt (LAW) which was explicitly set up to defend any Labour Party members expelled or disciplined for antisemitism. Amongst their ranks includes the infamous Jackie Walker. 

You can get a taste of what their members think from these quotes I found on their Facebook page before being blocked!

Ray Hicks; Shekel Starmer is a zionist stooge. Time for all socialist to leave the Labour Party before they are the last socialist in the Labour Party. You can't support Israel and be a socialist.

David Bullock: Full of 5th columnist snakes like Streeting, Ashworth and Hodge who are either very heavily influenced by the Israel lobby or worse still, indirectly financially incentivised by them. 

LAW attracts such charming people.

In fact they organising a Zoom Meeting o 24th July ad if you wish to hide your identity it's OK apparently:.

We totally understand if you wish to attend the meeting with your camera switched off or by using a false name (but please email us if you do.

The organisation was openly assisted by members of the Labour Party Marxists (a front for the Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) though it's organiser one Tina Werkman has subsequently split from the party.

Finally it's also believed another group Socialist Resistance is also to be on the list. This group is not as well know as the others having less than a hundred members these days and is all that is left of what was once the International Marxist group led by Tariq Ali. It is like Socialist Appeal part of a world wide grouping though this has the convoluted name of  the United Secretariat of the Fourth International.

None of these organisations or their members belong in a democratic party, let alone the Labour Party ad are parasitic organisations who infest the body politic in order to gain undue influence. Neil Kinnock dealt with Militant, now it's Starmer's turn to deal with rest*.


Tomorrow I'll be looking at the other groups that need proscribing from the Labour Party.