A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Here we go again

Another helpful contribution to the positive communication of Labour's message from my illustrious predecessor as councillor for Chatham Ward, Hackney, Rt Hon C Clarke MP. Not.

16 Comments:

Blogger parburypolitica said...

I think we can safely diagnose a case of ex ministerialitis. It's a terrible disease which need to be stamped out.

http://parburypolitica.blogspot.com
/2007/01/new-disease-discovered-ex.html

10:47 pm, January 10, 2007

 
Anonymous One who hates entryists to my beloved party said...

Unrelated, Luke, but how would one go about getting the young man below chucked out of the party for being a member of Respect? Can't people get automatically expelled with no right of appeal for this?

From: "david isaacson" (notwaruk@yahoo.co.uk)
To: (socialistyouth@lists.riseup.net)
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: [socialistyouth] Observation


> Comrades,
>
> I've just got out of an exam and gone through all
> these emails. Apologies for not diving in earlier but
> I wanted to assess what everyone has had to say on
> this issue.
>
> I thought the aggrieved tone was coming from Owen et
> al ("how dare you raise this issue publicly - you
> wreckers"). It reminds me of my time in the SWP - but
> anyway.
>
> I was the comrade on the CS exec charged with
> coordinating our SYN conference "intervention in terms
> of motions". And comrades I'm sorry to disappoint, but
> it was meant to be just that - an intervention *in
> terms of motions*. Unfortunately when I emailed Owen
> in early December to ask about proposing motions he
> told me that I myself would not be allowed to be a
> delegate at conference. This despite the fact that I
> am a full member of the Labour Party and the LRC. I
> had thought that any member of the LRC who is under 30
> or a student (I am both) is automatically a member of
> SYN. It appears not. There is an additional rule - you
> must not be a member of Respect, the CPGB, etc, etc.
>
> Yet this rule comrades is written no where! You will
> probably all be asking "but how can you be a member of
> both Labour and Respect (not to mention the CPGB)?"
> Well I am and I have the cards to prove it (except the
> CPGB don't give you cards). It strikes me that it
> should not be the job of SYN to police LP membership -
> we should leave that to the New Labour bureaucrats.
> After all, there are disillusioned Labourites (not to
> mention other decent socialists) in Respect and all
> sorts of other parties. Why not let them have a foot
> in both camps while they make their minds up -
> especially if the LP itself hasn't bothered to expel
> them! Incidently there is no Respect rule that I know
> which says members can't also be members of Respect -
> and if there is we would certainly argue against it as
> we did in the Socialist Alliance.
>
> I accepted that it would be wise for me to keep a low
> profile. My role in Respect has after all been a
> public one - I was the CPGB (and Calderdale) delegate
> to Respect conference who proposed that Respect
> "welcome, support and build" the John McDonnell
> campaign. The SWP would never have put this proposal
> on the conference floor but couldn't be seen to
> publicly oppose it. Getting SWPers to campaign for
> McDonnell in their trades unions is surely something
> we welcome. If I can use my position in Respect to
> achieve that then why should I jettison my dual
> membership?
>
> Foolishly I didn't kick off about this earlier because
> Owen had said that it was only me that was barred from
> conference because I was a prominent Respect member -
> he implied that others would be allowed to slip in
> unchecked. He also told us that CS was "more than
> welcome" to have a stall at conference, now he says we
> can't.
>
> We have raised this now because, as with the stall,
> Owen has changed his mind. He came back to me a while
> ago with an email which contained a list of barred CS
> members who are also members of Respect or signatories
> of the CNWP declaration. Owen, or someone else, had
> obviously done a lot of painstaking research into
> which members of CS were also members of other parties
> (he didn't bother to ask if they were also members of
> the LP - which some are). Is this really what we want
> our SYN leadership to spend its time doing? Spying on
> its own members and supporters? After a couple of
> one-to-one emails with Owen trying to get him to
> change his mind (only succeeding in the case of the
> CNWP comrade) we decided to bring this to the
> attention of the SYN membership.
>
> It is not our intention to wreck SYN, but to
> strengthen it. I will respond more directly to some of
> Owen's other points in another post. I honestly hope
> that we can resolve this and move on.
>
> Comradely,
> Dave Isaacson,
> Communist Students (and LP, LRC, CPGB and Respect!).

10:50 pm, January 10, 2007

 
Anonymous Adele said...

Bloody hell. CPGB, RESPECT and Labour. Make up your mind time.

10:52 pm, January 10, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just write to the NEc and they'll send him a @#!# off letter. That's all there is to it. He has "excluded" himself - ie he's deemed to have left the party, open and shut case.

12:42 am, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous susan press calder valley CLP said...

This lad obviously thought he could be both in RESPECT and the Labour Party.OK, he's wrong. But your poisonous McCarthyite mentality is, frankly, disgraceful.
Save The Labour Party, which you've had such fun sneering at, accepts members who are not in the Party, for example. If this is your "beloved Party" then many socialists might conclude you're welcome to it.This week is proving to be yet another corker.Nice to hear Charles Clarke talking some sense.

10:59 am, January 11, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

Susan Press sticking up for one of Galloway's crew, how nice!

This individual should be kicked out of the party - scum like him we could do without.

Just a footnote, Susan, you know what would have happened to someone who showed such treachery to your beloved Ba'ath party? A bullet in the back of the head, perhaps, or being thrown into a vat of boiling oil ...

11:21 am, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous susan press calder valley clp said...

Sham , you really have a problem.I have no time 4 Galloway WHATSOEVER and have written to my local papers/Socialist Worker and been published several times re RESPECT. I think they are completely wrong politically.But I have 30 years' experience in the Labour Party. I was just pointing out that someone much younger than I might get confused about what they're able to join/notjoin as member of Labour Party. That's the problem with single-issue groups like RESPECT - they are not honest about who they are really representing ie the SWP. some might think they're akin to CND which you can join but no doubt you also think this the Anti-Christ.
PS Do you now think Blair is a "Ba'thist" as he's condemned the manner of Saddam's execution.

12:25 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous David Floyd said...

"This lad obviously thought he could be both in RESPECT and the Labour Party.OK, he's wrong. But your poisonous McCarthyite mentality is, frankly, disgraceful."

Are you seriously suggesting that it is 'McCarthyite' to believe that people should be able to work out for themselves that it is not possible to be a member of both the Labour Party and Respect - a party which fights aggressively against the Labour Party at local and national elections?

In addition to being logically ridiculous, this seems pretty insulting to people who were victims of McCarthyism.

If I was in Luke's position, I wouldn't bother offering any advice on how to eject jokers like Mr Isaacson from the Party because, quite frankly, any advance of the Left in the Labour Party is far less likely if pragmatic genuinely Labour-supporting left-wingers have to spend their time battling fringe ambushes from wacky neo-Maoists rather than engaging in real life politics.

2:51 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Small clarification to Save the Labour Party membership criteria. Non-Labour Party members are eligible for STLP associate (non-voting) membership, providing they are not members of any other political party.

This is to provide a welcome to former members, who are not going to defect, but who would like to make a contribution to rebuilding Labour as a democratically run, mass membership party.

Peter Kenyon

3:31 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

Do you now think Blair is a "Ba'thist" as he's condemned the manner of Saddam's execution.

Just to humour you, and since you were so kind in your reply, I'm gonna say yes, me and Tone go along to "Ba'athists Anonymous" meetings all the time! ;)

3:47 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Duncan said...

David obviously knows the character who sent the email, which I do not. Whatever anyone's views on the matter I think it inappropriate to completely post an email from a members' email group (rather than a public blog) on a public blog, especially when it includes one person's version of a particular series of events, etc. If "one who hates entryists to my beloved party" had felt the need to ask advice on this matter, a private email to Luke, or a reference to the issue without naming names and quoting in full would surely have sufficed. Therefore, while agreeing with some of what David said, there is an element of McCarthyism in the decision to completely unnecessarily 'name and shame' (this criticism is not directed at Luke incidentally). And of course there are alternatives to automatic expulsion (such as insisting that a decision is made).

4:53 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a massive difference between being a member of a party which stands against Labour candidates and being in a party inside the Labour party, although I would not condone either.

But non-labour members can join socialist societies (fabians etc), the co-op party and all that jazz. Not a problem, as long as they're not batting for anyone else.

Although I would of course reccomend that nyone in the above organisations who is not already a Labour member join...

6:07 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I think it's better to be a simple person like me as a socialist I believe it is best to join only two things - a trade union and the Labour Party. It won't make you happy and it will give you loads of grief and heartache but it is absolutely the only way to change minds and influence people!

9:41 pm, January 11, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Goodness, I go away for a day and my blog writes itself.

"One who hates entryists" - send the info to your Labour Party Regional Director.

7:50 am, January 12, 2007

 
Anonymous David Floyd said...

"David obviously knows the character who sent the email, which I do not."

I don't know this guy on a personal level and have no reason to believe that he's personally unpleasant.

I have witnessed his email campaign - along with his comedy Maoist colleagues - to force the Labour Left Socialist Youth Network into extinction by demanding that the organisation admit members of rival political parties.

Given my increasing drift towards the centre, I find all this mildly amusing but I also think it's a shame for those within in SYN who are trying to form of legitimate campaign group to argue for their position within the Labour Party that they're having these efforts tediously hampered by eccentric members of anachronistic Marxist grouplets.

8:18 pm, January 12, 2007

 
Anonymous Duncan said...

And I agree with you entirely about that David. Just felt it was inappropriate to paste the email on this site (whoever it was who did that).

2:26 pm, January 13, 2007

 

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