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.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fear and loathing in Islington North

Whispers reach me of a bizarre, and thankfully defeated, attempt at a witchhunt at last night's Islington North Labour Party GC.

The Hard Left in Islington North are getting paranoid and jittery, having long considered their CLP their personal fiefdom, at the emergence of a new generation of activists who are not card-carrying members of the Jeremy Corbyn fan club.

Accused but acquitted of thought crimes against the Islington North Politburo last night were Highbury East members Leo Shulz and Tim McLoughlin.

Apparently their counter-revolutionary activity included denigrating the powers-that-be in their CLP in the comments section of this blog. I understand they are also guilty of excessive canvassing in favour of the national Labour Party, organising too many social events, and associating with known class traitors from Islington's Hodgeite past like James Purnell and Stephen Twigg.

Whether the Islington North ultras will now seek to expel GC delegates who read this website remains to be seen. It may be the only way they can keep a majority next year.


Anonymous Alex said...

A "witchhunt" is exactly the right word. The accused were not even allowed to know what their crimes were prior to this show trial. Talk about Stalinist.

The most the accusers could come up with in way of a crime was commenting on this blog and changing the time of one meeting once. They have totally discredited themselves.

There is a small and growing band of activists in Islington North who are determined to shake the hard left of its complacency and/or utter madness!

Well done to the moderates in Islington North for withstanding this onslaught.

3:27 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Leo Schulz said...

You are certainly quick, Luke. Neither Tim nor I were named directly in the complaint, though the culprits could not have been anyone else.

I would demur on the point of 'denigrating' the Islington North CLP powers-that-be. With few exceptions, personal relations are friendly and positive and the complaint, as you suggest, was not widely supported.

In my view, the roots of the problem are not fundamentally political but in the difficulties many organisations have in transitioning from one generation to another. One of the key divisions has been between longer-standing members and newer members.

Islington will almost certainly come over to Labour at some point between now and May 2010, so there is plenty to keep everyone busy.

Well done with being first with the news!

3:45 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Leo Schulz said...

Just to be clear, there were further charges than those mentioned by 'Alex', though they related to events in 2006 and would have been vigorously contested.

I was curious about the procedure. The CLP chair assured us it had been cleared by the Region and I have no reason to doubt him.

Those accused were indeed not told the charges until minutes before the motion was to be debated. The person making the complaint, by contrast, participated in the discussion at the Executive Committee determining whether to forward the complaint to the General Committee. The same individual, the complainant, was then asked to propose the motion moving the complaint at the GC. She therefore had the advantage of a prepared speech, and of speaking twice, first and last.

If the complaint had been well crafted, or well presented, or had any substance, this would have put the prosecutor at an immense advantage. If this really is Labour Party procedure, I wonder it should not be reviewed.

4:50 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Emma said...

I have to say I have always been baffled by the time wasted on fighting in INCLP. Perhaps I am being naïve, but I thought it was a war on two fronts: the Lib Dems locally and the Conservatives nationally?

Surely any other CLP would be grateful for committed campaigning and regular fundraisers with high-profile Labour figures?!

Enough is enough. Lets remember it's team Labour and all get back to the real fight please.

4:58 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous emma said...

Just to clarify I am pleased that the sensible argument won last night. Hopefully we can now all get on with the real reason we joined the party.

6:03 pm, November 20, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Dear Luke, this is very remenicient of the bad old days in Canterbury, (bit before your time I think) Then the two charges that amused me :_

"Labour Councillor B was seen drinking in the same pub as a Conservative Councillor"

"Labour Agent W helped a Conservative Independant fill in his nomination papers" IIRC the Tory vote split and Labour won a seat in the ward by 9 votes.


9:07 pm, November 20, 2008

Blogger warhammer gold said...

it's damn cold, I had to turn on the engine, and to my surprise and dismay, I had a coolant problem again. wow goldguess I will have to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning to have it fixed then.

12:26 am, November 21, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Luke What a load of non-sense waffle -The CLP of Islington is united in fighting the Lib Dem fascists locally and then the Nazi Tories Nationally? All The CLP are united in Fund raising to fight the enemies and educate the voting public. No one is getting paranoid or jittery.
If it was not for the so called hard left in Islington, there would not be a decent MP and so many Labour Councillors and the BNP membership would be hundreds instead of a few.

The hard left of Islington are no stalinists, in actual fact they are moderates slightly to the left of Roy Hattersley. You don't really now what goes on in the CLP so stop trying to undermine the good work being done by Islington socialists!

You should stop putting terrible incorrect posts trying to undermine your neighbouring constituency! I am absolutely appalled! People who read your right wing Website will not be expelled or even GC delegates. Youyr post is again appalling!

12:58 am, November 21, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:01 am, November 21, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The comment above was deleted because it published someone's home address and phone number. Not clever.

8:46 am, November 21, 2008

Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

"The hard left of Islington are no stalinists, in actual fact they are moderates slightly to the left of Roy Hattersley."

Oh great, just to the 'left' of someone who has made it his business to undermone the Labour government for the last decade, usually through the comment pages of the Guardian...

'Nuff said...

11:53 am, November 21, 2008

Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

Sorry for the spelling, but I seem to have created a new word by accident which sums this spat up: what happens when 'moaning' combines with 'undermining' - you get 'undermoaning'...

As in Woody Allen's Annie Hall - when 'comment' is crossed with 'dissent', you get dysentery...

12:05 pm, November 21, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

The last comment ended in wet Crap!

10:56 pm, November 21, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Mr Shanker Roy Hattersley was a nasty right wing S ierra-H otel-I ndia-T ango! who witch hunted socialists with the Welsh fascist (who now is an over paid useless Brussels bureaucrat) in the 1980's

11:06 pm, November 21, 2008

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

I really don't think it's sensible to risk starting a 'bidding war' on tales of alleged political use of rules in the party. Apart from the fact that I need to sleep and not be typing all night, I don't think us tribal labourites should be generating material for Labour's enemies.

10:14 pm, November 22, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Long live revolution and up the proletariat down with the right wing shit! Updated perfected Stalinist ideals rules OK?

11:44 pm, November 22, 2008


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