Hypocrisy trumps democracy
As many have been transfixed for the last week watching the Donald trying to deny democracy in the US elections, so the Labour Party has been trying just the same.
Just like Trump who wanted some voters’ ballots to be suppressed, so the Labour Party leadership has wanted some members’ views to be suppressed.
The issue is the suspension of the former leader of the Party, Jeremy Corbyn and the actions, led by the new General Secretary, David Evans, have challenged the very idea that democracy exists in the Party.
Just remind yourselves of the furore over the disciplinary actions of the Party while Corbyn was leader. On the one hand he was condemned for not sorting out the right wing inspired chaos around summary suspensions of members, many on trumped up charges – but on the other, he was accused of interfering with the disciplinary process – which according to the right he should not do.
In true right-wing fashion of wanting to have their cake and eat it, they are at it again.
As Corbyn was suspended for his less than fulsome acceptance of the EHRC’s report on anti-Semitism in the party, Starmer has tried to have it both ways. He claimed that the decision to suspend was made by Evans but then, in at least one media interview, claimed he had suspended Corbyn.
It seems what is not good for the left when in power is perfectly okay for the right.
But it doesn’t stop there. Now guidance has gone out from Evans telling party bodies not to discuss the question of Corbyn’s suspension.
This guidance, in direct contravention of the rule book which does not allow such interference with the content of any LCF, CLP or branch meeting – only with its conduct – flies in face of any sense that Labour must be a democratic party.
But just stop there for a second and remind yourself where we are on this – MPs can debate the issue, sign letters, write articles, speak at rallies in support of Corbyn, and the leadership of Starmer and Rayner can give media interviews on why they support the suspension, but ordinary party members are not allowed to formally discuss it.
Already in Sheffield the LCF Executive, two of the six CLPs and some branches have passed motions in solidarity with Corbyn, sometimes having to overturn the ruling of the chair to get it discussed and voted on.
Now, as this newsletter went to press, attempts were being made by Evans to stop motions even being tabled with implied threats of suspension being made to officers who even allow a motion to be put on the agenda.
Grassroots members, and local Officers, on the left of the Party must not allow the rightwing leadership and bureaucracy to silence the views of members.