This is a personal view of events concerning the Labour Party this week, with a little personal background to kick this off
(Apologies this will be rather long)
Coming from a working class background, our family occupying what was deemed a slum property during my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s, I guess I was always going to be a socialist.
My parents were Labour voters though never party members and I followed that trend.
There were always some working class Tory voters, even where we lived as kids, most for a variety of reasons including working class snobbery and an “I'm Alright Jack Attitude”.
But we kids all played on the same bomb-sites, went to the same old Victorian built schools, tore around the streets playing games, washed in tin baths, if we were lucky, slept in icy cold bedrooms during the winter months and enjoyed the privilege of an outside lavatory.
But we were lucky as not far from our streets the tenants in blocks of houses all shared one outside lavatory in a communal yard with one outside tap thrown in to spoil them.
So for me once a socialist always a socialist
I have voted Labour all my adult life though at times having to pinch my nose and encourage others to vote for "the lesser of the evils", the Labour Party.
Retiring a few years ago it seemed sensible to join the Labour Party which I have always supported and put my money where my mouth has always been. It was ahead of the General Election 2015 and Ed Miliband was party leader.
I had already been joining in pro-Labour tweet-storms and other social media activity as well as posting supportive blogs so what could possibly go wrong?
What went wrong for me was the Labour Party in all its self-proclaimed broad-church splendour
People say ignorance is bliss and that is certainly true.
GE2015 was lost and Ed was the sacrificial lamb.
Ed’s own MPs, many who shy away from leadership or even cabinet positions, like to virtually throw the party leader under any passing bus in defeat and so they chucked Ed as far as they could throw him.
Which means it was strange to me that Jeremy was blamed when a majority of people in the U.K. voted to leave the E.U, as my M.P. Alan Johnson ran the Labour campaign.
Warning bells went ting-a-ling
But I digress
I initially supported Andy Burnham for party leader when Ed stepped down. My thoughts were his age compared to Jeremy Corbyn rather than anything else, and I say that as a person aged mid-sixties now.
But a new lesson was learned, never judge others by yourself.
Jeremy Corbyn has amazing stamina and resilience.
I never supported Yvette Cooper or Liz Kendall as both were just too wishy-washy and middle-of-the-road for me. I looked at those standing for Deputy Party Leader and opted for Tom Watson as best of the bunch. Like so many I truly regret that vote.
Having followed the leadership race tirelessly I actually missed the new leader announcement as the health of our old rescue dog took a terrible turn for the worse. As the new leader of the Labour Party was announced we sat on our kitchen floor, with our beloved Jessie, while the vet put her to sleep.
So it was a tearful day for us but nothing to do with politics.
I had vowed to support whichever candidate won and I have been true to my word unlike some.
However it has been an easy task to support Jeremy as Jeremy Corbyn is the best thing that has happened to British politics for many decades.
He and his political supporters offer real hope for the many not the few and a chance to create a better Britain.
Having watched Britain's decline over the decades he remains an inspiration to me and one of the few politicians that could reverse the decay and stop the rot.
But it has not been an easy ride for Mr Corbyn or his supporters.
From day one there have been accusations, smears, challenges to his leadership and enemies within the party trying their damnedest to remove him and return to the politics of Tony Blair; a man who came to the Labour Party late.
For some it is as if there was no Labour Party in existence before Blair took office.
So this week another crisis is reached in the Labour Party.
This time a huge crisis which kicked off with claims of Antisemitism levelled against Mr Corbyn relating to a comment he made on Facebook in 2012.
It is worth noting when he did not rapidly respond to the allegation made by a Labour MP she took to Twitter to ensure maximum coverage and damage.
But yes 2012, so why the huge personal urgency now?
Why not work with colleagues and address this once and for all?
For me timing is always important when we look at allegations and try to decide if they are an opportunistic smear or made with real concerns.
At the end of this blog I will share some links to this week’s events but I refuse to dredge it all up again.
This is my closure on the affair, cathartic, as we look forward to upcoming elections and begin campaigning. Those safely nestled in Westminster apparently do not give a flying fig about local people standing for election this year.
Timing as always matters
More sacrificial lambs?
There has been a plethora of nasty screenshots from closed member only Labour supporting groups flooding some twitter troll accounts for some time.
If there are real and new problems real action would have been taken by now. The ruling bodies of the NEC would have acted and new procedures would already be in place.
And the party machinery under outgoing General Secretary Iain McNicol have obviously left a backlog of work for newly appointed Jennie Formby.
Are all the issues new and only occurring now under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership?
No except possibly for the extent of in-house smears.
It is notable that today, Good Friday in the U.K. the boss of Progress Richard Angell has made sure Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are headline news for all the wrong reasons.
As Angell and his side-kick Luke Akehurst have tried to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one their involvement actually disrespects genuine victims of Antisemitism in my honest opinion.
Until I joined the Labour Party I had no idea what Progress or Momentum was but you soon wise up.
So here I stand, or rather sit at my P.C typing this blog on Good Friday, the day that Jesus Christ was crucified wondering what next?
What next for the smears?
What nest for the accusers?
What next for Jeremy Corbyn supporters like myself branded a rabble or trots and neo fascists from people within the party and from one Tory M.P. this week Sajid Javid who took the cowards way out and did his accusing in the House of Commons under parliamentary privilege rules.
And, what next for me?
I commented on social media a short while ago sensing what was coming having observed trolls in action "should I renew my Labour Party membership and why?"
I had lots of positive reactions and reasons to stick with it.
However as I watch our own MPs, some who were helped back into office by Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn supporting activists in 2017, virtually spit on each and every one of us I wonder why bother?
There are many reasons to stay but many more to quit.
One main one will be to continue to support Jeremy Corbyn from within as well as outside of the party.
But who knows which member will be deemed not fit to grace the party traditionally of the working class at any future date?
It could well be me next if someone wants to trawl social media with the software the trolls and the party use to find a reason to remove people; or even if they do not like this blog.
Of course the likes of Tony Blair and John Woodcock are allowed to stay party members while actively telling people they cannot vote for Jeremy or even telling them to vote for another party. They can also feed the media negative story after negative story and not be held to account.
Seems the software used and the people reporting are very selective.
So in case you are wondering:-
I am not a racist
I am not homophobic
I am not Antisemitic
I am not sexist
I am not abusive
I am not a careerist
I am not a journo posting click bait to make money
I do not yearn for any public office
But I am a Jeremy Corbyn supporter?
And I am angry
All I do is yearn for a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government with a great team working with him.
I ask do other Labour people such as John Mann, Stella Creasy, Tony Blair, John Woodcock, Luke Akehurst, Richard Angell et al want that?
I think we all know the answer to that one
Will I renew my party membership?
The jury is still out on that one and here is why.
I have as little in common with Progress, its members, its supporting MPs, its bosses Luke Akehurst and Richard Angell and those on the right of the party as I do with the Tories or even god forbid Ukip.
Until I see that change why would I want to throw my hat in the Labour Party ring.
But there is a subtle difference this time.
If I leave the party my vote goes with me.
I will become non-political and enjoy a full-retirement at last.
Please feel free to comment but note due to spammers and those darn trolls comments need to be approved before they show.
MPs urge Corbyn to suspend Shawcroft amid anti-Semitism row
Watch: Labour supporters clash at rally against anti-Semitism
Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters endorse letter saying Jewish-organised antisemitism protest was the work of 'very powerful special interest group'
Activists Demand Jeremy Corbyn 'Clean Up' Pro-Labour Facebook Pages Amid Anti-Semitism Row
Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
Where did you get that hat?
Op-ed; Unelected Tory PM Theresa May announced on Monday that a snap General Election would take place June 8 if a majority of MPs agreed.
Some MPs were quick to announce they would not stand in the general election but contrary to some reports that is not unusual and it has not been a peculiar Labour Party phenomenon.
Saturday Tory MP Eric Pickles announced he was stepping down at this election and we thought we would post a reminder of Mr Pickles, a true Tory through and through.
Tory Eric Pickles £500,000 luxury limo spend October 2014
Larger-than-life U.K. Tory politician is an example of a fat-cat in every way. Loathe as we usually are to poke fun at any person for their physical traits, in 2014 Britain it is the norm. As things hot up in the run up to the 2015 General Election the Tory PR machine is throwing its weight behind attacking Labour and its leader Ed Miliband. The attacks are personal and include Ed's appearance but was there ever a bigger figure of fun than Pickles?
His name is the stuff of jokes but then there is his extremely rotund appearance.
News Monday that Pickles, 62, "spent £247,775 on two ministerial cars in 2012, £185,935 in 2013, and £103,091 in the first six months of this year" should shock the electorate to the core.
As a representative and member of the Nasty Party of the U.K., the Tories, Pickles is adept at espousing about austerity and welfare benefit scroungers but once again he is a minister proving to be a big scrounger in every sense of the word.
For 2014 the cost, number crunched by Labour and the Daily Mirror, represents an 11% increase on the previous costs of Pickles' luxury limos.
According to the Mirror, "Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth said: “This looks like seriously wasteful activity. “Mr Pickles should be cutting costs, not driving around in luxury courtesy of the taxpayer.”"
They point out that "Westminster is only two stops on the London underground from Mr Pickles’ Whitehall office in Victoria. A return ticket costs £4.40 - and £536,801 would pay for 122,000 of them. He could buy an annual travelcard for £1,256 - and the money he spent on limos would pay for 427 of those."
Tories trying to defend the use of costly luxury limos have tried to turn the tables on Labour claiming the number of limos used by ministers has reduced from six to two and saying Labour is hypocritical.
No matter what the truth about the figures the Tory led coalition are operating in supposedly tough austere times and they expect the people of Britain to tighten their belts to within an inch of being able to breathe.
Pickles, as Community Minister, told authorities around the U.K. to slash travel spending to save money.
If that does not make him one big fat hypocrite I don't know what does.
Pickles would benefit from leading by example and getting off his butt instead of swanning around in limos paid for by the hard-pressed electorate of the U.K.
No argument justifies his hypocrisy.
If the fact that he is one minister who could never blend into a crowd is part of the problem then he must know what he needs to do, and it is not sit in luxury limos while telling the people of Britain to suck up austerity.
The current wave of spin, propaganda and Labour bashing is more hypocrisy.
Have they never heard of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" or "look no further than the nearest mirror"?
Part of the campaign is continuing to use UKIP as a threat to Labour when, if needed, the Tories and Ukip will simply unite after the 2015 election as a right-wing Tory or Ukip led government of the U.K.
Currently it is all about putting Labour out of the picture. So tell me again--who are the hypocrites?
NOTE: And in 2017 why the hell would you vote Tory?
Will Sir Eric Pickles be shuffling off to the House of Lords and more money for old rope?
More re Mr Pickles here http://www.tekjournalismuk.com/only-in-the-uk/eric-pickles-belt-tightening-transparency-hypocrisy-and-gagging
Op-ed; The man in the image above is Labour Party MP Tom Blenkinsop.
He may not look like a traditional Labour Party MP but times change and as my old Mum used to say you cannot judge a sausage by its skin. But both of those statements are flawed.
Mr Blenkinsop has been an MP since 2010; not a very long time in political terms.
He has spent a great deal of the last two years or so trying to undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacking some party members along the way.
We watched his petty blocking spree on Twitter last year as he blocked every single account he could find that supported Jeremy Corbyn.
Tuesday as unelected Tory PM announced a snap general election planned for June 8, 2017, Mr Blenkinsop finally put his money where his self-serving mouth is and made his own announcement that he is quitting.
If timing is everything in politics his announcement is telling. Labour will now face selecting a candidate in time for June 8.
But what do people like Mr Blenkinsop care whether the Labour Party win or not?
Right-wing political mouthpiece Kevin Schofield was keep to share the following on Twitter;
All of this confirms what many people have suspected for some time and that is people like Blenkinsop are in either the wrong job, wrong political party or both!
Blenkinsop represents the seat of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.
This blogger has never interacted with him but she was one many blocked by him on Twitter last year.; she is a lifelong Labour voter and more recent party member.
But the likes of Blenkinsop will not stop her voting for the Labour Party and its beat leader for many a year.
Forget the mainstream media hype, check out Labour policies and then #Vote Labour
Note: As for Mr Blenkinsop goodbye and good riddance
Additionally by the time this post was good to go we received news that Alan Johnson MP for Hull West and Hessle is also quitting. An email from Mr Johnson explains why. We wish him well.
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