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.
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Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
Where did you get that hat?
Opinion: Sunday Eoin on Twitter has gone for "Andy Burnham manages to fight a leadership campaign last summer without abusing Corbyn or his supporters. Why can't Owen Smith so the same?" and he has nailed it once again.
This blogger attended an Andy Burnham event in Hull in the summer of 2015 and an Owen Smith one in 2016.
They were both held at the same venue and both organised at least in part by East Hull Labour MP Karl Turner.
In 2015 former deputy Prime Minister and local MP John Prescott played host. He added some humour to the event and veteran politics at one point saying he would have preferred the meeting included others standing for election and he mentioned Jeremy Corbyn in particular.
That mention was as a positive and it was the only time the other leadership hopefuls were "in the room."
The Owen Smith event was a very different affair.
For one thing Alan Johnson West Hull MP attended but Prescott did not. In 2015 Mr Johnson threw his political support behind Yvette Cooper although his CLP failed to agree on a nomination.
There were also less people at the Smith event.
The question and answer session was similar to last year but those who asked some questions were labelled, probably correctly, Corbynistas. One man who seemed to be a Corbyn supporter wanted to ask in depth questions about the NHS but was told by some including Mr Johnson to sit down.
To be fair time was limited and the event did overrun as Mr Smith was late.
Last year I was a novice at events.
I was inspired by Mr Burnham who seemed the best candidate for the job of party leader. For me Jeremy Corbyn was too old and I say that as one of his contemporaries.
So I voted Burnham last year but accepted the democratic result and have supported Mr Corbyn who has in my eyes proved himself more than worthy over and over again.
I also attended a Corbyn rally in Hull this summer and was more than impressed; finding the right word is not easy.
The rally was fun, informative, entertaining, inspiring and more. And challenger Owen Smith was not "in the room."
Corbyn has held many of his rallies outdoors to keep costs down and to accommodate the huge number of people attending.
The Owen Smith event was ticketed. In order to attend you had to apply online giving an email address.
But it did not take long for Corbyn to be "in the room" thanks to Mr Smith.
One giggle for Smith supporters was a dig at Jeremy commenting he was "perhaps making jam" when he was not available.
And sadly that was not the only dig.
If Mr Corbyn wins the leadership election, and I seriously hope he does, he will have done so by fair means.
If Mr Smith wins will he have been helped along by an unfair and biased purge of Labour Party members and attacking Mr Corbyn time and time again?
From someone else who went to an Owen Smith rally http://www.newtekjournalismukworld.com/your-voice/so-i-went-to-an-owen-smith-event-in-halifax
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