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?
It is time to talk about the elephant in the room - Labour Party suspensions. Around 8,000 people according to some.
There may be many reasons some members are still suspended from the Labour Party, stuck in limbo, but a lack of useful, pertinent information to those affected is just one cruel aspect of this sorry state of affairs.
Legal concerns and matters may be part of the problem but we members are just ordinary folk. We are not in it for the money, the power and the glory.
We have our own life stresses and strains. When we opt to commit to a political party we deserve some respect.
People join for many reasons and yes some do so mischievously. But the majority join the party to show support and pay for the privilege.
In some cases they work their socks off trying to get the Labour Party message out and representatives elected. If they then respond angrily on social media using a word that the party machine has suddenly decided is off limits, such as TRAITOR, do they deserve suspension?
When the party has trawled back over time following anonymous complaints regarding party members the affected member is scuppered.
But as previously stated if you feel a person has betrayed you or broken a promise TRAITOR is a very fitting word.
Those MPs who vowed to support Mr Corbyn when he was elected September 12, 2015, but did anything but, fit that category to perfection.
But as #LabourPartyPurge2 drags on tempers are fraying and people are resigning - enough is enough and who can blame them for quitting.
A sensible way forward would be an amnesty of sorts. The abuse timer reset, as after all in many cases it was simply angry debate and not abuse.
That would allow a date to work from. No more trawling back over social media just a clean slate and new era following your re-election in 2016.
Allowing the current situation to drag on is destructive.
It means people listen to Chinese whispers and gossip. That results in more anger and the downward spiral circle continues to whirl out of control. It is not rocket science.
It makes some conclude the party is still split, that a further leadership challenge could follow and it provides the mainstream media with ammunition all making Labour's electability a distant dream.
For the sake of us all we need to hit the restart button.
With so many factions working against each other little wonder people are 'speaking with their feet' and resigning.
Who will respond to this open letter? Will anything change for the better in 2016? Or is the Labour Party just too big for its boots now.
Party suspensions need putting to bed. Time to move on and work toward election success with all hands to the pumps.
The writer is not suspended. But she has Labour values which means she cares about those that are. Do you Mr McNicol?
Opinion: [Labour] Party members will have to explicitly promise “to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members." The statement they will have to sign adds: “I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour party.” Punishments could include being suspended from the party or eventually being expelled."
I will not sign up to such a draconian piece of garbage.
I am not abusive though like many people if I am goaded or attacked on social media I may respond accordingly.
But here's a thing or two.
I have a series of vile, abusive and in some cases simply rude comments made on social media by some Labour Party MPs and officials.
As party members and affiliates have been suspended from the Labour party due to a series of unproved and non-transparent allegations how many of these officials have been held to account or reprimanded?
My guess is non.
As an online blogger I sometimes push the boundaries for various reasons and share images that could be viewed as contentious but as a retired British citizen my time is my own.
I do not break the law.
I am old enough to know what crosses the boundaries of decency and real abuse. I may be a Labour party member, supporter and sometime donor but that does not give them the right to spy on me online, gather information when they want to and ultimately use it against me.
I opposed Theresa May's so-called snooping charter and continue to do so. So why would I sign a social media behaviour contract with a political party I support and pay for the privilege?
The answer is I would not.
Perhaps this is the latest way to oust Jremy Corbyn supporters from the party.
It is not that they are more abusive but simply most would oppose Big Brother tactics from the Tories and be ashamed if Labour adopted similar moves.
Anti-Corbyn Labour Party members may have more in common with Ms May than they like to admit.
If I leave the party my vote goes with me. There is only so much bull any person can stand.
Having seen and heard most of it before life will be easier becoming apolitical.
And if I do leave due to a ridiculous addition to the Labour Party member contract I will be like a woman possessed.
I have a few axes to grind.
I have voted in the Labour leadership 2016 but many friends have been excluded; some suspended, others never receiving their ballot papers or caught out with the implementation of early deadlines.
Like most genuine socialists I look after my own.
Ironically Big Brother Watch was at the Labour Party Conference 2015 https://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/our-events/labour-party-conference-2015/
But the party leader fully backed this latest action and has said that he has also suffered abuse and “will absolutely not allow any sort of it, whatsoever, anywhere around our campaign”.
All things Corbyn
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